Page 1

JANUARY | 2016


KINCAID Coach Lines

rebrands for the future p 16

Enterprise asset management p12 Insurance basics


Operator assault prevention p 30 inside

Leading the industry starts with a winning team.

Parts World-class fill rates and inventory for all makes and models

Support 24/7 via in-house ERSA, Technical Call Center and extensive field support

Training Online LMS, LEARN webinars and Technical Tune-ups


Manufacturing Quality-at-the-source transformation

Performance Lowest total operating cost, maximum uptime

rom head-turning good looks to the market’s

from our team to troubleshoot your problem, get you

lowest cost of ownership, and safety technologies

your part, and get you on your way, thanks to second-

like adaptive cruise control and optional collision

to-none service and support. It’s what MCI has been

mitigation, our coaches lead the industry not just in

doing better than anyone for more than 80 years. And

sales, but in features, amenities and value. Plus, we

it’s what we’re still doing better today. See what an MCI

offer the assurance that there will always be someone

J4500, MCI D-Series, or Setra coach can do for you.

Discover what it means to be Reliability Driven.

©2016 MCI

To learn more about the MCI J4500’s lowest total cost of operation advantage, scan here.

Transform all your data on fare payment, collection and revenue into

actionable intelligence

Genfare Link is a comprehensive, digital fare management platform – a suite of fully integrated, hardware and software-based solutions that can manage multi-media fare collection and customer service across multiple transit authorities and modes of transport. This single-source resource lets you harness next-generation technology to keep you on the right side of the change curve.

Take control:

Š 2015 SPX Genfare

A Total Fare Management Solution



COVER STORY Kincaid Coach Lines rebrands for the future


With MCI as a partner, the Kansas City operator is poised to rebound By David Hubbard

FEATURES IMG welcomes three new invitees


Membership rises at 55

Enterprise Asset Management 12 Four steps to prepare for the MAP-21 Final Rule

BUSRide Safe Driver Hall of Fame


Presented by Prevost, the Hall of Fame honors Judy Breneman formerly with Elite Coach

EPLA transitions to DPF


Focus On: Fare Collection



Genfare and Trapeze Group explore preventative maintenance







By Tim O’Bryan


By Doug Jack



By Lori Jetha



22’ Transit with Bus Doorway. Available in Paratransit and Shuttle Configurations

Hotel and Airport Shuttles

• Quality + • Safety + • Experience + • Price = VALUE! • MTS is America’s most experienced commercial passenger and paratransit van manufacturer.

• Laser Cut, No Rust Design • Power Operation • Std. Digital Remote • 9” X 9” Coved Steps • Std. S.S. Assist Handles • No Intrusion into Structural Boron Steel Laser Cut Bus Door

• 35 Years Experience • Certified Ford QVM • NHTSA Registered • FTA TVM Program Approved • Meets All FMVSS Safety Requirements

RAM ProMaster too!

Paratransits in 3 Sizes




BUSRide and Prevost honor the best and the brightest As BUSRide Safe Driver Hall of Fame continues honoring the sterling, accident-free records of the bus and coach industry’ best and brightest, we take pleasure in welcoming Prevost, St. Claire, QB, Canada, as presenting sponsor. Prevost believes such ongoing recognition of proven motorcoach and transit bus drivers is key to promoting a viable safety culture within every company and agency. Our annual inductees are individuals who have set the highest standards for the better part of their driving careers, demonstrating it is indeed possible to achieve and maintain exemplary performance over millions of miles — especially when even the seemingly insignificant fender-benders and parking lot dings can mar a perfect safety record. The bus and coach drivers nominated for the BUSRide Safe Driver Hall of Fame raise the bar for other drivers and to keep it going over millions of miles is exemplary. Three million miles add up roughly to 36 years behind the wheel. The 3 million-mile drivers retired or still on the job, honored in the BUSRide Safe Driver Hall of Fame presented by Prevost, are treasures to their employers and to the entire motorcoach and transit bus industries, and deserving of our recognition and praise. The BUSRide Safe Driver Hall of Fame speaks to the notion that drivers with this degree of professionalism make a difference. As presenting sponsor, recognizing the importance of skilled and dedicated drivers in the overall success of a motorcoach company, Prevost also builds on its generous partnership with the United Motorcoach Association (UMA), Alexandria, VA to establish Prevost Prep – training qualified drivers online through the Bus and Motorcoach Academy’s Clarence Cornell School of Business. Each month in 2016, we will honor select past inductees in further detail and give recognition to new the new faces who have reached the rarified air that comes with 3 million miles behind the wheel. We welcome your nominations and stories of achievement by your stellar veteran drivers. VOL. 52 • NO. 1

CEO / Director of Advertising Sales Judi Victor Associate Publisher David Hubbard Editor in Chief Richard Tackett Senior Art Director Stephen Gamble Accounting Manager Kevin G Boorse

BUS industry SAFETY council

A publication of:

BUSRide Magazine 4742 North 24th Street, STE 340 Phoenix, Arizona 85016 Phone: (602) 265-7600 Fax: (602) 277-7588 David Hubbard Associate Publisher BUSRide Magazine



BusRide™ Magazine is published 8 times each year by Power Trade Media, Inc., 4742 N. 24th Street, Ste. 340, Phoenix, AZ 85016. Subscription Rates: United States and Mexico $39 (USD) one year, Canada $42 (USD) one year (GST included), all other countries $75 one year, single issue United States $5 (USD), all other countries $6 (USD). All articles in BusRide™ Magazine are copyrighted and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher. For reprints of 100 or more, contact Judi Victor at (602) 265-7600 ext. 125. Copyright 2016 by Power Trade Media, Inc. No advertisement or description or reference to a product or service will be deemed as an endorsement, and no warranty is made or implied by Power Trade Media, Inc. Information is obtained from sources the editors believe reliable, accurate and timely, but no warranty is made or implied, and Power Trade Media, Inc is not responsible for errors or omissions.


MCI is now a subsidiary of New Flyer Industries.

New Flyer acquires Motor Coach Industries New Flyer Industries Inc. (“New Flyer” or the “Company”) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Motor Coach Industries International, Inc. (MCI) from an affiliate of KPS Capital Partners, L.P. for cash consideration of $455 million subject to certain purchase price adjustments (the “Transaction”). The completion of the Transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including U.S. antitrust and Canadian Competition Act approvals. Management currently expects the Transaction to close by the end of 2015. Founded in 1933 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, MCI is one of North America’s leading motorcoach manufacturers and parts and service suppliers with three manufacturing facilities and nine service and parts distribution centers. As of December 31, 2014, MCI had the largest installed base of motorcoaches in North America with approximately 28,000 units, nearly twice the installed base of its nearest competitor. Well known in the industry for best-in-class quality, reliability, lowest cost of ownership and a robust coach aftermarket parts and services offering, MCI’s business parallels New Flyer’s leading position in the North American heavy-duty transit bus industry. While there are a few common public customers, MCI does not compete with New Flyer. For the nine months ended September 30, 2015, MCI delivered 576 new coaches resulting in new coach revenue of approximately $315 million and also generated pre-owned coach and aftermarket parts and service combined revenue of approximately $128 million. Total revenue for this period was approximately $443 million. “We are thrilled to combine North America’s #1 brand in heavy-duty transit buses with North America’s #1 brand in motorcoaches,” said Paul Soubry, New Flyer’s president and chief executive officer. “We are very proud of our track record that focuses on employee engagement, customer satisfaction and shareholder value. We intend to build on this success with the addition of MCI and view this complementary business as an important step forward to diversification and growth in areas where we can leverage our OpEx, sourcing, manufacturing, parts distribution and service expertise.”

“With the successful acquisition and integration of Orion Parts and NABI, New Flyer has demonstrated that we have the leadership, expertise, financial performance and capital structure to complete accretive acquisitions and create real shareholder value,” said the Honorable Brian Tobin P.C., O.C., New Flyer’s chairman of the board. The Transaction presents a number of attractive opportunities for New Flyer, including: Growth: MCI provides New Flyer with strong positions in both the North American private and public motorcoach markets with significant scale in the motorcoach parts and service business. Diversification: The addition of MCI’s new and pre-owned coach business significantly diversifies New Flyer’s product offering and customer base. In addition to various transit customers, a number of which overlap with New Flyer’s existing customer base, a significant portion of MCI’s business is derived from private customers, including private charter and tour operators. Potential synergies: New Flyer has identified opportunities for cost synergies and plans to implement its operational excellence (OpEx), information technologies and engineering expertise across MCI, similar to what has been successfully implemented with prior acquisitions. Collaboration and sharing of technology and best practice: The combined entity will employ approximately 4,800 people who share a like-minded commitment to excellence in bus and coach manufacturing and customer support with over 42,000 transit buses and 28,000 coaches currently in operation in Canada and the U.S. Building on global relationships: MCI is the exclusive sales and service organization for Daimler’s Setra coaches in Canada and the U.S. In addition, New Flyer has a strong relationship with Marcopolo S.A., an almost 20 percent equity holder, with global expertise in bus and coach design, sourcing and manufacturing. The Transaction, including related expenses, will be funded through new $825 million senior secured credit facilities with a four-year maturity consisting of a $482 million term loan and a $343 million revolver. Assuming a December 31, 2015, closing of the Transaction, management expects the revolver to have approximately $135 million drawn, which would result in expected pro forma total indebtedness to combined Adjusted EBITDA (within the meaning of the new senior credit facilities) of approximately 3.0x at closing. New Flyer has obtained fully underwritten financing commitments for the new credit facilities, subject to customary terms and conditions, and expects to enter into definitive new credit agreements upon the closing of the Transaction. Furthermore, the Transaction is expected to be highly accretive to New Flyer’s earnings per share and free cash flow per share, even before synergies. New Flyer is currently targeting annual synergies of approximately $10 million through the rationalization of corporate costs and deployment of New Flyer’s OpEx and sourcing expertise.

INIT to invest and expand North American headquarters in Chesapeake INIT Innovations in Transportation, Inc., a global provider of intelligent transportation systems for public transit, will expand its presence in Chesapeake, VA. The company will consolidate its administrative offices, two manufacturing firms and warehouse operations into a 70,000 square-foot facility. | BUSRIDE



GO-1 LLC., an affiliate of INIT, has signed a contract with the Chesapeake Economic Development Authority for 8 acres of land in Oakbrooke Business and Technology Center to develop the new facility. Breaking ground on the site is scheduled for April 2016. The new facility is targeted for completion in March 2017. INIT’s existing North American operations are currently located in the Greenbrier Business District of Chesapeake. It encompasses the company’s two manufacturing firms, Superior Quality Manufacturing, LLC, (SQM) and Total Quality Assembly, LLC, (TQA) and warehouses. The new office will house INIT’s staff including their engineering, development, sales, customer support, information technology, project management and administrative departments. INIT, TQA and SQM currently employ approximately 70 people. In 1999, when the company’s North American business was established, the City of Chesapeake, Department of Economic Development became a vital link in finding the right space for INIT’s US subsidiary. “INIT has made four moves to larger spaces over the last 16 years,” said CEO Roland Staib. “The partnership we have with the City of Chesapeake has been an invaluable resource for us as our company has evolved over the years. They helped us establish our home here.” “INIT is an integral part of our business community and has achieved many milestones in Chesapeake, and we are excited to partner with them as they build a new North American headquarters,” said Chesapeake Mayor Alan P. Krasnoff. “Chesapeake is open for business and INIT’s announcement demonstrates the success companies can achieve in our city.”



MIT Automobile Inc. meets ALI certification with new lifts under the Maxima brand

MIT Automobile provides bus lifting solutions under the Maxima brand.

MIT Automobile Inc. announced that their Maxima Brand of four new heavy-duty mobile column lifts have met the requirements for certification under the Automotive Lift Institute’s (ALI) Automotive Lift Certification Program. MIT Automobile is also a proud member of the Automotive Lift Institute. “By teaming with ALI’s vehicle lift certification program, MIT can assure our customers that our products meet the highest manufacturing and safety requirements,” said Sam Fielden, vice president of MIT Automobile Inc.


The four new models are the ML-4030BC, 66,000-pound capacity; ML-6045BC, 99,000-pound capacity; ML-4034BC, 74,000-pound capacity; and the ML-6051BC, 111,000-pound capacity. All models are 24-volt battery powered and includes as standard features a fast charge mode, deep cell gel industrial batteries, movable wheel adapters, powder coated paint and LED display with self-diagnostic capabilities. “The stringent manufacturing, safety and quality control criteria required by the ALI program called for a very diligent team effort by the Maxima Brand Lift Design Group” Fielden said. “Our entire factory team was put to the test to meet our goal of certification compliance. This certification reaffirms our continuing mission to produce high quality products for today’s value-conscious consumers.” These four new models became available during 4th quarter 2015.

AngelTrax standardizes 500GB solidstate hard drives in hard drive DVRs Setting a new standard in the mobile video surveillance industry, IVS, Inc. – AngelTrax recently announced an across-the-board switch to 500GB solid-state hard drives in all AngelTrax hard drive DVRs, backing the SSDs with an unprecedented 10-year full replacement warranty. Hybrid Quest, Hybrid Vault and HDX mobile DVRs will now ship standard with 500GB solid-state hard drives. Effective immediately, the Hybrid Quest, Hybrid Vault and HDX mobile DVRs will now ship standard with 500GB solid-state hard drives to boost performance and ensure greater reliability over the

AngelTrax has standardized its 500GB solid-state hard drives.

lifetime of the unit. The CoPilot-WA and SDX DVRs already feature solid-state SD cards, which now include capacities up to 256GB each. “We strive to supply our customers with the latest and most reliable technology,” said AngelTrax President and CEO Richie Howard. “That focus has led us to solid-state storage, for its dependability and efficiency, as a logical advancement in the mobile surveillance marketplace.” Solid-state storage, with no moving parts, performs with greater reliability than traditional spinning hard drives and protects video evidence more effectively in high and low temperature extremes. Solid-state storage allows the DVR to boot up in seconds, with compatible operating system and driver support, and features faster, cooler DVR operation for greater energy efficiency.

Europe’s #1 Selling Retractors Now Available in America

AMF Protektor wheelchair restraint systems • The Global Standard • Meet ADA, American and International Safety testing and regulations • Compatible with nearly all standard and

For more information please call 877-506-3770

power wheelchairs • Available in 2 levels: - Silver Series – fully automatic pull-out - Black Series – manual pull-out • All retractors equipped with knob to ensure the most secure attachment possible ISO 10542-1 + 2, DIN 75078-2, CSA Z 605, FMSS/CNVSS, AS 2596, SAE J 49, 2001/85/ EC and ISO 9001

1797 Georgetown Road, Hudson, OH 44236 | BUSRIDE



AngelTrax solid-state hard drives are available in 256GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities for upgrades on existing DVRs and can be installed in minutes. Raising the bar yet again, AngelTrax leads the mobile surveillance industry with unparalleled product standards and unbeatable customer service.

ARBOC breaks ground on new lamination facility ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, Middlebury, IN, a leader in the lowfloor bus market, continues its pattern of growth with the ground breaking of a 14,000 square-foot building dedicated to housing its state of the art lamination process. The addition is part of ARBOC’s overall plans for continuing growth into the future. “This addition will enable us to streamline our current production process and provide flexibility for future multiple product offerings in our current production environment,” said Don Roberts, president/CEO. The ARBOC management team breaking ground on the new addition. From left to right: Don Roberts, Mike Skibbe, Blain Hite, Robb Ledbetter, Del Herr and Bill Fay.

Rendering of the completed addition behind ARBOC’s current production facility.

Austin approves RATP Dev to operate bus network for another four years RATP Dev, through its subsidiary McDonald Transit Associates, was approved by the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority to operate and maintain the urban transportation network in Austin, TX, for another four years. With projected revenue of approximately $70 million per year, this is one of the biggest urban bus public transportation contracts in the U.S. RATP Dev won the bus network operation contract for Austin in 2012, one of the few networks of this size to be entrusted to a private operator. 10


“We’re really happy that the four-year extension has been exercised,” said François-Xavier Perin, CEO of RATP Dev. “It shows our ability to meet the expectations of the transportation authority and passengers on a fully expanding network.” This success is all the more significant given that the transportation authority decided to exercise their options for additional years of service, the longest possible option the contract allows. “RATP Dev is a great partner in providing transit service,” said Dottie Watkins, vice president of the bus and paratransit services at Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “The company has exceeded our expectations. It has pulled off a real change in the network’s service culture. In the last three years, we have noticed impressive developments in several areas such as improving our customer satisfaction, maintenance quality and even timekeeping. For all these reasons, we were happy to exercise our options for additional years of service on our contract.” The network and its 79 bus lines provide public transportation services for Austin and suburbs. With a fleet of over 250 buses, the network transports 21 million passengers per year in and around Austin, a city of 1.7 million inhabitants. RATP Dev was first awarded the network operation and maintenance contract in 2012. RATP Dev has been operating in the U.S. since 2009. Thanks to its McDonald Transit Associates and The Fullington Bus Company subsidiaries, RATP Dev is present in some 15 of the nation’s biggest states and operates dense and complex urban bus networks such as Charlotte, Colorado Springs and Hernando County. RATP Dev also operates the streetcar services in Tucson, AZ, and in May 2014 launched a sightseeing bus operation in the city of New York called Open Loop.

Arrow Entertainer Online reengineered In honor of Arrow Entertainer adding Rebel to the line-up, the brand has released a new website. The new site features a cleaner design, with more robust photography and design elements. The user experience was top-of-mind as the brand moved forward with the new site. “Having a strong brand presence online is key,” said Luke Busskohl, Arrow Stage Lines COO. “We want our clients to know how much passion we have for our company, and this shows with the new Arrow Entertainer site.” The new user interface incorporates large imagery and various videos. In-page features allow for users to easily move through fleet pages. “Advancing our young brands is a strategic focus right now,” said Brandon Osborn, vice president of marketing and business development. “A major piece of that focus is making sure we have brand consistency throughout. The new Arrow Entertainer site is a big step in the right direction.” The development team has compiled feedback from previously released sites and incorporated a number of those features on the new Arrow Entertainer site. See it for yourself and learn more about Arrow Entertainer at





Annett Bus Lines

This past year, the International Motorcoach Group (IMG), Overland Park, KS, welcomed three new coach operators to its network, in which membership is by invitation only. These new companies bring the IMG member count to 55 companies.

Annett Bus Lines IMG announced Annett Bus Lines, Sebring, FL, as a new member in June, joining fellow member Escot Bus Line in the Florida market. Eric and Norma Jean Annett founded their company in 1976, which is now in its second generation as sons and brothers, Brian and David Annett, stepped up to continue its operation. Annett Bus Lines operates from multiple locations in Central and Northern Florida that include Sebring, Jacksonville, Ocala, Tallahassee and Madison. “We are excited to have been accepted into arguably the best group of transportation companies on the planet,” says Brian Annett. “Annett Bus Lines will be a great fit in the IMG organization and we look forward to strengthening the network in Florida and throughout the southeastern United States.” Cline Tours IMG accepted Cline Tours as a new member in October, noting the expanded coverage this company provides in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and Alabama. Cline Tours owner and president, John McCommon, sees his invitation into the premier bus organization as a “compliment beyond words” and says the future of his company is brighter than ever because of IMG. “Cline Tours gives the IMG footprint in the Southern States a significant boost,” says IMG President Bronwyn Wilson. “We are happy to have John and his team as part of the IMG family.”

Cline Tours

Karst Stage

Karst Stage In November, Karst Stage, Bozeman, MT, entered the IMG network. Karst Stage operates out of facilities in Bozeman, Billings, Big Sky, and West Yellowstone. Wilson expressed her organization’s excitement in welcoming Karst Stage, saying the company brings great coverage and service to some of the most wonderful states for touring in the United States. “Motorcoach travel is the primary and best way to experience Montana and the national parks,” she says. “Karst Stage helps IMG expand its national footprint to our customers.” Karst Stage President Dan Martin says the company has been growing at a fast pace, and that the business plans for the pace to continue over the next five years. To do that, he cites the importance of his company’s new alignment with IMG. “Partnering with this group of outstanding operators will undoubtedly help us achieve our goal,” he says. “Similarly, we feel that we fill an important part of the regional map for IMG, benefitting the members at large.” | BUSRIDE



REGULATORY COMPLIANCE In this issue, BUSRide continues “Enterprise Asset Management,” an in-depth forum series addressing fleet management, vehicle tracking, fleet monitoring, fleet optimization and in-vehicle diagnostics. The best fleet management system helps agencies efficiently and accurately comply with state and federal mandates. Experts in this forum focus on what metrics and hardware agencies should focus on to better streamline their operations in this regard. This month, we cover integrated regulatory compliance – a crucial aspect of any comprehensive fleet management software. Trapeze Group examines four crucial steps that any agency must take to prepare for the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). As Brett Koenig writes, it is most important to focus on the Transit Asset Management “Final Rule.”




4 steps to prepare for the Transit Asset Management (MAP-21) Final Rule By Brett Koenig In recent years, a new consensus is emerging about the optimal way to manage the full lifecycle of transit infrastructure. In the U.S., Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), which became law in 2012, is pushing these new standards forward. In the aftermath of MAP-21’s passage, much of the transit industry adopted a wait-and-see attitude. Now, after over three years of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) working groups and comment sessions, that is all about to change. Perhaps the biggest transit story of 2016 is that the Transit Asset Management “Final Rule” is expected to be released in the summer. The Final Rule will press the “Start” button on the MAP-21 compliance stopwatch for public transit agencies. There are a number of activities that all agencies should be working on now to prepare for the law’s pending deadlines, along with listing of key resources. While much has been said about the unwelcome burden the new regulations will place on transit agencies, there is a silver lining: embracing this new, whole-life asset management philosophy will strengthen your agency’s approach to asset safety and reliability. Make this one of your agency’s New Year’s resolutions. What does MAP-21 mean to my agency? At the foundation of the new law is a requirement that each recipient of federal funds must create their own Transit Asset Management (TAM) Plan that includes four core elements: 1. Inventory of capital assets 2. Condition assessments 3. Capital project prioritization 4. Decision support tools The goal of the TAM Plan is to move an agency toward being in a “system-wide State of Good Repair.” Step #1: Capital asset inventory Creating a reliable master database of all capital assets is a vital first step, because it defines the breadth and scope of the agency’s asset footprint. The good news is that most agencies already have an inventory of their vehicles. The bad news is that many agencies find there are gaps in their asset inventory and the data is often not of consistently good quality. Regardless of the situation, now is the time to dust the data off and take a good, hard look at it! Start by identifying the various databases that track asset information (maintenance system, fixed asset register, etc.) and determine which has the most comprehensive, and accurate, dataset to use as the start of a new “master” repository. Next, create a small team composed of staff that are experts on the assets. Have the team scrub the data to ensure the agency has a good, clean record for each capital asset.

Step #2: Establish baseline condition ratings FTA defines condition assessments as “a rating of the inventoried assets that should be sufficiently detailed to monitor performance and plan capital investment.” Set a goal to establish a baseline condition rating for the agency’s assets using the FTA’s five-point scale: 5 = excellent; 4 = good; 3 = fair; 2 = marginal; and 1 = poor (with less than 3 being the threshold value that determines whether an asset is beyond its useful life). While this may seem daunting at first, keep several things in mind. First, the experts in the maintenance department are likely already doing something similar to a “condition assessment” as part of the agency’s scheduled inspection program. Secondly, there are tools available that can help with this process. The leading transitfocused enterprise asset management systems (EAM) offer mobile solutions that make it easy for agency inspectors to capture the latest condition assessment data in the field as part of day-to-day inspection workflows. Third, in the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), the FTA says that condition assessments may be collected at the individual asset or at the class level. This gives agencies the flexibility to determine which assets are worth capturing individual ratings (such as rolling stock), and which they may want to capture using a random sampling approach (e.g., facilities assets are too numerous to inspect with regularity). Step #3: Investment prioritization The third requirement to be included in a comprehensive TAM Plan is a prioritized list of capital projects, ordered by year of implementation. The goal is for the agency’s asset condition assessments to help managers plan these capital investments. The investment prioritization must also take into consideration any assets that have unacceptable safety risks, and any fiscal constraints (factoring in estimated funding levels). Step #4: Decision support tools The fourth key element of a TAM Plan is to define the analytical processes (what FTA calls “decision support tools”) the agency will use. In the NPRM, the FTA clarified that the tool does not have to be software. Most agencies, however, are finding it necessary to utilize software tools to help track the asset condition assessments as well as the scoping and prioritization of the capital projects being considered by an agency. There are several types of tools available including ones the FTA has released as part of its MAP-21 Technical Assistance program (e.g., TERM-Lite). Private sector firms have been working to provide best-of-breed solutions that streamline the collection of data by, for example, incorporating State of Good Repair and capital project prioritization, which feature directly into the EAM systems that many agency staffs already use every day for maintenance management functions. And lastly, review the documents that FTA has provided through their Technical Assistance program (See: html). Among them are the NPRM presentation, which clarifies how the requirements differ according to each agency’s size (Tier 1 & Tier 2). While the due date to officially report this data to the FTA is over a year away, spending the coming months to identify the tools, resources and workflows used to comply is the recommended approach that will position agencies well for the Final Rule. Brett Koenig is the industry solutions manager for Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) at Trapeze Group. Trapeze delivers solutions that consider the full 360 degrees of passenger transport, including integrated solutions spanning EAM, ITS, Operations and Scheduling, Paratransit, Traveler Information and Automated Fare Collection. Brett can be reached at: | BUSRIDE



BUSRide recently sat down with the principals of GreenRoad, Austin, TX, the providers of a driver and fleet performance management solution aimed at helping organizations improve productivity through real-time actionable data and insights. In this informative Q&A, we explore the benefits and intricacies associated with such a solution and its associated driver improvement programs. What is driver behavior or driver performance modification? How is it different than GPS tracking drivers and speed? The main problem with GPS telematics is that it’s an incredibly diverse technology which encompasses so many different fields. It tends to not diagnose the root cause of poor driving behaviors – the drivers and lack of real-time improvement coaching. There are two major issues with driver behavior as it relates to bus and coach transportation. First, passenger transport drivers already have a disconnect between actual driving capability and perceived driving capability. Second, the very repetitive nature of driving a bus or coach means that, as drivers repeatedly trace the same routes, their level of concentration and focus begins to diminish. GreenRoad has found a niche by first of all being able to clearly identify a driver’s risk profile – achieved through compound event detection coupled with its unique ability of calibrating its technology to each vehicle based on the client’s required standards. It’s also important for drivers to access the information and use it for self-management. That removes the fear that this is a technology used to spy on the driver. When drivers are provided correction while in the vehicle, they begin to see that the technology is there to help them perform better behind the wheel. For operators, driver performance modification technology allows them to maximize driver potential. The ability to engage with each driver, every day, face to face, is nigh impossible in a large operation. Having a technology where a huge proportion of drivers can selfmanage or self-improve with the GreenRoad central interface makes a driver behavior project scalable and sustainable. What does a successful driver behavior/ safety program consist of for a mobile workforce or fleet? No project can work unless management fully supports the technology. Once the program is established, it has a track record of very little management required. Many operations have been very successful in feeding positive feedback to their drivers. This can include names on the wall or even letters of thanks from the CEO. One manager went down to his drivers’ breakroom in the morning and made tea, coffee and sandwiches for his drivers – just as a token of appreciation for their efforts. Those kinds of positive reinforcement go a long way. Other managers are providing tips and hints, and making sure that any struggling drivers know that they’re there to help, not criticize and complain. If you have a psychology of openness, knowledge, training and very strong recognition of improvements, you’ll find that drivers modify their behavior far quicker than most would expect. Once it’s established, the system is essentially self-managing. Drivers begin to not only modify their behavior in the workplace, but also take it in to their personal lives as well.



Driver behavior modification technology allows managers to maximize driver potential.

What can an organization expect to see by way of results when implementing a driver behavior/ safety program? What is the typical return on investment (ROI)? Benefits yielded from driver behavior or safety programs typically are short-term benefits that grow into long-term benefits. Safety is a very critical element when implementing GreenRoad. Still, it takes some time to find if a reduction in accidents is consistent, so most people initially make the move because of fuel savings. If you’re operating a fleet with inefficient drivers (not necessarily dangerous drivers, but certainly sub-optimized), a program like this can get them to perform optimally and managers will see anywhere between 4 to 10 percent in fuel savings, a significant reduction in passenger accidents and lower cost of vehicle maintenance. Three factors affect that: how bad the driver group is initially; how well the client engages with the project; and finally the type of operation. Urban or transit configurations allow for more maneuver changes. For these reasons, net effects of improvements in fuel and other safety and operational savings will be felt in no more than three months. Accident rates are also significantly reduced. We typically see between a 25-50 percent reduction in accidents, but accidents are sometimes challenging to identify. Some operators claim any damage as an accident, while others have a cost threshold. The best method is to look at accident cost reduction, because programs like these are best at stopping significant accidents. This will undoubtedly lead to a reduction in insurance premiums. For these reasons, the dramatic ROI that bus operators get from driver behavior systems are dramatically different from simple telematics systems, by orders of magnitude. GreenRoad is a global leader in driver and fleet performance management solutions, helping organizations achieve greater productivity and improved safety and performance through real-time actionable data. GreenRoad’s advanced technology and analytics help organizations of all types improve driver safety, increase operational efficiencies, and maintain corporate and regulatory compliance while reducing overall risk. Visit



DAMAGE BUSRide recently sat down with Tim O’Bryan, president of Service Insurance Agency, Richmond, VA, to discuss physical damage claims and how they affect the financial health of motorcoach operators and public transit agencies.

Many physical damage claims – and thus, significant accidents, are caused by driver inattentiveness.

What are the primary causes of physical damage claims to an operator’s vehicles? The most costly claims we see are fire claims. Vehicles catch fire for a number of reasons – the two biggest causes are the engine compartment and the wheel assembly. Turbochargers can blow up and catch fire within the engine compartment. Within the wheel assembly, brakes or tires can present fire risk. Bus fires typically don’t result in bodily injury, but there’s a lot of property damage to the vehicle and to whatever property that vehicle is carrying – like luggage, personal belongings, etc. In addition to fire, what are some other examples of physical damage claims? Vehicle fires stay on everybody’s mind because they are big losses, both for the carrier and the insurance company. An operator is going to be without a vehicle for a period of time – it could even be on the side of the road burning, which is obviously very bad for publicity. An operator may also have passengers outside of the vehicle on the side of the road, which is a huge liability exposure. Operators have got to stay current on their maintenance programs; ensuring that all preventative and regularly scheduled maintenance is up to date. This is especially important in the “offseason,” when business is slow. It’s really important to finish preventative maintenance before business gets really busy. From a driver’s standpoint, a lot of physical damage prevention should be completed upon pre-trip inspection – making sure tires are inflated properly, making sure belts aren’t worn and hoses are not loose. The other types of damage are caused by inattentive drivers hitting objects, causing dents and knocking mirrors off. Those are soft costs for operators that are typically under their deductibles. These soft costs add up and, while they may not be insurance claims, they affect the bottom lines of motorcoach and transit operations.

Claims typically fall into three categories – the common ones are driver inattention and maintenance related, and the less common one would be weather related such as lightning, flood and hail damage. What can operators do to mediate this damage? We talk to operators about staying up on preventative maintenance, making sure they’re diligent in their maintenance regiments. If drivers they think they have a problem, they should immediately pull over and check it out – don’t wait. If a tire is going down, for example, don’t keep driving on it. Get it checked. A lot of newer vehicles are coming equipped with new fire suppression systems, either early warning alerts or actual suppressing agents. These systems typically don’t result in any kind of insurance discount, but the savings will come going down the road. If new features prevent accidents or damages from occurring, operators will feel those savings in the long term. Again, the most important directive is diligence with the vehicle fleet, and doing pre-trip and post-trip inspections. Have maintenance staff do the annual preventative maintenance and stay up-to-date during the busy times of the year. As many in the industry say, it’s a nine or 10 month busy season to pay 12 months of bills. Most insurance policies have an internal limit on physical damage. In the event of a catastrophe, most policies have a $1 million catastrophic limit on a policy. Think about how vehicles are positioned in the yard – are there fire breaks between them? Ask your agent and get a quote on excess physical damage coverage – it will raise the catastrophic limit to a number that’s appropriate for your needs. This series will continue next month! Tim O’Bryan serves as president of Service Insurance Agency. Since 1952, the company has been committed to the transportation industry. Service Insurance Company strives to provide the most knowledgeable advice and personal service to all of its valued customers. Visit them online at | BUSRIDE


Kincaid Coach Lines

for the future With MCI as a partner, the Kansas City operator is poised to rebound By David Hubbard Thirty-eight years ago, with an idea for a charter tour business to serve the Kansas City area, Don Kincaid took a flying leap of faith into the motorcoach business. Not a terribly unreasonable undertaking, as he was already in the school bus contracting business, running upwards of 50 vehicles. Today, Kincaid Coach Lines serves bus and coach travel markets from six locations in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Florida; providing coach charters, tours and destination travel for customers in Kansas City, Wichita, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Amarillo and Panama City Beach. With far more measured abandon, Kincaid now is taking another large leap. Its acquisition of 16 new, fully appointed MCI J4500s over the past year marks the launch of Kincaid Coach Lines’ current initiative to rebrand, reinvigorate and grow. The company’s newest Motor Coach Industries (MCI) J4500s come equipped for today’s discerning coach travelers, offering Harmonia wood flooring and wood-grain cabin finishes, 110-volt

seat-back outlets with USB ports in all rows, Saucon GPS and Wi-Fi, leather headrests, three-point seatbelts and Wingman Advanced adaptive braking. With the coach count now standing at 38, the company views its procurement as a significant milestone in its history. Kincaid Coach Lines says the new equipment will be instrumental in bolstering business in coach tour and travel markets. Kincaid Travel Services offers its extensive menu of tour destinations, attractions and events, each hosted by experienced and congenial tour with the expertise to enhance the ride with interesting facts and information on points of interest. Professional travel planners assist domestic and international travelers and vacationers from its expansive menu of itineraries for every transportation mode — motorcoach, train, plane and cruise ships.

The Kincaid Coach fleet grew by 14 new MCI J4500s over the past year, and more are on the way. 16


From left to right: Scott Kincaid, founder Don Kincaid and CEO Dale Bohn are all smiles for the company’s decision to reenergize, rebrand and grow.

All on a handshake “When I decided to try motorcoaches, the school bus business was doing fine,” Kincaid says. “We owned the buses, we built our facilities and we were growing. I was just looking for business that offered more than a one-year contract.” He faced two hurdles at the onset. First, in 1977 the motorcoach industry was federally regulated; and second, he freely admits to knowing nothing at the time about motorcoaches. “Zilch, nada, zero,” he says. “All I knew was that I first had to get my hands on an ICC Authority to have license to do business in this industry.” Kincaid learned of a small company near Leavenworth, KS, Easton Bus Service, and drove up to meet owner Jim Lundsford at his farmhouse, to introduce himself and perhaps strike a deal. “I said, ‘I know you have a permit and I want to be in the motorcoach business,’” Kincaid says. “Jim said he not only had a permit, he would throw in the four buses he was using as a chicken coop in his barn, providing I would also take the chickens roosting in the buses.” Lundsford set his price at $150,000. Estimating his net worth to be about $10,000, Kincaid agreed to the deal, telling Lundsford he didn’t have the money to pay him. “Jim understood totally,” Kincaid says. “He suggested I just pay him over time for the next four years, when the going rate at the time was $.85 per mile. We looked one another in the eye and shook hands right there on his front porch. Our handshake was our word.” Kincaid towed two vintage-1960s Eagles and an MC5 back to his facility. He says the fourth bus started, but with all the crud in the fuel tank it conked out after only 3 miles. “It took us several months to get the coaches cleaned up and in somewhat working order,” Kincaid says. “I didn’t know anything about diesel engines, since our school buses ran on gasoline. For the first year, we could never drive a coach any more than 50 miles before something broke down or failed.”

To make the agreement more formal, Kincaid drew up a more formal contract on a sheet of notebook paper for Lundsford to sign. He later purchased four more coaches from East Coast Parlor Car Tours, returned the original four to Lundsford and continued on in the business. Lessons learned Meanwhile, Kincaid was also tending to his other business interests in The Kincaid Group. When the school bus operation sold in 2000, it had grown into America’s largest such company (not publically-traded), operating 3,800 buses in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Along the way, Kincaid founded Midwest Bus Sales in 1979. Complementing the school bus operation, the business became a dealership for Thomas Built and Thomas-Freightliner buses, and is now the second largest school bus sales organization in the U.S., according to Kincaid. Don Kincaid’s son Scott joined the family business after graduating from college in 2004, and after the upheaval in the late 1990s when the federal government deregulated the motorcoach industry. “Deregulation clearly changed the landscape,” Scott Kincaid says. “As more new operators opened businesses, prices for our service began to fall and Kincaid Coach Lines actually began to struggle.” Continuing to develop as a group of diverse companies, The Kincaid Group became involved in automobile dealerships, owned a professional soccer team and created a high-volume vehicle leasing division. “While this all may sound exciting and great, we seemed to lose our focus with the motorcoach operation somewhere along the way, allowing our fleet to age as it had,” Don Kincaid says. “I am not very proud of this time in our business, but that is exactly what happened.” He says a couple of years went by before he sat down with his team to assess the missteps that led to this situation. | BUSRIDE


Midwest Bus Sales, a division of The Kincaid Group, announced that its Kansas City location will serve as a recognized MCI service center for warranty work. MCI’s ERSA division will use the facility for assistance with emergency calls.

“We had to ask ourselves if we still wanted to be in this business — because it certainly had not been profitable,” he says. “We wondered if we could reenergize and reinvigorate Kincaid Coach Lines and return it to a company we are proud to operate.” The group ultimately agreed that the motorcoach division should operate at the same level as the other entities in The Kincaid Group. “Everything we do, we do well,” Scott Kincaid says. “There is absolutely no reason we cannot run Kincaid Coach Lines with the same zeal, excitement and professionalism as our other businesses.” A refreshed restart In his 30 years with The Kincaid Group, Dale Bohn has seen duty in several of its myriad companies. He recently returned to Kincaid Coach Lines and his former position as chief executive officer to oversee its rebranding initiative and future growth. “We are improving and refining every operational aspect,” Bohn says. “As well as doing all we can to generate more business, we are implementing new management software and systems that will allow us to keep better watch on our company.” Citing safety and reliable service as core values in Kincaid Coach Lines, he says the overall state of the coach fleet definitely sets the tone throughout the company. “This includes our decision to run only MCI J4500 coaches,” he says. “We believe we are a much safer company when drivers and technicians are operating and servicing only one brand of coach, and it’s easier for our customers to recognize.” With the decision to ramp up Kincaid Coach Lines, the company has strengthened its ties with MCI, Des Plaines, IL as its OEM partner. Bohn says the plan over the next three years is to continue to update and grow the fleet to 50 coaches and then maintain it on a three-year rotation. “It took a little convincing on our part, but once MCI saw we were a reenergized company coming on stronger, they really stepped up.” Don Kincaid says. “Success in business requires good partners. MCI shook hands with us, much like I shook hands with Jim Lundsford, and we are very proud that MCI is willing to support our growth.” 18


Kincaid says in addition to the more than $10 million over the past year required for new equipment, the company is getting ready to invest $10 million in further upgrades to the fleet. Additionally, Scott Kincaid says that once the new $5 million facility in Kansas City to house Kincaid Coach Lines and Midwest Bus Sales is complete, MCI has granted authority to The Kincaid Group to become an recognized MCI service center. The two Kincaid companies are preparing to work together in similar facilities at the other locations as construction is complete. “As we work closer with MCI as an recognized service center in our shared facility with Midwest Bus Sales, Kincaid Coach Lines will be better positioned to handle our bus residuals and resales in secondary markets,” he says. “These arrangements will play prominently in our three-year rotation. “ In its reassessment and rebranding, Kincaid Coach Lines has also recognized the need for a more diversified fleet, and says it is in the process of committing funds to develop a midsize bus fleet to serve smaller groups traveling shorter distances. Bohn adds that with the industry’s ongoing struggle with the perennial shortage of qualified and highly capable coach drivers, he sees its new model coaches attracting both new and experienced drivers. “Our hope is that they naturally gravitate toward our company because of our newer, more attractive equipment,” he says. “This is a significant factor in our plan for further growth.” While operating new equipment in all the right places is important, Bohn credits his employees for working together with renewed energy to generate respect for Kincaid Coach Lines as a safe, professional and expertly run organization. “Kincaid Coach Lines is not working to become the largest motorcoach operator,” Don Kincaid says. “Our aim is to be the best operator in each of the niche areas we serve.”

Judy Breneman retired with nearly 3 million miles of accident-free driving


t was a man’s world when Judy Breneman broke down a few barriers 45 years ago to drive motorcoaches. BUSRide recognized Breneman in 2008 as a Safe Driver Hall of Fame inductee for her success and safe driving record to that point in her career; when she logged 2 million accident-free miles with Elite Coach, Ephrata, PA. Breneman continued her safe driving ways, having recorded very close to 3 million accident-free miles when she retired in December 2014. Breneman was looking for part-time work when she took the training to drive school buses for Eschbach Bus, Holtwood, PA. “Thankfully, this company gave me, a woman, the opportunity to get into the motorcoach business,” she says. “They ran a few old GMC charter coaches with stick shifts. I remember asking the guys for help in how to double-clutch the manual transmission without grinding the gears.” They laughed, assuring Breneman that everyone ground gears from time to time, and not to worry. “I would say, ‘Yeah, but a woman sure can’t,’” she says. “The men could, of course, get away with missing a shift, but I didn’t dare think I could. It was tough breaking in. On top of that, those buses had no power steering and handled like a Mack truck.” Once bitten by the proverbial bus bug, Breneman drove three years for Executive Coach, Lancaster, PA, when she received a call from Elite Coach to come and drive its new Prevost coaches. The only woman on the team of drivers; her tenure lasted 17 years. Breneman attributes her safe and accident-free driving career to simply wanting to deliver the smoothest coach ride possible for her passengers and tour hosts, many who rode with her over her entire career with Elite. She believes the safe driving habits that led to her clean 3 millionmile record started with soft braking. “The maintenance crew told me that the brakes on my coach always needed more attention than the others,” Breneman says. “I always preferred longer, slower stopping over slamming on the brakes at the last second. My passengers appreciated my smoother handling, and our tour hosts liked how I seemed to never jam on the brakes. Being there for them was the most important part of my job. I believe this, along with tending to the comfort of my passengers, just made me more careful in many ways, and safer as a matter of course.” Additionally, Breneman advises coach drivers to learn to continually look ahead to determine road and traffic conditions, leaving time to respond and react.

Now retired, Judy Breneman drove nearly 3 million miles without an accident in her career as a motorcoach driver.

“It still comes back to providing the smoothest possible ride.” “It still comes back to providing the smoothest possible ride,” she says. “Just as an example, looking further ahead and traveling comfortably with the flow of traffic enables longer, smoother lane changes.” Breneman notes that nearer to her retirement, she was seeing many more coach drivers performing in a safer manner compared to her early days in the business. Aside from smooth driving, which she believes is an art not perfected by every operator behind the wheel, Breneman thinks better equipment and technology that assists and monitors safe driving is having a profound effect, and that companies are promoting a safety culture far beyond where it was when she started. “I couldn’t have enjoyed my career more,” Breneman says. “But when I decided the time had come to retire, I put my company and my long-time customers on notice that I was hanging it up. As an older driver, I could feel my reflexes slowing and becoming not as sharp as they once were. Feeling the odds were stacking up, it was best I kept my clean record and memories.” | BUSRIDE


{ A New Look @ Transit Tech }


an historical overview of transit technology BUSRide recently sat down with Brandon Curtis, executive managing director at Aesys, and Darryl Curtis, vice president – technology, at Clever Devices, for an interview dissecting the last decade of transit technology. Furthermore, the two experts identify faults in current transit technology deployment and offer potential solutions for agencies that find themselves in a bind. What notable advances have been made in transit technology in the past decade? Brandon Curtis: We’ve seen a decade of continual advancement. Automatic vehicle monitoring (AVM) in particular is a whole new technology that has developed and evolved over the last 10 to 15 years. Automatic passenger counting (APC) has also made huge advancements. Radio frequency has gone digital, while Nextel iDEN pack systems have gone away. Darryl Curtis: In terms of transit technology, there are two areas an agency must understand thoroughly and execute well. The first is the advancement in vehicle location technology that includes improved GPS, refinements for more accurate location algorithms and a greater number of satellites. Together, these have greatly improved everyone’s capability to locate. Second, communications technology has grown dramatically since we were just using private radio 20 or 30 years ago. Although, the transit industry has been slow in adapting to the use of cellular streams for data communication. However, that is changing as well, as transit agencies have begun to accept cellular technology as a means for reliable data communications, and now voice communications to some degree. Along with these, advancements in routers – intelligent routers and mobile access routers – have actually moved networks out onto the buses; connecting them all the way back into the central system. Brandon: It is amazing how market demand has driven the technology. For instance, CAD-AVL has rarely shown a quantifiable return on investment for a transit agency other than safety. As an example, while there are many ways companies like Aesys can implement most any on-board multimedia and entertainment system, the problem for an agency has been in finding it cost-prohibitive to justify in terms of safety or ease of ridership. Transit agencies have not been able to develop marketing plans that incorporate that very same information for something like location-based advertising. With these technologies advancing so fast, and with their intricacies becoming more and more complex, are agencies able to keep up? Darryl: I don’t know how they can keep up, to be candid; especially where they’re trying to maintain the systems they already have. To stay on top of the technology, they end up relying on consultants or technology companies they can trust, because the changes are coming incredibly fast. So no, I don’t think they’re on top of it. I think some of the consulting companies directly involved on multiple fronts do have the talent and people who are capable of

keeping up. However, they are not the ones deploying the systems. While they’re on top of the technology they think may work, it may not work when someone actually gets out there and tries to deploy the system. The best transit agencies staying on top of what is happening today are the ones that dare to ask, “What have you done for me lately?” Brandon: The people who purchase the technology systems often know what they want, but don’t always know how to articulate their preferences technically. Consultants take that information and interpret it the best they can. Once agencies deploy a system, I think they have a difficult time keeping up with the incoming data. I think it becomes an even more difficult situation when multiple integrators will not work together. They tell agencies they have to pay for their own data before they pair it with another integrator. So what they end up with, in most cases, is an agency that can either choose to update technology at 20 to 30 percent of the time or pay a massive amount of money for an end-to-end system. In light of that, what do agencies most need to know when purchasing a new system? Brandon: I would encourage transit agencies to communicate with one another. It doesn’t cost any money for an agency to pick up the phone and call for answers to their questions, and to get reliable information and perhaps some good advice. Agencies are in a better position to leverage their own domain knowledge for what works and what doesn’t, because the only people who know the system are those who use it every day. It’s amazing agencies don’t have more of a say in how a system should be developed, as they are the ones using it. Darryl: The optimum solution is going to come from a company that has deployed the technology numerous times in numerous situations. It may take a few calls to connect with an agency that can actually offer that guidance. Because there is not an agency out there than has never had a problem, these are the more important questions to ask: How did they respond to a problem before the deployment of new technology? What has their response been to a similar problem with the new the solution in place? Information is power and the best information is from reliable sources. Don’t be afraid to ask, as most people are most likely to share their successes. | BUSRIDE



NY MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast announced the appointment of Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim as the eighth permanent president of the agency, which moves more than 8 million daily customers on subways, buses, the Staten Island Railway and paratransit service. Hakim is a career transportation professional who returns to the MTA after an earlier 23-year career at the agency. For Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim the past year and a half she has served as the executive director of NJ TRANSIT, which operates 12 commuter rail lines, three light rail lines, 261 bus routes and Access Link paratransit service across the state of New Jersey. She previously served nearly four years as executive director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. In her time at the MTA, Hakim served as special counsel at New York City Transit as well as executive vice president and general counsel at MTA Capital Construction, where she provided senior management with policy and legal advice on megaprojects such as the Second Avenue Subway, East Side Access and the 7 train extension to Hudson Yards. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Rochester and a juris doctorate degree from the Pace University School of Law. Hakim began serving as president on December 28. She replaces James L. Ferrara, the president of MTA Bridges and Tunnels, who has been serving as interim president of New York City Transit since the August retirement of Carmen Bianco. New York City Transit serves more than 5.6 million subway customers and 2.5 million bus customers on an average weekday. Its 47,000 employees provide mass transit and paratransit service throughout the city, including operating almost 6,400 subway cars at 469 stations, and more than 5,700 buses at more than 15,000 bus stops Per an exclusive report by the Phoenix Business Journal (, Valley Metro CEO Steve Banta resigned effective this month. He submitted his resignation via letter to the Valley Metro Board in November. Banta has been with the agency since 2010. Steve Banta

Jeanne Miller has been appointed to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s (JTA) Board of Directors by Mayor Lenny Curry. Miller will replace Allison Korman Shelton who currently serves at the director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the City of Jacksonville. Miller is the executive director of the Jacksonville Civic Council. In her current role, Miller leads a group of Northeast Florida CEOs to study and advocate on public policy issues that impact Jacksonville’s quality of life. Prior to joining the Civic Council in July 2013, Miller was the general counsel Jeanne Miller and vice president of strategic initiatives at Florida State College Jacksonville. She also previously worked at City Hall from 2003 through 2006, first as the legislative affairs 22


chief in the General Counsel’s Office and then for three years at the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission (JEDC), where she also served as interim director. Miller is a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville and Leadership Florida. She served on the 2009/10 Jacksonville Charter Revision Commission and is a former member of the JAX Chamber Board of Governors and Board of Directors, as well as, the National Association of College and University Attorneys. She currently serves on the boards of Community Connections, Goodwill Industries of North Florida and the Metro YMCA of Northeast Florida. Miller’s community and professional activities have been recognized with a variety of honors, including being named as a 2014 Jacksonville Business Journal Women of Influence, a 904 Magazine Top Lawyer, and a member of Florida Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite. Miller attended her first official JTA Board meeting on December 10, 2015

The Sound Transit Board unanimously selected former Federal Transit Administrator Peter M. Rogoff as the agency’s new CEO. In July 2014, the United States Senate confirmed Rogoff as under secretary of transportation for policy in the U.S. Department of Transportation, the department’s third highest ranking official. Previously, in May of 2009 the Senate confirmed Rogoff as President Obama’s federal transit administrator. As under secretary of transportation for policy, Rogoff provides leadership in the development of policies for the department, generating proposals and guidance regarding legislative, regulatory and safety initiatives. His work spans all transportation modes, including aviation, highway, rail, transit and maritime transportation. As the nation’s chief public transit official, Rogoff negotiated and signed a record number of full funding grant agreements with transit agencies across the nation to expand rail and bus rapid transit infrastructure. Prior to his FTA appointment, Rogoff served for 22 years on the staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee, including 14 years as the Democratic staff director of the Transportation Subcommittee, led by Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey and Senator Patty Murray of Washington. Current Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl, who has been on medical leave, will retire in March 2016 following the opening of the University Link light rail line. Deputy CEO Mike Harbour, who did not apply for the CEO position, will continue to serve as the agency’s acting CEO until Rogoff’s arrival. While the agency works to complete current voter-approved projects, Rogoff will lead the staff’s work to support the work of the Sound Transit Board in shaping a major Sound Transit package of further regional transit expansions, planned for voter consideration in November 2016. Board members praised Earl’s accomplishments at today’s meeting. Since arriving at Sound Transit 15 years ago, Earl has successfully led the agency forward from the 2000-2002 near collapse of plans to build a regional mass transit system. Today, Sound Transit is on track to open more than 30 additional miles of voter-approved light rail extensions by 2023, establishing a 50-mile regional system. Earl’s retirement early next year will coincide with the under-budget and ahead-of-schedule opening of the University Link light rail extension that she took back to the drawing board in 2001.

EPLA transitions to DPF CCW installs diesel particulate filters for EPLA

Every EPLA coach receives the same type of passive filter, which can be removed, cleaned and replaced while the coaches are in the shop for routine maintenance.

Complete Coach Works (CCW) in December announced it was in the process of completing the installation of diesel particulate filters (DPFs) on 20 coach buses for El Paso-Los Angeles Limousine Express, Inc. (EPLA). The project ensures that coaches operated by EPLA meet particulate emission standards for diesel-powered vehicles set by various regulatory agencies. Several days of data logging on each engine are performed to obtain crucial information about the vehicle’s exhaust system. The data logger, which is temporarily installed on each vehicle, documents exhaust temperatures during normal engine operation. Exhaust temperatures, which can be influenced by vehicle speed, load, idling, ambient air temperatures and driver tendencies, can impact the operation of the proper filter. After data logging, each engine undergoes an assessment for flaws such as oil leaks, heavy smoke and exhaust leaks. The assessment is then preceded by the installation of the DPF, which is a three-day process. Every EPLA coach receives the same type of passive filter, which can be removed, cleaned and replaced while the coaches are in the shop for routine maintenance. “These are tour buses,” says CCW Representative Mando Aguirre. “They have a tight allocation for where the filter can be

mounted, but even with that challenge we are able to complete a successful installation.” The project allows CCW to prove its ability to provide sound, secure installations during a short time frame to avoid affecting the company’s scheduled operations. “The most important thing is for our customers to know that if they have a diesel particulate filter installed at CCW, they will have a filter that has been installed in a safe process with all the due diligence done in regards to safety and the safe operation of that filter,” Aguirre says. Complete Coach Works is the largest U.S. bus remanufacturing and rehabilitation company and the leading provider of a vast array of transportation solutions with over 28 years of dedicated service in the transportation industry. Regardless of how small or large the job, CCW provides an exceptionally experienced team of over 350 experts, committed to customer service and satisfaction. El Paso-Los Angeles Limousine Express, Inc. was established in 1966 to provide low-cost transportation between Los Angeles and El Paso with few stops. It has since expanded to more than 20 bus terminals in six states, with main terminals in El Paso, Albuquerque, Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The company also offers fast shipping and charter services to schools, government agencies and professional sports teams. | BUSRIDE


FOCUS ON: FARE COLLECTION Preventative maintenance BUSRide Magazine is proud to continue the “Focus On: Fare Collection” series, highlighting the benefits of various modes of fare collection, as well as addressing the best practices associated with each. This month’s featured installment is centered on preventative maintenance for fareboxes, an essential element of any modern fare system. Certified farebox technicians must stay up-to-date on the latest methods and knowledge in order to maximize revenue for their agencies. For this installment, BUSRide called for contributions from revenue management experts Genfare, Elk Grove Village, IN and Trapeze Group, Mississauga, ON, Canada. Genfare has a legacy as a leader and innovator in the transportation industry throughout its long and successful existence. The company’s history stretches back to the 1880s with the invention of the first farebox. In this chapter, the company explores the latest advances in fare collection as they relate to maintenance. Trapeze Group is a provider of solutions to the public passenger transportation industry, creating, delivering and supporting software solutions and services that make it easier for transportation agencies, schools, taxi companies and nonemergency medical transportation providers to manage their complex, day-to-day business operations. This month, Trapeze Group writes about innovative features and new technology in fareboxes and farebox maintenance, as well as a case study involving a new system. Thank you for joining BUSRide as we continue to “Focus On: Fare Collection!”





BUSRide met with Phil Gamperl, customer care lead for Genfare, Elk Grove Village, IL, to discuss the pitfalls of not keeping up with preventative maintenance on modern fare collection systems as well as the value of training technicians on the intricacies of those systems. How important is preventative maintenance to today’s fare collection systems? It’s very important – some of our customers refrain from doing their preventative maintenance and then subsequently have issues with ridership. Preventative maintenance of the farebox and the accompanying TRiM unit (if applicable) is very important to collect revenue and ridership accurately. Genfare supports a variety of databases which require their own preventative maintenance. We recommend using either Widows check disk or defrag or any third party software that falls within transit’s IT policy. This defrag should take place once each quarter. Along with regular maintenance we recommend keeping up to five years of data within the database for optimal performance. The database should be backed up every morning at 5 a.m. or after the end of the transit day. Genfare also recommends that 14 to 21 copies of the database be kept at any given time to ensure data is kept up to date. The relationship between the hardware and software is critical to ensure optimal performance. The Genfare TRiM unit is a magnetic card encoder and reader. It literally codes fare pass magnetic stripes while on the bus. If someone wants a transfer, day-pass, or other trip, the TRiM unit encodes it out of blank stock. The TRiM unit should always come with a TRiM diagnostics computer from Genfare. It’s a standalone computer that hooks up to the TRiM unit for diagnostic tests. We recommend that farebox technicians come every two years to Elk Grove Village for onsite training. One aspect of that training would be the TRiM diagnostic computer – but they will also test the sensors, magnetic heads, motor speed, belt tension, and issue test cards to ensure that thermal printing is correctly adjusted. What kind of problems will agencies encounter if their preventative and regularly scheduled farebox maintenance isn’t optimized? There is a report in the Genfare data system that shows errors that may occur in the TRiM unit. It will show things like a Bad Verify (which means the TRiM encoded something but can’t read it, so it needs a repair). It will also show misreads of a card.

That report will steer technicians to what bus the problematic TRiM is in. Knowing the bus number, they can go to that bus – and if it’s an Odyssey farebox or a later model, everything is tool-free. Open the lid, pull the suspect TRiM out, and put in a known good TRiM. The suspect TRiM goes back to the shop and hooks to the TRiM diagnostic computer. Troubleshoot, fix the unit and ready it for re-deployment. Other farebox elements that require regular maintenance are: • The bill validator, which validates all American currency. Take a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol and clean the “eyes” of the validator. • Rubber belts, two of which are used to pull bills into the farebox. Replace them if they’re not worn. • The bill transport • The coin validator. Clean the “eyes” of the coin validator just like you would the bill validator. Talk about the importance of training for farebox technicians. Preventative maintenance is a top priority at every transit authority because it keeps the farebox in running order for collecting revenue and collecting ridership. It’s imperative that each agency send its farebox technicians at least once every two years for in-house training. Genfare prefers to have technicians come to Elk Grove Village because it’s best to have their undivided attention. They can be trained on the importance of keeping the farebox and TRiM unit working properly. It all boils down to revenue and ridership reconciliation. Ridership, ridership, ridership – it’s the name of the transit game. Genfare is a leading provider of fare collection solutions for transit agencies of all sizes. Don’t miss the next connecting article in the January 2016 edition of BUSRide Magazine, and visit to get the full story in Genfare’s eBook.

Preventative maintenance on fareboxes is extremely important for ridership andrevenue data streams. | BUSRIDE



New advances optimize farebox efficiency, maintenance By Floyd Diaz The continuing evolution of new payments technologies, and the potential passenger benefits and operational efficiencies that they offer, continues to drive transit agencies of all stripes to adapt their onboard and back office capabilities in order to meet future demands. Fareboxes, once used only to accept bills and coins must now provide support for several payment mediums, including cash, credit cards, QR codes from smartphone screens and even more recently, contactless smart cards. From an operations standpoint, it makes sense for agencies to not only enable digital technologies, but to incentivize passengers to use them, as doing so improves onboard efficiency and creates a wealth of information, including stop-level data, that is of tremendous value in operations and planning. It was with an eye to these developing market opportunities that the Trapeze Group acquired the assets of Fare Logistics in May 2014. Since that time, we’ve been working to integrate the EZFarebox solution, as it’s now called, with other onboard and back office technology, most notably the driver’s ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems) console, in order to amalgamate and enhance operational utility, as well as decrease the need for preventative maintenance. What does it mean? The old interface has been replaced with a full-color 10.2 inch touchscreen that’s much easier to read and interact with, and is notably low maintenance. Integrating the two pieces of hardware has created more room for the driver to operate in, providing some nice ergonomic benefits, and the box has a new capability to automatically collect, transmit and visualize stop-level data, with upgraded reporting options. The integrated EZFarebox/ITS console automatically switches modes based on operation status. So, when the bus is moving, the ITS screens are up, and when passengers are boarding, the system switches into fare collection screens, providing a quick reference for drivers while simultaneously reducing their workload to accept cash fares. Both the driver and passenger interfaces are completely customizable. Of course, the amalgamated EZFarebox system accepts cash and all the relevant forms of digital payments, including credit cards, contactless smart cards and QR codes. The system will also support custom options, such as machine readable student cards, for payment. Efficient data transmission is handled over industry standard Wi-Fi with support for GPS and a cellular data modem. The solution also includes intelligent vaulting for data storage. Perhaps the most exciting updates, though, have to do with some new reporting options, which include a series of standard and customizable reports that deliver granular stop-level data, all displayed with rich visualization characteristics to help make it easier to spot trends and identify opportunities.



Modern fareboxes accept cash, credit cards, QR codes from smartphone screens and even more recently, contactless smart cards.

Charlottesville Area Transit Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) is the provider of mass transportation in Albemarle County, VA. The agency provides service on 11 routes, including a shuttle route using trolley-style buses that connects downtown with the University of Virginia, home to more than 21,000 full and part time students. Until recently, CAT was dealing with legacy fare boxes nearing their end of life that supported only basic pay options. CAT’s objectives were to upgrade to a state-of-the-art fare collection system that could support a custom payment option for university students and provide detailed, stop-level data to operations. Working with the Trapeze Group, CAT installed the EZFarebox hardware on their buses. The new system automatically validates cash payments, reducing demand on drivers. The EZFareboxes also read the barcoded student IDs – both academic passes as well as hospital IDs - from the University of Virginia. This allows electronic boarding information to be captured automatically as the students scan their cards, eliminating the need for drivers to visually verify and record the data. No updates to the student passes were needed for this enhancement. CAT also enjoys enhanced stop-level data, down to knowing the exact payment type, amount and frequency of each payment method, at each route stop. The new solution went live just before classes commenced for Fall of 2015 and the results were immediate. The new system and relief from validating cash fares has created happier, more efficient drivers. Passengers enjoy fast, easy-to-use, modern payment methods, and data is quickly captured, transmitted and visualized for operational review. Furthermore, the need for preventative maintenance, or maintenance of any kind, is minimal. It’s still early days yet for EZFarebox and automated fare box technologies on the whole, but the early returns on operational efficiency and improved passenger experience provide much optimism for the future. Floyd Diaz serves as director of automatic fare collection, Trapeze Group, Mississauga, ON, Canada. Visit the company online at Get the full story by reading Trapeze Group’s eBook at






Arrow Stage Lines Norfolk, NE

Cavalier Coaches Owatonna, MN

Arrow Stager Lines recently took delivery of two new Van Hool CX45 coaches from ABC Companies, Van Hool’s exclusive North American distributor. The new CX45s feature Detroit DD13 engines and Allison B500 Gen V transmissions as well as Van Hool standard safety features including three-point seatbelts, backup camera, lane departure warning, antilock brakes, Smartwave Tire Pressure Monitoring, Kidde Fire Suppression Systems and automatic stability control. Consistent with Arrow’s long standing commitment to passenger comfort, the new 56 passenger coaches are equipped with Van Hool’s unique rear passenger window, enclosed parcel racks, REI Elite entertainment systems, Wi-Fi, 110-volt and USB outlets, leather trimmed seating, woodgrain flooring, cup holders and magazine nets.

Cavalier Coaches has expanded substantially since the early 1960’s when Bill operated 4 school buses in Leroy, MN. In 1967 he landed the school bus contract in Owatonna, MN, and along with the school buses acquired a few motorcoaches. Over the years the coach business has steadily grown to 17 motorcoaches serving charter customers in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. In addition they operate local transportation contracts in St. George and Brian Head, UT. The new 56 passenger CX45 boasts leather trimmed seats, woodgrain flooring, enclosed parcel racks, Alcoa Dura Bright aluminum wheels, an REI Elite entertainment system with six 15.4-inch monitors, 110-volt and USB power outlets.







Arrow Stage Lines Norfolk, NE

Kincaid Coach Lines Kansas City, KA

The recent arrival of the Arrow Stage Lines TEMSA brings a new look to the fleet. The 40-passenger coach is designed with the smaller traveling group in mind while, also delivering all the amenities and features of a large luxury coach. The company has been providing the TEMSA product to customers for years; however, the interior of this model really sets it apart from the crowd. “The interior is a strong representation of the Arrow Stage Lines product,” said Luke Busskohl, Arrow Stage Lines COO. The new delivery will be the first TEMSA coach in the fleet to offer a full version of Arrow Connect, the company’s connectivity solution. This dark blue TEMSA will be moved and based out of the Kansas City location.

With 15 brand-new, fully appointed MCI J4500s added to Kincaid Coach Lines’ fleet over the past year alone, CEO Dale Bohn is positioning the 40-year-old family company for a new era. The purchase of nine J4500s in 2014 and its latest delivery of seven in October marks a significant milestone — the rebranding of the longtime motor coach business which operates charters and tours out of six terminals in Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Panama City Beach, Amarillo and Wichita. The company’s latest J4500s feature Harmonia wood flooring, 110v seat-back outlets with USB ports in all rows, Saucon GPS and Wi-Fi, leather headrests, wood-grain cabin finishes, three-point seatbelts and Wingman Advanced adaptive braking. | BUSRIDE




By Doug Jack


At the start of this century, Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) had a turbulent history. It was owned by the Mayflower Corporation which collapsed, but ADL was then rescued by Scottish investors.


The latest Enviro400H City with the 5,000th BAE Systems hybrid drive.

The latest version of the very popular Enviro200 midibus.

Alexander will body 51 BYD electric chassis for delivery to London in August 2016. 28


t that time, the company consisted of the Dennis chassis manufacturing facility in Guildford, about 30 miles from London’s Heathrow Airport, and the Alexander bus bodyworks in Falkirk, roughly midway between Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland. The business relied on sales to the domestic market, Hong Kong and North America. The product range consisted of the Enviro200, a midibus around 12.5 tons gross, the slightly heavier and longer Enviro300 at around 14.5 tons gross, the two-axle Enviro400 double-decker bus, mainly for the British domestic market, and the Enviro500, a tri-axle double-decker bus selling mainly in Hong Kong and North America. Their respective gross weights were around 18 and 24 tons. Colin Robertson returned to his native Scotland as CEO in the spring of 2007. ADL’s turnover was then around $250 million per annum. He had plans to grow the business significantly and said: “I would be very surprised if we had not doubled the business from its present size, at a minimum, in five years.” Within a few weeks, ADL bought Plaxton Holdings, the last remaining builder of luxury coachwork in the U.K. and a well-respected brand. Plaxton is based in Scarborough, on the north east coast of England. Although it retained a degree of autonomy, it had extensive facilities and soon became the Group’s production center for midibuses. All Alexander Dennis buses are framed in aluminium, while coach bodies use stainless steel. Under Colin Robertson’s leadership, ADL has become more innovative and faster on its feet. Within a year of his arrival, it started development of a hybrid version of the Enviro400. This model used a small Cummins engine and BAE Systems hybrid drive. Most double-decerk buses in the UK are around 30-34 feet long, because of our old cities and congested roads. They are found not only in London, which is still a major market, but throughout the country. Most normally run full only at peak periods, but capacity of up to 90 passengers saves the costs of duplicate vehicles. For North American markets, the Enviro500 was initially built to a length of just under 40 feet, but a 42 foot option followed later. These vehicles were virtually the same as large numbers that were being supplied to Hong Kong. Many of the latter were, and still are, supplied in kit form for assembly just across the border in China. The global financial crisis hit hard and suddenly in the autumn of 2008. It decimated orders for new trucks, and the coach business was hit, because many of their customers were small companies that could not obtain bank finance. Fortunately, city bus orders continued to run quite strongly. By 2011, ADL increased its turnover to around $550 million, thus achieving the target of doubling its revenues within five years. The management team was strengthened and efforts were concentrated on three main strategies, i.e. to increase export volumes and markets, to further develop and refine the model range, and to ramp up aftersales and service support to very high levels.

Taking that last point first, Robertson receives twice daily a report of all vehicles that are off the road with service problems. He told me: “We have set a target of 99 percent availability which sounds a high figure, but if you have 1,000 buses, that is still ten too many vehicles that are off the road, and that is unacceptable.” These reports are analyzed very carefully to check the causes of failure, such as a supplier, a design fault, a manufacturing process or a customer issue. An early example of export expansion came in the spring of 2012 when ADL entered into a strategic joint venture with New Flyer Industries to promote the Enviro200 as the New Flyer MiDi in the US and Canada. This vehicle fits beneath New Flyer’s range, giving a wider product offering. The Enviro200 already used units that are well known in North America, including Cummins engines and Allison gearboxes. Teams from both companies worked to adapt the Enviro200 to North American conditions and to find local suppliers. The Enviro500 was facelifted and up-rated mechanically. Until this time, it had normally been built to a height of around 14 feet, 4 inches, which was standard in Hong Kong. A lower height version, a “Go Anywhere” option, was launched for North America, to an overall height of 13 feet, 7 inches, still with perfectly adequate headroom on both decks. These vehicles could circulate without special permission on practically any route. Coming up to date, at an exhibition in Birmingham at the end of September, Colin Robertson said that the turnover in 2015 would be around $900 million with a significant increase in underlying profitability. ADL unveiled the Enviro400H City, a stylish doubledecker bus developed primarily for London. It had revised front and rear styling, and a fully glazed staircase. The H in the designation denoted hybrid, an opportunity for BAE Systems to confirm that the bus had the 5,000th hybrid drive system that it had provided globally. For export markets, the SuperLo Enviro500 had been developed. This was just 12 feet, 10 inches high, capable of carrying 83 passengers. Toronto had placed an initial order for 250 vehicles with an option

for a follow-up 150. ADL is equipping a 45,000 square foot chassis manufacturing facility near Toronto to support this order. Colin Robertson confirmed that ADL would deliver 900 doubledecker buses to Hong Kong in 2015, securing 80 percent of the market! It is one of the most demanding operating territories in the world, with high levels of traffic and heavy passenger loadings, despite competition from the MTR metro system. Land is so scarce in Hong Kong that there is only limited space for parking and maintaining buses. Many of them run round the clock, only returning for refueling and cleaning. He also announced two further export markets. In New Zealand, the government wanted high capacity vehicles and had therefore changed the previously restrictive axle weight limits to accommodate double-decker buses. The first order called for 39, with further discussions underway. The largest operator of double-decker city buses in continental Europe is BVG, Berlin. Another North American Enviro500 demonstrator recently entered a trial period with BVG which needs to replace 400 double-decker buses over the next year or two. ADL is also involved in virtual electric and all-electric buses. Three prototype Enviro400 models are entering service in London. They will operate 70 percent of the time in all-electric mode, taking short fast charges from beneath the vehicle at each end of the route. The company has also joined up with BYD so that they will body 51 BYD all-electric chassis, to enter service in London by August 2016. The two companies have a close relationship and have signed a contract to collaborate on up to 200 all-electric single deck buses per year over the next ten years, with a possible extension to include all-electric double -decker buses. Colin Robertson was very positive when I checked a few facts with him before sending this report. He said: “I am confident that our turnover will reach the equivalent of $1 billion in 2016.” That is a fourfold rise from when he was appointed CEO less than 10 years ago! Doug Jack is with Transport Resources in the United Kingdom.

SAFET Y THAT REVOLVES AROUND YOU PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Protective Insurance Company’s loss prevention team members are specialists in the transportation industry and use a collaborative approach to partner with our insureds to address their specific safety and risk management needs. Our loss prevention team understands that no two companies are the same and solutions must be tailored to fit each one's unique needs. Visit to learn about our specialized online training offerings for public transportation.

FOR COVERAGE THAT REVOLVES AROUND YOU, CONTACT STACY RENZ: (800) 644-5501 x2570 pr o t e c ti ve i n s u r a n c e .c o m







We started this series by talking about the importance of taking a proactive approach to transit safety with three key ingredients: policies, education and technology. This recipe for success applies to operator assault prevention. We have explored a number of technologies that help address operator assaults, such as on-board video systems, panic alert buttons and live vehicle tracking, but the best way to protect bus drivers is to train them to prevent conflicts, put in place supportive policies and create public awareness campaigns.

Calgary Transit recently revealed the “Be an Easy Rider” campaign to help stop driver abuse.

Positive attitude for conflict prevention Bill Parsons, a recognized expert and trainer in personal safety, feels that a key component of assault prevention training is getting drivers to choose a positive mindset and attitude toward service to others. This way of thinking influences how operators are perceived and treated. A colleague of mine had a perfect example of a bus driver using a positive attitude for conflict prevention on a recent ride home from work. She was traveling on a bus full of primarily business commuters when a loud, intoxicated group of people boarded at the next stop. As the ride progressed, passengers were becoming increasingly uncomfortable by the group’s use of foul language and the volume of their voices. At that point the driver decided to jump in and improvise. Instead of arguing or lecturing, the driver greeted everyone on board, introduced himself and said that when it is raining it was usually challenging to navigate the bus. Since it was pouring rain outside, he apologized for the slower traffic on the roads. Then he added, “But today, you should enjoy your trip even more since we have a very special drive with both stormy showers, and ‘stormy’ passengers.” Everyone on the bus laughed, and the noisy revelers quieted down. This was a great illustration of how humor and a positive mindset helped to prevent a confrontation that may have led to violence. 30


Explore communications strategies Operator training should help drivers to understand that the way they communicate impacts not only their own personal safety, but job satisfaction, customer service and organizational perception. Teaching drivers to choose the right tone of voice and use their words carefully can help them avoid conflict that may result in violence. Video surveillance footage can be useful to correct deteriorating driver communication habits. When investigating a passenger complaint that a driver was rude or provoked the situation, pull the video footage, view it with the driver and their union representative when applicable, and use it for a positive coaching experience. If the driver used the right words and tone, compliment them and share the good deed with others. If the driver was rude, they often will recognize this during the viewing. Ask them how they could have handled the situation differently and work together on choosing a more positive approach. Seeing themselves on video is often a catalyst to better self-awareness and future customer interaction. Policies for conflict avoidance A great way to help drivers avoid conflict is to develop policies that support rather than put operators in harm’s way. Disputes about fare collection are one of the most common examples of driver-passenger conflict. Halifax Transit’s fare collection policy allows operators to be Fare Informers, not Fare Enforcers. Many transit agencies also have a ridership code of conduct that they post at the entrance of every bus. Drivers can avoid conflict by pointing to the guidelines when confronted with a difficult situation. Campaigns to curb driver abuse Putting the right policies in place and training drivers are effective means of avoiding conflict that leads to assaults, but the actions of passengers are often not within your control. That’s where the success of public awareness campaigns can help. The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 583 that represents Calgary Transit operators recently revealed a campaign to help stop driver abuse. Their ‘Be an Easy Rider’ campaign featured posters aboard problematic routes, transit shelters and billboards, encouraging transit riders to “be good to your driver and enjoy the ride.” According to an ATU publication, “Preventing Violence Against Bus Operators: A Fact Sheet for Local Unions”: “A media campaign aimed at enlisting the support of the public can reduce assaults and increase respect for operators. Successful media campaigns address passenger safety concerns as well as driver protection.” Operator assault is one of the biggest risks to passenger safety and organizational liability. Having the right tools and training in place to mitigate that risk and prevent assaults from happening in the first place should be something every transit agency puts into practice. Lori Jetha serves as marketing manager for Seon, a video surveillance and fleet management company based on Coquitlam, BC, Canada. Visit

BEST VIEW FROM EVERY ANGLE. Prevost coaches deliver the luxury experience that today’s charter travelers are looking for. With their fuel-efficient powertrain and low-maintenance design, they’re as comfortable on your balance sheet as they are for your passengers.

BUSRide January 2016  

The most trusted resource in the bus and motorcoach industry

BUSRide January 2016  

The most trusted resource in the bus and motorcoach industry