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Crompton sets a high bar for Cummins p16 JULY.2013

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JULY 2013

CONTENTS

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Cover Story

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Operators can ask for help

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ABC Companies manages the details through Fleet Assist By David Hubbard

Features Dave Crompton looks for continuous improvement 16 at Cummins Inc. Cash vs. Cashless

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Which is cheaper to process for the bus operator? By Bassam Estaitieh & Chris Zafirovski

Sleek upgrades made simple

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Hadley demos its wares on a Gillig bus for The Rapid

New NYC tour gets edgy 34 On Location Tours partners with TMZ for a celebrity-focused tour of Manhattan

Tornado Bus Company maximizes fleet

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The Dallas operator adds Van Hool double-deckers

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DEPARTMENTS 7 UPDATE 12 DELIVERIES 13 PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

Special Section

26 TRANSIT AUTHORITY

Summer Safety Series: Vehicular Safety Technology

36 MARKETPLACE

Safety set in steel

COLUMNS

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Prevost outlines its commitment to safe passenger transport By David Hubbard

See all; save all; search all

6 FROM THE EDITOR 28 THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT 22

By Doug Jack

Digital Ally adds new twists to event recording

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The exceptional efficiency of an integrated powertrain The Volvo 9700 consistently delivers a profitable combination of performance, efficiency and passengerpleasing comfort. With its dependable Volvo D13 SCR engine, you get a proven platform that saves fuel and minimizes maintenance. The integrated I-Shift transmission takes fuel economy to the next level by keeping engine speed in the sweet spot. Advanced safety features add bumper-to-bumper protection. And wherever you go, you’re backed by our extensive network of Prevost professional service providers. The Volvo 9700 is known around the globe for its high productivity and low operating cost. Here in North America, it’s the best way to accelerate your bottom line. Learn more at www.prevostcar.com.

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FROM THE EDITOR

Cheers to safety records that span millions of miles

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his is to softly announce the 2013 BUSRide Safe Driver Hall of Fame and put a match under the feet of private and public operators to honor their standout veterans with a nomination for this industrywide recognition. Providing value and security to employers and passengers, the BUSRide Safe Driver Hall of Fame inductees set high standards for all bus and coach drivers, and demonstrate on a daily basis that accident-free driving is an exemplary feat that is attainable over millions of miles. It is my pleasure to introduce our first two candidates with sterling safety records over millions of miles accrued through their years of exemplary service. From Alberta, Canada, Ron Wickstrand has been behind the wheel of a motorcoach for the better part of 48 years. He began his career in 1965 driving charter tours for Brewsters Tours and moved to Diversified Transportation in Edmonton to transport workers to the oil fields. He found his home in 1975 with Pacific Western Transportation driving part-time, handling charters tours throughout the western United States and any overloads that came along. Wickstrand is one of the original drivers who climbed aboard when Bob Colborne launched the Red Arrow in 1988 to deliver daily high-end luxury coach service between Calgary, Deer Creek, Edmonton and Ft. McMurry. For the past 15 years he has captained the 6 a.m. roundtrip from Edmonton to Calgary. In his career to date, Wickstrand estimates he has easily logged over five million safe miles. Irvin Foret, a veteran bus driver based in Louisiana, thinks enough of Erica Charles’ driving talents and accident-free safety record over around 28 years to date, that he phoned in his nomination for her place in the Hall of Fame. Charles spent much of her career driving motorcoaches for Calco Travel before moving into public transit, driving buses for New Orleans RTA. She is now racking up the miles in Baton Rouge, driving for the Capital Area Transit System (CATS). BUSRide will honor the newest Safe Driver Hall of Fame inductees in the December issue. Nominations are open and we want to hear from you. Tell us about the bus and coach drivers within your organization who have safely notched a million miles or more maneuvering along city streets and the open highway. Do not miss this opportunity to share their stories with BUSRide readers.

Publisher / Editor in Chief Steve Kane steve@busride.com Associate Publisher Sali Williams swilliams@busride.com Editor David Hubbard david@busride.com Managing Editor Richard Tackett rtackett@busride.com Art Director Stephen Gamble sgamble@theproducersinc.com Account Executives Andy Pieri apieri@busride.com Production Director Valerie Valtierra valerie@busride.com Accountant Fred Valdez fvaldez@powertrademedia.com Contributing Writers Doug Jack, Matthew A. Daecher, Christopher Ferrone

BUS industry SAFETY council

A publication of:

POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to: BUSRide Magazine 4742 North 24th Street, Suite 340 Phoenix, Arizona 85016 Phone: (602) 265-7600 Fax: (602) 277-7588 busride.com Vol. 49 • No. 7 Subscription Rates: United States: $39 for 1 year, $64 for 2 years, $89 for 3 years. United States via periodicals mail: $42 for 1 year, $69 for 2 years, $98 for 3 years. Canada. Canadian tax (GST) is included. Rest of the world, via air mail: $75 for 1 year, $125 for 2 years, $175 for 3 years. Single copies: $5 for the United States, $6 for Canada and the rest of the world. All prices are in United States Dollars (U.S.D.). Reprints:

David Hubbard Editor Busride Magazine 6

BUSRIDE | J U LY. 2013

All articles in BUSRide 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 Valerie Valtierra at (602) 265-7600, ext. 203.

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BRIEFS

UPDATE

— The Federal Transit Administration announced in May the availability of $21.9 million to help strengthen public transportation safety for millions of riders and transit workers nationwide. In addition to the funds, the agency also announced a flexible new Safety Management Systems (SMS) policy, which DOT has officially adopted to help guide states and transit agencies alike in managing safety risks in a proactive, cost-effective way.

— FRAM Filtration and its Luber-finer® brand of heavy-duty filters continued its support of local communities by awarding a $1,000 National FFA Collegiate Scholarship Program award to Amber Scarbrough, a resident of Fairfield, IL, and a 2012 graduate of Fairfield High School. Scarbrough plans to continue her education at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel, IL.

BAE Systems HybriDrive Series-E to power Nova buses in Quebec The Association du Transport Urbain du Quebec (ATUQ) Montreal, QB, Canada, has ordered 475 Nova LFS hybrid electric (HEV) buses to serve in its member agencies providing public transport in the province’s nine largest cities: Montréal, Québec, Lévis, Laval, Longueuil, Gatineau, Trois-Rivières, Saguenay and Sherbrooke, “We are pleased to be working with Nova Bus for the first time, which expands our original equipment manufacturer platform base in the North American market,” says Steve Trichka, vice president and general manager of HybriDrive Solutions at BAE Systems, Endicott, NY. “We look forward to strengthening our newly formed relationship and expanding our hybrid technology to Quebec.” While BAE Systems HybriDrive Series powers nearly 4,000 buses worldwide, BAE Systems says this is the first time it has partnered with Nova Bus. “One important aspect of our vision for Nova Bus is to be a leader in electro-mobility, and adding BAE Systems HybriDrive Solutions to our product portfolio is in line with this commitment,” says Nova Bus President Jean-Pierre Baracat. “We believe that lower-emission buses will help meet urban challenges such as congestion and improve quality of life.” BAE says buses equipped with the HybriDrive series propulsion system have travelled more than 600 million miles, prevented more than 520,000 tons of CO2 emissions and have saved more than 38 million gallons of diesel fuel.

New Nova LFS to hit the streets of Chicago Nova Bus, St-Eustache, QB, Canada, recently secured a $148 million order from the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) for 300 Nova LFS Smart Buses with additional options that could bring the total to 450 vehicles. Delivery begins in early 2014. “We look forward to helping CTA modernize their fleet to provide a reliable and world-class service,” Baracat says. “We thank them for their renewed trust in our company and vehicles.” CTA operates one of the nation’s largest public transportation systems, with a fleet of 1,781 buses serving all of Chicago and 35 surrounding suburbs. CTA President Forrest Claypool believes that continued investment and upkeep of the bus fleet is critical in keeping the city of Chicago moving.

— Capital Metro, Austin, TX, is offering young travelers a “Haul Pass to Freedom” this summer to explore their community and gain easy access to the places they want to go most. The card for students aged 6 to 18 acts as a transit pass with all the perks available through Go Local, including discounts at popular places like Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Austin Canoe and Kayak, Book People and Torchy’s Tacos. — This month First Transit, Cincinnati, OH, begins its recently awarded shuttle transit service contract from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). First Transit will manage and operate campus shuttle service for the students and faculty throughout the 323acre campus. The agency will employ a safety-focused staff of 15 drivers operating a fleet of 12 buses.

SAVE FUEL

busride.com | BUSRIDE

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UPDATE

NABI IS BACK IN THE U.S. Last buses leaving Hungary and headed for home in Anniston By David Hubbard

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CORRECTION: BUSRide, June 2013, Update, Patrick Scully to lead a more unified sales team: Pat Ziska continues in her role as vice president of the Field Sales group and now reports to Scully in his new role as executive vice president, Sales and Marketing, Motor Coach Industries (MCI), Schaumburg, IL.

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Photo courtesy of Matthew Jude Brown

ince its incorporation in Alabama in late 1992, North American Bus Industries (NABI) utilized a two-step production process. Heavy manufacturing was relegated to NABI’s plants in Hungary with final assembly accomplished at its headquarters in Anniston. In May, President and CEO Jim Marcotuli announced the company had shipped its final unfinished bus from Hungary and discontinued the previous two-step business approach entirely. Marcotuli says this final unfinished bus marks the culmination of a progressive shift of manufacturing from Hungary to the U.S. that began with a single, multi-year order for 1,145 standard-floor buses by New Jersey Transit back in 2007. “The size and multi-year stability of the New Jersey order provided the logical starting point for the progressive shifting of our manufacturing to the USA,” he says. “We started the change by focusing only on standard-floor buses while leaving our normal low-floor production undisturbed in Hungary. In 2011, using lessons learned with the standard-floor production, we began shifting our metal-structured low-floor bus production from Hungary to Alabama.” He says the transition began incrementally, shipping structural sub-assemblies from Hungary rather than unfinished buses. This phase ended late last year, with all manufacturing now done entirely in Alabama on all-new production tooling and with state-of-the-art laser-cutting equipment. With all of NABI’s standard-floor and low-floor steelstructured buses produced in Alabama since late last year, only the NABI composite-structured CompoBus was still produced in Hungary. The company says the last of these unique 45-foot buses was completed in April and shipped to Alabama for final assembly. NABI says, with production of over 700 CompoBuses now complete, and with no plans to resume production of this model, the final unfinished CompoBus that departed Hungary in April marks the end of NABI bus manufacturing in Hungary. Bill Coryel, who now works in NABI’s sales department and was instrumental in the company’s beginnings in 1992, sees the original two-step manufacturing arrangement as a

logical approach for a startup company. “At the time, Hungary’s bus manufacturing infrastructure was huge and capable, yet grossly underutilized due to political and economic conditions in Central Europe,” he says. “Being able to set up shop in Hungary at that time provided NABI with critical facilities, tooling, trained labor as well as deep engineering resources.” Marcotuli and Coryell both concur that in today’s business climate, the progressive shift in manufacturing to the USA is not only logical, but a powerful tool to improve business efficiencies and product quality. This change eliminates substantial transportation cost and simultaneously reduces inventory; reduces in-process time; and shortens delivery time,” says Marcotuli. “It also reduces the delivery time on replacement body parts that were previously produced abroad.” NABI’s compliance with industry Buy America requirements is an additional and interesting aspect of this change. “The purpose of the shift in production was to ensure improvements in efficiency,” says NABI Chief Financial Officer Brian Dewsnup. “As a positive side-effect of the change, NABI’s typical U.S. component value has climbed from its previous 60 to 70 percent to typically over 90 percent under the new, all-domestic manufacturing scenario.“ Jim Marcotuli says he is justifiably proud of NABI’s current business operations. “Given today’s concern over foreign goods and heightened consciousness regarding American jobs, NABI has simultaneously improved efficiencies, quality and increased American employment,” Marcotuli says. Gibson says the consolidation in Anniston immediately produced several hundred additional jobs in the manufacturing facility. “We naturally are proud to be creating jobs within our own operations,” Gibson says. “Moreover, additional jobs are created throughout the country as we source materials and components from our U.S. suppliers to build the buses.”


City of Lancaster welcomes BYD Motors The City of Lancaster, CA, formally welcomed BYD Motors Inc., Los Angeles, CA, the North American subsidiary of the Chinese firm BYD Company Ltd., as a manufacturing partner for two new facilities in the thriving community of more than 156,000. “BYD is thrilled to be a part of the new zero-emissions legacy beginning in Long Beach with their electrified public transportation,” says BYD Motors President Stella Li. “Additionally, our Los Angeles headquarters will continue to expand research and development jobs to support these manufacturing facilities as well as sales and HR support for all of North and South America.” BYD, specializing in rechargeable batteries, vehicle manufacturing and green energy technologies, says the facilities will operate as an electric bus manufacturing facility and an Iron-Phosphate energy module (large-scale battery) manufacturing facility. The company says these two facilities mark the first of their kind in the United States. “The City of Lancaster is honored to host BYD, a global leader in battery and sustainable energy technologies,” says Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Our community looks forward to working hand-in-hand with BYD as it develops and perfects its e-bus and energy storage technology right here in Lancaster.” He says the opening of the two facilities will provide local workers with hundreds of jobs as BYD expands its operations here in the United States, and represents a significant investment into the California economy. BYD purchased the former Rexhall Industries recreational vehicle manufacturing facility in Lancaster to house its electric bus manufacturing operations. Former Rexhall Industries President and CEO William Rex has joined the company as general manager for BYD Coach & Bus LLC. A number of current Rexhall employees will also stay on as the plant transitions to BYD ownership. “This truly is the best of both worlds,” Parris says. “With this arrangement, BYD benefits from a ready-made, fullypermitted facility which perfectly suits its needs, and will also enjoy access to the expertise of highly trained

personnel with extensive experience in the manufacturing industry. Simultaneously, Rexhall staff will enjoy stable green-sector jobs, along with a significant number of local families who will benefit from the new jobs BYD’s operations will create.” BYD received a $12.1 million contract with Long Beach Transit Authority to produce 10 zero-emission all-electric buses. The company’s state-of-the-art electric buses provide a range of over 155 miles on a single charge, among the highest in the electric bus industry.

INCREASE STABILITY

busride.com | BUSRIDE

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UPDATE

David Thomas rebrands as Trailways affiliate The David Thomas charter operation made its debut in May as David Thomas Trailways, falling in line with other famous business brands that dot Philadelphia, PA. The company is now an affiliate of the Trailways Transportation System, Fairfax, VA. “We are delighted to welcome David Thomas Trailways to our organization with its outstanding reputation within the motorcoach industry,”

says Gale Ellsworth, Trailways president and CEO. “It’s fitting that two American icons are now making history together.” David Thomas Trailways operates a fleet of 24 full-sized coaches and shuttle

Jude Groves of Diversified Transportation tops in AMTA safety The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) selected Jude Groves, director of health, safety and environment for Diversified Transportation Ltd, Fort McMurray, AB, Canada, as its 2013 Safety Person of the Year. The agency presented the award at May’s AMTA 26th Annual Conference in Banff. AMTA Director of Safety and Operations Brian Bell noted the selection of Safety Person of the Year comes from the Injury Reduction Training Advisory Council. Mark Hannah, vice president, Oil Sands, Diversified Transportation Ltd., a division of Pacific Western Transportation, Calgary, AB, Canada, cites Groves as a dedicated safety professional and an exceptional leader in advancing safety throughout the entire Diversified organization. Diversified Transportation Ltd. is part of the Pacific Western Group of Companies, a private full-service bus transportation 10

BUSRIDE | J U LY. 2013

buses, serving contracts that include colleges, schools, the Department of Homeland Security and the City of Philadelphia. The full-service tour entity David Tours and Travel provides travel services that include ski getaways, student tours and Caribbean cruises. David Thomas Trailways President David Benedict sees his Trailways affiliation as a two-way path to further growth with the organizational discounts on equipment, supplies and services. In turn, Benedict says he will enjoy sharing business opportunities with other Trailways team members. “Trailways has always been a respected brand in the industry, and we look forward to building it up even more in our region,” he says. “We look forward an even greater reach to the West Coast and globally with the brand. We also look forward to working with all Trailways members, especially other Pennsylvania-based Trailways carriers Fullington, Martz, Myers and Susquehanna.”

National Express Transit Corporation moves ahead in North America

Jude Groves, director of health, safety and environment for Diversified Transportation Ltd, Fort McMurray, AB, Canada.

company with operating subsidiaries in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

The UK-based National Express Group delivers hundreds of millions trips annually and employs more than 42,000 people worldwide with its bus, rail and coach divisions, operating more than 25,000 vehicles. Now laying claim as the fastest growing transit contractor in the U.S., North American subsidiary National Express Transit Corporation, Cincinnati, OH, announced it has moved ahead with its new web site www.nationalexpresstransit.com. The site was first launched in 2011 to provide information on fixed-route, demand response and shuttle transportation services. “We wanted to take our time to develop a quality website,” says Chief Marketing Officer Brian Sullivan. “It was important to develop a website that not only conveys our core values — safety, customers, employees and staff, and community, but also clearly defines the unique characteristics and business practices we hold invaluable to the success of our business.” busride.com


UPDATE

Prevost Team 12th Gear shines in VISTA competition The Prevost Service team from Mira Loma, CA excelled in the Volvo International Service Technical Awards (VISTA) in April. Team 12th Gear, consisting of Jason Brown, Thomas Munds, Tony Trujillo and Ben DeChaine, won the first three qualifying rounds and moved on to the semifinal in Madrid, Spain, where the crack technicians competed against the best Volvo Bus Corporation teams from China and Mexico and finished in 2nd place. Prevost entered 14 teams representing all Prevost Parts and Service Centers across Canada and the U.S. They competed among themselves during the three qualifying rounds. Staged every two years at various Volvo locations worldwide, this 30-year old competition stands as the world’s largest for aftermarket personnel. Thousands meet to settle the score through several tough rounds of theoretical and practical challenges. The VISTA fundamentals are to find, gather and interpret information and transform it into skills and knowledge using teamwork. The goal is solve the problems and complete the tasks to reach ultimate customer satisfaction.

Jason Brown, Thomas Munds, Tony Trujillo and Ben DeChaine comprise the winning Prevost Team 12th Gear.

Gold Coast Transit installs new fareboxes After 24 years, Gold Coast Transit, Oxnard, CA, recently replaced the fareboxes in its fleet of 54 GCT buses with the new Odyssey electronic validating farebox by SPX Genfare. The agency says the new boxes will greatly improve customer experience. This involved a joint procurement request to replace fareboxes and fare collection systems for Gold Coast Transit, Thousand Oaks Transit (TOT), Simi Valley Transit (SVT) and the Ventura County Transportation Commission’s VISTA service. GCT General Manager Steven P. Brown says that, with the old system, drivers issued passengers paper transfers valid for 90 minutes after the bus completed its trip. The new electronic fareboxes issue a magnetic transfer card valid for two hours. Additionally, the new farebox now has the capability to sell day passes on board. Later this year, the second phase will introduce new fare categories and allow GCT to convert all of the prepaid fare cards, such as passes and multiride tickets, into electronic cards that the farebox can recognize and validate.

REDUCE SPRAY busride.com | BUSRIDE

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DELIVERIES ABC Companies/Van Hool added

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Sweetours Las Vegas, NV Two 2013 Van Hool C2045Ls grows the Sweetours fleet to 21 vehicles, which includes motorcoaches to serve international visitors to the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, as well as an extensive charter service. The 57-passenger coaches — one with a wheelchair lift — come equipped with Detroit DD13 engines and Allison B500 Gen IV transmissions. Sweetours invested in safety technology, opting for backup cameras, Electronic Stability Control, the Iteris Lane Departure Warning System and three-point seatbelts. Each coach has an REI luxury entertainment system and Alcoa Dura Bright wheels.

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MOTOR COACH INDUSTRIES (MCI)

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Pace Suburban Bus Chicago, IL

Sun Travel Trailways Beumont, TX

Pace Suburban Bus awarded Motor Coach Industries (MCI), Schaumburg, IL a contract for 13 MCI Commuter Coaches with an option for 37 more to replace older buses and those leased from MCI. The new vehicles will boost the Bus on Shoulder service between Chicago and the southwest suburbs due to dramatic ridership increases. The Pace Bus on Shoulder program currently uses 14 MCI Commuter Coach buses on Chicago’s Interstate Highway 55 shoulder when traffic in regular lanes is flowing slower than 35 mph. The buses using the shoulder cannot travel at speeds greater than 35 mph, or 15 mph faster than the flow of regular traffic— whichever is less

Sun Travel Trailways took delivery on its first MCI J4500. Founder and President Michael LaBrie has run MCI D-coaches until now, and will continue to upgrade the mixed-model fleet of 13 buses with newer coaches. Sun Travel Trailways is a 20-year old company that had its start with one pre-owned Eagle and quickly moved to purchase an MC-9. LaBrie joined the Trailways Transportation organization five years ago to tap its expertise and member network.

busride.com


PEOPLE IN THE NEWS The Proterra Board of Directors selected Garrett E. Mikita as the new president and CEO of Proterra Inc. Mikita takes over from David Bennett. Mikita has spent 25 years in senior leadership roles in Fortune 50 companies. He recently served as the president of the Defense & Space strategic business unit of Honeywell Aerospace, where he led the $5.3 billion organization. Garrett E. Mikita

Nova Bus announced the appointment of John Kardos as vice president of Business Development, effective immediately. John Kardos joined Nova Bus in 2010 as bids and contracts director, after holding a variety of high level positions for major firms in the transportation sector. He brings over 20 years of experience in international sales, business development, long-term contract negotiations and project management. John Kardos

ABC Companies announced that Brent Beasley has joined the ABC Parts Sales force as parts territory manager for Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. Brent joins ABC Companies with more than 12 years of experience in the coach and limousine industry. He began his career as the owner and operator of Premier Limousine in Fort Smith, AK. In 2004, Brent moved on to Federal Coach where he served as their Northeast Regional Territory sales manager and was later promoted to international sales manager.

ABC Companies has announced the appointment of Robert “Robbie” Wilson to parts territory manager for Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia. Robert comes to ABC Companies with more than 30 years of experience in the motorcoach industry. He started his career as the owner and operator of Family Motorcoach Tours & Charters Robert Wilson in Knoxville, TN. Most recently, Robert managed MCI’s Southeast Regional Territory as the technical solutions manager. First Transit announced the appointment of Cynthia Roberts as manager, National Call Center Operations. In this role, Roberts will be responsible for supporting and advising the company’s specialized transportation centers across the country. Roberts is based in Hartford, CT, and will spend much of her time on site at the company’s non-emergency Medicaid transportation and ADA paratransit call center locations focusing on operational support and client relations.

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Don’t let anything hold you back busride.com | BUSRIDE

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Operators can ask for help ABC Companies manages the details through Fleet Assist 1

By David Hubbard

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rowth for Corporate Coaches, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, over the last two years has come so rapidly that the company says its maintenance staff has felt overwhelmed with the influx of new equipment. “Just in the last 18 months, we have grown from 17 coaches to an all-Van Hool fleet of 25,” says Andy Bardar, Corporate Coach owner and president. “At this rate our staff couldn’t keep up with the growth, not to mention finding the time to keep pace with record keeping.” Bardar says that while his maintenance team knew what it was supposed to do, in the effort to maintain more vehicles in a shorter amount of time, he needed to find a simple and fast solution. “Along with our new Van Hools, our fleet also includes several refurbished coaches, which typically require more attention than new equipment,” he says. “All this led us to talk to ABC Companies about how we could better handle our expanding maintenance requirements. They suggested we look into its new Fleet Assist service.” A solution is born Fleet Assist is a relatively new program that ABC Companies says alleviates the hassle and guesswork of tracking, scheduling interval preventive maintenance. After working with a model of this program for several years with some of its customers, ABC Companies had honed the service to the point it could officially launch it as Fleet Assist in Orlando, FL, in January during UMA EXPO 2013. “This service is an effective way for any company or organization with a bus fleet and limited staff to track all its maintenance requirements,” says Ed Harmon, national director of operations. “The program is part of our strategy to partner

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with our customers to provide the solutions they need to run a safe operation. We understand the importance of a scheduled preventive maintenance program to control risk and achieve and maintain the highest possible safety ratings.” He says through Fleet Assist, ABC Companies is able to help customers better manage maintenance and associated expenses including unforeseen costs. He says they service their customers with safer and more reliable equipment. “This service allows ABC Companies to be more proactive to industry needs,” says Fleet Assist Support Manager Jessica Persaud. “We are doing more to prevent breakdowns by scheduling coaches which require preventive maintenance into one of our service centers.” “The program came about in response to events in the industry that raised awareness for safer motorcoaches,” Harmon says. “This naturally includes the greater necessity of keeping more accurate records of maintenance procedures.”

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How Fleet Assist works Fleet Assist is structured to integrate a manufacturer’s recommended service schedule along with Department of Transportation (DOT) maintenance requirements and inspections. Based on the size and makeup of the fleet, duty cycles for each unit and maintenance requirements, customers can choose the standard Fleet Assist program at a flat rate or customize the menu of procedures to meet their specific needs. “Our complete maintenance task list drills down into the details,” Harmon says. “We extract the information from the coach-specific maintenance manuals, regardless of make or model, and include recommended maintenance items in our inspection forms. It might get right down to something like cleaning and lubricating the brake pedal fulcrum every 5,000 miles.” The price fluctuates as the choices increase or lessen. Operators can choose to perform the prescribed preventive maintenance schedule in their own shops or deliver the coach to the nearest ABC Companies location for service. Parts and labor are provided at a price for the customers. According to Harmon, the percentage of Fleet Assist operators handling their own maintenance and those outsourcing the service to ABC Companies’ technicians is about even. For clients who prefer to keep it in-house, ABC Companies works with those companies to develop their service check-list recommendations based on the information the customer provides as well as those found in the manufacturer’s maintenance manual. Corporate Coaches opted to schedule its preventive services at the ABC Companies services in Winter Garden, FL, as its coaches routinely make the 200-mile trip from Miami to Orlando. “Our coaches are in and out of Orlando all the time, so for this it’s not as difficult as it sounds,” Bardar says. “We feel this arrangement

outweighs the expense of an unexpected breakdown on the road.” Using a proven fleet management program, Persaud maintains the database and on a weekly basis sends out the call for all fleet mileage data. She enters it into the Fleet Assist system and calls the clients for reports that don’t come in on-time. “Fleet Assist allows ABC Companies to be very proactive to industry needs,” Persaud says. ”We are not simply responding to breakdowns by waiting for the coach to show up in one of our service centers.” Persaud keeps close tabs and calls the clients for reports that don’t come in time. She prints a current PM schedule, noting equipment due for service soon within so many miles or days. The clients use the forecast maintenance report to schedule coaches accordingly, knowing never to send a coach nearing a long trip without first performing the required maintenance interval.

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“We document the maintenance checks that are performed at our locations,” Persaud says. “We record the performance data on the check lists and store the results and other maintenance records in our maintenance tracking and coach history systems. The information is provided to the operator after the service and is also readily available upon customers’ request at a later date.” Hidden benefits Bardar speaks to a few hidden benefits he has discovered since using Fleet Assist. “This information essentially turns into training after the fact for our technicians,” he says. “They say it has made them more watchful. If something comes up on the report for one coach, they know to keep an eye for similar issues on the other coaches and catch the repairs in time. Being able to ask more questions and get the answers they need, our technicians are gaining new ways of looking at what they do.” As Corporate Coaches heads into the high-business season, Bardar says the coaches are running harder and more maintenance is getting done. “We are at the next level for a company this size,” he says. “We have opened our eyes wider to prevention and we are seeing fewer breakdowns. The maintenance staff is very comfortable with Fleet Assist, if not a little relieved.” 1. ABC Companies’ Fleet Assist is able to help customers better manage maintenance and expenses. 2. Operators can choose to perform the prescribed maintenance in their own shops or deliver the coach to the nearest ABC Companies location for service. 3. ABC can provide the necessary parts needed to perform preventive maintenance inspections. 4. Corporate Coaches looked into Fleet Assist after talking with ABC Companies about expanded maintenance requirements.

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Dave Crompton looks for continuous improvement at Cummins Inc. Cummins Inc. recently appointed long time company leader Dave Crompton as vice president, Engine Business, to run the Heavy Duty, MidRange and Light Duty Worldwide Product Businesses, which have combined into one single global operating entity. Crompton has dedicated nearly his entire career to the engine business and spoke with BUSRide regarding his new role with the company to build on the vision for Cummins. By David Hubbard

From your perspective in your newest position with Cummins, what is your contribution to the vision for the company?

With the R&D resolved and new products coming out, what will operators and maintenance technicians need to know and learn for successful aftermarket service?

This marks my 25th year with Cummins. I’ve run most on- and off-highway segments in the business, most recently our overall Light and Medium Duty Business. What’s new is the opportunity to bring it all together to improve our products and service for our customers, and I couldn’t be more excited about that. The new restructured and combined business will cover the full range of product from 2.8-liter to 15-liter and serve global Automotive and Industrial Lines Business, including our joint venture investments. The new organization creates a global focus across all products on our on-highway markets, which includes the bus market. The intention is a seamless change in the eyes of our customers that improves efficiency and capacity within Cummins. We want to build on the momentum we have generated over the last two product launch cycles. Not only will we see improvement in our market and customer focus, but also the in the sharing of knowledge and innovation of “fit for market” technologies across our Heavy Duty, MidRange and Light Duty teams.

Our 2013 products deliver some great news for our customers. With no significant hardware changes, the focus for this product launch is not around what is new on the engine or after-treatment system. Instead, our 2013 products have benefited from continuous improvements to the capable base engine systems. This results in better fuel economy, reliability and durability for our customers. In addition to these benefits for operators, service technicians will be pleased to know that our maintenance intervals remain virtually unchanged. All Cummins 2013 on-highway diesel engines will be equipped with On-Board Diagnostics (OBD). OBD is designed to monitor the performance of the vehicle’s emission system to help detect issues, recognize faults and ensure optimal performance. If the system detects any emissions-related malfunctions, it will alert the operator through a dash lamp known as the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL). Enhanced diagnostic systems are required to help keep sophisticated engine and after-treatment control systems operating at their peak. These diagnostics result in an improved capability to detect potential problems early for service technicians.

What is your focus in the plan for Cummins diesel engines as it relates to the Bus Division? At Cummins, we are always striving to improve products and processes, as well as our relationships with OEM partners and customers alike. Cummins has remained committed to providing the best possible products including diesel, natural gas and diesel-electric hybrid engines for the bus industry. We continue to work to fully understand ever-changing customer needs within the bus market, and to develop engine and systems technology to provide market leading reliability, durability and overall value for public transportation. I am excited about how we are positioned for the future as we continue to leverage our technology leadership, strong OEM partnerships, broad product portfolio and robust customer support.

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What do you want the transit bus and motorcoach operators throughout North America to know about Cummins as a company and its products? First and foremost, Cummins is committed to delivering the best possible products to the market that deliver better fuel economy, better performance, better reliability and durability to help our customers succeed in their businesses. In addition to our complete lineup of clean diesel, natural gas and dieselelectric hybrid engines to best fit the specific needs of our customers, we have a team of both technical and businessfocused employees dedicated to this specific market at our corporate headquarters in Columbus, IN. busride.com


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s p e c ia l se c ti o n SUMMER SAFETY SERIES - PART TWO {Vehicular Safety Technology}

Safety set in steel Prevost outlines its commitment to safe passenger transport

P

revost, St. Claire, QB, Canada, says its commitment to product safety evolves naturally from its commitment to build structural strength and integrity into its coaches. As such, the company views safety in two equally important dimensions. Dynamic safety comprises those systems and features that specifically help Prevost operators and drivers avoid accidents. Passive safety comprises those systems and features that help protect coach passengers in the event of an accident. The Prevost safety philosophy is set in steel, beginning with the integrated stainless steel chassis. Prevost says its rigorous stress simulations and shakedown testing have proven that the basic framework provides a very strong and durable foundation to house the many other safety components. Fire suppression

By David Hubbard

To protect passengers, drivers and the equipment, and prevent a singular incident from becoming more devastating, the Prevost Fire Suppression System features linear and optical infrared detectors that monitor the engine compartment. The system carries 25 pounds of dry fire suppression chemical released through five nozzles in 10- to 15-second discharges. In the event of an incident, the driver receives both audible and visual warnings.

1

Tire pressure monitoring

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Correct air pressure in all tires is critical to motorcoach safety. Improper inflation is one of the leading contributors to tire failures. Pressure monitoring guards against heat buildup that only magnifies in an underinflated tire — the leading cause of dangerous blowouts and tread separation. Prevost says it incorporates a system originally developed for the high-end luxury automotive industry, which samples both air temperature and pressure. The tire-pressure monitoring system warns drivers about sudden or gradual loss of tire pressure, as well as inner-tire failures that are difficult to inspect. Real-time conditions are integrated into an easy-to-read dashboard display so drivers can see essential tire information within a minute of coach start-up, including spare tire information. Electronic stability program The electronic stability program on a Prevost coach compares driver intentions to the actual movement of the vehicle. Prevost says this is the first such system to incorporate rollover and under/over steer protection, which the company says greatly improves stability. The program selectively applies the brakes on individual 1. Prevost puts its chassis through rigorous stress simulations and shakedown testing, providing a strong framework. 2. The Prevost Swap and Plug Wheelchair Lift is strategically placed in the middle of the coach, in front of the drive axle.

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s p e c ia l se c ti o n SUMMER SAFETY SERIES - PART TWO {Vehicular Safety Technology}

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Passive safety comprises systems and features that help protect coach passengers in the event of an accident.

wheels based on the driving conditions and vehicle input to help the driver avoid potentially dangerous situations. Rollover scenario In a typical rollover scenario a vehicle enters into a curve going too fast on high friction pavement, which causes high lateral forces from the side to affect the vehicle’s center of gravity. In such a situation, the system removes engine throttle and then applies pressure to all vehicle brakes to quickly reduce vehicle speed, lessening the likelihood of a rollover. Sliding scenario In a sliding scenario, the speed of the vehicle going through a curve exceeds the capability of the tires to maintain vehicle orientation, which causes the vehicle to slide and the driver to begin to over steer. The electronic stability program senses the driver’s intended path with the steering sensor, comparing it to what is actually happening with the yaw sensor. In an attempt to correct the vehicle orientation the program will quickly apply braking pressure only to the appropriate wheels to rectify toward the desired path and reduce overall speed. Prevost AWARE adaptive cruise braking This proprietary AWARE adaptive cruise braking is a dynamic safety enhancement

to Prevost coaches that provides advance warnings of dangerous situations and automatically intervenes with dynamic inputs to help the driver avoid collisions. Fully integrated with the electronic stability program, the two systems together mitigate situations that could result in loss of control or vehicle rollover. The forward-scanning radar provides information to assist in maintaining a safe following distance from other vehicles. Following-distance alert warns the driver if the distance between vehicles is too close and allows the driver time to take action to stretch the potential stopping distance. When the cruise control is activated and the speed is set, AWARE provides warnings and automatically intervenes with braking and throttle reduction to help maintain the intended following distance. The stationary object alert activates when the radar detects a stationary object in the coach’s path and allows the driver time to take evasive action. Vertical exhaust Vertical installation of the exhaust system reduces heat in the engine compartment, thus allowing for safer maintenance. This configuration also offers greater protection against ground level burns and fires. The company says it reduces peak exhaust temperature by 50 percent.

Why are Bremskerl pads different from anything else available in North America? Safety first. Bremskerl products stop trains, buses, trucks and other vehicles every day. Stopping the vehicle safely is the most important factor. Extended Life. We designed our 8010 formulation to provide longer pad and rotor life when compared to the existing OE and aftermarket pads available in the marketplace.

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s p e c ia l se c ti o n SUMMER SAFETY SERIES - PART TWO {Vehicular Safety Technology} Xenon vs. Halogen Prevost coaches come equipped with Xenon, a chemical element which illuminates with greater intensity than Halogen — 3000 lumen as opposed to 1500. The Xenon lamp is enclosed in a projector lens that allows it to focus all the light intensity in the correct direction — on the road and not in the air; on the right hand side, not toward oncoming traffic. Three-point seatbelts Prevost coaches feature three-point seatbelts on a welded rail system that meets FMVSS 210, depending on the specific coach seat make and model. Swap and Plug Wheelchair Lift The exclusive Prevost Swap and Plug Wheelchair Lift is strategically placed in the middle of the coach (in front of the drive axle) to maximize accessibility for emergency evacuation. Prevost’s wheelchair lift is unique in the industry because it’s installed furthest away from the most hazardous fire areas, the engine compartment and wheelwells. Sliding doors on the wheelchair lift access helps prevent injury.

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Prevost’s AWARE adaptive cruise braking system assists in maintaining a safe following distance from other vehicles.

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s p e c ia l se c ti o n SUMMER SAFETY SERIES - PART TWO {Vehicular Safety Technology}

See all; save all; search all

Digital Ally adds new twists to event recording In consideration of operator budgets, Digital Ally, Inc., Lenexa, KS, brings a unique contract-free business model to video event and data capture technology for considerable budgetary benefit. Digital Ally first developed vehicle recording systems for the law enforcement community, which at the time needed an extremely stabile and compact video system to protect from false claims by capturing unbiased accounts of such incidents. In the process, the company realized how beneficial its recorders could be for other fleet operators. Digital Ally was soon tailoring its camera systems and greatly expanding the management and reporting software for other industries. The company says thousands of fleets worldwide now employ its cohesive safety management system. Digital Ally video event data recorders utilize up to eight cameras, each set to display a unique view to the driver and automatically record based on different triggers. For example, when a vehicle is in reverse, a camera mounted to the back of the vehicle can automatically record and display. If a side

VuVault management and reporting software is programmed to enhance the use of recorded video, data and optional audio for any risk reduction efforts.

door opens or a stop bar raises, the event can trigger a camera aimed down that side of the vehicle. During any hard braking, excessive acceleration, severe cornering or an impact, the cameras can provide simultaneous recorded views of the driver and the road ahead. Additionally, the driver receives real time feedback from LED indicators. Different manual recording options including a covert footswitch are available for instances when the operator encounters problematic passengers. Digital Ally says the mere presence of cameras can be effective in calming potentially dangerous passengers once they realize their actions could be on film.

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s p e c ia l se c ti o n SUMMER SAFETY SERIES - PART TWO {Vehicular Safety Technology} The video event data recorders can record on a constant loop or stream live during dangerous situations. They can be set to only record up to 30 seconds before a triggered event, allowing the system to capture exactly what happened. Capturing the event’s cause is particularly useful to protect against false accusations and claims. A review of the footage helps operators capture dangerous behavior and identify specific training needs. A Digital Ally event recorder can fit inconspicuously into a rearview mirror without interfering with the driver’s line of sight. To minimize distraction, the one-way mirror glass conceals the monitor and makes it invisible when not in use. Having maximized the benefits of the hardware, Digital Ally says it programmed its VuVault management and reporting software to enhance the use of recorded video, data and optional audio for any risk reduction efforts. GPS mapping and

comprehensive reports provide insight for further driver training, problematic or dangerous geographic areas and equipment status. Operators pay no ongoing fee for the use of the self-managed software. It also allows wireless firmware upgrades to the video event data recorders, which provide updates to the system with the newest capabilities for its remaining product life. Recorded data of the vehicle, driver and GPS map, as well as eventtrigger data can show during playback, giving a quick yet insightful look into incidents. The software also allows notes to be added and important events to be marked within the recordings, which may also be visible when playing a recording for training purposes. Access to any data, including custom user-added fields, can help in sorting, searching and retrieving recordings. Top: A Digital Ally event recorder can fit inconspicuously into a rearview mirror without interfering with the driver’s line of sight. Bottom: Digital Ally says the mere presence of cameras can be effective in calming potentially dangerous passengers.

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23


Which is cheaper to process for the bus operator? By Bassam Estaitieh & Chris Zafirovski

There are those who say cash transactions are too expensive to manage, along with the inconvenience of having to continuously count and transport the cash between the operator premises and the bank. They say cash is passé, old school and that cashless is the only way to go, with more payment technologies coming to the forefront all the time. With cashless payments, the money gets deposited directly to the account without any action on the part of the operator. What’s not to like about that? The debate over whether cashless payments will completely displace cash or not will go on, but for now, let’s measure the cost of managing cash compared to that of managing cashless. While everyone is quick to complain about the hassles of cash management, few can actually pinpoint its actual costs. Cash management costs arise from having to collect money from the stations and busses, count the money in the s revenue department and transfer change, as well as the cost of the Cash-In-Transit (CIT) service to transport cash back and forth between the bank and the operator premises. The question is: What percentage of the collected revenue is spent on cash management? Cash management costs differ among public transit operators depending on the transit segment, the fare structure and the cash management processes for each agency. A common figure tossed around for the metro segment has cash management costs at about 7 percent of revenue. One would expect cash management for bus segment operators to cost more because they are handling a lot of coins and low-value bill denominations. Assuming the bus operator’s cash management costs are 50 percent higher than those of the metro segment, the bus operator cash management costs are about 10 percent of revenue. This is a large amount by any measure and warrants careful consideration. Before throwing in the towel on cash, consider the cost of managing its cashless counterpart. There are many cashless means of payment. One can make a cashless payment on the internet, through NFC technology in most new smartphones or with plastic. Regardless of the preferred choice, the cashless transaction falls into one of two 24

BUSRIDE | J U LY. 2013

categories: credit or debit. Each has different transaction fees. Using a debit or credit card, each of the various entities involved in the cashless transaction take a bite out of operator revenue — the acquirer bank, the credit/debit issuer bank, and the network association brands such as MasterCard and VISA, as well as the communications gateway provider that securely links the operator network with the internet. Operators also incur other costs in relation to enabling cashless payment ,such as PCI compliance and connection costs. These are fixed costs as opposed to costs per transaction. For the most part, credit transaction costs are quite different than debit transaction costs, and each warrants detailed clarification. Are we talking about low-value single-ride short-term tickets or are we talking about loading up a smartcard with a relatively larger sum of money? Given that many bus riders fall in an income segment that does not have the funds to commit larger sums of money into a smartcard, we will address credit and debit transactions costs for single-ride tickets. Credit transaction costs The interchange fee is the largest credit transaction cost. This fee is comprised of a flat rate, i.e. fixed cost per transaction, and a variable rate, i.e. a percentage of the transaction value. Credit card associations publish a long list of industries and sectors, each with its own interchange fee rate. The interchange fee variable rate depends on many factors, such as the credit card association brand, how secure the transaction is (qualified, mid-qualified or non-qualified, depending on whether the card is present or not), whether the user is entering a PIN, and the type of card used. Reward cards have a higher interchange fee than non-reward cards. In general, bus single-ride ticket transaction values fall into what credit card associations call small-ticket items. These are assigned lower interchange fees — 4 cents for the flat rate, and 1.55 percent to 2.2 percent or more depending on the type and brand of card. Different from the acquirer bank’s fee, the Network Association busride.com


and Brand Usage (NABU) for MasterCard or Acquirer’s Processing Fee for VISA are important cost factors. This flat fee is a little less than 2 cents per transaction. Between this flat fee and the flat fee related to interchange, the cost per transaction is already 6 cents. Other credit transaction costs involve an assessment fee of 0.11 percent by the card association brand, authorization and settlement fees and other cashless fees such as the operator’s acquirer bank fees and gateway provider fees, which could add another few cents to the flat rate and over 11 basis points to the variable rate. All totaled, a flat rate per small ticket credit card transaction

Debit transaction costs

could quickly run higher than 10 cents per transaction. The variable component of the credit card transaction could quickly climb above 2 percent depending on the card. So where does that put the total cost of a credit transaction as a percentage of the transaction value? The answer depends on the transaction amount. For a single-ride bus ticket that costs $1.00 to $1.50, the cost for a credit transaction could be anywhere between 9 and 13 percent. In addition, credit card transaction fees have been on a steady increase. Interchange fees have more than doubled in the last 10 to 15 years with no reprieve in sight.

A word of caution

Agitated at the high cost of a credit transaction? Relieved there is a debit option? You might think debit transactions are cheaper than credit transactions, but you’d be wrong. While this was true not too long ago, the Durbin Amendment changed everything. The Durbin Amendment introduced a single-tiered debit transaction cost structure. Regardless of the transaction value, the interchange fee for a debit transaction is now .04 percent plus 21 cents — the flat rate component of the regulated debit transaction interchange fee. Where does this put the cost of a debit transaction for a single-ride bus ticket valued at $1.00 to $1.50? It makes the cost of a credit transaction look cheap in comparison.

Is cash really more expensive to manage? A word of caution to bus operators: To enthusiastically assume cash is more expensive to manage than cashless transactions may not be entirely correct. Cash payments may actually be better for the bottom line.

Bassam Estaitieh and Chris Zafirovski are project managers for Crane Payment Solutions, Concord, ON, Canada.

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25


THE TRANSIT Authority

IndyGo does more with less By Michael Terry

D

elivering public transportation in American cities requires managerial tenacity and dedication to providing vital service as part of our nation’s infrastructure. Many systems across the country struggle to keep vital transit services on the street due to pressures of the economy on the industry. Costs for fuel and employee benefits have skyrocketed in recent years and, to add insult to injury, revenue streams of local transit systems have become unstable. In Indianapolis, the operation of our IndyGo system is funded largely by local property taxes, which were recently capped at 1 percent by an amendment to the Indiana Constitution. IndyGo has been faced with serious challenges to keep its service intact, including dealing with higher operating costs, unstable budgets and increased ridership. Cost containment, creating operational efficiencies and leveraging partnerships have become key strategies that IndyGo has pursued to help keep local bus service on the street. These strategies improve the perception of the agency in the community and increase the quality of services offered to riders and employees. IndyGo Case Study: Employee benefits cost containment In 2009, IndyGo’s health insurance benefits for employees reached a critical mass. The agency saw loss ratios tip the scales at 105 percent. 70 percent of the company’s workforce had no primary care provider. Medical and prescription claims rose by $500,000 in one year. The bid process for procuring coverage yielded only one bid from the incumbent provider, which included a 49 percent premium hike that would have resulted in and additional $2.3 million in expense for the corporation. Absenteeism was high and our employees were struggling to manage chronic health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. We needed to intervene and invest in the health of our employees. Through negotiation with the incumbent health insurance provider, IndyGo proposed the introduction of a new comprehensive employee wellness program. Tenants of the new wellness program included quarterly measurements to gauge employee participation (blood draw, health assessment, health coaching and participation in one healthy activity), a discounted premium for participating employees (with the difference to be paid by IndyGo) and the launch of a free on-site health clinic, which would operate as an urgent care and occupational health center.

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IndyGo was able to mitigate the premium increase to 26 percent instead of 49 percent as the provider submitted the bid. In that first year, an overwhelming majority of employees participated in the wellness program, taking steps to reduce their premiums and health risks. The clinic saw two employees who may have otherwise suffered a fatal heart attack and kidney failure, respectively. At the end of the wellness program’s inaugural year, IndyGo management had seen significant improvements including an 11 percent drop in loss ratios and a premium renewal rate with only a 4.5 percent increase. Payoffs for investing in employee wellness were coming fast and furiously. As the wellness program gained momentum at IndyGo, we experienced a palpable difference in the culture of our workplace. By offering healthy activities at work, including Weight Watchers meetings, company-sponsored teams for run/walk events and on-site Zumba and yoga classes, we’ve seen our employees becoming healthier and happier. IndyGo continues to evaluate its wellness offerings and respond to the unique needs of our employees. In 2012 IndyGo revamped the care model for our on-site clinic, departing from a model of acute care and occupational treatment to a full-service primary care model. At our new clinic, employees can visit our dedicated full-time physician, a nurse practitioner and even have their prescriptions filled. Participation in the wellness program is integrated into the administration of the clinic—employees that wish to participate must now visit the clinic to have a yearly health assessment. Nearly three years after the launch of the employee wellness program and on-site clinic, IndyGo received bids from five different providers for its 2012 health insurance coverage and secured a premium 2.2 percent lower than the previous year. Loss ratios are continuing to fall and the 2011-2012 fiscal year reached a 10-year low of 73 percent. The strategy to make a significant investment in employee wellness has shown impressive results. By 2013, nearly 90 percent of employees participate in the program and 15 percent of employees use the on-site clinic for their primary care. Due to the work we have done, and the work employees have done, our 2013 insurance premium dropped 12.5 percent and the wellness program and clinic have saved the company more than $2 million in health insurance premiums busride.com


THE TRANSIT Authority

Samantha Cross (left), IndyGo’s vice president of Business Development, and Michael Bricker, lead of People for Urban Progress (PUP). IndyGo and PUP are bringing rehabbed benches to bus stops around Indianapolis.

over the past three years. Injecting this robust wellness strategy into our operation is yielding priceless dividends in better employee health. IndyGo Case Study: PUPstops – Community partnership for transit amenities In mid-2011, local land developers began to redevelop the site of the historic Bush Stadium ballpark, former home of the Indianapolis Indians, to make way for a new technology district. A local non-profit group, People for Urban Progress (PUP), negotiated rights to salvage the stadium seating that would have otherwise gone to landfills. In partnership

with Ecolaborative, Indianapolis Fabrications and Recycle Force, PUP has facilitated the refurbishment of the stadium seats. A strategic relationship between IndyGo and PUP is bringing the rehabbed stand-alone benches to bus stops around Indianapolis. In late 2011, the sustainably-made pilot PUPstop was installed in downtown Indianapolis where a public art mural of Kurt Vonnegut is the backdrop. Additional PUPstops have been placed at various locations around town and more are planned for high-pedestrian areas and new developments like 16Tech, the historic Bush Stadium site.

To place more PUPstops around the city, IndyGo is promoting the program to local businesses, community groups and individuals. Through a cost-sharing model with IndyGo, program participants endow their very own PUPstop with a unique local flare. Leveraging support for transit in this way has expanded IndyGo’s capacity to place these one-of-a-kind transit amenities throughout Indianapolis.

Michael Terry is president and CEO of the Indianapolis Public Transportation Association.

busride.com | BUSRIDE

27


THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT

Volvo widens its range By Doug Jack

T

oward the end of April, Volvo Buses held a major briefing event for its important customers and the European trade press in its home city of Gothenburg, Sweden, to drive and ride on a wide selection of the latest products at its extensive test facility in nearby Hallerad. Like all the main western European manufacturers, Volvo’s bus and coach activities are small in volume compared with its much larger truck operations. In addition to its own brand, Volvo also owns Renault Trucks and is a major manufacturer of construction equipment. Volvo Buses is a global manufacturer, with subsidiaries in Brazil, Mexico and India, as well as Nova Bus in North America. There are important joint ventures with SAIC in Shanghai and with Eicher in India. Some of the models built in Brazil, China, India and Mexico are virtually the same as those currently built in Sweden, but Volvo has also developed vehicles in some of those countries that are adapted to local market conditions.

The Volvo Group makes all its own engines and many of its gearboxes and axles. The main exception is its sourcing of fully automatic gearboxes and drop center rear axles for low-floor city buses from specialists like ZF and Voith. The main manufacturers are reluctant to publish actual production figures because of European competition issues, but we know that Volvo delivered nearly 10,700 chassis and complete buses and coaches in 2012. This was down about 2,000 units from the previous year because of difficult trading in a number of important markets. In Europe, Volvo offers complete city, interurban and luxury coaches with all production concentrated in a modern factory in Wroclaw, Poland. The company also offers a range of chassis, largely derived from those complete vehicles. Volvo is trying to work with a reduced number of bodybuilding partners to cut costs and benefit from economies of scale.

One of many Volvo Wrightbus hybrid double-decker buses in London.

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THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT

The largest of the three new engines will The complete city bus range centers on the be the 10.8-liter D11K, with power ratings of 7900 family in solo and articulated versions 380, 430 and 460bhp. These will be available with a full low-floor layout. These include principally in the 9700 and 9900 coaches, as models with Volvo’s own well established well as chassis derivatives. parallel hybrid system with more than 700 units running in around 20 countries. Many are double-decker bodied in Northern Ireland by Wrightbus. Later this year, Volvo will add an articulated hybrid single-deck bus to the range. The complete interurban family is based on the 8900, with either two or three axles. Like the 8900, the floor in the front half of the bus is only one step above the ground. Alternatively, there may be level floor around 33 inches above the ground for limited under-floor luggage capacity. Both the 7900 and 8900 models are relatively new and feature an ingenious mix of steel and aluminum in their structures, which helps to reduce weight and improve fuel economy. The Volvo hybrid drive system with its 5.1-liter engine. The complete European coach Volvo has an ambitious hybrid range includes the 9500, the lower-height development program to extend the multipurpose 9700 model and the unusual percentage of mileage in all-electric mode. 9900. The 9900’s floor gradually ramps toward The latest project in Gothenburg features the rear, offering theatre-style seating and three standard single-deck hybrid city buses better forward visibility modified to what Volvo calls “plug-in.” for passengers. That is slightly misleading. The bus Volvo has reengineered the entire actually parks beneath a gantry at each end European range in preparation for Euro 6 of a route with a fixed overhead electrical emission limits, which take effect January 2014 throughout the European Union. While there are currently six or seven engine sizes and a wide variety of power ratings available across the extensive range, Volvo has taken the opportunity to rationalize to only three all-new engines and a more limited number of power ratings. The benefits include economies of scale, lower weight, and savings in fuel consumption. It will also help simplify production of complete vehicles and chassis, reducing parts count and also bringing benefits in service support. Euro 4 and Euro 5 engines will remain available for those markets that are not going to switch to the latest Euro 6 standard. The smallest of the three engines will be the 5.1-liter 240bhp D5K. This will be standard in all the hybrid buses and also in double-decker chassis for the UK and Irish markets. This will replace a current 9-liter unit, with Volvo claiming that the new engine will save weight and fuel. Some observers question whether it will be strong enough for service in some of our more hilly cities. The second new engine is the 7.7-liter D8K, which will replace current 7- and 9-liter Euro 5 engines and will be available with optional power outputs of 280, 320 and 350bhp. The D8K unit will be standard in single-deck city buses and the interurban range, as well as the 9500 coach.

charging system. A pantograph on the roof rises to make contact for a fast five minute charge to the onboard batteries. This enables the bus to operate up to 70 percent of the length of the route in silent all-electric mode, which is especially useful in the center of the city. Regular recharging means smaller batteries to either save weight or increase passenger capacity. The bus can run in normal hybrid mode on any route that does not have recharging stations. The D5K engine can also run on biodiesel. The Volvo hybrid system is now proving very reliable. Vehicle availability is as good as with standard diesel buses. With the introduction of Euro 6, Volvo also took the opportunity to upgrade and facelift the coach range. The original classic design has been around for quite a number of years, but it’s free of fussy features that make a coach look dated. The frontal aspect has been gently restyled, with new rearview mirrors offering improved visibility. The rear wall has also been modernized, with a new aluminum engine hatch, larger rear window, a new roof spoiler that enhances aerodynamics and an integrated rearview mirror.

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THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT 1.

2.

3.

Volvo also offers the option of I-Coaching, a driver assistance tool which helps drivers handle the bus safely and in a more fuelefficient manner. Coach owners can monitor drivers because they receive instant feedback when any of six driving parameters are exceeded. These are over-revving, excessive idling, harsh braking, harsh acceleration, over speeding and harsh cornering. The system can help drivers to improve their skills and increase fuel economy. The operator benefits from lower maintenance costs and satisfied passengers. Apart from the introduction of Euro 6 engines, Volvo has introduced its new I-Start system. I-Start has batteries used only for starting the engine and consumer batteries that provide power for normal electrical consumption. This arrangement avoids the problem of being unable to start an engine because of drained batteries. There are also benefits in battery longevity, reduced weight and volume, and reduced length of power cables. 1. A Volvo 7900H hybrid bus recently delivered to Luxembourg. 2. The Volvo 8900 interurban coach. 3. The overhead charging system for the plug-in hybrid buses in Gothenburg. 30

BUSRIDE | J U LY. 2013

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Once again, Setra has raised the benchmark in the North American luxury motorcoach segment, with over 30 innovations in design, passenger and driver comfort, safety and environmental efficiencies. Daimler’s new, unique Front Collision Guard (FCG), for instance, is a passive safety system engineered to protect the driver and tour guide in the case of a frontal impact. Experience the all-new Setra TopClass S 417. From Daimler Buses North America, the worldwide leading manufacturer of buses and motorcoaches.

Motor Coach Industries 1700 East Golf Road, Suite 300 · Schaumburg, Illinois 60173 · Phone 866-624-2622 Distributor of EvoBus GmbH for Setra buses and Setra parts in the United States and Canada

Setra - a brand of Daimler AG

Don’t be fooled by its pretty face


Sleek upgrades made simple Hadley demos its wares on a Gillig bus for The Rapid

T

hrough its line of retrofit kits, Hadley, Elkhart, IN, says it has greatly simplified the process of upgrading and converting outdated interiors of transit, shuttle and motorcoach buses. The Rapid demo bus

ABOVE: The latest XD interior system includes increased headroom along with an adjustable ventilation system and LED lighting. 32

BUSRIDE | J U LY. 2013

Hadley recently partnered with The Rapid, Grand Rapids, MI, to demonstrate its latest technology. The company unveiled a fullyoutfitted Gillig low-floor transit bus in May during the 2013 APTA Bus and Paratransit Conference in Indianapolis, IN. The Rapid is using the bus for service in Grand Rapids, collecting market data on user preferences for various technologies. The agency says the testing will help to develop specifications for future vehicles. The Gillig features the latest XD interior system that includes increased headroom along with an adjustable ventilation system that equalizes the volume of air in every area of the vehicle. Interior LED lighting reduces window glare and permits safe night lighting throughout the cabin. Less noticeable features on the XD system appeal to transit maintenance. Sealed panel seams prevent air leaks, hidden fasteners are rattle-free, dust-free light channels are separate from HVAC airflow, and removable panels provide easy access to all componentry. busride.com


LED-R lighting

Hadley mirrors

LED lighting is available in retrofit kits for transit, coach and shuttle vehicles to replace older fluorescent systems. Hadley says the kits with energy efficient lighting install in little more time than it takes to replace the older fluorescent system. Transit bus LED-R retrofit replacements come standard with Eclypse passenger service sets. The motorcoach kits include Eclypse service sets with shroud and lighting replacements for either the LED-R retrofit replacement for fluorescent tubes or the complete Omega lighting channel with LED lighting. Hadley offers three retrofit options for shuttle vehicles: lighting only in Omega or Mini Omega kits; reading lamps in the Cyber service sets; or all three features. Frosted lens with blue night-light is an option. The company says the LED-R lighting in the retrofit kits replaces all fluorescent lighting equipment in any of North America’s OEM interior systems. It most recently completed motorcoach updates for ABC Companies and Van Hool coaches.

Hadley exterior mirrors are available with auto-return brackets, cameras and outside turn signals to provide a safer vision system. The Hadley air horn The instantly recognizable and robust sound of the Hadley air horn comes from the H00298 series mounted on the underside of the Gillig bus

SmartValve™ height control Hadley introduced its SmartValve™ as a prototype on the Gillig exhibition bus. It is based on the company’s Smart Air Management System (SAMS™). Electronic height control systems require several separate components: the valve manifold, an external sensor and associated electronics. Hadley says its SmartValve™ combines these devices into one cost-effective and compact product. Still in development, the potential benefits for bus fleets include repeatable ride heights, as well as features such as four corners kneeling to prevent vehicle leaning and stop drivetrain vibration that leads to uneven wear. Quieter than traditional electronic height control systems, SmartValve™ provides the capability to lower the front of the bus to make the bus more aerodynamic at highway speeds.

LED lighting is available in retrofit kits for transit, coach and shuttle vehicles to replace older fluorescent systems.

This December, BUSRide Magazine will launch the 2nd annual Best of BUSRide Awards. We will celebrate bus and motorcoach operations that exemplify innovations and best practices in: MOTORCOACH • Green / Eco-initiatives • Safety • Customer service • Community outreach • Marketing • Technology • Other

TRANSIT • Green / Eco-initiatives • Safety • Customer service • Community outreach • Marketing • Technology • Other

PARATRANSIT • Green / Eco-initiatives • Safety • Customer service • Community outreach • Marketing • Technology • Other

NOMINATION DEADLINE IS SEPTEMBER 16, 2013 If you’d like to nominate a company or agency that you feel deserves recognition, please visit our website — busride.com/best-of-busride-awards-nominate/ — and complete a nomination form today!

busride.com busride.com | BUSRIDE

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Photograph by Anders Krusberg

TOUR BUSINESS

New NYC tour gets edgy On Location Tours partners with TMZ for a celebrity-focused tour of Manhattan By David Hubbard Tourism meets celebrity fascination as interpreted by TMZ. On Location Tours, New York, NY, and the popular entertainment news brand launched their partnership in May, saying TMZ Tour NYC captures the fun, edge and celebrity secrets of TMZ. “This is a new experience that is way more than the average bus tour,” says On Location Tours President Georgette Blau. “TMZ Tour NYC is a two-hour show.” Produced by the same team behind TMZ.com, TMZ on TV and the TMZ Hollywood Tour, TMZ Tour NYC cruises through celebrity neighborhoods in Manhattan like Chelsea, SoHo, Greenwich Village, the Meatpacking District and Tribeca, pointing out the hotspots where celebs go to party and play. Aboard the fully-branded Van Hool coach from Sunliner Tours, Queens, NY, hosted by humorous TMZ tour guides, passengers ride through the places where TMZ has broken scores of stories. Blau says the tour showcases over 70 locations, including the hotel where Charlie Sheen trashed his room, the restaurant where Jessica Simpson gets her Mexican food fix and the dive bar where Lady Gaga got her start. On Location Tours says that, on this one-ofa-kind show on wheels, passengers get an 34

BUSRIDE | J U LY. 2013

up-close and hysterical inside look at the people and stories that TMZ has brought to light. The specially-wrapped 52-passenger coach, complete with branding, features a state-of-the-art audio/video system with large screen video monitors featuring select clips from the TMZ producers. Sunliner Tours, the motorcoach provider for most of On Location Tours’ itineraries, also provides an alternate ADA-compliant coach equipped with a wheelchair lift. Though the unbranded coach doesn’t quite stand out like its sibling, it does offers the same quality audio/video. Inside the bus, Blau says, the tour is every bit the same. On Location Tours, one of the world’s largest TV and movie tour companies, conducts tours in New York City and Boston. Founded in 1999, it lays claim as one of the East Coast’s most popular tour services, serving hundreds of thousands of tourists from around the world. Other tours include New York TV and movie sites, hotspots from the television series Sex and the City, Gossip Girl and The Sopranos, and similar sites in the Boston area. Visit www.tmztournyc.com for more information.

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Tornado Bus Company maximizes fleet T

ornado Bus Company, Dallas, TX, deviated slightly from its all-MCI fleet of 61 coaches when it recently took delivery of three Van Hool TD925 double-decker coaches from ABC Companies, Faribault, MN. According to Tornado Chief Financial Officer Alfredo Ramos, the new coaches are now in regular route service to meet customer demand between several major Texas cities — Dallas to Houston; Dallas to McAllen and Brownsville; Dallas to Austin and San Antonio; as well as connection to other routes. As Tornado Bus Company continues to grow in the North Texas region, it also has expanded into Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina and Tennessee, and is partnering with Mexican carriers to several destinations in Mexico. “We were at the point we needed to maximize our fleet,” says Ramos. “These 81-passenger coaches free some of the other buses and provide better service to our customers while reducing carbon emissions and fuel consumption.” Ramos says the scenic view and added amenities like power outlets, tables, threepoint seatbelts and interior LED lighting lend a very modern atmosphere. Safety features, such as Saucon TDS access, reverse cameras, lane departure warning system and a fire suppression system were important factors in the company’s decision to add the TD925s.

What does Tornado like best about the TD925s? Ramos says capacity, aesthetics and fuel economy. “Our drivers are surprised that the driving is as smooth as a single-deck bus,” he says. “But what we really like is to be able to connect more families and provide a better service.”

busride.com | BUSRIDE

35


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BUSRide July 2013