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JULY | 2014 $5.00

Prevost Prep: a commitment to train drivers p 20 inside

Centenarian Lewis Stages shares secrets of success p 16

FIND THE RIGHT FIT Finding a suitable bus that meets your high standards for quality, style and comfort is easier than you think. Temsa motorcoaches from CH Bus Sales fit your business perfectly. Coach sizes in 30, 35 and 45 feet let you run Temsa buses at moneymaking capacity more often. Best-in-class ride and powerful, efficient engines come standard. Call CH Bus Sales today and reserve the Temsa motorcoach that’s tailor made for your business.

CALL US TODAY! 877-723-4045 “TEMSA”, “TS35” and Circle Design marks are trademarks owned by TEMSA GLOBAL SANAYI VE TICARET ANONIM SIRKETI.

POWERING POSSIBILITIES BE AT THE CORE OF THE GROWING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY. APTA’s EXPO 2014, the world’s largest public transportation showcase, is heading to Houston with the most advanced industry innovations and solutions you need to succeed. With 750+ exhibitors, 15,000+ industry peers, and in-depth technical education, it’s the only event that's powering possibilities for every mode of public transportation and every aspect of your organization. AND IT’S ONLY ONCE EVERY THREE YEARS – REGISTER TODAY FOR FREE!




Cover Story Prevost Prep answers the call


Prevost generously partners with UMA and Hire Heroes USA to recruit and train coach drivers By David Hubbard

Features Greyhound turns 100


The Centennial Tour celebrates the iconic brand in stops across America

How to live to be 100

As it always has for the last century, All Resort Group-Lewis Stages remains flexible and attuned to customer needs


By David Hubbard

Know where to wash



Water costs and location are keys to saving


By Jack Jackson

NTI praises Dallas, Denver and Los Angeles’ MAX program


As partners, three major agencies create a model program to promote best practices


Summer Safety Series: Vehicular safety technology Ask the Safety Experts


RESNA raises restraint standards


Q’Straint explains what new WC18 standards mean for wheelchair transportation

Get onboard with security New surveillance technology helps bus operators better protect drivers and passengers By John Recesso



6 David Hubbard 22 FOCUS on Innovation 32 THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT

By Doug Jack

DEPARTMENTS 8 UPDATE 12 Deliveries 30 Transit Authority




A motorcoach is only as good as the people who stand behind it. Every Prevost is supported by a professional service team with over 500 years of bus and motorcoach service experience, knowledge, and integrity. Our field service experts are dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to keep you on the road. What’s more, every Prevost motorcoach is backed by the Prevost Action Service System (PASS) 24-hour emergency assistance line, our eleven Prevost service centers across North America, and more than 150 Prevost-certified service providers who are experts in the Volvo Powertrain. While unforeseen downtime is inevitable, Prevost will have you up and running in no time at all.

For more information: USA 336-393-3929 Canada 418-883-3391


Survey says: Grow [up] America; Part Deux W

ith the coach and travel industries in the thick of the summer rush, travel and tourism leaders are expressing their concern over the growing strain on the transportation infrastructure, saying it is inefficient, outdated and deteriorating; and that its collapse severely imperils economic stability and job growth. This is according to a survey by Building America’s Future and the U.S. Travel Association (USTA), which co-chairs former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, former U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow, released during a press conference in May. “It is imperative that Congress takes action to fix America’s crumbling bridges and potholed roads so that the United States can once again be economically competitive on a global scale” LaHood said. “The U.S. travel industry currently ranks 18th in the world, behind such countries as Barbados and Panama. It’s shameful and must be remedied.” On the day President Obama spoke to the economic benefits of boosting travel within the United States, Dow stated that unfortunately, as it stands, our infrastructure cannot handle even the existing demand on travel. As the Obama Administration rolls out Grow America, the Highway Trust Fund is projected to go bankrupt in early August, threatening to cancel or put on indefinite hold on thousands of transportation and infrastructure projects. The White House says this would halt nearly 600,000 American jobs and negatively impact tens of thousands of businesses that regularly depend upon the projects Trust Fund investments make possible. According to the survey, 74 percent say the quality and reliability of infrastructure is extremely important to the success of their business or travel destination. 87 percent believe that America’s infrastructure is in fair to poor shape and needs a great deal of improvement. Less than 1 percent of respondents say America’s infrastructure is in good shape and needs no improvement. So, why all the push back from those who serve at the pleasure of the people, by the people and for the people? Pandering to this group, less than 1 percent of respondents, puts Congress squarely on the path of least resistance — one with its own potholes and failing structures.

Publisher / Editor in Chief Steve Kane Group Publisher Sali T. Williams Executive Editor David Hubbard Editor Richard Tackett Art Director Stephen Gamble Production Director Kevin Dixon Accountant Fred Valdez 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 Vol. 50 • No. 7 Subscription Rates:

David Hubbard Executive Editor BUSRide Magazine

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: 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 Sali T. Williams at (602) 265-7600, ext. 209.




2 color

WE’VE REVOLUTIONIZED HOW THE WORLD MOVES PEOPLE. Every day around the globe Maxwell’s breakthrough energy storage and delivery devices enable transportation technologies that move more people, more efficiently, with fewer 4 color

CO2 emissions. Long life and high reliability in harsh conditions make ultracapacitors ideal for regenerative breaking, start-stop systems and cold-climate starting.



CH Bus Sales opens new Fort Worth, TX, sales and service center

Reniewicki’s design and slogan, “Ride On,” took home the grand prize, while the second and third place winners also attend Arcadia High, marking the first time all three winners have come from the same school. “We are thrilled Scottsdale Unified students are being recognized for their talents and commitment to public transit,” said Valley Metro Board Member and City of Scottsdale Councilmember Suzanne Klapp. “John’s design highlights the importance of our transit system in an imaginative, engaging way.”

CH Bus Sales, Inc., Faribault, MN, the CH Bus Sales recently opened a new exclusive distributor 12,000-plus square-foot sales and service of Turkish-built Temsa facility in Fort Worth. motorcoaches in the United States, recently opened a new 12,000-plus square-foot sales and service facility in Fort Worth, TX. Located at 4900 E Loop 820 S. between I-30 and I-20 on the east edge of Fort Worth, the facility features ample motorcoach parking, a large parts warehouse and six garage bays, with three more on the way. CH Bus Sales will offer the complete range of Temsa motorcoaches that features the TS 45, TS 35, and TS 30, in addition to service work on the various coach OEM models. Tim Vaught, vice president of sales, service, and product development, will manage the new facility with assistance from Shannon Vaught, sales and service; Tony Young, body shop manager; and Bryan Sample, parts manager; along with a team of experienced technicians. He says the company looks forward to providing a higher level of service in new and pre-owned coach sales and service in this area. With plans to continually expand to provide customers with reliable and available aftersales parts and service support, CH Bus Sales says this facility is an excellent addition to the Southern Territory, which currently serves Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Cincinnati Metro scores gold twice at APTA Cincinnati Metro, a service of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), made history as the first midsize transit system to receive top honors for both safety and security from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) during the APTA Paratransit Conference in Kansas City, MO. In the category of mid-size transit systems providing more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million annual rides, Metro received the Gold Award for Safety for its program to reduce distracted driving. The agency earned the Gold Award for Security for its full-scale emergency exercise to test crisis management response and plans in 2013, which national and local emergency management experts evaluated. “We are honored to be the first transit agency to win both of APTA’s Gold safety and security awards,” said Metro CEO Terry Garcia Crews. “Metro’s team works hard to ensure safety and security for our employees, passengers, and the public every day. We are very proud of this recognition for all our efforts.” Metro is a tax-supported public service of SORTA. Metro operates 356 buses, serving the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, with commuter service to Butler, Clermont and Warren counties.

AzTA honors Veolia Transportation

This year’s winning design.

Winning artwork from Design a Transit Wrap Contest unveiled John Reniewicki, a senior at Arcadia High School, Scottsdale, AZ, captured the grand prize in the 14th Annual Design a Transit Wrap Contest presented by Valley Metro, the provider of public transit in greater metropolitan Phoenix and Maricopa County. The agency says its Design a Transit Wrap Contest is part of a larger effort to spread awareness about the benefits of public transit. “Public transit is an important issue for high school students,” said Valley Metro CEO Steve Banta. “This contest helps us to connect to a younger generation that is choosing to use transit. We are grateful for their ridership and ongoing support of our transit system.” 8


During its 2014 Annual AzTA conference in May in Tucson, AZ, the Arizona Transit Association (AzTA) named Veolia Transportation its outstanding vendor during the Excellence Awards ceremony, which recognizes a private sector supplier that has demonstrated superior support to the transit industry. Veolia General Manager in Tucson Kate Riley accepted the award on behalf of Veolia. Veolia Transportation operates the SunTran and SunVan services in Tucson and Phoenix Transit Fixed Route Service for the City of Phoenix. Carlos de Leon, deputy director of Transportation, City of Tucson, submitted the nomination. “Veolia has brought a wealth of value-added services, such as managing and bringing to fruition several significant system-wide changes to transit in the Tucson region,” he said. “These services included implementation of the Smartcard system, assistance with drafting fare policy, and providing staff to develop a Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA) of Transit Services for the City of Tucson.”


Prevost service goes round the clock in St. Nicolas The Prevost Service Center, St. Nicolas, QB, Canada, is now open 24 hours round the clock Monday 7:30 a.m. to Saturday 2:00 a.m. Prevost says the service facility provides seven repair bays to accommodate maintenance and repair from routine service to retrofits and comprehensive accident repairs for all makes and models of coaches, transit buses, motorhomes, and other specialty conversion vehicles. A controlled-access fence is operational after hours and monitored by a nighttime security patrol for safe access. “Our goal is to make sure Prevost premium service is easily available to our customers,” says Guillaume Charron, branch manager of the St. Nicolas facility. “These expanded hours of service will open a new level of The St. Nicolas service center is located at support to customers in 850, Chemin Olivier Saint-Nicolas, Quebec this area and those who G7A 2N1. travel through Quebec.” The St. Nicolas service center is located at 850, Chemin Olivier Saint-Nicolas, Quebec G7A 2N1.

Many ask if a London Bus will tip over if everyone sits at the top. This historic photo proves the vehicle is designed to withstand an incline greater than 45 degrees — never an issue in the Arizona desert.

London Bus grows in Phoenix As the season closed in late spring for London Bus, Phoenix, AZ, company President Jonathan Pring reported that the unique service has grown each year and this past quarter was the busiest yet. Pring also promises the state’s major sport teams a triumphant parade through the city in his new bus if any (or all) ever win a national championship.

SAVE FUEL. INCREASE STABILITY. REDUCE SPRAY. BUY AIRTABS. Apply Airtabs™ to the back of your motorcoach. You’ll notice instant results: • Up to 2-3% annual fuel savings per coach • Increased stability and less swaying at highway speeds • Less spray and snow collection on the back of the coach

For technical information, please visit To purchase please call 970-663-9075 or visit

Don’t let anything hold you back | BUSRIDE



IC Bus announces 2014 dates for IC Bus University Training IC Bus, Lisle, IL, is offering its IC Bus University training sessions at the C Bus Plant in Tulsa, OK. The remaining three classes are July 7-10, 2014; July 21-24, 2014; and August 4-7. Registration is $425, which includes instruction by IC Bus trainers, materials, transportation and lunches. The training sessions are limited to 60 participants per session. IC Bus University is a customer-focused training program for technicians, developed to optimize service and maintenance proficiency and broaden technician knowledge of IC Bus products. The training sessions are focused on engines, diagnostics and preventative maintenance and repair procedures Since 2008, more than 1,200 school bus technicians have participated in the program. IC Bus became the first school bus manufacturer to offer formal factory training for technicians. The program includes a full plant tour of the IC Bus facility in Tulsa and comprehensive information on parts, service and maintenance.

New J.J. Keller programs help companies comply with alcohol and drug testing requirements Keeping impaired drivers off the roads is critical to avoiding accidents. For companies with drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), so is complying with the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) alcohol and drug testing requirements. Two new training programs from J. J. Keller help make satisfying these requirements easier. Alcohol & Drug Testing: What Drivers Need To Know and Reasonable Suspicion Testing: What Supervisors Need To Know will help companies satisfy driver education and supervisor training requirements. Both programs feature engaging videos with real-world scenarios and support materials with learning activities. Together, they give drivers and supervisors a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities in the testing process.

BUSRide educational e-books now available BUSRide Magazine is proud to present a constantly updating lineup of e-books now available on From safety tips to Official Road Tests, BUSRide and its sponsors have collaborated to provide some of the most interesting and educational resources on the coach and transit industries available online. Here’s a brief preview of what you can learn about: • BUSRide Road Tests: The TX and CX coaches from Van Hool and the new J4500 from Motor Coach Industries (MCI) • Best bush washing practices • Public transit fuel efficiency • Bus fires in the United States Visit to download your free e-books today.




FEATURING: • Direct shipment from distribution center to operator • The first U.S. offered 75mph speed rated MOTORCOACH tire with a single load rating of 9,370 lbs. • 7% more tread than industry standard • Utilization of “e-balance” technology • Identified as “MOST RETREADABLE” brand by Tire Review Magazine (2012) • “SmartWay Verified” Low-Rolling Resistance “eRating” qualified • Easy purchase terms • High level of industry product satisfaction (See Customer Reviews-M144 Market Feedback)

M144 MARKET FEEDBACK “We have been testing the Toyo tires and they have been performing extremely well”

“The tires are doing great. Thanks for the good service and product”

Brian Scott, President Escot Bus Lines Largo, FL

Andy Barder, President Corporate Coach Ft Lauderdale, FL

“DATTCO has 20 sets running on our Van Hools and while we do not have mileage collected as of yet, the response from the drivers has been very positive concerning handling and ride quality”

“ABC Service Centers have sold hundreds of Toyo tires with very happy repeat customers”

Mike Vema, Fleet Manager DATTCO Bus Lines New Britain, CT “The Toyo tires we are currently running are giving us a superior ride and are showing better wear patterns than we have seen in many years. Customer service is A+, something that a lot of companies have forgotten about” John Adams, President Southern Coach Dothan, AL

Roman Cornell ABC Bus Winter Garden, FL

“We have been very impressed with the ride quality and performance of the Toyo tires” Mike Dickson, President Southeastern Stages Atlanta, GA

For more information contact: or call: 678.463.4110


ABC Companies / Van Hool added



CH Bus Sales / Temsa added





Air Bear Travel

New Mexico Texas Coaches

Northfield Lines

Northfield, MN

Southampton, NY

Air Bear owners Paul and Shelli France recently added two 2014 TX45s and two CX45s, as well as one refurbished T2145. The new coach acquisition consists of two Van Hool TX45s and two CXs which are driven by DD13 engines coupled to Allison B500G5 transmissions. All four are equipped with REI Elite Entertainment systems, Smart Wave Tire Monitoring Systems, Lane Departure Warning, 110 volt outlets and ASA Wi-Fi, Alcoa Durabrite wheels, enclosed parcel racks, card tables and passenger seat belts.

New Mexico Texas Coaches added one 2013 Van Hool C2045 to its fleet of nine motorcoaches for charter coach markets in both Carlsbad, NM, and Lubbock, TX. The coach features a Detroit DD13 engine coupled to an Allison B500G4 transmission. Passenger amenities include satellite radio and REI Elite system with 15” monitors. Safety features include backup camera, three-point seat belts, six-channel ABS system, lane departure warning, automatic traction control, fire detectors, electronic stability control and tire monitoring system.

Reflecting Northfield Lines’ commitment to passenger comfort, its new Van Hool CX 45 is equipped with a wood grain floor, 110 volt outlets, WiFi, enclosed parcel racks and REI’s elite entertainment system with six large video monitors, magazine nets, cup holders, Alcoa Dura Bright aluminum wheels, window shades and Van Hool’s unique rear passenger window.

Celebrating 40 years in business, Hampton Jitney took delivery on a Temsa TS 35 motorcoach, adding to its fleet of 54 coaches serving routes between between eastern Long Island and New York City, charters and tour throughout the northeast. The Temsa TS 35 coach comes wheelchair equipped with two tie downs and features 110V plugs, REI audio/video system and rear camera. The company needed a smaller vehicle that could handle tour and charter groups at venues not appropriate for the larger coaches such as the local vineyards and harbor sights.

Cheboygan, MI

Carlsbad, NM

Hampton Jitney

Motor Coach Industries (MCI) added







Klein Transportation

Rustad Bus Service

Trinity Transportation

Krapf’s Coaches

Klein Transportation coaches provide charters and tours to shows, business events, area casinos and vacation destinations. President Wayne Klein, a third generation owner, helped start this side of the business in 1979 with two used coaches. Today the fleet includes 15 MCI coaches, the most recent a 2014 MCI J4500 with plush tiered seating, onboard video monitors and portable Wi-Fi, and loaded with safety features such as fire-suppression system, tire monitoring and electronic stability control.

Rustad Bus Service, operator of Rustad Tours, added a fully loaded MCI J4500 wih tan leather seats, cupholders, woodgrain flooring, flat-screen video monitors, 110V outlets and Wi-Fi. Charles (Chuck) Rustad took over the business his father founded and purchased 11 new and many more preowned MCI coaches over the course of his career. He put the newest J4500 on a 30-day group tour to Arizona and Las Vegas.

Trinity Transportation Group runs an assorted fleet of more than 300 vehicles that includes 35 motorcoaches in its Trinity Coach division. The four newest MCI J4500s feature the full range of standard amenities and safety features, such as Wi-Fi and a top-of-the-line entertainment system, and electronic stability control, tire-pressure monitoring and a firesuppression system. Jerry Sheppard purchased Trinity Transportation in 1995 and bought his first coaches in 2001.

Krapf’s Coaches has welcomed a new 2014 MCI J4500 into its fleet. The coach is outfitted with outlets at every seat, Wi-Fi, woodgrain flooring, leathertrimmed seats and other amenities that make it the new luxury flagship of the Krapf fleet. Gary Krapf, president and thirdgeneration leader of the family-run company, credits his purchase decision both to a long history of buying MCI vehicles and a narrowing gap in today’s coaches between base price and upgrade costs.

Douglassville, PA,




Kerkhoven, MN

Wyandotte, MI

West Chester, PA


While other brands may tout increased fuel economy, only Prevost has the reputation to back it up. No gimmicks here, just the innovations that are known for making our motorcoaches run as efficiently as possible. These include features like the PRIME Energy Management System that keeps operation costs down by using engine negative torque to generate “free” electricity, thus increasing fuel economy. And the Volvo D13 engine with 2014 engine technology gives improved fuel efficiency, even over last year’s engine. Pair that with the I-Shift transmission, and you have the formula for optimal operational efficiency. Safety features, such as AWARE Adaptive Cruise Braking and the Electronic Stability Program, also help you avoid costly downtime by avoiding incidents and keeping your vehicles where they belong—on the road.

For more information: USA 336-393-3929 Canada 418-883-3391






The Centennial Tour celebrates the iconic brand in stops across America This year, Greyhound, the largest provider of intercity bus transportation in North America, commemorates its 100th anniversary with a series of events scheduled throughout the year. The events will showcase Greyhound’s growth from its first vehicle operating out of Hibbing, MN, to its current stance as one of the most iconic integral brands in America’s transportation infrastructure, carrying passengers to and from more than 3,800 destinations across North America. “Greyhound has joined an elite group of brands that have withstood the test of time to celebrate 100 years of business, but we’re only here because of hardworking employees doing what’s right when no one’s watching and dedication to delivering an exceptional customer experience,” says Dave Leach, president and CEO of Greyhound. “We’re proud of our rich heritage, and the changes we’ve made in the past five years to improve the travel experience are what we’re highlighting this year. We’re not done yet either, as we continue to look for innovative ways to enhance our technology, training, customer service, and ultimately our guest experience.” The company launched its Centennial Tour in May, with two buses converted into mobile museums simultaneously moving across the United States through December, visiting nearly 40 cities. The Centennial Tour features displays of memorabilia that include vintage signage, driver uniforms and an entire wall of history that presents Greyhound’s century transformation, as well as video displays showing on interactive touchscreens. The tours also feature several restored classic coaches, such as the 1914 Hupmobile, 1931 Mack, 1937 Yellow Coach, 1947 Silversides, 1948 ACF Brill I-41, 1954 Scenicruiser, 14


Greyhound converted two buses, one MCI and one Prevost, into mobile museums, simultaneously moving across the United States and visiting nearly 40 cities.

The tours also feature several restored classic coaches, such as the 1914 Hupmobile.

1968 Scenicruiser and the 1984 Americruiser 2, with the several of Greyhound’s new, modern coaches bring the exhibition to the present with such 21st century amenities as free Wi-Fi, leather seats, power outlets and extra legroom. From its humble beginnings in Hibbing, Greyhound has continued to lead the pack with innovations that have become standard in the intercity bus industry today. Greyhound was the first to introduce: • Rear-mounted engines with its 1936 Super Coach, giving the driver better visibility of the road ahead, along with the first belly compartments for luggage. • On-board air conditioning as a new feature in the late 1930s, along with other passenger comforts such as washrooms and an airsuspension ride • Express service between cities in as early as the 1950s, a service that was resurrected as Greyhound Express in 2010 with an enhanced

offering, including free Wi-Fi and a guaranteed seat • Introduced in 2013, personalized on-board entertainment delivered to customers’ personal devices with BLUE™ In 2007, Greyhound became a division of FirstGroup, the leading transport company in the United Kingdom and North America. Greyhound began buying new buses in 2000 which feature a neoclassic livery and equipped with modern amenities, the latest in safety features and environmental technology. By the end of this summer, nearly all of Greyhound’s fleet of more than 1,200 coaches will be new or like-new. Additionally, Greyhound is already working on a massive upgrade to its digital platforms, with a more modern reservations system, new online and mobile offerings and providing guests with real-time travel updates. “I started at Greyhound as a bag handler more than 25 years ago, and it is incredible to see where the company is today,” Leach added. “Bus travel is different now; the travel industry as a whole is different now. We’re always looking for ways to make the company better. I’ve stayed at Greyhound throughout the years because, in my opinion, I work for the greatest company in the U.S. We, as a Greyhound family, are passionate about this brand and are dedicated to bringing it into the next 100 years.” Above: From its humble beginnings in Hibbing, Greyhound has continued to lead the pack with innovations that resonate throughout the motorcoach industry.

Superintendent of Bus Maintenance Adirondack Trailways, with headquarters in the Hudson Valley of New York State, seeks a seasoned Maintenance Professional. Applicants for this position must have supervisory experience in a bus maintenance facility and will oversee all prevention and daily maintenance for a fleet of more than 100 buses in areas such as: • The efficient and cost effective management of the Maintenance Department • Supervising, motivating and evaluation of personnel • Ensuring compliance with DOT, Safety, A.D.A., and Environmental Regulations Technical expertise in diesel engines, drive train systems, components, air conditioning, and electrical systems is critical. Experience is also required in: • Administration • Office Management • Computerized vehicle maintenance systems The Superintendent of Maintenance is considered a safety sensitive position, and is subject to Federal drug and alcohol testing regulations. This position provides a highly competitive compensation package including relocation expenses, company vehicle, 401K plan, health benefits package and more. Interested applicants should send resume and letter of interest to: - or Superintendent Adirondack Trailways 499 Hurley Avenue EOE/AA/M/F/Vet/Disability Hurley, NY 12443 | BUSRIDE


How to live to be

As it always has for the last century, All Resort Group-Lewis Stages remains flexible and attuned to customer needs By David Hubbard


ad buses been around at the time, Orson Lewis may have launched his bus business even sooner. However, it was 1914 and he was only 16 years old when the idea struck him to transport miners between Salt Lake City, UT, and the Bingham Canyon Copper Mine. By then he had scraped together enough money shoveling salt into boxcars for the Morton Salt Company to buy the only vehicle available, a very early Model T Ford. From that point on, his company has essentially paralleled the development and evolution of the bus and motorcoach industry, procuring the latest vehicles that always represented the cutting edge; such classics as Yellow Buses and GM Silversides.

New owners refreshed the distinctive and iconic Red Horse that marks Lewis Stages throughout the West. 16


For 100 years, Lewis Stages has essentially paralleled the development and evolution of the bus and motorcoach industry, procuring the latest vehicles that always represented the cutting edge of the time.

Little did the young entrepreneur know Bingham Stage Lines would find ways to keep afloat and thrive and for the next 100 years. It is a fitting symbol of stability and continuity that All Resort Group-Lewis Stages continues today serving a contract to shuttle employees at the site where it all began, only now known as RioTinto-Kennecott Utah Copper. Lewis Stages continues to count its relationships with the prime motorcoach OEMs among the keys to longevity. The company currently operates a mixed fleet of 41 motorcoaches that includes Prevost, MCI and Setra models, as well as 12 Van Hool T2145s. Stretching into the next 100 years, the company first partnered with ABC Companies, Faribault, MN, in 2008, and the next procurement is most likely to include the new Van Hool TX45. “To the best of our knowledge, my grandfather received the first commercial chauffer’s license to be issued by the State of Utah,” Lewis Stages partnered with ABC Companies in 2008. says Steve Lewis, who now serves on the board of Lewis Stages. “He Stages one month to qualify a crew of 40 by the deadline. was third oldest of seven brothers and step brothers, but by far the “We didn’t know exactly what the contract entailed until one day most enterprising.” after we were awarded the business,” Lewis says. “We later learned Orson Lewis developed a hub-and-spoke operation to serve the many inspectors that the USSR sent over were connected to the KGB and outlying communities around Salt Lake City, and eventually recruited GRU-Russian Army Intelligence.” his brothers to help him grow the company as Lewis Brothers Stages Continuing long-term partnerships over the years include 60-plus through World War II. years with the Utah Symphony, University of Utah Athletics, and 30 “Orson survived the Great Depression of the 1930s by the skin of his years carrying the cast of the LDS Church’s Palmyra Pageant, as well teeth,” Lewis says. “He paid his employees and met expenses on a daily as providing ground transportation for the NBA Utah Jazz since 1979. basis out of the cash receipts, and was able to keep the company moving After operating scheduled service to Park City from 1938 until forward. Then throughout the war he made ends meet transporting 2002, Lewis Stage was counting on the 2002 Winter Olympic Games troops to and from Camp Kearns Army Corps and Salt Lake City.” in Salt Lake City to bolster that market for many more years to come. Lewis says after World War II, the bus business dwindled, with According to Lewis, the Olympics had the exact opposite effect. regular scheduled service taking a major hit as people were caught up The exposure of the Olympics presented Park City as far more than in buying private automobiles and relying less on public transport. a cozy ski area in a mining community in the Wasatch Mountains. “As the company could no longer meet the mounting overhead, my When the ski world discovered this splendorous venue, the flood gates grandfather sold off a number of local routes to Greyhound,” Lewis opened, vaulting on Park City into the international limelight. says. “One stipulation Orson required was that the brothers become “The market for mass transportation in Park City died like it had seniority drivers for Greyhound. The company honored his unusual been shot in the head,” Lewis says. “Since then it has trended away request and four Lewis brothers eventually retired with immaculate from shared ride shuttles into specialty transportation, running town driving records.” cars and SUVs, that caters to a very high end crowd.” According to Lewis, after returning from the war in Europe as an Army engineer in Patton’s March on Germany, his father Joe Lewis enjoyed one Enter All Resort Group day of rest before reporting to Orson for duty in the company. Between the Olympics and the aftermath of 9/11, Lewis limped along “My father ran the company for the next 35 years as Lewis Bros. for another two years before seriously considering alternative plans. Stages,” he says. “I took over in 1972 after I graduated from college.” Well before then, Gordon Cummins, president / founder, All Resort Lewis says during his father’s era, a much smaller company dealt Group, had been learning the shared-ride shuttle business working with the challenges of the 1950s and 1960s. Envisioning the charter for Park City Transportation. That experience led him to establish bus market as the future, Joe Lewis began developing a customer base his own company, All Resort Express, with four GM Suburbans in and assembled a diverse high quality fleet to serve the charter and ski 1990. The company grew quickly into the largest van company in Park markets in the Salt Lake City area. He also began working with tour City. Though poised for further growth by 2004, Cummins realized operators for the first in the company’s history. he lacked the necessary horsepower and financial resources to take His partnership association with the premier the next step and elected to sell a group travel company Tauck Tours marked the majority of ownership to next big jump into more profitable ventures, and his current business partner continues to thrive after 48 years. Richard Bizarro, a high-level When Steve Lewis stepped in, he drew on businessman interested in his company’s sterling reputation to grow the growing companies. lucrative contract business, which included a “As the All Resort Group, lasting partnership with the U.S. National Park we immediately began looking Service and Bryce Canyon. Lewis notes one at companies that would meld of the more unusual contracts was with the well with our operations,” U.S. Department of Defense to carry Russian Cummins says. “Lewis Bros. inspectors to a missile manufacturing plant immediately came to light. I had in Utah as part of the INF disarmament contracted with the company agreement from 1988 to 2001. The contract during the 1990s for larger ski required anyone associated with this service groups and tours, and worked Joe and Steve Lewis pose have a Top-Secret clearance, and allowed Lewis with an early Ford Model T. with operators from around the | BUSRIDE


country during the 2002 Olympic Games providing coach service for Coca Cola Company, the games’ largest sponsor. By then I had caught the bus fever.” Cummins says he had always respected Lewis as a businessman, and was not going in blind to discuss a deal. He and Bizarro initiated negotiations for Lewis Bros. and came to an agreement, acquiring ownership of the company in 2006, whose legal became All Resort Group-Lewis Stages. The principles agreed that the new partnership provided both entities with some very much needed financial muscle. He says All Resort Group brought a fresh perspective in understanding where the company was losing money, as well as knowing the actual operational costs. The owners also refreshed the distinctive and iconic Red Horse that marks Lewis Stages throughout the West. “This move reinvigorated the company and catapulted us to our 100th year,” Lewis says. “The All Resort Group brought a different vision to our operations that has carried the company.” Lewis operated the company for two more years after the sale, about the time his father passed away; and now serves as a member of the board, consulting and working in customer relations while pursuing business interests outside the company. “Richard and I see ourselves as businessmen who happen to own a bus company,” Cummins says. “This is what Steve felt his company needed when he agreed to partner with us.” Cummins says in eight years, All Resort Group has turned the company around and grown the business to approximately $15 million annually. In the process, the company acquired Park City Transportation, Premier Transportation and Destination VIP, a destination management company. “Our goal has been to run a well-rounded year-round company,” Cummins says. “We need to do business 12 months a year, because we make payments 12 months a year.”



State-of-the-art amenities keep Lewis Stages moving forward.

When Cummins strongly urged Lewis Stages expand operations into Las Vegas, NV, All Resort Group moved to open the branch facility in 2011. He says the timing was perfect as the economy was rebounding following the 2008 recession. Nuts and bolts Fleet management and maintenance falls to Lamont Nelson, an industry veteran from Salt Lake City whose father once drove for Lewis Stages. Overseeing the maintenance program, Nelson divides his time between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, pulling tour preps, preventive maintenance and 100,000-mile inspections. “Because of the severe climates we operate in year round, desert heat in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, and brutal cold winters in the mountain, we place a high premium on preventative maintenance and fleet management,” Nelson says. “PM cost simply does not compare to the cost and inconvenience of breakdowns out on the road. This is what keeps us a healthy company for as long we are in business.”

Reflecting on 100 years “Considering what it actually takes to survive 100 years in business — when I look back and assess all that I have heard about my grandfather in the early days of our business and my dad’s era, plus my own experience — I think it all has to do with everyone remaining extremely flexible,” Lewis says. “It goes hand in glove with being extremely sensitive to precisely where our customers are leading the company and continue to act on the opportunities they have presented over the years.” He says Lewis Stages has always placed hyper focus on its truly valued and intimately connected partners — not just the biggest customers, but the most challenging as well. “We have been able to expand our reach and gain more expertise by learning how to please our toughest customers,” Lewis says. “They teach us to really run our business well by telling us what they need. This is where all the good stuff happens.” Lewis stresses the importance of engaging employees to carry the company message, noting how their pride reflects directly in how they carry out their jobs. He recalls a winter day a few years back when a horrendous blizzard forced Deer Valley Ski Resort to close the lifts and get 5,000 skiers safely off the mountain and back to their lodging. “The only time I ever got a call from the president of the Deer Valley Ski Area, and he phoned to thank me for something I wasn’t even aware my drivers had done,” Lewis says. “They took it totally on themselves at the height of this severe blizzard that forced the ski area to shut down, to totally reorganize our regular routes in response to this sudden predicament. They rededicated all available buses to getting people off the slopes and into the main street lodging area in Park City — without ever calling me to ask what to do.” The company’s 100-year track record is a remarkable achievement

The Van Hool coach guarantees passenger comfort.

that makes the new owners and partners very proud. “It’s not hard to understand why Lewis Stages is celebrating 100 years of successful business,” says Clint Guth, ABC Companies Senior VP, West. “Being a family owned business ourselves, I am proud of our partnership with Lewis Stages,” says ABC Companies Chairman and CEO Dane Cornell. “I congratulate Lewis Stages on 100 years of success and “I look forward to working together to continue to grow the business for many years to come.” Joe Lewis would concur, having had the opportunity to spend time and hitting it off with ABC Companies founder Clancy Cornell prior to inking a deal to run Van Hools. “We feel absolutely privileged to be part of a company that has survived 100 years doing business every day of the year,” Cummins says. “Not too many companies will ever have such an opportunity. Still, our fundamental philosophy is we are only as good as our last trip. Failure only sets us up for disaster if we don’t recognize the problem and find a fix. Our goal is to carry on the traditions.” Those that Orson Lewis established as a young man. | BUSRIDE


Prevost Prep answers the call

Prevost has established Prevost Prep in partnership with the United Motorcoach Assocation.

Prevost generously partners with UMA and Hire Heroes USA to recruit and train coach drivers By David Hubbard

Prevost, St. Claire, QB, Canada, has made a generous commitment to help fulfill the need for bus and coach operators in hiring and training drivers. In partnership with the United Motorcoach Association (UMA), Alexandria, VA, the company has established Prevost Prep, or more formally the Preparatory School for Professional Motorcoach Drivers, offered solely online through the Bus and Motorcoach Academy at the Clarence Cornell School of Business and the College of Southern Maryland. “Drivers are cornerstone resources of the industry and we must do what we can to encourage skilled drivers,” says Prevost CEO Gaetan Bolduc. “Training is an important part of that attraction and retention.” Recognizing that motorcoach operators are greatly challenged in recruiting, training and retaining qualified drivers, Prevost has committed to supporting this specialized program over the next 10 years. The company is pulling out all the stops. “Prevost’s support for the UMA Bus and Motorcoach Academy Driver Program is in recognition of just how important the driver is to the overall success of a motorcoach company,” says UMA CEO Victor Parra. “The driver establishes the company’s brand and may be the only reason a customer uses that company again, or chooses not to.” Prevost Prep prepares prospective drivers to pass the CDL written exam and provides a thorough review of applicable industry regulations for those already licensed. “The convenience of learning online has revolutionized education and training in general and fits the budget and time challenges of most operators and prospective drivers,” Parra says. “The generous long term financial commitment of Prevost allows the development of courses and keeps tuition costs manageable.” According to UMA Vice President Ken Presley, the Academy previously offered a series of five courses for licensed drivers desiring 20


to expand their knowledge and earn certification, as some member companies offer additional compensation as an incentive for their completing this program. He says Prevost Prep squarely anchors the Academy’s offerings and now affords the opportunity for operators to solve their recruiting challenges economically and timely. “What the Academy did not offer prior to Prevost Prep were courses to prepare prospective drivers for the state written exam and behind-the-wheel training,” Presley says. “We completely updated our existing driver curriculum and added new sections and courses. Additionally, the College of Southern Maryland converted all Academy courses to a new platform.” He says that for the vast preponderance of carriers operating small fleets, recruiting needs are usually too small to conduct traditional classroom sessions. “Skilled instructors and curriculum are in short supply,” he says. “This, of course, makes Prevost Prep a natural solution for operators to increase their number of drivers at will.” The financial assistance by Prevost includes its provision of Prevost Prep scholarships for drivers and prospective drivers. Application for scholarships is through UMA, which the association awards on behalf of Prevost. These scholarships are open to the entire industry, not only to Prevost customers and UMA members. Scholarships are for partial tuition on the complete course package based on UMA’s criteria. Participants who complete the program satisfactorily receive a letter of completion for submission to an insurance company for renewals. Prevost teams with Hire Heroes USA Through its recent partnership with Hire Heroes USA, Alpharetta, GA, Prevost is further introducing the bus and coach industry to military veterans seeking to overcome employment barriers and enter

Prevost says drivers are cornerstone resources of the industry.

the civilian job market, and land good jobs with good companies. Both organizations encourage bus and coach operators with open positions for qualified drivers and maintenance personnel to post them on the Hire Heroes USA website. Prevost makes this service available to all motorcoach operators, as the company recognizes the value of bringing qualified veterans to the industry. Simply fill out the open position form provided at www., and Prevost will take care of the rest. “Returning veterans are a valuable resource,” Bolduc says. “The skills they possess are a strong foundation, well-suited to supplying significant value to a motorcoach business.” Hire Heroes USA assists veterans in creating effective resumes and provides jobsearch coaching that transitions military experience into civilian applications. The organization shows employers the value trained veterans bring to the workplace and creates opportunities for employers to meet those veterans. The problem, it says, is the stigma often associated with veterans, noting that a significant number of employers perceive Iraq and Afghanistan veterans as poor job candidates due to physical injuries or psychological disorders. Hire Heroes USA instead points to the positive attributes military veterans bring to the table:

• They understand practical ways to manage and achieve goals in even the most trying circumstances. • They know genuine teamwork grows out of a responsibility to one’s colleagues. • Veterans have worked respectfully and cooperatively alongside others regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or mental and physical capabilities. • They understand how policies and procedures yield stability, safety and productivity in all areas of the operation. If that is not enough, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 provides an expanded Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to businesses that hire eligible unemployed veterans. Also, for the first time, it makes the credit available to certain taxexempt organizations. The credit can be as high as $9,600 per veteran for for-profit employers or up to $6,240 for tax-exempt organizations. The amount of credit depends on a number of factors, including the length of the veteran’s unemployment before hire, hours a veteran works, and the amount of first-year wages paid. Employers who hire veterans with service-related disabilities may be eligible for the maximum credit. | BUSRIDE


Focus on innovation

Crosspoint Kinetics improves on a very fresh idea Refinements result in the second generation hybrid system By Rob Higley

The Crosspoint Kinetics Second Generation Hybrid System is all about energy regeneration and conservation.

Innovation entails real problems that encompass all the facts and possible solutions, as well as the perseverance to try and fail before arriving at the final product. In the industrial arena, the creative process bears the extra burden of function that applies to the need at hand. Larry Zepp, chief technologist, Crosspoint Kinetics, Fort Wayne, IN, applied every step of the process to arrive at his variable torque parallel hybrid drive system. He says the idea came to him in a proverbial flash. Zepp knows all about making a good idea happen, having fought battles at his previous positions trying to get management to understand his more circuitous routes to creative thinking. “When I have a problem I must solve creatively, I park it in the back of my brain and wait,” he says. “The solution comes whether I am awake or asleep. When inspiration strikes and I visualize the solution, all I have to do is build it.” In this case, he envisioned the mechanics that could weaken the magnetic field in a revolutionary way for his hybrid-electric motor for medium heavy-duty buses. “I realized the VW Bug I drove in college had CB joints in the halfshafts,” he says. “I could see the inner slide of the rotor moving up and down the shaft to reduce the strength of the permanent magnet and act as a transmission.” 22


Five years later, Zepp and his small team of five engineers were looking at their simple and elegant retrofit variable torque hybrid-electric system. Consisting of an electric motor that attaches to the drive shaft, a unit controller and a robust bank of ultracapacitors in place of batteries, the vehicle operates predominately on stored electric energy, delivering more power at less cost. Crosspoint Kinetics only encourages Zepp’s innovative approach. Combined with the Cummins Engine product development process, he has since continued to refine the product as the Second Generation Crosspoint Kinetics Hybrid system, which satisfies all earlier issues with the original. The system now weighs less and fits with any chassis and engine. The modular design easily installs in most front engine vehicles; either as OEM or already in service as a retrofit. The Altoona-tested system applies to most front engine-rear drive Class 3 to 7; 11,000 to 36,000 lb. GVWR, and essentially functions as a driveline accessory, which transfers easily between vehicles. Completely engine and fuel neutral, the system allows normal vehicle operation when the hybrid system is turned off. The launch-assist ultracapacitors deliver 16 to 32 seconds of 400 ft/lbs incremental torque, with a power range of 0-30 mph and a regeneration range of 35-0 mph. At 85-plus percent efficiency, the ultracapacitors capture the majority of regenerated energy. One 63 lb. ultra-capacitor equates to 400 lbs of NiMH batteries. The major components of this stand-alone sub-system are plugand-play sealed units, which are serviced as a sealed unit. There are no connections to engine ECM or CAN. Zepp’s business card says it all: a quote from computer scientist Alan Kay reads, the best way to predict the future is to invent it. Focus on Innovation, is sponsored by Crosspoint Kinetics, Ft. Wayne, IN. Visit Rob Higley serves as marketing director for Crosspoint Kinetics.


Ask the

Safety Experts Vehicular safety technology

best demonstrates your company’s Q: What commitment to safety?

commitment to safety includes the Bendix Adaptive Cruise A: Prevost’s Braking System which maintains a preset following distance while using

Restraint and wheelchair safety

rearward facing is the most common method of Q: Ifwheel chair securement in Europe and Canada, why isn’t it more common in the United States?

rear facing systems have not always met the requirements of A: Traditional ADA. Some have offered independence for wheelchair passengers while

cruise control as well as visual and audible alerts when not using cruise. The Kidde Fire Suppression System is available, providing temperature monitoring and extinguishing functions. The Beru Tire Pressure monitor can alert your driver to a low or high pressure condition. Prevost offers webinars and direct training on these and other safety related systems, as well as overall coach and powertrain training!

sacrificing safety; others require driver assistance and invasive maneuvers in order to comply. We are excited to see there is a growing trend towards rear facing in the United States, and we are proud to introduce the Quantum Securement System as the first fully automatic rear-facing wheelchair securement station that combines passenger safety with independence. For more information on the Quantum Securement System visit: http://www.

Robert Buchwalter Service Training Manager

Mike Laidlaw 1.800.987.9987 Regional Manager – Transit and Rail


best demonstrates your company’s Q: What commitment to safety? commitment to the transportation industry is confirmed by the A: Sony’s fact that in 2014 we released our XM series cameras designed to meet the

stringent video requirements common in this market. Sony’s XM series cameras outperform expectations in video resolution, image stabilization, wide dynamic range and audio for users in this market. This small form factor, IP66 and IK10 rated camera is very robust and capable of providing high quality video while handling the harsh environments in transportation.

John Recesso Strategic Business Development Manager, Sony Electronics’ Security Systems Division

Emergency preparedness & security

safety videos have been in the news Q: Pre-departure lately. Why are pre-departure safety videos important and how do you ensure your drivers are playing them?

safety videos are critical on many fronts. The most important A: Pre-departure reason is to ensure that passengers understand all of the safety features

on the bus and be able to exit the vehicle safely in case of emergency. I highly recommend that all bus companies invest in developing their own pre-departure safety videos. There are many boilerplate pre-departure videos including ones produced by associations and insurance companies. However, with the many different types of vehicles in today’s marketplace the boilerplate videos might not have the same safety features as your vehicle. In the unfortunate case your bus company ever has an accident and you go to trial, a good attorney could have a field day knowing that the pre-departure safety video did not have the correct safety features of your company’s vehicle. A lot of companies add some gratuity language at the end Ryan Kelly of their videos. I find that this is a very President motivating factor to ensure drivers play the pre-departure safety video. | BUSRIDE






ER S AFETY S ERIE Vehicular Safety Technology


RESNA raises restraint standards Q’Straint explains what new WC18 standards mean for wheelchair transportation With safety as the number one priority in wheelchair transportation, the Rehabilitation Engineering Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) has updated the WC18 standards for wheelchair tiedown and occupant restraint systems (WTORS), which will take effect in December 2015.

Q’Straint recently unveilved the iQ Research Center of Excellence to enhance the company’s product development capabilities. Tfacility features state-ofthe-art technologies such as a HYGE™ crash simulation system and Phantom high-speed cameras. 24


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ER S AFETY S ERIE Vehicular Safety Technology

While WC19 was the first industry standard in the U.S. for wheelchair manufacturers to address the design and performance of wheelchairs used as seats in motor vehicles, WC18 governs the systems used to safely secure the wheelchairs within the personal or commercial vehicle. Currently, WC18 requires that WTORS withstand a sled impact test using a 30 mph/20 g crash pulse, a 187 pound surrogate wheelchair and a 170 pound midsize adult male crash-test dummy where the lap belt is anchored to the vehicle. Since new WC19 standards now require the availability of an optional wheelchair–anchored lap belt to hold the occupant into place, RESNA had to address the higher wheelchair forces that would be transmitted to the tie-down/securement systems when a person riding in a wheelchair is using that optional lap belt. As a result, RESNA developed the new WC18 standard requiring that WTORS must also be able to withstand the increased forces generated in a second impact test, in which the 170 pound crash-test dummy is restrained by a lap belt that is anchored to the surrogate wheelchair rather than to the vehicle itself. Manufacturers of wheelchair and occupant restraint systems and those responsible for transporting people dependent on wheelchairs need to be planning now for the new safety regulations. One way to ensure compliance with the new WC18 standards by the December 2015 deadline is to consider equipment upgrades to transportation fleets and personal mobility vehicles in advance. “Transit providers, including those who provide school transportation, paratransit and public-bus services, and family members and caregivers who operate private vehicles need to be aware of these new standards and products that comply with them,” says Dr. Larry Schneider, a research professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. “They should also give serious consideration to purchasing and installing the latest versions of tie-down and restraint equipment as they have improved over the years to become much easier to use, especially for people who are traveling while seated in a WC19 wheelchair with four easily accessible securement points.” In response to the new WC18 standards, Q’Straint developed the first retractor 26



to meet the requirements, demonstrating an increasing commitment to the safety of travelers seated in wheelchairs. The QRT-360 is the first four-point, heavy duty, fully automatic retractable tie-down system designed, engineered and built to perform successfully in the required 30 mph frontal crash when a wheelchair passenger is traveling in a motor vehicle and is using the optional lap belt as discussed above. It also offers a shortened retractor footprint that allows for more flexibility in vehicle anchor-point locations to better accommodate large wheelchairs. The revolutionary new product is therefore compatible with the widest variety of wheelchairs and is an acceptable solution to wheelchair securement in all types of motor vehicles. In addition, the self-tensioning strap-type tie-down system automatically tightens the straps during small wheelchair movements that occur during travel to eliminate slack. The belts continue to tighten during low-g vehicle accelerations, thereby further reducing the potential for wheelchair movement in the event of a collision. The webbing used in this system has also been redesigned and is twice as strong as the material used with other wheelchair and occupant restraint systems. The benefits of the new WC18 standards address not only improved passenger safety, but also offer a more efficient and independent securement process. Just as Q’Straint embraced the new WC18 standards by developing and offering the QRT-360, transit providers, including those who provide school transportation, paratransit and public-bus services, and family members and caregivers who operate private vehicles, should begin their compliance preparations and familiarize themselves with these new standards and the products that abide by them. For more information on Q’Straint’s QRT360 retractor and its compliance with WC18, visit

I’ve Gained Weight Revised guidelines are increasing the weight load on wheelchair restraint systems.

Introducing the first heavy duty, fully automatic retractable tie-downs designed, engineered and built to perform to the new standards.

Meets WC18/19

The countdown has already begun to the adoption of the revised ANSI/RESNA WC18 standard for Wheelchair Tie-downs and Occupant Restraint Systems (WTORS). The new WC19 wheelchairs with their integrated lap belts produce up to 60% higher loading on the WTORS in a collision. Stronger restraint systems that meet the WC18 criteria are required.

Get to know the new standard at:





ER S AFETY S ERIE Vehicular Safety Technology


New surveillance technology helps bus operators better protect drivers and passengers By John Recesso Most bus operators have invested heavily in video security for facilities such as terminals, stations and infrastructure. However, far fewer have taken the next step and installed video cameras on board buses in order to protect drivers and passengers on active routes. A case in point is the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), which provides bus and rail service primarily in Salt Lake City and the surrounding area. While UTA already has some cameras on trains and platforms, the agency announced in May that it is installing cameras on every bus it operates. UTA thinks the $2.5 million investment will save the agency money in the long run, by cutting down on insurance claims and helping the police solve crimes. Likewise, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) started installing security cameras on its buses earlier this year. The $6.9 million project is funded by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security. Onboard surveillance is a trend that has been gaining momentum in recent years, particularly as camera technology has dramatically improved. Moving buses were once considered one of the most difficult environments for IP surveillance cameras. For instance, a bus rattling along its route resulted in shaky, unusable video. In addition, rapidly changing lighting conditions – such as a bus entering or exiting a tunnel, or headlights shining into windows at night – wreaked havoc on video quality. Remote access to video has also been an issue. Operators traditionally used onboard recording devices, which greatly limited the video’s usefulness in active emergency scenarios because it could not be remotely viewed. Thankfully, the surveillance industry has been addressing all of these challenges in recent years, and now onboard surveillance is now more practical than ever. The primary camera technology advances that bus operators should consider for current and future installations are: • Image stabilization New image stabilization technologies reduce the impact of camera shake in moving buses, resulting in less blurry, more usable video. This makes it easier to identify people of interest and their unique features. There are various ways IP cameras compensate for shaking, and small form-factor cameras – like those typically used on buses – often use software to stabilize the movement of the pixels and provide smooth video. 28






ER S AFETY S ERIE Vehicular Safety Technology

• Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) WDR improves image quality for security cameras operating in difficult lighting conditions. In terms of surveillance, poor lighting can be defined as dim light, such as nighttime conditions; bright light, such as sun shining directly into a window; or rapidly changing light from external factors like tunnels or headlights. WDR technology allows clear images to be seen in light and dark areas simultaneously, rather than overexposing or underexposing various areas of the scene. This makes the video more usable in a wide range of circumstances. While this technology prevents video from being too dark or too washed out, it is important to note that the security industry currently does not have any standards for WDR, and it can generally range from a low of 60dB to a high of 130dB. With as many as 70dB separating vendors, bus operators need to field test various camera models in order to find which one best meets their requirements. • Mobile Capabilities & SD Card Support Mobile capabilities and SD card support are important because they have changed the way video can be stored and viewed from onboard buses. Mobile network capabilities allow video to be sent to a remote site for viewing and storage. For example, the MBTA is using cameras that can stream live video over a 4G LTE network. This allows MBTA staff USSC-074 FMNAinAd_BRM.pdf 1 5/21/14 12:19center. PM to watch bus activity real time from a bus control MBTA


Transit Police officers can also access the video from inside their cruisers. SD card support reduces the need for bulky onboard video recorders because video can be stored directly on the camera. In addition, if the bus goes out of the mobile network’s range, video is recorded to the SD card and then streamed back to a command center once the bus is within the mobile network’s coverage area. • Audio Support Audio is not new to IP cameras or the surveillance industry, but it is a relatively new development for onboard surveillance. Today, cameras can be equipped with microphones that capture sound along with video and transmit the audio feed back to control centers. This can be helpful in verifying witness testimony or identifying the root of a problem. For example, did a fight break out because the aggressor was verbally assaulted first? Video alone does not always tell the whole story, so audio can be critical in filling in the gaps. With all of these advances in IP camera technology, we expect that the trend of onboard surveillance is one that will only continue to grow. John Recesso is a strategic business development manager with Sony Electronics’ Security Systems Division. He leads the division’s initiatives within the mass transit market. Above: Cameras like the SNC-XM636 minidome from Sony are engineered to cope with the specific demands of video monitoring inside road vehicles such as buses.

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By Curtis Stitt President/CEO Central Ohio Transit Authority

plans for future

COTA began working on BRT/ Enhanced Bus Service In 2010 to Cleveland Avenue, one of Columbus’ busiest corridors.


olumbus is the largest city in Ohio and the 15th-fastestgrowing city in the country. It is the only Midwestern city that experienced significant growth from 2012 to 2013. Projections indicate that by 2050 the central Ohio region will grow by 500,000 people. As the region looks ahead to this growth and the impact it will have on the community, the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) is mapping out its strategic vision for the future of public transportation in the region; aligning its goals with the goals of the greater community. COTA intends to maximize current transit service for a solid foundation to plan and build the next generation of public transportation to meet the needs of this growing community. CBUS enhances downtown Since May, CBUS has enabled downtown employees, Columbusarea residents and visitors to make connections between residential districts, employment centers, dining, nightlife, cultural offerings, parks, hotels and convention facilities. The COTA Board of Trustees has made a commitment to provide CBUS service free to the community through the end of 2014 in support



CBUS, a circulator system named for the city’s favorite nickname, now serves downtown Columbus and adjacent neighborhoods.

of private and public sector efforts to attract residents, businesses and visitors to the revitalized core of the city. Funding models and sponsorship opportunities are being explored that would make CBUS service free indefinitely. New Albany Park & Ride connects residents In September, COTA will introduce reverse commute service from downtown and the Easton Transit Center to a large business park that has been developing in New Albany. While the park boasts 9,000 jobs, employers are challenged to find people to fill the jobs being created. Recognizing that lack of accessibility is playing a role in jobs going unfilled, New Albany is partnering with COTA to find a solution. The city has contributed funds for the development of a new Park & Ride facility and has agreed to provide shuttle service that will disperse riders throughout the expansive business park. This unique partnership will provide the connectivity needs to fill the jobs housed in the business park and further contribute to the economic development of the region.

THE TRANSIT Authority Strengthening the Foundation In October 2013, COTA embarked on a complete review of its bus network. The intent of this Transit System Review (TSR) is to improve the effectiveness of COTA’s bus network to meet the needs of growing and changing land uses in central Ohio. The recommendations will be constrained by COTA’s current funding levels. The TSR, which consultants led by IBI Group are developing, assesses current service and regional characteristics through input solicited from COTA customers, community leaders and other stakeholders. IBI Group, in conjunction with the COTA staff, developed three bus network scenarios and public feedback was sought to help COTA answer the question: How should our public transportation resources be invested? The scenarios illustrate different ways COTA could invest its resources: maximize ridership through frequent service in areas favorable to transit; spread service throughout the region to provide some level of coverage to as many people as possible; and a midpoint combination of the ridership and coverage scenarios. In May and June, COTA sought additional public input on a draft proposed network and draft downtown operations plan exemplifying a 70/30 percent split between ridership and coverage scenarios. These draft plans were the result of the previous round of public input, and direction provided by COTA stakeholders and the Board of Trustees. The final deliverable, expected to be completed in September 2014, will include a proposed bus network and downtown operations plan. Bus Rapid Transit In 2010, COTA began working to bring Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)/ Enhanced Bus Service to Cleveland Avenue in order to provide an improved transit option within one of Columbus’ busiest corridors.

Local Line 1 currently serving Cleveland Avenue/Livingston is the second busiest route in the system, with ridership averaging nearly 4,800 daily weekday trips – often with standing room only. The proposed 15.6 mile service will transport riders between downtown Columbus and Polaris Parkway/Africa Road, stopping at 74 designated locations in both directions along the way. The line will complement Line 1 and connect with existing bus routes. The service will run primarily within mixed traffic between downtown Columbus and Polaris Parkway/Africa Road. It will operate in bus-only lanes on High Street (Columbus’ main thoroughfare) during rush hours in downtown. Traffic signals will be coordinated to provide priority for BRT buses between Fort Hayes and SR-161, reducing travel times. The line will feature 10-minute frequency of service during peak hours and 15-minute frequency of service during off-peak hours between downtown and SR-161. Service will operate seven days a week. The preliminary project cost is $39.4 million, of which COTA is seeking 80 percent or $31.5 million in grant funding from FTA’s Section 5309 New Starts program. The Next Generation Even after ensuring that COTA’s goals align with the larger goals of the community and solidifying its foundation of bus service throughout the region, COTA knows its current system is not equipped to provide the service that will be needed as central Ohio continues to grow and expand. Later this year, COTA will lead the central Ohio community in envisioning what the next generation of public transportation might look like 20, 30 or even 40 years from now. This extensive visioning process will reach out to all of the members of the community with an interest in our future transit model, and will not be fiscally constrained or restricted by transit mode.

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Alexander Dennis By Doug Jack

drives on

Finding its headquarters at Falkirk, Scotland, “full to bursting” and urgently needing more space, Alexander Dennis held a major press conference in May at its new facility at Larbert, about four miles away. Volume production of single and double-decker buses for home and export markets will continue at the Falkirk factory. The Larbert factory will take over the preparation and packing of bodywork supplied in kits for assembly in overseas markets such as Hong Kong. The main purpose of the press event was to launch a new two-axle double-decker bus for the British market. Though keeping the name Enviro400 with a resemblance in the styling, much of the vehicle is completely new. Alexander Dennis knew when Euro 6 engine emission limits came into force this year, engines were certain to require larger cooling systems. They could have opted to re-engineer the existing model to accommodate the latest generation of engine, but instead opted to develop a completely new project. Colin Robertson joined the company as CEO in March 2007. Since that time, he has led a major transformation of the company’s products and its relationships with its customers, and is fond of saying, “We must walk in our customer’s shoes.” For this project, an engineering team tackled it from two directions. First, looking at the previous Enviro400 and going through all the service and warranty records, identifying features that could benefit from improvement. Second, and much more significant, was to involve around 70 customers almost from the outset. They were not just fleet engineers, but chief executives, operational, maintenance, training and driving staff who attended a series of clinics as the project evolved. To my amazement, in a tight-knit industry in a small country by your standards, their involvement in the project, and knowledge of details did not leak to the public. The new Enviro400 is available with three optional lengths, with a standard height of 14 feet, 2 inches, without any loss of internal headroom. There is the option of 13 feet, 10 inches. The shortest is a fraction under 34 feet and is designed for the London market where maneuverability is very important. It is the only version available with two double-width doors. The second 35 feet, 9 inch, option length is the only model available at either height. The longest is 37 feet, 9 inches, with the capacity to seat up to 86 passengers. Power for the new Enviro400 is from a Cummins 6.7-liter ISB Euro 6 engine developing 250bhp and mounted transversely at the rear. In order 32


The stylish new Enviro400 to a London specification. The bar beside the upper-deck windshield is to deflect overhanging branches.

Two new Enviro400 buses. The silver model is built to a lower height.

A new Enviro400 in the course of construction. The upper deck pillars and roof are added later.


to comply with Euro 6 emission standards, The compact staircase rises it has Exhaust Gas Recirculation, Selective forward for safety reasons. Catalytic Reduction, a variable geometry turbocharger and a diesel particulate filter. Alexander Dennis offers a choice of ZF six-speed or Voith four-speed fully automatic gearboxes, both with integral retarders. The front axle is a ZF low beam and the rear axle is a ZF portal unit. Electronic Braking System is standard, and a new feature is an Electronic Leveling Control that prevents the bus from settling on its suspension when it is stationary, for example in a depot. One of the obvious benefits from the customer clinics is the ease of access to the engine and other mechanical components. The rear access doors open very wide, and can even be removed if preferred. Entering the vehicle, the spaciousness is immediately apparent. Protected by a full width anti-vandal screen, the driver’s compartment has more room than before. The angle of the steering column is adjustable and the main instrument containing the main electrical systems for the vehicle. Safe from water panel moves with it, so a driver of any height always has a clear view of ingress or accident damage, a technician can work comfortably inside the instruments. the vehicle. The staircase, which the company calls a “squarecase,” is mounted One of the most novel features of the Enviro400 is what over the offside front wheel. The compact design has two steps up to a Alexander Dennis describes as Quick Release Glazing. Until now, lower platform, and up to the second platform and onto the upper deck on the main side windows, there was a choice between glass that gangway. This unit is made in one complete piece in GRP that does not could be held in place by rubber gaskets, or bonded glazing. If leak or rattle. Generous handrails give good assistance to passengers. damaged glass had to be replaced, the process was relatively easy At the top of the staircase, adjacent to the gangway is a large panel with gasket glazing, simply removing a rubber retaining strip,

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The driving compartment with adjustable suspension seat, steering wheel and instrument binnacle.

taking out the old glass and fitting in the new. However, gasket glazing looked rather ugly and old fashioned. The problem with bonded glazing has been the time taken for the bonding of the new glass to be cured before the vehicle can go back into service. With Quick Release Glazing, solid window frames are part of the

structure of the bus and they give the attractive flush-fitting appearance of bonded glazing. If a glass needs to be replaced, it can be done from inside the vehicle by removing the trim strips from the top, bottom and each side and removing and replacing the glass using simple tools in a process that takes around three minutes. It is completely safe for the person carrying out the work and the method of securing also has the benefit of being vandal-proof. The engineering team also looked at heating and ventilation. The main unit now located under the staircase more or less centrally in the bus, ensures that warm air The rear view of the London is evenly distributed throughout specification bus. the vehicle. There is the option of a compact chill unit that can mount above the staircase for optimists who believe that there can be hot weather in the United Kingdom. Some of the feedback from operators was about electrical systems. Instead of traditional long harnesses running the length of the vehicle, circuits have been split into shorter sections that enable faults to be diagnosed more easily and for any problem sections to be replaced. Where cables pass through bulkheads, plugs on each side prevent the risk of the cables chafing. Similarly, there are no sensitive cables outside the vehicle and the new cabling is also more resistant to heat and corrosion.

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A Go Transit Enviro500 visited a recent exhibition in Dubai and created great interest.

At the launch, Colin Robertson said the new Enviro400 project had cost the equivalent of $12.5 million but he was also delighted to announce advance orders for 400 of the new buses, worth more than $130 million. He took the opportunity to review the Alexander Dennis business. The company’s sales in 2013 were around $900 million, a three-fold increase from when he had first joined. ADL made a profit of more than $33 million, despite the high development costs of new models for Euro 6. International sales accounted for around 50 Simple tools enable glass to be replaced in percent of turnover. around three minutes. Colin said that the company would remain British but would continue to internationalize. The latest tri-axle Enviro500 was doing particularly well in a number of important export markets. Colin is also very pleased with the way the North American business is developing. “The lower height go-anywhere Enviro500 double decks are doing very well in Canada,” he says. “We will also be able to offer local assembly from the end of this year for any customers who need to comply with buy-American regulations. That work will be done by ABC Companies in its factory in Indiana.” There are further exciting developments in the pipeline at Alexander Dennis and I hope to bring news of those later in the year.

The main electrical system is housed at the top of the staircase.

Doug Jack is with Transport Resources in the United Kingdom.

The Quick Release Glazing will be welcomed by the industry. It is quick, simple and safe. | BUSRIDE


By Jack Jackson

Water costs and location are keys to saving

The general public is not aware of the issues with today’s sewage discharge and what happens to water going down the sewer. There are two main types of sewers: municipal and storm. Municipal sewers take the wastewater from buildings and homes to a processing plant to clean and normally discharge the water to a lake, river or ocean. Storm sewers are generally found on streets and parking lots that discharge directly into the local water source without any treatment. In most municipalities in North America there is a major concern with the cost of upkeep of water treatment plants and the amount of pollution entering the systems. Some municipalities have resorted to charging commercial properties a tax based on its square footage of paved surfaces. Most continue to double the cost of water by adding a sewer charge to your water invoice monthly. The cost of the water goes unrealized as politicians find it easier to increase taxes through this user fee while publicly claiming a small property tax increase. Since most of us don’t look at our water invoice each month, it becomes a hidden cost without much attention. At Awash, many customers ask us what the best location to wash buses is. Our answer is always to ask them what their budget, image strategies and desires are. We know eventually all washing will be

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banned in the parking lot. Most municipalities have the law today; however, it is just starting to be enforced. We continually hear of more cases where companies are facing large fines and are being banned from sewer use. The easiest way to get over this issue is to drive to a public wash where they meet the environmental laws by recycling the wash water. However, the general rule is that it usually costs two times more than the wash itself. Thus if it costs $25 to wash, it could cost another $25 more in time, gas and lost productivity resulting in a cost of $50 per vehicle. In the business world, successful operators are the leaders in almost everything they do. So, how do they wash? These companies invest in the proper buildings and equipment to ensure their image and maintenance is under control, while managing their cost per wash every day. There are many remedies to wash in your buildings with automatic systems that can cost as little as 50 cents per wash after capital costs are completed. Look at your methods today and begin to research the best alternatives before some inspector decides your timeline. It can be costly in the future to ignore today. Jack Jackson is president of Awash Systems Corp. “We solve vehicle washing issues where no one else can.” Email: or call 1-800-265-7405. Visit online at

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NTI praises Dallas, Denver and Los Angeles’ MAX program As partners, three major agencies create a model program to promote best practices The National Transit Institute (NTI), New Brunswick, NJ, presented its 2014 Model Program Award to Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) for their Multi-Agency Exchange (MAX) program. In this innovative leadership development and learning exchange program, the transit authorities each select eight participants and a facilitator to participate; working in advance to plan the overall program and individually coordinate the conference at each respective agency. This program came about after a discussion in 2011 between DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas, RTD General Manager Phillip Washington, and Metro General Manager Art Leahy. The three executives realized that their respective transit agencies had much in common and that their staffs could benefit by discussing how each agency addresses common challenges. In four-day MAX conferences held at each agency headquarters, attendees develop a deeper and broader understanding of public transit management, share innovative ideas to help their agencies better prepare for their stated mission, share the information learned and champion best practices.

Through MAX, staff members have discovered new and different approaches to common transit challenges. They say in several instances, their agencies have adopted or improved business practices, processes or procedures borrowed from their counterparts. For example, Metro is considering implementing a mobile ticketing smartphone application similar DART’s new GoPass to allow passengers to purchase and store transit passes on their phones. The Denver RTD Transit Watch program served as a model for the DART Police texting tool. The agencies have completed two one-year cycles of the MAX program with the third cycle currently underway. The partner agencies have invited a fourth transit agency to join and other agencies have expressed intent to form new groups. There is discussion at a national level to make Multi-Agency Exchange an industry-wide program. The National Transit Institute was created by Congress and receives funding from the Federal Transit Administration to develop, promote, and deliver training and education programs for the public transit industry.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit was one of three programs, along with Denver RTD and L.A. Metro, that NTI praised for its collaborative MAX program.



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BUSRide July 2014  

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