MAY | 2015
O F F I C I A L
BUSRide Road Test:
CHAMPION BUS LF TRANSPORTâ„˘ p18
Benefits of paratransit diversification p13 How reliable is your service? p17 Daimler reveals plans p24
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MAY 2015 CONTENTS
COVER STORY Official BUSRide Road Test: Champion LF Transport™ 18 Access and dignity for all By David Hubbard
FEATURES Fleet Management Systems
Avail Technologies highlights the benefits of in-vehicle diagnostics in a new BUSRide forum
The Science Behind The Seat 14 Kiel NA explores advances in seating safety for buses and motorcoaches
Trailways names its champion 27 Outstanding Driver of the Year serves Pacific Coachways Trailways
Paris unveils new bus shelters
The Mayor of Paris and the head of JCDecaux SA team to unveil the new shelters
4ONE secures multiple transit contracts
The seating OEM announces new partnerships in Buffalo, Los Angeles and other cities
DEPARTMENTS 7 UPDATE 28 DELIVERIES 29 PEOPLE IN THE NEWS 32 TRANSIT AUTHORITY
13 EQUAL ACCESS
By Ryan Zemmer
By Mary Sue O’Melia
21 DRIVER SAFETY
By Jeff Cassell
23 SECURITY & SURVEILLANCE
By Johnson Yang
24 THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT 4
By Doug Jack
BUSRIDE | MAY.2015
Mike, for over 10 years your software has been a key component to our successfully growing operations. I can’t say enough about your people and the product you have fine-tuned over the years. I’m looking
forward to where you take us in the next 10 years with the new busHive brand!
Eric Faust, Owner, Philly Trans, Philadelphia, PA
EasyBus is now
busHive TRANSPORTATION SOFTWARE
where all your operations come together In 1997 Easybus™ began as a program with three screens that a mechanic with no computer experience could navigate. Both the company and the product were branded to convey this simplicity. Little did we dream that this simple system would blossom into a sophisticated software platform for tracking virtually all aspects of transportation for both school bus and motorcoach operations. In fact, our training today rarely is limited to just one mechanic as it was in 1997; since the software touches nearly all aspects of a transportation department, we provide a 30 day trial to allow the entire staff to put our platform to the test. We are proud of the reputation that not only our software but also our people have earned in these last 18 years, but we believe it is time to update the brand so that it captures the scaled elegance that we offer bus operators of all kinds in 2015. In this spirit, effective July 1, 2015 we are renaming our company and our single flagship software that replaces all former Easy-programs to busHive™. We believe this name conveys the elegance of a single software platform that can effectively organize the workflows of an entire transportation operation. To learn more, visit our website at www.busHive.com
Michael Hinckley President and CEO
TRCP S-116 surveys ADA eligibility facilities Spearheaded by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Bus & Paratransit Conference in Fort Worth, TX, this month, the transit industry turns attention to all matters concerning equal access for persons whose disabilities prevent them from using fixed-route service for some or all of their trips. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) requires such complementary service. The law also includes a complex, trip-based process for determining ADA paratransit eligibility, which can be difficult and confusing for both the transit agency and paratransit travelers. This aspect of ADA must determine not only if applicants are eligible, it must note the specific capabilities and conditions under which they can and cannot use fixedroute transit services. If eligible individuals can make some trips by fixed-route transit, they are only eligible for paratransit for those they cannot make by bus or train. Given the complexity of ADA paratransit eligibility, as of 2012, over a third of US transit agencies have turned to conducting in-person evaluations that require some applicants to participate in functional assessments. A new report out by the Transit Research Cooperative Program (TRCP) addresses the different approaches and processes. TRCP Synthesis 116 (S-116), Practices for Establishing ADA Paratransit Eligibility Assessment Facilities, fully examines their implementation in order to conduct ADA paratransit determinations of eligibility. S-116 focuses on 24 participating transit agencies throughout the U.S. in terms of facilities, equipment and tools they use for interviews and functional assessments. The survey characterized the primary differences between facilities, namely between outdoor and indoor assessments. The report found the 24 agencies evenly divided in their approaches. Nine rely primarily on outdoor assessments, with limited indoor facilities used mainly as a backup, while 10 conduct assessments outdoors whenever possible, but also use some indoor props. Five do assessments entirely indoors with props and simulations. Some agencies use separate assessments by a mix of professionals to assess applicants with physical, cognitive and sensory disabilities. Interestingly, only one agency indicated a specific assessment for applicants with vision disabilities. The staff at these agencies unanimously reported to TRCP that their local communities had largely accepted the new processes. Several agencies noted that welldesigned and equipped facilities helped them build public confidence in the overall eligibility determination process.
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BUS industry SAFETY council
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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 Judi Victor at (602) 265-7600, ext. 125. ÂŠ2015 Power Trade Media
BUSRIDE | MAY.2015
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Stertil-Koni wins WMATA bid Stertil-Koni, Stevensville, MD, announced in March that it was awarded a multi-million dollar competitive bid with design firm Hensel Phelps to deliver and install a broad range of the company’s signature heavy duty vehicle lifting systems and shop equipment in a new $132 million, 335,000 square foot design-build project for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The soon-to-be-built facility, known as the Andrews Federal Center Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility, will be located on 35 acres in Prince George’s County, MD, and represents Hensel Phelps’ fourth project with WMATA in the past eight years.
UMA members hold 418 appointments during Capitol Hill Days 80 members of the United Motorcoach Association (UMA) canvassed Capitol Hill in March to speak to their Congressional elected officials about issues affecting the motorcoach industry at UMA’s annual Capitol Hill Days event. In total, UMA operator members held 418 individual appointments at Congressional offices, having increased from 284 appointments at last year’s event. In their meetings, UMA members shared information about their own businesses and rallied for backing of three critical needs: opposition of FMCSA’s proposal to raise the federal financial responsibility limits, support of Rep. Barletta’s proposal (H.R. 1371, “Safer Trucks and Buses Act of 2015”) to remove CSA scores from public view until the data used to calculate the score can be
improved, and support to preserve the current charter service rule. Meetings were professionally arranged specifically for the individual UMA members by Prime Policy Group, a Washington, D.C.-based global public policy and government affairs firm. “Without a doubt, this was the best fly-in we’ve ever had,” said Victor Parra, UMA president and CEO. “Our members rose to the challenge and came out to help explain to Congressional leaders, face-to-face, how these legislative and regulatory changes will affect their businesses and communities. We made some real progress here today and now we need our members - all members, not just those who came to DC today - to keep reaching out to their elected leaders to ask for their support. “ For more details on the key issues discussed, visit http://tinyurl.com/coach-issues
MCI supports APTA Stand Up for Transportation Day Motor Coach Industries (MCI) recognized the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Stand Up for Transportation Day by hosting a tour of its Pembina, ND, facility, where its D-Series model is assembled, and participating in events in Chicago and Louisville. MCI teamed with Chicago’s Pace and Metra systems and Louisville’s TARC transit operation on April 9 - a day when all transportation organizations and their coalition partners united with a pro-mass-transit message and a renewed call for Washington to fund a long-term federal transportation funding bill.
Join for the
“Security for Connected Transportation” Webinar Wednesday, May 20th at 8:30am PT / 11:30am ET Network security is one of the top priorities when managing bus and motorcoach fleets. For IT teams, managing liability for Point-of-Sale data, content filtering, and public safety go handin-hand with network bandwidth and broadband data control. Join us for a webinar on Wednesday, May 20th at 8:30am PT / 11:30am ET to learn how to manage network security through the Cloud with best-in-breed security applications that allow for flexible, real-time monitoring and management of transportation fleets.
Register now: 8
BUSRIDE | MAY.2015
Sign up today and learn about: • Managing web content for buses with guest Wi-Fi • How to block websites with objectionable material • How to protect users and systems on the bus from Internet threats • Bandwidth control via web application for 4G networks
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busride.com | BUSRIDE
Fleet Management SYSTEMS
FLEET MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS This month BUSRide launches Fleet Management Systems, a cooperative forum series that addresses the critical design and technology elements associated with efficient and cost-effective fleet management for buses. From vehicle logistics, integrated GPS tracking, in-vehicle diagnostics, fleet monitoring, optimization and more, fleet management systems present a complex subject. Often fully understanding and staying abreast of this rapidly changing technology can be daunting for transit managers. The purpose of this series is to provide an in-depth look at the many facets of transit fleet management, in an effort to better familiarize readers with both the components and the systems that are available now – and to preview what is on the horizon for the future. In this issue, BUSRide focuses on in-vehicle diagnostics with a piece by Avail Technologies, State College, PA. The company addresses the critical question – “Why do we need Maintenance Intelligence (MI)?” Expert contributors detail Man Machine Interfaces (MMI), challenges associated with current in-vehicle diagnostics, key performance indicators (KPIs) to focus on and the benefits of utilizing MI in a transit operation.
BUSRIDE | MAY.2015
Fleet Management SYSTEMS
Why do we need maintenance intelligence? By Alice Wilson Bus purchases make up the majority of all capital costs for the average transit agency. According to the 2014 American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Factbook, there are 2.75 billion rolling stock vehicles currently in service nationwide. Bus prices can range from $400,000 to $700,000 or more based on size, manufacturer, chassis configuration and number of buses ordered. Typically paid as up-front costs with a useful life expectancy of 12 years, investing in rolling stock is big business. Buses today roll off the assembly line packed full of technology. There are on-board diagnostic tools that monitor safety features, fuel systems, intelligent transportation systems, mechanical components and information systems to measure vehicle health and operational performance. These on-board tools are just that… on board. The ability to share, analyze trends and remotely report the status of these systems hasn’t advanced as much as the in-vehicle technology itself. Currently the most consistent in-vehicle diagnostic information received by agencies comes in the form of the reactive Man Machine Interface (MMI) which requires the driver to monitor audio and visual notification systems in-person and communicate their observations to dispatchers. There are some in-vehicle diagnostic systems that utilize GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular communications to transmit data. Being proprietary in nature, they do not share data airspace and they require a separate antenna for each system being monitored. Challenges of current in-vehicle diagnostics Agencies trust the health of their very expensive sub-components to reactive data prone to human error. Unable to be properly analyzed through trending information, small inexpensive issues can quickly grow into significant costly problems that could compromise reliability and quality of service. Even something as simple as multiple antennae on the rooftop of a bus opens the agency up to areas where a mechanical fault can result. More antennae means more holes, which means more of a chance for damaging leaks to permeate the outer shell of the bus. It also increases the likelihood of damage to the antenna itself, resulting in expensive repairs, replacement or interruption of system monitoring. In-vehicle diagnostic systems that require maintenance personnel to use disparate software to even identify a problem are not only cumbersome and inefficient, they also lend themselves to being underutilized, affecting overall fleet performance and reliability. What the industry needs today Right now the industry has bus components equipped with electronic sensors that identify failed, failing or maladjusted conditions as it relates to powertrain alarms, propulsion, braking, HVAC, fluid levels, electrical, ITS and on-board equipment systems. Agencies are equipped to react to the breakdown of components. A part breaks. Maintenance staff uses the tools in their toolbox to fix it,
Something as simple as multiple antennae on the rooftop of a bus can open agencies up to areas where mechanical faults can result.
and the bus is placed back into revenue service. But how long will the repair last? How reliable is that fix? What the industry needs today is a transit-smart toolbox that equips maintenance and operational staff with Maintenance Intelligence (MI). Focused on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Maintenance Intelligence gives your agency all the diagnostic data across every device at a glance and presents it to staff seamlessly in one centralized location. Fully compatible with any agency’s CAD/AVL system, MI puts real-time maintenance data in the hands of those who drive the business every day. Maintenance Intelligence allows staff to evaluate condition-based maintenance as part of overall vehicle health monitoring and remote vehicle diagnostics. With MI, failure prediction capabilities become a reality by utilizing configurable tolerance conditions that automatically warn staff when a sub-component is failing or maladjusted. There’s no longer a need to solely rely on communications from a driver about failed parts, or wait for the bus to return to the garage to be inspected by a technician. This means maintenance staff can be proactive, working to prevent breakdowns before a part fails and thus minimizing repair costs behind the scenes with little to no impact on quality of service. Maintenance Intelligence also give agencies the capability to analyze mechanical trends not only for individual parts, but also across manufacturers, makes, models, even production years to know what the most reliable pieces of equipment are. The use of one centralized onboard computer that connects to all of the sub-components eliminates the need for antenna farms, still allowing an agency to gather data while the bus is on the road. The benefits of maintenance intelligence Using MI, agencies can reduce in-service breakdown instances and improve overall fleet capability to enhance rider experience while providing an unsurpassed quality of service. The reduction of false alarms and the ability to analyze and calculate the cost of breakdown repair versus preventative maintenance helps optimize operations by saving time and money. Centralized data allows agencies to gain fleet-wide perspective to make transit-smart business decisions. This same data can be shared with peer agencies to help create a cohesively reliable fleet that connects a regional community. Comprehensive information that can be shared with manufacturers will help them improve their product offerings, resulting in safer and more reliable buses to your doorstep. With Maintenance Intelligence, everybody wins. Alice Wilson serves as product manager for Avail Technologies, State College, PA, an ITS technology solutions provider for transit operators throughout the United States. Visit www.availtec.com for more information.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
The right tool for the job – paratransit diversification By Ryan Zemmer
There are many benefits to utilizing smaller vehicles within a fleet.
There’s no substitute for “the right tool for the job.” Think back to a first apartment or home and the eclectic collection of hand-me-down tools, good and bad, inherited from various friends or family to “get started.” They aren’t the best assets out there, but it is usually enough to get the job done. As the years go by and the freebies start to wear out or go missing, it becomes time to find suitable replacements. It’s not until that shiny new asset is home and in use that you can appreciate the benefit of having the right tool for the job. Having the right tool for the job doesn’t just apply to the weekend warriors, but it can carry through most situations. It’s not just about having something that will work, but something that will work the right way. It’s all about having the right asset in the right place. This philosophy can easily be applied to vehicle fleets and paratransit services. In many fleets, a wide range of tasks need to be accomplished, yet there is only one vehicle type in the stable. A diversified fleet helps ensure that all services are not only rendered, but done so efficiently. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to operate a 40-passenger bus if there’s only an average occupancy of three, nor does it make sense to operate a passenger van on the busiest avenue in town. It’s about finding the right fit. If a given operation only has full-size buses, many benefits could be obtained by utilizing smaller vehicles within the fleet. The purchase price of the vehicles will be significantly less than their larger counterparts, as will the operational cost. One less axle at the tolls can save significant funds over the course of the fiscal year. Maintenance intervals are often longer than large vehicles, and fuel consumption is greatly reduced. Small transportation solutions can also double as supervisor vehicles. If a large bus has a mechanical malfunction, the
supervisor vehicle could step in to transfer or transport a passenger that requires wheelchair access (and may not require a CDL to do so.) A diversified fleet can also have its advantages when it comes to natural disasters. I think back to last winter when Atlanta received a bad ice storm. Many vehicles were abandoned in the streets for days in a sort of post-apocalyptic scene as the mess was sorted out. There is a great benefit in easily navigating through the vehicle barriers or similar wreckage from a hurricane. Diversifying the fuel type in a fleet can also help ensure the agency is prepared for any situation. If the electrical grid goes down, most diesel and gasoline pumps will become inoperable, whereas CNG can still be obtained. A certain level of comfort can come with a standardized vehicle fleet, but it can also create inefficiencies and shortcomings when trends change or the unexpected happens. A diversified fleet can help ensure that agencies have the right tool for the job, regardless of challenges that may present themselves. Ryan Zemmer is marketing manager for Mobility Ventures, South Bend, IN, manufacturer of the MV-1 vehicle. Please visit www.mv-1.us to discover what the versatile MV-1 can bring to your paratransit operation.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE SEAT
Safety, Part 1 From testing to ergonomic design, comfort, safety, cleanliness, ride quality and more, bus seating can be a tough nut to crack. This month, The Science Behind The Seat continues, where BUSRide presents a cooperative forum series that explores safety, modularity, design, styling and fuel efficiency associated with modern-day bus seating solutions. Where the safest product of the utmost comfort relies on exacting science, the devil is in the details when it gets down to engineering and specifying only materials of the highest quality. In this first of two issues centered on the subject, BUSRide spotlights seat safety with a contribution by Kiel NA, Elkhart, IN. The company analyzes the science of “intelligent absorption,” where today’s bus and coach seats must balance strength and flexibility to absorb the energy of high-force impacts with the comfort the passenger expects. The company has researched and perfected the principle of controlled plasticity to achieve this balance, and protect against potential injury to the passengers. The process incorporates high-grade materials that have undergone extensive testing to exceed specified requirements, as well as customer expectations. These are typically premium alloy metals such as specially engineered aluminum. Safety is built into the design and finish of the product components, such as rounded edges and careful placement to prevent direct blows in the event of an accident.
BUSRIDE | MAY.2015
THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE SEAT SAFETY, PART 1
The science of intelligent absorption By Jürgen Mill One of the fundamental dualities in the transportation industry is the balance between safety and comfort. At the core of every engineering and design concept there needs to be a consideration how something as visible as comfort can support something as important as safety—and vice versa. To make things even more complicated, seat safety really is a catchall phrase that means a lot of different things to different stakeholders: Owners look for a seat’s compliance with various regulations and recommendations like the FMVSS 210 or 302. Recently, our customers in the bus and coach industry show an increased interest even in Docket A testing for flammability and smoke emissions, which used to be a common requirement for our clients in the rail sector only. Operational safety is most important for the driver and maintenance crew who need to be able to adjust, move, and clean seats easily. Similarly, bus builders prefer seats that can be installed without complicated and possibly dangerous lifting procedures. And of course, passengers of all sizes and mobility levels need to be able to rely on a seat made with fabrics that are inherently bacteria-resistant, seat backs and grab bars that are ergonomically designed to be kind to the spine and hands, and an overall design that will protect riders from injuries and whiplash in case of an impact. Safer materials and engineering technologies are evolving constantly. Kiel for example, conducts extensive durability, fire safety and crash tests based on (among others) homologation standards to continually improve the safety and comfort of its products. A reputable seating provider should also have at its disposal a network of technically advanced, established R&D collaborators and a group of reliable, topquality independent testing facilities. The science of controlled plasticity When safety and comfort form a perfect balance, the best seats create a protective survival space. This means that the seat is strong enough to withstand the forces of an impact but also flexible enough to absorb the energy of the impact intelligently. Based on numerous testing results over a long period of time, we have seen that the approach of “controlled plasticity” is the best protection against whiplash and other potentially serious injuries. In order to comply with and/or exceed high North American safety standards, it is important to understand that one of the pillars of creating a robust-but-flexible seat is the use of high-grade materials that are extensively tested to exceed specific requirements. Within the context of controlled flexibility of materials, Kiel has been pioneering
Passengers of all sizes and mobility levels need to be able to rely on a seat’s safety.
the integration of premium alloy metals like special engineered aluminums that will enter the state of plasticity more voluntarily and with minimal fractures compared to other commonly used metals with strengths of 700 millipascal and more. Obviously, a passenger in a seat in which everything gets bent just so slightly but in a controlled manner has a far better chance of escaping an impact unharmed than in a rigid, stiff “seat machine” that literally explodes uncontrollably. In addition to the carefully engineered plasticity of materials, the seat’s upper-back section needs special attention as well when it comes to the integration of comfort and safety. A clean design that offers as little obstruction as possible in the area of the head and upper-seat back is of greatest importance since something as harmless as a coat hanger or grab bar can become a most dangerous force to the head in case of an accident. These accessories, as well as TVs and tablets, should be positioned on the side or well below the head level in the seat back. Another small but important detail are edges. A minimum of 0.2 inches (or 5 millimeters) as a general rounding rule by which all edges are just slightly curved reduces injuries from components like tables and arm rests tremendously. Lastly but just as important is a factor that is often overlooked: the utilization of skilled workmanship by a highly trained workforce. For Kiel, being able to oversee the entire manufacturing process from research and the initial design stages, to material sourcing, testing, and finally production has been a huge advantage. Employees who have learned their respective trades thoroughly, tend to take great pride in their quality craftsmanship and will give even the smallest details their utmost attention. Jürgen Mill is senior VP of engineering and R&D at the global headquarters of the Kiel Group. Kiel is a trendsetting seat provider to transit systems around the world including seating solutions for buses and trains on the local, regional, and intercity level. Visit www.kielna.com .
busride.com | BUSRIDE
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MCI All-Star Open House
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/ ding inclu y, snacks e , jers us seats rinks, pl t d grea other es! priz
& Reliability Rally Join MCI as we celebrate our all-stars: the D-Series, overall top-seller for the year, and the MCI J4500, top sales leader for 11 consecutive years. Learn how Setra’s “The Sign of Excellence” slogan reflects the Daimler coach brand’s focus on perfection and aesthetics — exemplified by the Setra S 417 TopClass.
Bring your teams to meet ours. Enjoy food, friends and fun at these MCI Service Center Open-House Celebrations...
Tour and learn about MCI’s Service Center Overview of MCI’s and Setra’s latest product updates Take a test drive of our new and pre-owned coaches
10:00 am to 3:30 pm
Aftermarket support and service—meet with your team!
May 13 Des Plaines, IL May 21 Winter Garden, FL June 9 Blackwood, NJ June 30 Los Alamitos, CA October 13 Montreal, Canada
Virtual Technical Diagnostics can maximize uptime Learn how to improve fuel economy Nominate your driving team for driver of the month Tips on servicing Bendix and ZF systems for J4500 Q&A on regeneration and preventing road failures Wheelchair lift service and preventative maintenance
down-payment discounts* on MCI demos and in-stock 2015 inventory
10% OFF all parts
purchased in-person on day of event
RSVP to: mcicoach.com/open-house
$59 per hour**
labor rate on all service scheduled during open house
$5,000 OFF the
price of a pre-owned coach purchased on the day of the event
*Speak to your MCI sales representative for details. **Certain restrictions apply.
How reliable is your service? By Mary Sue O’Melia
There is no industry standard for measuring service reliability, so each agency defines its own standard. Customers, however, know whether buses run on time or not, including the drivers that leave stops early and the routes that always run late.
PERFORMANCE STANDARDS Realistically, the only way that urban service can achieve 95 percent or better is with a dedicated right-of-way, signal pre-emption, low bicycle and wheelchair boarding rates, low-floor vehicles, low ridership, cashless fare collection, extensive layover (schedule slack) and luck. Traffic sensors can predict travel times by automobile in major corridors at various time of day. Without some sort of signal preemption or right of way, buses are not going to be faster. If an agency is reporting 90 percent or better schedule adherence, it may want to check your data collection methodology and/or data definitions.
When a customer waits at a bus stop, what is their expectation of when the bus will arrive? Did the agency post notices in advance regarding re-routes and detours for special events? Is there a “Bad Weather” schedule (e.g., operate lifeline service at lower frequencies)? Without communicating delays and changes, the customer feels everything should be as scheduled and the agency is either early, late or missing a trip. Take the customers’ perspective when defining service reliability measures and standards. DATA DEFINITION Schedule adherence is often measured as a percentage on-time – it could be the number of trips arriving on time or departing a time-point as scheduled. If a customer is at a bus stop looking at a stopwatch, what would they see as the bus arrives or departs the stop? On-time would be 00:00:00 to 00:05:59 – that is zero minutes early to five minutes late. Agencies must also determine if they will measure departures, arrivals, or some combination of the two. Departure times are most common. Some agencies also include end of line arrival times and then exclude early arrivals. If agencies exclude early arrivals at the end of the line, are they perhaps allowing for early departures at stops between the last time point and the end of the line? One way in which schedule adherence statistics may be manipulated is with “waivers.” This practice allows selected time-points for a specified period to be excluded from performance statistics. Confused? Schedule adherence is a figure that seems fairly straightforward but is not. VALIDATING AVL EQUIPMENT If an agency is moving from manual checks for schedule adherence to a new AVL system, it should expect to see a dramatic decline in reported performance with AVL implementation. Manual data collection results typically result in reported on-time performance of 90 percent or better. Some agencies blame it on the AVL system and never report AVL statistics to policy boards. A simple comparison of schedule adherence for manual versus ALV data by date, time, route, direction and timepoint will quickly indicate if there is a problem with AVL equipment. Many times the difference in reported numbers results from a skewed sample for manual counts. If there is a system for randomly selecting time points for manual checks, then the AVL and manual count may be close. AVL systems provide significantly more data with which to make an assessment of performance.
IMPROVING PERFORMANCE Schedule adherence data is not required for National Transit Database (NTD) Reporting so the only reason to collect schedule adherence information is if the agency is going to use it to improve performance. Start by looking at overall performance by route. Then look at performance by day type (i.e., weekday, Saturday, and Sunday). Once a route by day type has been identified, analyses may be by direction and time of day, eventually getting down to the trip level. Select a few routes to focus on with each run cut by analyzing: • Average run time compared to scheduled run time • Dwell times • Factors impacting dwell times (e.g., loads, fare collection, lift deployments, bicycle loads, equipment assignment) • Schedule adherence for trip departures and arrivals • Layover time • Schedule adherence by bus operator CONCLUSION Improving schedule adherence requires involvement by the full team (e.g., bus operators, road supervisors, schedulers/planners, dispatch). Involvement starts with posting KPIs and performance results. A typical schedule adherence performance scorecard designed by bus operators from one division is shown below. An agency cannot win if the team does not know the score. Data definitions, collection of information, measurement and analyses are all just background for the team to come up with strategies and actions to improve service reliability as measured by adherence to published time schedules. Mary Sue O’Melia is president of TransTrack Systems®, Inc., a business intelligence solution that transforms volumes of data into meaningful information for transportation managers and executives to use in planning, strategizing and ensuring optimal performance Visit TransTrack Systems® at: www.transtrack.net .
busride.com | BUSRIDE
O F F I C I A L
BUSRide Road Test:
Access and dignity
FOR ALL By David Hubbard
As Jean Moriki maneuvered her motorized wheelchair across the curbside ramp into the new Champion LF Transport™ paratransit bus, she realized she had been waiting years for just such a vehicle.
Jean Moriki participated as a passenger in the Official BUSRide Road Test of the Champion Bus LF Transport™.
BUSRIDE | MAY.2015
Both Dallas Smith Corp. and Champion Bus say they each worked “An entryway that is accessible for everyone and does not segregate passengers using mobility devices to access a standard lift presents a with other manufacturers and vendors to address the issue of much more dignified way to enter and exit a transit vehicle,” she said. accessibility for small buses. “Neither company really felt it had found the right business partner,” “It focuses less attention on passengers who cannot use stairs. To me, Resnik says. “We stumbled on to one another three years ago and the entryway is the best feature of this new bus.” Moriki has been relying on public transit and paratransit services immediately saw even better product answers starting to emerge, and since 1999. Since 2006, she has worked as an advocate for improved decided to just keep at it.” The two companies have since recently formed an exclusive transportation solutions for people with disabilities. She says she chose her condominium in central Phoenix specifically for its proximity to licensing arrangement. “We take great pride in sharing the challenges with Champion the Valley Metro light-rail system, as well as access to low-floor transit buses. However, small and midsize paratransit, shuttle and circulator Bus to produce an industry-changing product,” Smith says. “Our aging public, as well as younger generations that include moms with buses have been another matter. “In addition to the toll that standard paratransit takes on a person’s strollers, students and returning veterans with mobility challenges – sense of dignity, it creates frustration over the amount of time it all passengers are seeking out vehicles with the best accessibility for takes to board and unload,” Moriki says. “It comes across all too their day to day transportation.” often as hindrance and source of irritation FLEXBUS® TECHNOLOGY to the other passengers. I found riding on Champion’s LF Transport so much more What Champion calls FLEXBUS® smooth, roomier and far more comfortable technology is an integration of systems and compared to so many other standard transit components to improve safety and comfort. vehicles that I’ve ridden.” The Equalizer Ramp® utilizes automatic Dallas Smith, founder of Dallas Smith sensing technology when deployed to provide Corp., Greencastle, IN, began pioneering a uniform single-grade slope based on the the need for better vehicle accessibility 20 height of the deployment surface, creating a years ago when he witnessed firsthand the flat entrance “bridge” into the 102-inch-wide seemingly constant challenges a passenger in flat passenger area resulting in easier and a wheelchair faced when entering and exiting faster loading for all passengers. a bus. And through the product developments The LF Transport™ is also equipped his company had made for the truck and with the IntelliSYNC® suspension system trailer industry to provide easier, safer, which monitors the position of heavy-duty smarter transport; he would apply those same sensors to make necessary adjustments disciplines to achieve equal accessibility for to maintain a smooth ride. The low speed all public transportation passengers. OverRise™ function lifts the entire vehicle “Equal access for all,” he said. “We have up to 2.5 inches higher than the normal ride responsibility to provide the same level of height to increase approach, break-over and accessibility for everyone — including people departure angles. using wheelchairs, walkers, scooters and The lntelliSYNC® system is an electronically parents with strollers.” controlled “smart” suspension system that With that insight, Garrett Smith, Dallas The Equalizer Ramp® utilizes automatic sensing increases overall vehicle stability and ride Smith’s grandson and vice president of technology when deployed to provide a uniform quality. The floor throughout the passenger marketing for Dallas Smith Corp., says it single-grade slope based on the height of the compartment remains level regardless of took another 10 years of product engineering, deployment surface. the crown of the road at full kneel and ride development and extensive testing for his grandfather’s company to height. All with the available safety feature of a fully independent introduce the company’s first low-floor transit product to the market. and constantly charged reserve auxiliary air support system, which provides a back-up road side supply of air to the vehicle if ever needed. THE CHAMPION LF TRANSPORT™ ARRIVES A heavy-duty, high-capacity DC-driven suspension compressor Champion Bus, Imlay City, MI, a division of Allied Specialty Vehicles, continuously maintains air pressure with the capability to kneel at Orlando, FL, met recently with BUSRide to conduct an Official Road every stop. According to Champion, full air system recovery from a Test on its newest iteration, the Champion LF Transport™. Valley Metro fully kneeled position to vehicle ride height takes only 3.5 seconds. The leveling feature adjusts for weight imbalances from varying RPTA and its paratransit management partner MV Transportation provided the third-party driver for the review, as well as guest passenger loads, positions and weight variances. Smith says a vehicle that is always stable and level equals less advocates. MV Transportation provides the Dial-A-Ride service for the City of Phoenix as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of maintenance, as components like tires wear evenly. As Dallas Smith Corp. focused on the chassis and suspension, 1990 (ADA). “The small and midsize bus industry segment has needed something Champion looked for ways to improve the overall ride and passenger like the LF Transport for some time,” says Champion President John experience. With both companies resolving the engineering challenges with the low floor, the focus turned to the subfloor structure, interior Resnik. “So why did it just now happen?” The LF Transport™ with FLEXBUS® technology is the brainchild of configurations, dash panel design and body styling. Resnik says customer feedback was critical to learning what Champion Bus and Dallas Smith Corp., a specialist in low floor chassis. “It took these two companies putting their heads together on the essential improvements Champion needed to address. “This meant not only listening closely to their comments,” he essential engineering to make this concept work,” Resnik says. “Our companies’ proprietary patent and patent-pending technologies says. “It also meant that we needed to recognize the fact that they eliminate the need for hazardous interior steps and cumbersome lifts.” were right.” busride.com | BUSRIDE
He cites an instance when Champion delivered eight early LF Transport™ buses to a customer, who pointed out a small but disconcerting hump in the in the flooring near the front entrance. “We went back and forth on this issue for a bit,” Resnik says. “But the customer stood his ground and we listened. In the end, we determined we needed to address this issue.” Chalking it up to a learning experience, Resnik and his team took the customer’s critique back to the factory, where they elected to tear out the existing flooring and reengineer an all new floor structure for which Champion Bus now holds a patent. THE OFFICIAL BUSRIDE ROAD TEST Veteran driver Tim Bogue, whose career began in paratransit with MV Transportation in Chicago, IL, was eager to get behind the wheel of this new bus. “I drove six months in Chicago before I transferred to Phoenix with MV Transportation nearly in 1994,” he says. “I have always driven paratransit. I enjoy the closer connection with the passengers. They make my work far more far more interesting than driving a fixed route. Every day is different.” Enough to say Bogue is very much at home in small and midsize buses. Bogue would have preferred one measuring at 25 feet, most
The Equalizer Ramp® creates a flat entrance “bridge” into the 102-inch-wide flat passenger area, resulting in easier and faster loading for all passengers.
suitable for his purposes. Nonetheless, he was comfortable with the handling of the larger test vehicle at 27 feet. “Some drivers have trouble switching from conversion vans to a larger longer midsize,” but the suspension and handling of this model would make the transition easier,” he says To begin the Road Test, Bogue’s first stop was to pick up Moriki at her home. From there, his drive through central Phoenix continued to emulate a typical day in paratransit. “This bus offers a number of improvements that make the ride better for both the driver and passengers — especially the self-leveling feature and the entrance ramp,” Bogue says. “Between the tight turning radius and the air suspension system, I would have no problem with some of the tight squeezes at some of my stops. As for passenger comfort, I especially like the centrally positioned HVAC unit. Blowing both front and back is more comfortable for everyone.” On the expressway and quiet backstreets, Bogue put the vehicle through sudden accelerations and controlled stops. “Not that I drive like this normally, but it’s good to know beforehand how the bus will handle in emergency situations,” he says. “This bus certainly has what it takes.” When the bus returned to the yard, MV Transportation maintenance personnel put the LF Transport™ on a heavy-duty lift for a closer look underneath. Again, as is their practice, Resnik, Smith and the team spent a considerable amount of time listening to their comments and critiques on the positioning of several underneath components.
Champion Bus aligned securement rails for mobility devices parallel with the bus, lessening the risk of trips and falls.
ADVOCATES ON BOARD “I want to feel as much a part of mainstream society as I can,” Moriki says. “I do not want to feel that I am different, and need a totally separate vehicle with a lift.” George Fogg serves as custom relations service manager for MV Transportation. As a person with a low-vision impairment, he says his ability to relate to passenger needs and requests is rooted firmly in his personal experience. As one of the more outspoken customers relying on Valley Metro Dial-A-Ride, Fogg says MV Transportation realized the insight he could bring to the operation. “It is a pleasure to see that a bus such as this available,” he says. “I naturally like the ramp and being able to walk easily into the bus. Once inside, I especially appreciated the brightly painted yellow handrails. As I am somewhat visually impaired, they helped guide me to my seat and through the bus.” Champion also thought to align the securement rails for mobility devices parallel with the bus, which lessen the chance of a passenger tripping over the tie-downs. Inside, for additional safety and easier access to the back passenger area of the bus, the LF Transport™ offers the option of a small ramp up to replace the customary step. The DynamicRamp™ is a step that coverts to a ramp at the push of a button. “This may not seem like much to the average rider,” Moriki says. “But it is a very important consideration for wheelchair passengers.” MISSION NEARING ACCOMPLISHMENT “As a society and an industry, we have fixed this issue in big mass transit buses,” Resnik says. “Nonetheless, equal access remains an issue for a majority of the people who rely on the dial-a-ride services using small and midsize buses. We believe that the LF Transport™ with FLEXBUS® technology represents the answer to this problem.”
The DynamicRamp™ is a step that coverts to a ramp at the push of a button. 20
BUSRIDE | MAY.2015
By Jeff Cassell
WIIFM – What’s in it for me? This is the third article in the Driver Safety series by Jeff Cassell. For the full series, visit www.busride.com/ebooks. The Moston Public Transit Agency had decided to completely revitalize their driver training and adopt new vision, mission and values: Vision – Do it right, the first time, every time Mission – Remove or reduce risk Values – No unsafe behaviors
“Accidents are down 50 percent” George, the executive director, had challenged Ryan, a new supervisor, to propose an implementation plan at the agency’s next meeting. As the meeting started, all turned to Ryan to hear the plan. “I have visited four other agencies that have already improved their safest NORMS and adopted the Vision, Mission and Values. I learned all I could about how they did it,” Ryan said. “They all started this around two years ago and one agency confirmed accidents are down 50 percent. The others were all down at least 25 percent.” “We hear these claims all the time,” said Linda, the dispatcher. “Are they real and why are there such huge reductions?” “Yes, they are real and I learned why this works,” Ryan responded. “Simplicity is the key. Each agency changed their training to focus the drivers on adopting this vision, mission and values. They then reinforced 12 actions to put this into practice. These actions are: 1. Leave room – Always stay back at least four seconds 2. Look ahead – Be prepared for what is coming 3. Look around – Allow for what is around you 4. Communicate – Make sure others know what you are going to do 5. Never rush – If late, stay late 6. Don’t back the bus and you have to use GOAL or a spotter 7. “Rock & Roll” for turns 8. Always use the reference points 9. Adjust the mirrors; be able to see all around you 10. Do a thorough pre and post-trip inspection every day 11. Stop at stop signs 12. Smile and be polite at all times – Courtesy is contagious
“WIIFM = What’s In It For Me”
These agencies continually reinforce these desired practices with training and leadership and they stress that these practices are the driver’s creed to live by. They also make sure the driver’s understand the WIIFM and why they should follow these practices. Following these 12 practices would prevent almost every accident we have ever had. This is simple, easy to follow and easy to understand.” “Reinforcing the need for these safe practices makes them the NORM in the agency, and everyone is pulling together to achieve these NORMS,” Ryan added. “What is WIIFM?” George asked. “Everyone who is asked to do something consciously or subconsciously asks, ‘What’s in it for me (WIIFM)?’” Ryan said. “Only if the WIIFM makes sense will the driver change his/her behavior and create these safe NORMS we want to achieve. At the start of creating the safe NORMS we seek, we need to address the WIIFMto achieve the desired behaviors.” “How do we do that?” asked Linda. “Our training should clearly address this,” Ryan said. “We need to explain to all the drivers that they are professionals and that every action they take should follow their mission to remove or reduce risk. Any driver who causes or contributes to an accident is a failure in their profession. No one wants to be a failure and the WIIFM is helping them to understand this. By always following the 12 behaviors we seek, they will never be a failure in their profession. Once they understand that every accident is caused by their unsafe behaviors, they will change these behaviors because it makes so much sense – the WIIFM.” “Going forward, if we have an accident, we will focus on the behavior that led to the accident,” continued Ryan. “We will ask the driver how he failed to change that behavior in spite of the training he received. By working as a team, with driver’s input and following these 12 safe practices, we can influence everyone’s driving practices to do it right, the first time, every time. It all ties together with the vision we seek.” “This sounds great,” George said. “This is straightforward, simple and makes sense. What is the implementation plan?” ”We are already at the end of this meeting,” Ryan said. “We haven’t quite finished the implementation plan and we will present that at the next meeting. We have some great ideas for bringing this to fruition and setting the safest NORMS. This series by Jeff Cassell will continue in the July 2015 issue. Jeff Cassell is president of Transit & Paratransit Company (TAPTCO), Hudson, OH. TAPTCO provides training courses that change driver behaviors. Visit www.taptco.com.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
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877-723-4045 or visit WWW.CHBUSSALES.COM “TEMSA”, “TS35” and Circle Design marks are trademarks owned by TEMSA GLOBAL SANAYI VE TICARET ANONIM SIRKETI.
Security & Surveillance
Choosing the right in-vehicle surveillance system By Johnson Yang
Mobile technology is taking video surveillance to new frontiers, and challenging professional applications are demanding new technology requirements, from enhanced durability, to wireless connectivity and improved onboard power management. With all of these advancements to consider, what is the right system for your bus and what features or technology should be considered? Before moving forward, we see everything going back to the basic principle of: What is the purpose of installing video surveillance on board? After that question is answered, it should lead to one simple question: How much budget should we commit? After these basic questions are answered, below are four of the next areas to consider when choosing the right in-vehicle surveillance system: Number of cameras This is easier to deal with. The purpose of installing cameras on board is for a bus manager to consider what should be seen. Normally four to eight cameras for a large 40-foot bus should be efficient: one pointing toward traffic, another facing the driver and the front door, and one to watch the back door. Additionally, a couple of cameras for the cabin and a surveillance camera installed outside can also be used as backup cameras. Bus managers can also consider cameras outside for each side of the rear mirror. This kind of camera setup provides the bus driver and management with “blind-spot free” vision. Ruggedized ready Hard disk drives have been widely used in every data storage application, and it is the same with surveillance video recorders. The spindle type of disc is delicate though, and may get damaged on a bus without proper protection. An anti-vibration mechanism would make the video storage more secure and able to handle all kinds of road conditions. Solid State Drive (SSD) is another nice way to store video; however, the smaller capacity with higher price makes this option less desirable. In addition to having anti-vibration design, the recording system must have temperature control for both heating and cooling adjustment. This keeps the system running in different weather conditions, especially when the system is installed in a hidden or non-air conditioned compartment. Interaction Wireless networks for cell phones are now in the fourth generation (4G) and that provides wider bandwidth with faster data transfer speed. This creates a better environment for video transmission, especially for on-the-road situations. An onboard video surveillance system with 4G provides a connection tunnel between the vehicle and the fleet operator, allowing the driver to have the ability to report any unusual situations in real time so the operator can take immediate action when needed.
Technology with antivibration mechanisms, like this Mobile VX-C540, make video storage more secure and able to handle all kinds of road conditions.
For example, when a potential threat occurs, the driver is able to contact the fleet operator via a silent panic button. To achieve this, the system with General Purpose Input and Output (GPIO) control will be needed. Fleet operators can also communicate with the driver to identify the incident through two-way audio, if this is also important to the operation. These actions cannot be done without a 4G network. Of course, the cost of a monthly data plan (with reasonable bandwidth) needs to be taken into account. Backup and maintenance When the bus returns from a route full of video recordings, fleet managers often like to move these assets to another place even though they’re secure on the system’s hard drive disk. However, backup to a server would be best. In the past, staff simply grabbed the hard disk drive and gave it to IT personnel to do the backup work. This may seem simple enough, but don’t forget the backup job has not started yet and staff still rely on IT personnel to finish the process. Therefore, a system with Wi-Fi is more automatic and will reduce the labor required. When uploading videos, the system still needs power to complete the work, which means it uses the battery when the vehicle’s engine is off until the backup job is completed. Without good power management (and lower power consumption), the battery will drain fast and the bus may not start the next day. System maintenance or any updates can be troublesome and labor intensive. Software that can do all-in-one batch processing while utilizing Wi-Fi can definitely save labor and possibly overtime work. Maintenance is always a huge cost that is often overlooked, and this work will need to be performed regularly to keep the system working properly. No matter what you choose, an onboard video surveillance system should meet all the challenges and get the job done. Protecting the bus driver and the passengers is the top priority for bus management. With the right video surveillance system, it keeps an eye on everyone and every aspect of the bus by making it more efficient while on the road. Johnson Yang is the vice president of sales at Plustek Security in Southern California. Plustek Security is a manufacturer of ruggedized, high quality mobile surveillance products. To learn more, visit www.plusteksecurity.com .
busride.com | BUSRIDE
THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT
Daimler reveals plans for the future By Doug Jack
Daimler Buses is no longer the largest global manufacturer of buses and coaches in unit terms, having been overtaken by China’s Yutong. However, Daimler Buses is almost certainly the largest in terms of value, as its European operations make a large number of high value integral vehicles. In 2014, Daimler Buses had turnover of more than $4.8 billion; up a respectable 4.7 percent, compared with 3 percent in 2013.
The launch of the Citaro FuelCELL-Hybrid, the third generation.
A Citaro Euro VI low-entry model for suburban services.
A right-hand drive Citaro with single door layout for the UK. 24
BUSRIDE | MAY.2015
In Europe, the company’s policy is to promote its own complete integral vehicles wherever possible. Some of them are built in factories in Germany, while others are made in the modern factory outside Istanbul, Turkey, where capacity has recently been raised to 5,000 units per annum. The plant in the north of Spain builds chassis mainly for export outside Europe, but supplies a few to long-term bodybuilding partners in Spain and Portugal originally launched in Stuttgart in 1997. In continuous development since, Daimler has built well over 40,000 vehicles for operators in Europe and as far away as Dubai, Singapore and Japan. The latest versions of the Citaro now offer Euro VI engines, which are saving up to 8 percent on fuel consumption compared with their predecessors. With more than 3,000 Citaro Euro VI vehicles now in service, this has clearly had an influence on Daimler’s product strategy. Nearly two years ago, at a major event at the old Daimler headquarters in Stuttgart, Hartmut Schick, head of Daimler Buses, hinted that the next city bus development would have a platform suitable not only for diesel engines, but for a wide variety of alternative power systems. At that time, probably gas, hybrid, fuel cell and all-electric were in their thoughts but it was not until February this year that we received more details. busride.com
THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT
At a conference on electric mobility in Berlin in February, Gustav Tuschen, head of product engineering and procurement, opened his presentation with the bold statement that by 2030, city buses would predominantly be electrically driven. We have to assume that he was referring to services in developed countries. He said Mercedes-Benz had more than 40 years of experience of electric mobility since its first conversion of a city bus to electric traction in 1969; followed by various smallscale batches of hybrid and diesel electric buses, and also full-electric trolleybuses. It is probably fair to say that some features, like electric wheel hub motors, were not a great success, but the engineers gained considerable valuable experience. There was a major development in 1997, when the first fuel-cell bus was introduced. Known as NeBus, a standard low-floor city bus was adapted with a fuel cell drive system. Standard Citaro city buses were converted and the Ballard fuel cell stacks mounted in the offside rear corner. They were much more compact and had been designed for easy installation in a city bus. The fuel-cell engine was coupled to an automatic gearbox and a conventional portal rear axle. Hydrogen was stored in tanks at roof level. I remember travelling with a demonstration driver around the suburbs of Frankfurt and being amazed at the silence and the absolutely smooth acceleration. I also became aware of noises that one would not normally hear, such as the power steering pump. The NeBus never entered passenger service, but it paved the way for a second generation of vehicles that were supplied to 12 cities in Europe, Australia and China. Each city that took part received three buses. They went into regular service and accumulated more than 1.3 million miles between them over two years. The project was tightly coordinated so that, if a significant fault occurred with one bus in one city, they could all be taken out of service until a solution was found. The cities were carefully chosen for a variety of operating conditions, including hot and cold climates, different terrain and varying traffic conditions. There were also various ways of producing hydrogen, including wind power, solar and geothermal energy. In fact, the price of hydrogen proved to be widely variable, depending on the production source. After the end of the test period, Hamburg acquired six vehicles from other cities (adding them to its own original three) and is running them for several more years. Other parts of the Daimler Group were also working on fuel cells so the engineers had
the benefit of being able to share knowledge. Fuel cells were becoming more reliable and less expensive. That resulted in the 2009 launch of the third-generation Citaro FuelCELL-Hybrid. A total of 23 buses entered service, in Germany, Italy and Switzerland. Because these buses had a hybrid drive system, they had lithium-ion batteries, electric hub motors and electrically-driven ancillary components. Electrical energy could be recuperated when braking, therefore their consumption of hydrogen was considerably lower than the earlier second generation models. Like most of its European competitors, Mercedes-Benz had developed diesel-powered hybrid buses but decided to discontinue their manufacture when Euro VI emission limits came into force. The company took the view that the greater fuel economy of the Euro VI diesel engines, along with their very low emission levels, weakened the case for hybrid buses. Their pay-back period would be extended considerably. It was a bold decision, but more than 3,000 Euro VI Citaro buses are in service and they are demonstrating considerable savings in fuel consumption.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT
One of a fleet of Citaro FuelCELL-Hybrid buses in Hamburg.
However, Daimler realizes that there are customers who are demanding an alternative to diesel drive. One of the most progressive is Hamburg, which has been deeply involved in the fuel cell trials. A few years ago, Hamburg said that it would not buy any new diesel buses after 2020 because it reckoned that, by 2030, the price of diesel fuel would have become prohibitive. That argument has been weakened by the recent sharp fall in the price of oil, but, how long will that last and what will be the price of a gallon of diesel by 2030? Gustav Tuschen confirmed that Daimler Buses was working on two projects, known as Citaro E-Cell and Citaro F-Cell. The challenge with all-electric buses is how to ensure that they have sufficient energy for a typical daily 16-18 hour schedule. Electrical energy is needed not only to move the vehicle, but to power air conditioning and/or heating, lighting and many other systems on a typical city bus.
Some competitors offer batteries that have sufficient range for a full day’s operation, but there is a weight penalty of around 3 tons and that can restrict the maximum passenger capacity. The alternative is to use A right-hand drive Citaro with single door layout smaller batteries and to for the UK. fast-charge them regularly through the day, usually at each end of the route. Charging can be carried out either from overhead gantries, or underneath the vehicle from the road surface. Daimler is likely to offer the option of a fuel-cell car before the end of this decade. It is also working on fuel cells in light commercial vehicles, so that will help to make the price more competitive. Gustav Tuschen suggested that the fourth generation Citaro F-Cell bus would become available around 2019, but there is also the option of using a fuel cell as a range extender on an all-electric vehicle. That has the benefit of using smaller batteries, without the need for recharging facilities on bus routes. It could also be a very good solution for higher capacity articulated buses. There are many customers who will still prefer to purchase standard diesel buses and the next generation from Mercedes-Benz will use the same platform as the E-Cell and the F-Cell. It will be interesting to see whether Daimler Buses decides to add any other fuel or drive system to the project before it is unveiled. Doug Jack is with Transport Resources in the United Kingdom.
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BUSRIDE | MAY.2015
Trailways names its champion Outstanding Driver of the Year serves Pacific Coachways Trailways Trailways Transportation System revealed in March its national 2014 Outstanding Motorcoach Driver of the Year: David Cooper with Pacific Coachways Trailways of Garden Grove, CA. Cooper received the prestigious award from Tom Giddens, president of Pacific Coachways Trailways. It was presented by Bob Crescenzo, VP, safety and loss control at Lancer Insurance, the awards event sponsor. The awards gala took place March 11 during the Trailways’ 79th Annual Stockholders Meeting and Conference in Palm Springs, CA. Approximately 250 people were in attendance to salute his outstanding accomplishments. The award honors a driver who has the highest level of professionalism and safety during the past year. Cooper drove 41,000 passenger miles in 2014 with no reportable accidents on file and was never late or absent in reporting to work. He was selected from 74 Trailways companies that are based in the US, Canada and Europe, all who are part of the transportation system. He has worked for Pacific Coachways Trailways for nearly 20 years (since October 1996). “We are very proud that David has been chosen for the well-deserved Driver of the Bob Cresenzo (left) of Lancer Insurance and Tom Giddens (right) of Pacific Coachways Trailways presented Year award through Trailways,” Giddens said, the Trailways Outstanding Driver of the Year award to David Cooper. “He is one of our most-requested drivers. He has always been a team player, getting along with not only his fellow help coach the students. He even comes to our team banquets during drivers but with staff, supervisors and of course excelling in customer his off-time. Over the years, so many of the memories of the kids are service. He is prompt, courteous, efficient and professional. It is a great because of this driver. He is a huge part of our Debate family. We honor to see him recognized for a job well done — one that he performs even list his name with a photo in our Event Program as a member of day-in and day-out because this is what he does.” our Staff. The support personnel on all levels are the unsung heroes Most importantly, Cooper provides outstanding customer of Championship Programs. His stories convey the pride and loyalty service and has been described as a champion driver by one of his that he has in his job, his coworkers and his company. These are all the top customers: traits of a champion. I am so excited for this opportunity for David, our “I am a speech and debate coach of one of the top 15 programs in championship driver, to receive the recognition he deserves. He is our the U.S. and we have had David Cooper, an amazing driver, for driver of the year, every year. ” nearly 18 year on nearly all of our 45 trips,” says D. Yuill, chair, East To be eligible, a driver candidate must drive at least 20,000 miles (or Los Angeles National Speech & Debate Association. “But, champions drive 600 hours) in the last calendar year. The person must have worked aren’t crowned without a top notch support staff and our coach for three consecutive years at the same company. The applicant’s last drivers are considered part of our program. In fact, David is so integral Motor Vehicle Report in their state and their accident history for last to our success that we awarded him an Honorary Membership in the three years is reviewed by Trailways headquarters. National Speech & Debate Association. Whenever I talk with our vast For more information, please contact Trailways at 703-691-3052 x205 network of alumni about our upcoming trips, they always ask about or firstname.lastname@example.org. David. He comes to our practice sessions during our trips to cheer and busride.com | BUSRIDE
DELIVERIES CH BUS SALES / TEMSA added
MOTOR COACH INDUSTRIES (MCI) added
Corporate Coaches Fort Lauderdale, FL
Custom Coach & Limousine Portland, ME
Horizon Motor Coach Harlem, GA
Corporate Coaches has been a family owned and operated business since 1998. Located in Fort Lauderdale, FL, with additional locations in Miami, Orlando, and Fort Myers, Corporate Coaches offers a wide variety of vehicles throughout Florida and across the U.S. In the fall of 2014, Corporate Coaches took their first five TEMSA TS 30 coaches. In February, the company took delivery of two additional Temsa TS 30s, for a total of seven. Corporate’s TS 30 Coaches are seated for 34 passengers and are equipped with 110V plugs, Alcoa Dura Bright wheels, and an elite REI A/V system.
Gregg Isherwood, president of Custom Coach & Limousine, took delivery of his first TEMSA TS 30 coach back in 2014. Recently, he has taken delivery of his second and third TS 30 midsize coaches. The TEMSA TS 30 coach is a fully integral midsize coach, constructed from stainless steel that provides the same benefits as a full size coach. This model is appropriate for smaller groups and is more economical to purchase and operate than a larger coach yet has independent front suspension and automatic transmission, contributing to a smooth, comfortable drive.
Horizon Motor Coach has always taken the long view on success. Established in 1998 with a single coach, the company has grown steadily, most recently opening a new facility and taking delivery of a luxurious new MCI J4500 coach. Horizon’s new J4500 features extras like leather-trimmed seats and wood-grain accents as well as a wheelchair lift so the company can be proactive about ADA compliance. The model offers popular new improvements including a ZF independent front suspension and Bendix Wingman braking.
BUSRIDE | MAY.2015
NEW FLYER INDUSTRIES added
Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada Las Vegas, NV New Flyer Industries Inc. announced that the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) has awarded New Flyer a contract for up to 305 (425 equivalent units or “EUs”) heavy-duty 40-foot and 60-foot Xcelsior® compressed natural gas (CNG) buses. The contract includes a firm order for 35 XN40 and 20 XN60 (75 EUs) Xcelsior buses, with an option for another 150 XN40 and 100 XN60 (350EUs) over the next 5 years. All buses are to be powered by CNG. Since 1991, New Flyer has delivered 332 buses to RTC, whose current transit fleet consists of approximately 650 buses.
PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
The Trailways Transportation System has named Sheila D. Ryba as its new president and chief executive officer, effective March 16, 2015. She follows Trailways’ former President/ CEO,Gale C. Ellsworth. Ryba brings a background of varied experience with both profit and nonprofit organizations to her new Trailways leadership position. Besides her own consulting firm that specializes in business development, lobbying, fund Sheila D. Ryba development and strategic planning, Ryba has led several non-profit organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club of Durham, the Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education in Raleigh, the San Diego regional office for the American Heart Association and the Savannah Hospitality Association. “We are delighted to welcome Sheila Ryba to the Trailways team,” said Ron Moore, Trailways’ chairman and the president of Iowabased Burlington Trailways. “She brings impressive experience to us that will enable Trailways’ brand building and expansion throughout North America and beyond.” Moore introduced Ryba at Trailways’ 79th annual stockholders meeting and conference in Palm Springs, CA, March 8-11. She responded with her vision for Trailways’ future growth on several fronts. “I look forward to guiding the Trailways brand into even more routes of transportation excellence than it already has enjoyed in its nearly 80 years of existence,” Ryba said.
American Bus Association (ABA) President and CEO Peter Pantuso named Suzanne Te Beau Rohde as ABA’s new vice president of Government Affairs beginning April 1, 2015. Suzanne will lead the association’s legislative, regulatory, policy and lobbying efforts to support the motorcoach, tour and travel industry. Suzanne has a 20-year career in senior-level transportation- and safety-related areas, including her most recent position as Special Assistant to National Transportation Safety Board Member Earl Weener. She will succeed ABA’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Policy Clyde Hart, who is retiring after 14 years of service to ABA and the motorcoach, tour and travel industry. At the NTSB, Suzanne managed Member Weener’s office and advised him on legal and policy matters related to various transportation operations and the Board’s investigative process. She also assisted in executing the NTSB’s advocacy efforts in support of the Board’s annual “Most Wanted List” of safety issues. Suzanne’s particular focus was on surface transportation safety, engaging on legislative, regulatory and policy matters. She also promoted safety by building several government and industry partnerships and routinely engaging with industry representatives from all modes of transportation. Prior to joining the NTSB, Suzanne served as the chief counsel of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the senior legal advisor to the administrator and U.S. Department of Transportation leadership. In this role, she led 24 staff attorneys and provided legal guidance and strategic support in terms of policy and regulatory development and execution.
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Paris unveils new bus shelters The Mayor of Paris and the head of JCDecaux SA team to unveil the new shelters Paris is replacing its 2,000 bus shelters for the first time in 15 years. Parisians and visitors will benefit from the innovative, eco-friendly and connected street furniture. JCDecaux’s subsidiary SOPACT was awarded the contract by the Paris City Council’s tender department to manufacture and maintain the bus shelters, which will have the French “Origine France Garantie” label. These 2,000 new bus shelters will be gradually rolled out across Paris, at bus stops, airport shuttle stops, key sightseeing stops and taxi ranks, with installation due to be completed by summer 2015. Designed by Marc Aurel, the new-generation bus shelters will have a pared-back, streamlined, contemporary silhouette that blends perfectly with the capital city’s exceptional urban environment. They will offer, for the first time, a new range of innovative services accessible to users, pedestrians and visitors alike. Designed to integrate the needs of users, these new bus shelters will see Paris also modernizing the image of the bus and strengthening the appeal of public transport. The new shelters will have the following features: • A larger roof covering a bigger surface area, with a range of several shelters depending on the available space • Easier access and circulation within the shelter • Signal masts that are offset so that the type of shelter (bus, sightseeing line, taxi, airport shuttle) and the waiting time for the next service can be read from a distance • For the visually impaired, tactile labels and a button for voice announcement of waiting times
• Manually lit information panels at night • USB ports for mobile phone charging • Wheelchair access to 100 large touch-screen digital information and service panels • 100 roofs fitted with solar panels (helping to save energy) and 50 with greenery planted on them • Electricity savings of 35 percent in comparison to the previous bus shelters The 100 digital screens will serve as a platform for the Paris City Council to provide both Parisians and visitors with new, highperformance services. Interactive touch-screens showing innovative area maps devised by the city council will highlight local areas of interest, such as municipal facilities or Vélib’ self-service bicycle hire. They will also offer applications and content developed by businesses, start-ups and citizens as part of a competition launched by the Paris City Council and JCDecaux in October 2014. Eleven applications were accepted for this first one-year experimental phase. They will be gradually rolled out and the Paris City Council may develop and enhance their content.
Public Transit Fleets Go Up to 30% Further More MPG • Less Pollution • Tested & Proven • FTA Approved
BUSRIDE | MAY.2015
4ONE secures multiple transit contracts The seating OEM announces new partnerships in Buffalo, Los Angeles and other cities 4ONE, a joint venture between USSC Group and Freedman Seating Company, and a designer and manufacturer of seating solutions for transportation vehicles, announced new contracts and key strategic partnerships in March. New contracts 4ONE recently announced that big city transit authorities awarded sizable contracts for hundreds of its passenger and bus-operator seats in the US, including Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago, and in British Columbia and Winnipeg, Canada. Other US cities include Seattle, WA; Orange County, CA; Detroit, MI; and Atlanta, GA. Regarding the country’s top US markets, 4ONE will supply the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA METRO) with Aries passenger seats for 350 New Flyer Xcelsior™ heavy-duty buses, in addition to an original order for 550 already in production for a total of 900 buses. The company will also supply the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) with Angel passenger seats for 120 New Flyer Xcelsior™ heavy-duty buses. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will continue receiving 4One’s ultra-light Gemini passenger seats for its new Nova buses. In Canada, 4ONE will supply Coast Mountain Bus Company in Vancouver, British Columbia with Aries passenger seats for 250 New Flyer buses; BC Transit in Victoria, British Columbia with seats for
300 Nova buses and Winnipeg Transit, Winnipeg, Manitoba, with Gemini passenger seats for 60 New Flyer buses. “These orders are a reflection of 4ONE’s steady growth, resulting from its dedication to superior design and development of nextgeneration seating technologies and a firm commitment to comfort, safety and durability,” says Ray Melleady, managing director, North America, for USSC Group. 4ONE’s passenger seats are designed and made by 4ONE, a joint venture with Freedman Seating in Chicago, IL. Key strategic partnership in Buffalo 4ONE selected Buffalo’s Engineered Composites Incorporated (ECI), a multi-faceted custom molder, as its strategic supplier for its new bus-seating contract with the New York City Transit Authority. In this key role, ECI will manufacture hundreds of 4ONE’s Angel fiberglass passenger seats for NYCTA’s order of 120 New Flyer Xcelsior™ heavy-duty buses. The agreement with NYCTA and 4ONE will help boost Buffalo’s economy by bringing critical, highly skilled and well-paying manufacturing jobs to the area. “Investments in transportation equal jobs in the private sector and in this case we have a very direct link to the purchase of equipment in New York and job creation in Buffalo,” Melleady says. “This is a win-win for the riders in New York City and for our employment base in Buffalo.” Above: 4ONE will supply Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority with the Aries passenger seat.
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THE TRANSIT AUTHORITY
TOTAL TRANSIT EVOLVES VIRTUAL DIAL-A-RIDE SERVICE Total Transit has been providing transportation services throughout the Southwest for 30 years. I started the business in 1984 by purchasing 15 taxis for airport service. Over the years, we evolved into a full-service transportation company with three lines of business: public, private and transportation management. Our private transportation division consists of the largest Prius hybrid fleet in North America serviced by the busiest call center in the country. We are able to leverage Arizonaâ€™s uniquely deregulated marketplace to foster innovations that result in higher quality customer service. We invest heavily in our infrastructure to support all three lines of business with continuous improvement efforts.
Craig Hughes, founder and CEO Total Transit, Phoenix, AZ
BUSRIDE | MAY.2015
THE TRANSIT AUTHORITY
We expanded into transportation management in 2002. We launched in Arizona, expanded into the greater Southwest and are now expanding across the United States. Transportation Management requires setting high standards for your providers, the ability to take calls from anywhere across the country and to fulfill those trip requests in a cost effective manner. Our innovative culture coupled with our proven transportation expertise in Private Transportation and Transportation Management facilitated the development of our unique Virtual Dial-a-Ride (VDAR) offering. Our VDAR model truly relies on the principles of supply and demand. Most traditional DAR systems are restricted by their capacity; they provide service when the fleet is available. We provide individual on-demand transportation as needed. With traditional DAR, the size of the fleet determines how many rides per hour are provided. With Total Transit’s VDAR model, we create a flexible fleet that utilizes our vehicles and our partners’ fleets to cover as few or as many trips as necessary at any point during the day. If you need two cars at a given time, we provide two cars. If you need 500 cars, we provide 500 cars and you are only billed based on what you need. Our VDAR model eliminates the need for any public capital investment in vehicles, garages, yards or dispatch centers as well as the corresponding personnel. This results in a decrease in total operating costs. All of our drivers undergo the same background checks, drug tests, ADA and sensitivity training that traditional transit employees are required to undertake. We now have one of the largest accessible vehicle fleets in the country, which improves the lives of not only our VDAR riders but our medical and private clients as well. We’ve been a partner with the Regional Public Transit Authority (RPTA) Valley Metro in Phoenix, AZ, since 2008, providing express service, fixed route and circulator services. We implemented our unique VDAR approach in July 2012 with Valley Metro. Valley Metro
CEO Steve Banta was aware of some less than perfect examples of using taxis to perform DAR services, but was attracted to Total Transit’s Transportation Management brokerage model. We were awarded the contract and originally only permitted to use our taxi division for 50 percent of the work and were required to subcontract the remainder. This process is leading us to further develop our software and cloud computing abilities. It was easy to give transparency and real time information to Valley Metro from our own fleet, but harder to get a real-time look at our partners. This inability gave us the motivation to pursue the development of our peer-to-peer software so every transport can be seen in real time. This new software will give us the ability to see exactly what every trip’s status is, regardless of the fleet providing the trip. No one else has the technology to put this same program in place at this time. We currently provide our VDAR service in multiple public transit agencies and are looking for more locations interested in this transparent and cost-effective solution. Before we took over the DAR operation, Valley Metro was spending over $35 per boarding on their paratransit service, which relied upon on the traditional fleet of cutaway buses dispatched from a facility solely dedicated to the DAR operation. Providing about 220,000 passenger trips, they were spending about $10 million a year on the traditional service. When Total Transit was awarded the contract, the cost per boarding dropped to $23, a savings of 35 percent and millions of dollars. We’re leveraging technology by making vast investments to further develop and evolve our proprietary peer-to-peer platform. These systems will allow ADA passengers to order a ride through the touch of their smartphone app and give participating municipalities the realtime, dynamic access to data they desire. As a result, we’ll be able to provide a great service that is even more user friendly and convenient for our customers.
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IN AN INDUSTRY THAT VALUES QUALITY, IT’S NICE TO BE NUMBER ONE. The coaches we build are designed to win accolades from passengers. But we were especially proud to learn that Prevost recently ranked first in seated coach sales. It’s proof that our industry is increasingly committed to passenger comfort, convenience and safety. And it affirms our dedication to building coaches that deliver the superior quality that tour operators need in today’s competitive marketplace. www.prevostcar.com
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