NOVEMBER | 2015
O F F I C I A L
BUSRide Road Test:
Van Hool CX35
Network security on the bus p13 Embrace and exceed ADA p17 Prepare for emergencies
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NOVEMBER 2015 CONTENTS
COVER STORY Official BUSRide Road Test: Van Hool CX35
With respect to the family, the 35-foot offering rolls to the beat of its own drum By David Hubbard
FEATURES Motorcoach Management Systems
busHive and Fleetmatics discuss fleet maintenance
Focus On: Fare Collection
Trapeze Group and Genfare explore fare evasion and system security
The Future of Fleet Management 23 Avail Technologies, Infor and Trapeze Group participate in a roundtable discussion
13 THE CONNECTED BUS
By Kent Woodruff
17 EQUAL ACCESS
By Ken Becker
18 TRANSPORTATION CENTER DESIGN
By John Havrilla and Philip D. Muse
By Mary Sue Oâ€™Melia
27 SECURITY AND SURVEILLANCE
By Lori Jetha
28 THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT
By Doug Jack
30 DRIVER SAFETY
By Jeff Cassell
BUSRIDE | NOVEMBER . 2015
After more than a year we are still finding new ways that this powerful program can help us improve our customer service and our bottom line. And the busHive™ staff has
question or need a customized report. Michael Neustadt (Owner), Coach Tours
EasyBus is now
been quick to help whenever we have a
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
PERC picks its Fab Five Funded by the propane industry, the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) leads efforts in safety, training and technology development to encourage and expand the adoption of propane as a clean, domestic and affordable energy source. PERC recognized five U.S. transit fleets as a Top User of Propane Autogas this past September during Metro Magazine’s BusCon in Indianopolis, IN. Groome Transportation, Athens, GA, has been using propane autogas in operations in six states since 2010. Vice President Chris Groome says customers appreciate the value his company places on business and the environment; achieving a greener fuel initiative while saving on cost. Historic Tours of America, Charleston, SC, operates 165 converted propane trolleys, buses, and Conch Tour Trains in six different cities. The company appreciates the fact that clean propane autogas leads to longer engine life and lower total cost of ownership. Inter-County Public Transportation Authority, Elizabeth City, NC, converted 15 vehicles to propane last December and plans to convert three more in the near future, saving more than $30,000 and expecting to reach its ROI within 12 months. LeeTran, Fort Meyers, FL, operates five dedicated propane paratransit shuttle buses in southwest Florida and has 15 more on order. Lee county estimates it will save $14,000 in fuel costs over the life of each vehicle with propane autogas compared with diesel; $25,000 compared with gasoline, VIA Metropolitan Transit, San Antonio, TX, turned on to propane in 1992 and currently operates more than 100 dedicated propane-autogas-powered vehicles. Drivers say the quiet engines offer a safety advantage, most notably as passengers are move on and off paratransit vans. According to Michael Taylor, PERC director, Autogas Business Development, propane autogas enables fleets to run sustainable without burdening tight budgets while reducing harmful emissions and decreasing dependence on foreign oil.
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David Hubbard Associate Publisher BUSRide Magazine
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BUSRIDE | NOVEMBER . 2015
UPDATE “I am delighted that Joey is taking this leadership role at Goshen Coach,” said Tim Sullivan, president and CEO of ASV. “I am confident that his extensive manufacturing and operations experience will be very beneficial for ensuring that great products will continue to be built at this plant.” In his new role, Belle will immediately analyze planning, procurement and production processes to determine what operational changes at the Elkhart facility are needed to increase manufacturing efficiencies and grow throughout.
The TD925 Sky Deck Refurbishment Option converts the proven double-deck to an open-top sightseeing bus that offers many exclusive features including up to 85 passenger capacity – 15 more seats than standard open-top competitors.
ABC Companies launches double-deck refurbishment program ABC Companies has launched a new refurbishment program to add years of service with an exciting array of applications to the proven Van Hool TD925 double-deck bus. The program offers a number of refurbishment options to key market segments including traditional tour and charter operators, the day tour and sightseeing business, as well as a “conversion” model with customer-selected options for a variety of corporate users, professional sports teams and the conversion enthusiast. Since its market entry in 2008, the high-capacity, 81-seat coach is built by Van Hool for robust performance – a key consideration in ABC’s decision to provide this model for extended revenue service. Roman Cornell envisioned the program and heads the company’s Specialty Vehicles Division. “Customer response has been very positive and validates our strategy to offer a broader commercial application to the secondary market,” Cornell said. “These units are proven performers offering all the durability of a true double-deck bus, plus many exciting features for the sightseeing market segment. Why not extend the lifecycle of a viable market leader and offer a product that can still provide years of dependable revenue service?” For complete information about the Van Hool TD925 Refurbishment Program and specialty model options, please contact Roman Cornell, executive vice-president at 800-222-2871 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The industry loses Louis Anthony DeVivo The motorcoach industry bid a final farewell to Louis Anthony DeVivo, 83, who passed away August 23 at his home in Kensington, MA, with his wife, Irene, and family members at his side. Together with his brother Edward and Michael Tolomea, DeVivo formed D & T Transportation, and served as an owner and CEO. That company went on to become DATTCO, New Britain, MA, where his son Don DeVivo now serves as president. Louis grew up on the family farm and loved his gardens and old tractors. Louis Anthony DeVivo, 83, passed away on Throughout his adult life, Louis was August 23, 2015. an active member in the bus and transportation industry, serving as president and past president of the Connecticut Bus Association, and as a lifetime member of the New England Bus Association. He was a member of Sacred Heart Church in New Britain and the Berlin Kiwanis Club. Louis is survived by his son Donald (Pat) and daughter, Diana I. DeVivo, and two grandsons, in addition to family members, in which Louis included the many employees of DATTCO he considered to integral to his extended family. Funeral services were at Porter’s Funeral Home in Kensington, with his burial following in the South Burying Ground of Kensington. The DeVivo has requests donations be made to the “Louis A. DeVivo Memorial Fund” at University of Hartford. Please address donations to Louis A. DeVivo Memorial Fund, University of Hartford, Institutional Advancement, West Hartford, CT 06117. You may also donate online at http://www.hartford.edu/givingtouofh/ (click on Make A Gift, list designation as “Other” and add “Louis A. DeVivo Memorial Fund”).
Volvo breaks ground on new
ASV names Joey Belle customer delivery center VP/GM of Goshen Coach Allied Specialty Vehicles (ASV), a leading manufacturer of motor vehicles for commercial, fire & emergency and recreation markets, announced that Joey Belle has been named vice president/general manager of Goshen Coach. Belle will be based at the company’s manufacturing facility in Elkhart, IN, and report to Matt Petrill, director of operations at Goshen Coach.
Volvo is proud to welcome Plattsburgh, NY, local officials, employees and customers to the groundbreaking of the future bus delivery center serving Nova Bus and Prevost. “Partnerships are at the heart of our business and we are proud to mark a new stage in the synergy of Prevost and Nova Bus with the building of this shared state of the art customer delivery center” said Ralph Acs, Volvo Buses, senior vice president, business region Americas. busride.com | BUSRIDE
This new building will offer a dedicated building to enhance customers’ experience at Volvo’s offices. The new building will be equipped of a welcoming customer area, 10 bus delivery spaces and offices to enable customers to continue their professional activities during their stay. The construction of this project will start in fall 2015.
Volvo is breaking ground on a new delivery center in Plattsburgh.
Wynne Transportation adds four new MCI J4500s The Wynne family of Texas is known for a legendary entrepreneurial streak that began more than a half century ago in the energy business and moved into law and real estate. In 1985, Joan Wynne got a call from the driver who was transporting her real estate clients around town – he wanted to expand the business and needed a loan. Quietly, Wynne Transportation was born. Her son and Wynne Transportation President Bedford Wynne remembers it this way: “My mother (currently Wynne Transportation’s CEO) was using limousines to take clients to dinners and site visits,” Wynne said. “I was in middle school using limousines for dances. When the limousine operator needed financing, he approached my mother and said that he would handle the gas, drivers, insurance, upkeep and we could use the car whenever we wanted. Our company was born.” The Irving, TX, firm remains a town car and van company but moved into the motorcoach industry in 2008 in a big way with the purchase of Priority One and their six-coach fleet. “Now our combined over-the-road fleet is 24 coaches and 13 mini-buses,” Wynne said, noting the recent purchase of four new model MCI J4500 coaches. “We still have our sedans, SUVs, vans, Sprinter Limos, and VanTerras. Our total fleet size is 70 plus vehicles. Ironically, we only have one limo left in our fleet that my mom uses to delight her grandchildren.” The company now has 18 MCI coaches. “We originally started with the MCI D-Series models as they are the workhorse of the industry, and now feature MCI J4500 coaches,” Wynne said.
COVERAGE THAT REVOLVES AROUND YOU PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Protective Insurance Company, rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best, has been providing specialized insurance policies to the transportation industry since 1950. Our hands-on approach to insurance allows us to understand the needs of our customers and form long-standing partnerships. We have a strong safety culture, a tenured claims department and superior customer service standards.
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EXCELLENCE IN: 8
FLEET TRUCKING | PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION |
BUSRIDE | NOVEMBER . 2015
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION | INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS busride.com
“We’re providing an all-Daimler experience for the attendees,” said Alan Thrasher, co-owner of Thrasher Brothers Trailways. “Some of these Mercedes dealer employers have never ridden in a motorcoach before, and they’re amazed. We’ve even made sure the upholstery is in Mercedes gray and black.” The luxury is pure Setra. The new coaches offer all the swank accoutrements for which the brand is known, including, in this case, power outlets at every seat and wood-look flooring.
Thrasher Brothers, a longtime MCI customer, will dedicate its entire fleet of Setra TopClass S 417 coaches to serve visitors to the Mercedes Brand mmersion Experience.
Thrasher Brothers Trailways serves Mercedes-Benz In 2013, Thrasher Brothers Trailways, Birmingham, AL, won a four-year contract to deliver coach services to the Daimler division’s Brand Immersion Experience, a program that will bring some 26,000 worldwide Mercedes employees to the main facility in Vance, AL, to learn about the company’s production practices, history and the cutting-edge technology headed for its newest vehicles. The attendees will also use the testing grounds at Barber Motorsports Park, a leading Indy Car track, to test-drive vehicles in the program. Thrasher will be the primary contractor driving participants to all program sites. Thrasher Brothers, a longtime MCI customer, will dedicate its entire fleet of Setra TopClass S 417 coaches, purchased from MCI, to serve visitors to the Brand Immersion Experience. Thrasher Brothers recently completed a new, four-coach Setra S 417 order specifically for the business.
Tour West America names new GM Tour West America has promoted Graham Inns, a 39-year motorcoach veteran, as its new general manager, moving up from dispatch supervisor. Inn began his career in 1976 as a coach driver in his native New Zealand and immigrated to the US in 1983. In his 12 years with Tour West America, he served in dispatch, sales and safety. Tour West America is a 29-year old Phoenix-based coach and tour company with a current fleet of 22 coaches.
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Motorcoach Management Systems
Manage fleet maintenance In this issue, BUSRide continues “Motorcoach Management Systems,” an in-depth forum series addressing vehicle inventory management, charters and tours, fleet maintenance and personnel management. Experts in this forum focus on what metrics agencies should focus on to optimize vehicles, trips and routing, as well as what software is available that can help. This month, we cover fleet maintenance – a crucial aspect of any comprehensive fleet management software. busHive, Ballston Lake, NY, explores how new software features are helping motorcoach operators to better manage their maintenance operations. Fleetmatics, Waltham, MA, spotlights a recent partnership with a British bus operation that demonstrates how SaaS solutions can optimize fleet operations and save money on fleet maintenance.
BUSRIDE | NOVEMBER . 2015
busHive provides a seamless fleet management solution By Brian Mann
busHive maintenance software helps operators of every size to track their preventative maintenance and operational expenses to better manage costs and decrease expenses. Its flexible system enables a company to track federal, state and company maintenance requirements. As manufacturersâ€™ recommendations vary, busHive has the capability to track preventative maintenance and service by mileage, hour, day and month. For example, customized warning intervals warn a fleet manager up to 30 days in advance to renew vehicle registrations, or 5,000 miles in advance of an oil change.
he system can also manage varying maintenance schedules for different vehicle types, such as minibuses, full size motorcoaches and school buses. Operators know that proactive preventative maintenance is the best practice to prevent roadside repairs and unscheduled maintenance. As everyone knows all too well, a commercial vehicle is not generating revenue if itâ€™s not on the road. Where tracking parts and labor costs for every vehicle in the fleet is a critical task, a reliable fleet management system provides operations with a comprehensive overview of all maintenance expenses that helps the company get them under control and plan more effectively. Reporting tools for fleet managers provide the information they need through work orders, maintenance checklists, vehicle history, fuel usage and inventory levels. busHive reports provide the vital information that ultimately has an impact on the bottom line, such as the cost per mile to run each vehicle. Based on a billing rate the software will provide a profit/loss statement for each charter factoring in the revenue generated by the reservation and deducting the cost to run the vehicle based on the mileage of the charter. The maintenance module also incorporates other integrations with our charter system. It automatically updates the vehicle odometers to the latest mileage reading when the coach returns from a charter, and triggers any warnings for any upcoming preventative maintenance. It also improves communication between dispatchers and fleet managers. A fleet manager attempting to pull a vehicle out for service receives a notification if dispatch has already assigned that unit to
a charter or line run. It also notifies the dispatcher not to send out a vehicle scheduled for maintenance on a specific date or date range. busHive provides preventive maintenance tracking, inventory management, vehicle maintenance histories, fuel management, and brake and tire tracking. As a critical fleet management tool, it improves fleet safety efficiency, extends vehicle life cycles, predicts the optimum time for vehicle replacement, reduces vehicle downtime and saves money by tracking part and vehicle warranties. As more and more bus and coach operations become datadriven, fleet managers must have all the tools to track and report all maintenance expenses with one seamless system, as opposed to two or three separate software programs that do not integrate. Brian Mann serves as director of sales and marketing for busHive, Ballston Lake, NY, a sophisticated software platform for tracking virtually all aspects of transportation for both school bus and motorcoach operations. Visit www.bushive.com.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
Reduce maintenance costs by improving operations
“Being able to reassure our customers is so important, especially when it comes to school pick-ups,” Raja says. “We work for councils and handle pick-ups of disabled children and we’re now in a position to let their parents know approximately how long it’ll take for our bus get there in case of delay and, more importantly, we are able to redirect our drivers to avoid traffic.” Besides helping Southwest Minibuses improving customer service, By Jonathan Durkee Fleetmatics REVEAL has also had a major impact on idling. “I must say that, before turning to Fleetmatics, I didn’t know much about idling and didn’t think it could have such a big impact on fuel consumption and costs,” Raja says. “Thanks to Fleetmatics, we quickly realized how widespread idling was: for example, some of our drivers were leaving the engine on just for air conditioning purposes!” Thanks to Fleetmatics REVEAL’s innovative traffic light system, the firm is now able to visualize on Live Map if a vehicle is regularly parked to perform a pick up (red), running (green) or idling (yellow). Whenever a vehicle is still for more than two minutes since ignition time, it immediately turns yellow on Live Map, which also indicates how long the vehicle is idling for. With drivers being fully aware of being monitored in real time, Raja Thanks to REVEAL’s Live Map function, companies like Southwest Minibuses are able to visualize their fleets on a virtual map. estimates that overall idling figures have decreased by almost 70 percent from 80 to 25 hours per week. Additionally, the company has been successful in tackling a common British minibus and coach hire firm Southwest Minibuses has reduced its fuel and maintenance costs by up to £1,000 per month issue among commercial drivers: harsh driving. Poor driving habits, after introducing the Fleetmatics REVEAL mobile workforce solution including speeding and harsh braking, not only put at risk the safety of to its fleet. The system has helped Southwest Minibuses reduce idling drivers and passengers alike, but they are also responsible for increases time by 70 percent and, combined with route optimization savings, in fuel consumption of up to 15 percent on average, as well as causing has had a dramatic effect on monthly outgoings while contributing to wear and tear on vehicles. improved customer service and safety. Established in 2005, Bristol-based Southwest Minibuses specializes It all adds up to maintenance savings “On one occasion, one of or vehicles’ gearbox broke and thanks to in a variety of corporate and private hire services, ranging from school pick-ups to trips to major events including the Ascot races and Fleetmatics REVEAL’s driving style summary report we were able to Glastonbury Festival. The company has expanded rapidly over the last demonstrate that the damage may have been caused by the driver’s decade and currently runs a 24-strong fleet including minibuses, buses excessively harsh driving style,” Raja says. “Without Fleetmatics, we wouldn’t have been able to demonstrate this. With Fleetmatics GPS and coaches. tracking in place, our drivers have become more conscious about their driving behavior and aggressive driving practices have decreased Software reduces operational costs Prior to turning to GPS tracking, Southwest Minibuses’ Director dramatically with huge consequences in terms of fuel consumption Jay Raja sometimes had difficulties in pinpointing his drivers. and vehicle maintenance costs.” Raja estimates that, as a result of improved driving habits, idling This had negative consequences on both business efficiency and reduction and enhanced routing efficiency, Southwest Minibuses has customer service. “In this type of business, especially when it comes to large groups been able to achieve monthly savings ranging from £500 to £1000 by heading to important events, even a minor delay can be a major cause cutting fuel and maintenance costs. “Especially because we work with councils and schools, it is of concern,” he says. “Before Fleetmatics came along, whenever a customer phoned me to report a delay my only option was to phone essential for us to be able to show our environmental policy and health the driver to know his location, but, eight times out of 10, the driver and safety credentials,“ he says. “With Fleetmatics GPS tracking wouldn’t even pick up the phone: at the end of the day, you’re legally in place, we’re able to show how reducing fuel consumption while enhancing safety are at top of our agenda.” entitled not to answer your phone while driving!” Thanks to REVEAL’s Live Map function, Southwest Minibuses is now able to visualize its fleet on a virtual map - on either a laptop Jonathan Durkee serves as vice president, products & sales, product management, for Fleetmatics, Waltham, MA. Fleetmatics is a leading global or smartphone. This helps identify how far a given vehicle is from a provider of mobile workforce solutions for service-based businesses of all sizes pick-up point and how long it should take for it to reach it in real time delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS). Visit www.fleetmatics.com. traffic conditions. 12
BUSRIDE | NOVEMBER . 2015
THE CONNECTED BUS
Network security By Kent Woodruff
Wi-Fi for riders is becoming more prevalent in transit agencies across America. From a transportation perspective, it’s important that agencies and users can connect to the Internet with confidence. Attack vectors Cradlepoint customers in the transportation field primarily utilize our device for wireless access on the bus. That includes customer WiFi as well as other systems that might need connectivity, like fare systems, in-vehicle surveillance and vehicle telematics. It helps to protect the points where “bad guys” are most likely to target. While it’s possible to target credit card information on customers’ mobile devices, that method isn’t preferred. Unlike the Target data breach, where thousands of credit card numbers were stolen at once, hackers targeting riders’ financial information would have to steal on a user-by-user, device-bydevice basis. Unless it’s easy to get on a bus and instantly grab numerous credit cards, it’s not going to be a very sought after attack vector. At this point in time, the most likely threat is to the Wi-Fi users on an agency’s network. That’s Zscaler Internet Security features an intuitive dashboard, with instant insights into malicious activity and because the end-point is the easiest place to Internet browsing trends. attack. If a hacker utilizes techniques that make Combined with Cradlepoint cloud-managed networking solutions, it easier for the end user to attach to the hacker’s phone as opposed to Zscaler Internet Security enables enterprises to embrace cloud the bus’s Wi-Fi, then he/she can send them to the wrong website or applications and mobility, while delivering a superior user experience. even attack their device directly. It becomes the most vulnerable part Configured in minutes, Zscaler Internet Security leverages the threat of the system – and usually the least secure. intelligence harnessed from the Zscaler cloud. Cradlepoint takes Most agencies that want to provide Wi-Fi access for their customers advantage of the Zscaler Secure Web Gateway to provide security to are interested primarily in content filtering. This mainly protects agencies and also the end users on the local area network (LAN) side. against riders exposing pornographic or otherwise objectionable material on the bus. Zscaler features Content filtering is a given, but we tend not to hear about the fact • URL filtering – filtering against 90 categories, 30 super categories, that someone can get Wi-Fi access and then bring down malware and six classes from the cloud. It’s not specific to transit agencies, but none of the • Cloud application control – the ability to create global policies for open Wi-Fi providers seem to be too concerned about whether or not webmail, streaming media, social and IM someone hacks their customers. That’s because it’s fairly hard to tell • Safe search – the ability to enforce Google safe search policy via which sites the malware is coming from. central Zscaler console If you can do it in a reasonably affordable way, you should not only • Intuitive dashboard – instant insights into malicious activity and provide content filtering but also protect the users as best as you can internet browsing trends – from phishing, malware and other online threats. The Internet is not Our goal is to make security easy for agencies and to make it rightthe safest place in the world. Your ability to protect your customers’ sized for the environment, especially for a highly distributed enterprise devices would also be something to tout to the riders. in the case of transportation. Security is the solution Cradlepoint has a few solutions to this security issue. We provide the core content filtering through a couple of partnerships, primarily through Zscaler Internet Security. Zscaler provides CIPA-compliant content filtering but also provides very simple (from an installation and deployment perspective) filtering of known malware and known malicious websites.
Kent Woodruff is the chief security officer at Cradlepoint. Prior to Cradlepoint he was chief security analyst for Motorola AirDefense and has held many senior positions with notable security companies. Cradlepoint is the global leader in 4G LTE networking solutions that power transportation fleets — joining data, cloud, security, and the evolving IoT with intelligent networking. Visit them online at www.cradlepoint.com.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
O F F I C I A L
BUSRide Road Test:
With respect to the family, the 35-foot offering rolls to the beat of its own drum
The passenger cabin offers wide, reclining Grand Luxe-L-20g seats with straighter back cushion and headrest, upfolding armrests, as well as three-point seat belts and spring-loaded footrests.
BUSRIDE | NOVEMBER . 2015
The design and layout of the CX35 control panel mirrors that of the CX45.
The launch of the CX35 completes the celebrated evolution of the Van Hool motorcoach models developed for North American, which ABC Companies, the North American distributor of Van Hool motorcoaches, has spearheaded over the last several years. The CX35 hits the road in 2016 not only with the heralded genes of the Belgian coachbuilder, but also specialized features that make it unique in the Van Hool family with a personality all its own. What more could the youngest sibling ask for? Arriving in North America on the heels of the Van Hool TX45 and CX45, and more recently the double deck TDX, the 35-foot CX35 has not fallen far from the tree, as the old saying goes. For all intents and purposes, this coach cuts an identical profile to its closest sibling and packs the same punch — except for being 10 feet shorter. In fact, both models are 11 feet, 6 inches in height; 102 inches wide, and they share more than 70 percent of the same parts and componentry. ABC Companies says in the evolution of this line it only made sense that each model in the family of coaches performs exactly the same,
without altering anything having to do with the look and feel for the for the driver, passengers and the maintenance technicians. “Our goal has been to work with Van Hool to create a 35-foot model on the footprint of the CX45,” says ABC Companies’ Jim Morrison, vice president, sales, Southeast Region. “I think Van Hool and ABC Companies have succeeded in all that we set out to accomplish.” Morrison says the CX35 comes through Van Hool’s response to high demand from North American operators. “Van Hool is filling early orders from its new manufacturing facility in Macedonia, and our orders stretch well into 2016,” he says. Escot puts the CX35 to the test BUSRide recently met with ABC Companies for this Official BUSRide Road Test. The meeting took place in Largo, FL, where Brian Scott, president of Escot Bus Lines, was on hand to test drive one of the first production model CX35s to arrive in the U.S. The twist in the usual protocol is the fact that Scott had already purchased two Van Hool CX35s between now and the time he agreed to serve as the objective third-party driver on the day of this review. He will take delivery on his new coaches this coming March, which will complement the two Van Hool CX45 models currently running in the Escot fleet. Scott told BUSRide on this day he would be driving the CX35 for the first time. “I visited Van Hool at its headquarters in Belgium for a tour of the manufacturing facility,” Scott says. “I saw the CX35 in production and rode along on a demonstration drive, but I did not have an opportunity to drive it.” As for his observations at the factory, Scott spoke glowingly on the CX35 for its stability, comfort and quietness throughout the cabin. “In terms of my onboard passenger experience in Belgium, I did not notice any difference in feel between this 38-seat coach and the
The driver’s seat with automatic three-point seat belt features self-leveling air suspension with independent air height adjustment, adjustable arm and lumbar support.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
At left: Contoured enclosed parcel racks with 23-inch monitors are available as an option. Below: The parcel racks house individual passenger reading lights with directional adjustment.
Passengers can connect via an electrical outlet and USB port behind each seat.
full-size CX45,” Scott says. “The CX35 is spacious and very comfortable with all the amenities and plenty of legroom.” The innovative front-to-rear flat passenger floor design provides the CX35 a spacious interior that eliminates the traditional “step-up” inside. The passenger cabin offers wide, reclining Grand Luxe-L-20g seats with straighter back cushion and headrest, upfolding armrests, as well as three-point seat belts and spring-loaded footrests. An integrated HVAC system results in additional luggage space below. To accommodate mobility-challenged passengers, the CX35 features a mid-ship wheelchair lift. As he took the wheel, Scott said he had been looking forward to driving the coach and finding out for himself how it performs. “As I drive, I will be listening for road noise. I want to see how it handles in the wind,” he said, driving the coach onto Highway 19, with the remnants of Hurricane Erica still threatening. “I’m expecting it to feel pretty smooth.” “I like the fact that the design and layout of the control panel is the same as the CX45,” Scott says. “My scan in the CX35 is the same as it is in the larger coach and the instruments are where I am used to seeing them, which really helps, especially in a time-sensitive situation. This allows my drivers to adapt quickly to this new coach without requiring hours of additional training.” The fact that the CX35 has a character of its own and marches to the beat of its own drum could not have made any clearer than by Scott’s very tight full-circle turn in the Escot bus yard within the space of the driving lane and parking spaces, which elicited cheers from other drivers watching on. 16
BUSRIDE | NOVEMBER . 2015
“That was absolutely amazing,” Scott says. “I was never expecting to make it around in one complete turn.” For the record, it is an 18-foot, 7 and 13/16-inch wheelbase that allows the CX35 to cut a 32-foot, 3-inch turning radius. Scott says based on his first time at the wheel, he will train his Escot drivers in the early going to be mindful that the CX35 has only two axles instead of three, which makes the coach all the more responsive. ABC Companies notes that the layout of the engine compartment housing a Cummins ISL 9 EPA 13 diesel engine is equally familiar for technicians servicing the CX45. “The fact that the CX35 and CX45 share such a large number of identical parts and components is an important selling point for me.” Scott says. “From the standpoint of inventory control, I can see where this will result in cost savings and reduced downtime.” In fact, he says it’s likely his maintenance department already has many of the interchangeable parts in stock for use on the two CX45s. “The CX35 affords a full-scale, quality coach experience for smaller charter groups, shuttle operations, school teams and functions that would not otherwise fill a full-size coach,” says Roman Cornell, executive vice president, ABC Companies. “Greater fleet flexibility allows operators to cater to a more diverse market segment, and still provide the standard features and high-end amenities enjoyed on the full-size CX45.” “Based on what I have seen and experienced to this point, its length makes the CX35 unique,” Scott says. “I don’t believe our customers, drivers or maintenance staff will ever view this coach as anything less than its 45-foot counterpart – and that’s saying a lot.”
The CX35 offers ample luggage space for passengers.
Embrace and exceed ADA
Working to exceed ADA guidelines, ARBOC Specialty Vehicles cares enough about accessibility that it provides where possible larger 32 inch by 54 inch securement zones.
By Ken Becker This year, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) celebrates 25 years since Congress signed the bill into law on July 26, 1990. The ADA has brought focus and clarity to the immense civil rights struggle that people living with disabilities have endured in the United States over the course of nearly 50 years. Generally speaking, the transportation industry has viewed the ADA as “just another regulation” operators must meet. It is unfortunate that such a great number bus and coaches in service little more than meet the minimum ADA guidelines and recommendations. The intent of ADA is moreover an invitation for the industry to strive to exceed minimum specifications. What matters most Wheelchair Zones — ADA states that accessible vehicles 22 feet and longer require a minimum of two wheelchair positions; one at least 30 inches by 48 inches. These original dimensions were for the smaller manual wheelchairs at the time. Powered mobility devices today are becoming larger, many longer than 48 inches, making it sometimes difficult to safely secure the passenger. The specification in many bids or requests for proposals (RFPs) merely reads, must have two wheelchair positions and meet ADA; as opposed to a detailed bid specification that spells out dimensions for larger wheelchair zones. We often see buses with one wheelchair position at the 30 inch by 48 inch specification and the second zone even smaller. The diagram below provided by Q’Straint shows the proper recommended restraint angles.
Working to exceed ADA guidelines, ARBOC Specialty Vehicles cares enough about accessibility that it provides where possible larger 32 inch by 54 inch securement zones. What can be done New Securement Safety Standard – The new WC-19 Wheelchair Safety Standard takes effect December of 2015. The goal is to improve wheelchair safety with four fully tested, easily accessible, permanently attached securement points and a commercially available wheelchair-anchored lap belt. Ramp Width – ADA currently requires the ramp platform be a minimum of 30 inches wide. Merely meeting the ADA minimum requirement of 30 inches could potentially leave many passengers with mobility devices out on the curb. ARBOC Specialty Vehicles ramps with 34 inch wide platform surface exceeds ADA guidelines. Ramp Slope – With much debate over the past few years to change the ADA ramp slope minimum, it is surprising the 1:4 ratio is still in
place. It is actually quite steep to assist wheelchair passengers safely as they enter and exit. Steep ramp slopes also pose a danger with regard to tip-over angles from a passenger colliding with any threshold or protrusion across the ramp. ADA prohibits protrusions platform surface greater than a quarter-inch. ADA also states that where the ramp can rest on a 6-inch curb, the ramp slope is to be 1:12. ARBOC Specialty Vehicles determined the ADA minimum 1:4 slope was too steep, and designed its patented low-floor By definition, random access means multiple cutaway bus with wheelchair passengers do not require sequential an angled and loading and unloading. forward positioned entrance capable of kneeling in order to achieve a 1:6 slope on flat ground and 1:14 slope on a 6 inch curb. Other OEMs have had to increase the overall width of their buses to 102 inches to meet the ADA minimum slope. Otherwise, the ramp would terminate beyond the mid-point of the passenger aisle, and the wheelchair would not have had enough room to make the needed 90-degree turn the bus. To help visualize the difference between ramp slopes, the below diagram shows the steepness of a 1:4 ramp slope compared to a less steep 1:6 slope or greater.
Random Access™ – This term, trademarked by ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, is used loosely throughout the industry without understanding its true meaning. By definition, random access means multiple wheelchair passengers do not require sequential loading and unloading. Any one wheelchair passenger can enter or exit the bus without the need for another wheelchair or ambulatory passenger to relocate or even exit the vehicle. Achieving true random access in a bus 96 inches wide with minimal interior floor space is no small feat. ARBOC Specialty Vehicles random access refers to its patented 12-degree angled and forward entrance and continuous plane floor. More usable floor space enables a natural flow for all wheelchair and ambulatory pathways. People with disabilities who depend on public transportation on a regular basis say they can immediately spot the offenders, pointing to some bus builders they claim do not focus on accessibility when they design their vehicles. The bus industry needs to take closer at the ADA products they provide and ask, “Is this really equal access?” Ken Becker is national sales manager for ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, Middlebury, IN. A veteran with 14 years in the bus industry, Becker is a recognized leader in
paratransit technology. Visit the ARBOC website at www.arbocsv.com.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
Transportation Center Design
ALTERNATIVE fueling facilities
A public and private fueling station For a recent fueling station project for Metro Bus in St. Cloud, MN, the agency selected an initial outdoor location on the site close to the existing diesel fueling lanes for both the public and private fueling stations. The decision to include private and potential public fueling opportunities on a limited site footprint required the agency to conduct a thorough site review process. Sensing that the originally selected location could be problematic, an “immersion process” assessed the pros and cons of that location, additional options for site layout, and addressed engineering and life safety considerations. This process brought the stakeholders and end users together to voice their needs, concerns, and issues before the start of design. This process was extremely beneficial and convening this discussion right at the project site enabled the team to collect and discuss programming information in real time.
By John Havrilla and Philip D. Muse Transit agencies transition from traditional diesel bus fleets to fleets powered by alternative fuels because these vehicles offer improved operational efficiencies, reductions in the carbon footprint and a reduction in daily operating costs. Not only are alternative fuel powered buses more efficient, their use improves the perception of bus transit in the cities and communities in which they operate. Today’s fully electric-powered vehicles save on fuel costs and emit no particulate matter, nitrogen oxides or carbon dioxide. This makes them especially suitable for use in densely populated urban environments. They are available in more weightclasses and applications than ever before. Compressed natural gas (CNG) buses also have proven successful in reducing fuel costs and carbon emissions. CNG is one of the cleanest-burning alternative fuels available with near-zero emissions. While most fleet operators understand the benefits of switching to alternative fuels, many operators are not experienced with the facility, site and safety requirements necessary to fuel, store and maintain the new buses. Read on for some key considerations that will help as you plan the fueling and maintenance facilities for your new alternate power fleet. Siting your fueling facility Here are a few things to consider when siting your fueling or charging station: COMMON FUEL CONSIDERATIONS: • Service and maintenance requirements • Understand your current bus movements and how they could be impacted by vehicles needing alternative fuel. • Planning for operational impacts • Option to fuel onsite and/or offsite • Public understanding of the proposed operations • Creating a partnership with local fire departments and emergency responders • Need for safety training
What are the options for indoor fueling? Indoor CNG fueling facilities are rare in the industry. The capital costs associated with the mitigation measures required to comply with current codes for compressed natural gas indoor fueling are high. While an advantage, especially in the harsh northern climates, the cost to retrofit facilities to meet current code levels can be prohibitive. Implementing an indoor CNG fueling option on a new facility is much less costly, but it still carries a premium.
Metro Bus private fueling looking NW
Worcester Regional Transit Authority Hub at Union Station. Electric Bus Charging Station and Passenger Boarding Area.
Aesthetics and functionality Metro Bus chose a fueling station location that was the best fit for their current bus movement. The components of the project included a compressor island, public and private fast fill fueling stations, and a dramatic canopy facing the interstate. The canopy design provides a “billboard or front door sign” for the bus company and helps to advertise the public CNG fueling option.
Final considerations When considering an alternative fuel strategy keep in mind the potential impact of this decision in five major areas of your operation: 1) the vehicles, 2) the fueling infrastructure, 3) the maintenance facility requirements, 4) the operator, and 5) maintenance training required. A successful alternative fuel program should thoroughly evaluate and plan for each of these five components. All too often one or more of these components are overlooked and the impact to the overall program can be significant.
ADDITIONAL CNG CONSIDERATIONS: • Need for adequate NG supply and pressure • Do you want/need to provide public fueling • Is indoor fueling a requirement • High rate of fill (fast fill) vs low rate of fill (time fill) • Regulations on defueling (Prior to maintenance) • Noise assessment (CNG Compressors, dryers)
Planning your facility In view of the fact that alternative fuels are here to stay, it is important that transit agencies and operators build on the lessons learned of other agencies and seek to gain a full understanding of the issues and benefits of incorporating alternative fuel vehicles into their fleets. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel as you can easily build on the experiences of other agencies and designers who have already tackled these problems.
ADDITIONAL ELECTRIC CONSIDERATIONS: • Potential utility upgrades and demand charges • Noise assessments, electric generators • Remote charging stations and locations
John Havrilla, PE, serves as director of alternative fuel services, for Wendel Companies. Also contributing: Philip D. Muse, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD,+C. You can reach John at email@example.com. For more information about Wendel, visit www.wendelcompanies.com.
BUSRIDE | NOVEMBER . 2015
Successful ITS project implementation –
NOW WHAT? by Mary Sue O’Melia
You have successfully implemented your new ITS project, completing installation, set up, testing and validation processes. Employees at all levels of the organization are trained. Your new ITS project is up and running. You’re collecting and reporting data. Now what? Plan for customer benefits When the decision to purchase ITS (e.g., automated fare equipment, automated vehicle location, automatic passenger counting) was made, what were the objectives of the project? What benefits did you forecast for your customers? These might include provision of real-time bus arrivals, mobile applications of service availability, easier fare payment, and information to better plan service routes and improve schedule adherence. Benefits accrue to your customers only if public information provided is accurate, equipment functions properly, and employees know how the system works in case there are issues or requests for assistance from customers. Plan for maintenance Ongoing equipment maintenance is required for equipment on vehicles, equipment to store data, and equipment to provide realtime information to customers. This mix of equipment requires a plan for preventive maintenance as well as capital replacement. You do not want to be the transit agency with a new ITS system that has 40 percent of the equipment down at the end of five years with no plan for how to rectify the issue. Whether your agency conducts the maintenance in-house or outsources, this is a critical aspect to longterm project success and needs to be operationalized in terms of processes, resources and budgets. Plan for data upkeep and use There are three types of data: (1) Data provided by the system for use by customers; (2) Real-time data from the system used by operations; and (3) Historical data from the system used by planners. Data used to feed systems that provide information to your customers need to be updated every time there is a change in fare policy, route alignment, route schedules and bus stop locations. And this information has to be correct. Most transit agencies change schedules at least once per year and some agencies much more frequently. Much of the information received is real-time and requires immediate action from operations. For example: accidents, in-service incidents, vehicle bunching, late pull-outs and vehicle condition. Are processes and responsibilities clearly defined to empower employees to act in real time to address issues and correct problems? For example, how late does a vehicle need to be before a second bus is cut-in? How do you communicate with passengers real-time? Who is empowered to act and when?
Data after the fact is used to determine areas of good performance as well as those requiring attention. Analytics regarding future performance and primary factors contributing to past performance (e.g., impact of individual driver on schedule adherence performance) are also items to investigate. What did your organization plan on doing with all the historical data and information being generated by the new ITS? Do you have the staff resources to perform these analyses? How will you incorporate the results of these analyses into service plans, annual budgets, operating procedures and strategic plans?
“Very few of us can grasp all the aspects of a new system the first time through training.” Plan for ongoing training Employees are trained on the new systems. Once they use the system for a while, they may require additional training for “experts” or the next level. Very few of us can grasp all the aspects of a new system the first time through training. Experience in system use and then some level of additional training seems to work best. This applies to those responsible for system administration, data analysis after the fact, and data preparation and load for systems that provide information to your customers. At the other end of the spectrum is the bus operator who is required to sign on to the system(s). While the single sign-on has helped immensely, who is responsible for monitoring this process and coaching should there be training issues? Finally, there is staff turnover and promotions. Is training available on key systems? Many times complaints that a system is not working can be traced back to the system working but the person responsible for upkeep and maintenance does not know how or may even be unaware of the need for action. Ongoing training and re-training is a management issue rather than a systems issue. Conclusion Capital ITS projects have an end date – when the new systems are accepted and final payment rendered. The bigger challenge is ongoing maintenance of ITS equipment and systems, ongoing technical support, and ongoing training and retraining. These are management issues and require ongoing commitment, a plan and an operating budget. 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
FOCUS ON: FARE COLLECTION Security and fare evasion BUSRide Magazine is proud to continue the “Focus On: Fare Collection” series, highlighting the benefits of various modes of fare collection, as well as addressing the best practices associated with each. This month’s featured installment is centered on preventing fare evasion, an essential element of any modern fare system. Fare evasion and walk-away money are some of the biggest sources of financial loss for transit agencies, so it’s important that operators know how to best protect their revenue. For this installment, BUSRide called for contributions from revenue management experts Trapeze Group, Mississauga, ON, Canada, and Genfare, Elk Grove Village, IN. Trapeze Group is a provider of solutions to the public passenger transportation industry, creating, delivering and supporting software solutions and services that make it easier for transportation agencies, schools, taxi companies and non-emergency medical transportation providers to manage their complex, day-to-day business operations. This month, Trapeze Group writes about innovative features and new technology that allow agencies to curb lost revenue. Genfare has a legacy as a leader and innovator in the transportation industry throughout its long and successful existence. The company’s history stretches back to the 1880s with the invention of the first farebox. In this chapter, the company explores best practices that agencies can implement reduce fare evasion and increase security. Thank you for joining BUSRide as we continue to “Focus On: Fare Collection!”
BUSRIDE | NOVEMBER . 2015
FOCUS ON: FARE COLLECTION
Security and evasion control By David Kachemov
The credit card security breaches that have occurred at several large retailers over the last few years will soon result in significant changes to the way electronic payments of all types are managed and processed. This broader technical evolution will most certainly influence the way that public transit agencies handle fare collection, whether itâ€™s on-board a bus, via Point of Sales (POS) devices, or at Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs). One emerging trend in fare collection that you must be aware of involves chip and PIN credit cards that meet European MasterCard Visa (EMV) standards. Going forward, banks may take the position of passing on the responsibility for credit card fraud to any vendor that operates using the less secure magnetic strip approach, currently the technical standard throughout the United States. This, in turn, creates another challenge for many US transit agencies: transitioning from closed loop smartcard systems to real-time account-based operations powered by 4G LTE communications. The transition to EMV-styled chip and PIN systems, which have been in operation in Canada and Europe for about a year, will begin in the United States in October 2015. This change is going to impact every transit agency with POS systems. So, the simple guidance is: stay away from magnetics. If you already have them in place, you need to create a transition plan to move your payments collection and security forward. Net-net, magnetics is a sunset technology due to its high maintenance costs and poor security features. Most agencies will also need to evolve their evasion control measures by utilizing on-board electronics to assure fare validity for both fixed route and paratransit operations. On-board validators that can read bar codes, QR and smart card/NFC, and provide audio-visual feedback to the patron and bus operator, are particularly effective. Knowing all of this, it is recommended that all agencies considering a fare collection system procurement or upgrade seriously contemplate a smart card based e-payment component that offers hybrid functionality (e.g. closed loop and account based capabilities), and augment this with a mobile ticketing solution.
A broad technical evolution will influence the way that transit agencies handle fare collection, whether itâ€™s on-board a bus, via Point of Sale devices, or at Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs).
The rationale for hybrid is to ensure that security checks on payment media can be done when out of cellular coverage range, while still maintaining control over efficient passenger boarding times. By implementing real-time, account-based systems that integrate evolved fare collection methods with modern security controls, transit agencies of all sizes will position themselves to add open payments solutions at a fraction of the cost of replacing closed-loop magnetic systems. Companies such as Trapeze Group have proven solutions for this hybrid approach. Once deployed, these solutions will provide the basis for improved operational efficiency, greater fare evasion controls and a modern, scalable passenger payments experience. David Kachemov serves as vice president, ITS/AFC operations and development, for Trapeze Group. Visit Trapeze Group online at www.trapezegroup.com. Get the full story at www.busride.com/ebooks.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
FOCUS ON: FARE COLLECTION
Control revenue loss with policies and procedures By The Genfare Team BUSRide met with representatives from Genfare, Elk Grove Village, IL, to discuss how modern fare collection companies manage revenue loss, fraud and fare evasion. What is the biggest cause of lost revenue at transit agencies? The main cause of lost revenue in transit agencies, when it comes to fare collection practices, is key control. Keys are security assets that allow transit authorities access cash boxes. If agencies don’t properly maintain these key controls, or if somebody were to lose one and not report it, then that is a big issue. What are some recent innovations that can help agencies protect against lost revenue? At Genfare, we help our agency customers develop policies and procedures to institute key control measures. There are also companies, like CyberLock by Videx in the case of Genfare, that cater to key control needs. These companies assign keys and lock them in a safe. Employees can come in at the beginning of their shift, use a PIN to sign out a key, and that key is only allocated to them during their scheduled shift. If they come in on an offshift day or time, they cannot access that key. The biggest thing that we do is help agencies put those key control measures in place. More times than not, it’s about Digital wallets on smartphones are policies and procedures related much less susceptible to fraud than traditional fare media. to logging, signing in and signing out keys, as well as a physical inventory of keys every month. If one is missing, agencies can know within a 30-day period rather than a six-month period. We try to educate our transit agencies that are using either smartcard or magnetic media on how best to use that particular piece of media, whether it’s as a day pass, a transfer pass that may have a two-hour window, or a two-hour window with two rides, etc. – we try to define the media and make it as finite as possible to ensure that the riders 22
BUSRIDE | NOVEMBER . 2015
are getting the rides that they need to continue their trip, but the agency is not at risk for unused cards or unwanted rides for that particular media. In terms of fare fraud, what’s the biggest threat to transit agencies? The majority of fraud that we see is based on flash-pass usage. Flashpasses are locally printed passes, from an agency with no security measure like magnetic strips or chips, that are easily photocopied at home. That kind of fraud is easily combatted by migrating customers to smartcards QR-codes present an incredibly secure way to and/or magnetic media. manage fares. Magnetic media is fairly secure and each fare collection provider has their own encoding format – unique and only known to the provider. There is equipment available over the internet that allows people to copy magnetic media, but it’s fairly expensive. The people that buy that equipment are using it to copy credit cards and not transit fare cards. What else do agencies need to know? Money handling procedures are incredibly important. Agencies need to have necessary security in place, with cameras in every account room and covering every square inch of rooms where money is handled. The biggest thing that agencies need to do is their daily diligence by looking at the reports they get from the system. Those reports show any anomalies within a system as soon as it happens, or one day later at the latest. If agencies are doing their due diligence every day, they can pinpoint problems and look to solve them immediately. Genfare is a leading provider of fare collection solutions for transit agencies of all sizes. Don’t miss the next connecting article in the January 2016 edition of BUSRide Magazine, and visit www.busride.com/ebooks to get the full story in Genfare’s eBook.
TheofFuture Fleet Management BUSRide spoke with representatives from Avail Technologies, Infor and Trapeze Group about the fleet management solutions and software available to transit agencies now and in the future The participants in this roundtable discussion were: Kevin McKay – vice president of programs development – Avail Technologies Kevin Price – product director, enterprise asset management – Infor Brett Koenig – industry solutions manager, enterprise asset management – Trapeze Group Please briefly explain your company’s area of focus in transit operations and the issues your programs and products address. Brett Koenig: Trapeze Group offers a suite of integrated solutions used by transit agencies to manage their day-to-day operations, including solutions for fixed-route operations and scheduling, traveler information, ITS, automated fare collection, demand-response and what we’re talking about today – enterprise asset management. We’re unique because we focus solely the transit industry by offering a number of mission-critical solutions used by the different departments within a transit enterprise. Kevin Price: Infor’s enterprise asset management system is designed to help maintain the infrastructure of both rolling stock and the infrastructure that the rolling stock runs on – rails, bridges and tunnels, for example. Our software helps companies to extend the life of those assets in a safe and legally compliant way. “Safe” meaning that agencies know the last time the asset was used and the values behind the asset. Legal compliance allows these agencies to maintain a State of Good Repair (SGR), which is of course the reason why agencies have asset management systems. Kevin McKay: Avail Technologies provides intelligent transportation systems (ITS) for fleet management. It’s really all technologies related to asset and fleet management. Our expertise is in the small to medium-sized transit agencies. We’re looking to totally integrate transit fleet management systems. That includes passenger information, fare collection and anything else that helps agencies operate their fleet. We integrate key components and share data across the transit system, allowing agencies to analyze data and improve efficiency. Ultimately, it will help them provide a better experience for passengers. Please elaborate on the most recent innovations and upgrades in fleet management programs. How do they benefit the end users? Koenig: We’re seeing a few key fleet management trends within the industry. First, as a result of new regulations (MAP-21) and industry standards (ISO-55000) we are seeing an evolution toward “whole enterprise” asset management that focuses on more than just vehicles and rolling stock. A second trend is that agencies are addressing the need to tightly integrate fleet/asset management systems with their
other vital transit agency systems. As a result of these trends, over the past 10 years we have seen a pivot away from older maintenance management platforms toward more advanced systems termed “enterprise asset management (EAM).” EAM systems are capable of managing the unique asset, work and materials management needs of the various maintenance divisions within a transit agency (rolling stock, facilities, infrastructure, and equipment). A key aspect of the new regulations and requirements (MAP-21) is having the entire infrastructure at the agency managed in a single database. Having a single solution that meets both the needs of the capital planners and the maintenance divisions is greatly beneficial to the agency, because it provides a single line of sight across the organization for applications like condition tracking, State of Good Repair (SGR) and performance measuring and reporting. The industry is now highly-specialized to the extent that transitfocused EAM solutions now exist offering the following powerful features, which allow agency staff to do their job quicker: (a) User interfaces designed specifically for the key roles within the agency (asset manager, supervisor, technician, storekeeper); (b) Built-in transit functionality (such as vehicle service status management, yard management, consist/trainset management, and out-of-the box NTD reports); and (c) Tight integration with other transit enterprise systems (such as operations/scheduling and ERP/finance systems) allowing for vital data to be automatically kept in-sync across the organization.
“The ‘change management’ aspect of deploying a new EAM program remains a challenge at most agencies.” Price: Usability is a huge innovation. Usability is seen in several different ways. With a respect to mobility, for example, it’s very important for track walkers who are inspecting rail to be able to use the program’s functions in an easy way because of the dangerous environment that track walkers work in. Another example of usability is incorporating visual elements and relevant data sets. Back to the rail example, people who are reviewing trends, regularity of asset position, regularity of asset inspection timing, or any other detail can see data in both a tabular and graphical view. This helps agencies to see trends in their solutions. busride.com | BUSRIDE
Another issue is scheduling. A lot of different data sets are coming from different places. There’s data coming from arrival signaling, and even BRT. This means that agencies can ensure the asset, people and space are available at the right time. It’s important to have all of this data readily available for agencies using enterprise asset management solutions (e.g., collecting data for whole lifecycle asset management, inspection/PM program management, and compliance with federal regulations). McKay: In the past, we traditionally provided a lot of data and information. Now we think it’s more important to provide answers, not data. By that, we mean that we like to identify key operational concerns and information that agencies are looking for. We then mine the data for the agency and provide information back to them so that they don’t need to have their people hunt for relevant information. Rather than just provide the status and real-time information about where a vehicle is, we provide the key data that an agency is interested in. Is there overcrowding on a vehicle? Will a vehicle miss a key transfer? Are there buses running later than normal? We alert the dispatcher so they can take action to improve the service. We tell agencies about the most concerning happenings in their systems, rather than make them find it themselves. Another key issue – we feel it’s important to get key information to passengers so that they can make wise decisions on their transportation. If you can keep riders informed of vehicle status and make it easy for them to access that information, they can make a decision about what to do. What do transit operators have the most difficulty with as they implement a new program? Koenig: The “change management” aspect of deploying a new EAM program remains a challenge at most agencies. This is best addressed by getting stakeholder involvement early in the process (from requirements definition, to vendor selection) as well as throughout
the implementation, to ensure that the entire organization fully understand the reasons for the change and the benefits the new system will yield for the agency. Price: There are several issues, unfortunately. Large companies have a typical large-agency problem, where there are a lot of existing solutions that attempt to function with asset work management solutions. Their issues center on the need to replace old systems, whether they be Excel spreadsheets or some other archaic solution. Agencies need one system that allows them to manage all assets. Other issues we see are the warranty management capabilities of the system. There are a ton of warranties issued for rolling stock, as well as other assets. We see a lot of rolling stock that agencies are working on but never recouping the necessary funds. We have a complete warranty inspection, claim and invoice solution that helps out quite a bit with that problem. Another problem goes back to the liability of the operation. This means understanding the failure analysis behind a given infrastructure, whether it is an escalator, a tunnel or rolling stock. All of this is essential to obtain SGR. McKay: Sometimes we can all get too focused on the latest technology and how to buy it rather than focusing on the problem we’re trying to solve. The solution to a problem is not always technology. Sometimes the solution to a problem involves procedural changes. The key question for transit agencies is: “What is the problem you’re having and what is it you’re trying to solve?” Let the vendor recommend various solutions and then see what makes sense. Another issue is making sure that agencies can share the information that they have. You don’t want to end up with duplicate data or data that can’t be shared between two systems. Agencies don’t want to maintain data in three or four different places. Many times, agencies can share data between systems but they’re not taking the time to look across systems and see what they need to focus on.
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The last big issue is, when all is said and done, how will solutions benefit riders and improve service? Agencies are spending a lot of money to implement these systems, but at the end of the day it’s about creating a better customer experience. What does your company have planned for the next decade? What advances are on the horizon? Koenig: Trapeze is committed to providing the leading transit technologies that agencies will need to succeed over the next 10 years, and beyond. From an asset management standpoint, Trapeze is laserfocused on all new federal requirements related to asset management. Trapeze EAM’s State of Good Repair/Capital Planning module will continue to evolve as the FTA releases further clarifying guidance related to Transit Asset Management reporting requirements (e.g. safety management systems and SGR performance measurement). Looking forward, a key asset management trend over the next 5-10 years will be significant increases in the amount of “smart infrastructure” in use by transit agencies. More assets will have the capability to automatically monitor the health of vital systems/ components (as modern buses and railcars do today). Today, Trapeze EAM integrates this data into EAM’s Telematics module in order to support condition-based maintenance and prevent major component failures before they occur. In the future, as larger volumes of this data become available, it will accelerate the industries progress toward achieving accurate predictive maintenance. Consolidating this telematics data into the EAM system will provide the agency with a real-time view of the condition of all assets across the transit enterprise, helping achieve the goals of increasing asset reliability and maximizing safety, while complying with federal State of Good Repair reporting requirements. Price: In terms of a long-term strategy, Infor has trademarked the term “cloud suite.” A cloud suite is a combination of multiple
“Agencies need one system that allows them to manage all assets.” applications that is pre-assembled for a given vertical or micro-vertical. It’s then provided with appropriate configurations and deployed on the cloud. In transit, that means that a suite has not only asset management and work management functions but also human capital management (HCM), corporate strategy solutions and other functions. It’s a more holistic approach than pure enterprise asset management. We’re going to leverage this as way to continue providing solutions for not only transit but for all of the different micro-verticals that transit represents. McKay: In the near-term, we think it’s important that agencies that have maintenance systems, vehicle location systems, fleet management systems, payroll systems, scheduling systems, etc. are able to seamlessly integrate their disparate systems. The data should flow independently between the systems. Integration of data across organizations is a big focus. Maintenance is another big area. In the future, the data we’re gathering from vehicles has to be better tied to an agency’s maintenance system. Lastly, systems need to be more dynamic in the ways that they provide service. They need to deal with changes in traffic, for example, so that a passenger can trust that they’ll see a bus when they walk up to a bus stop.
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SECURITY & SURVEILLANCE
PREPARING FOR EMERGENCIES: the latest in surveillance technology By Lori Jetha
In an emergency situation, every second counts. To prepare for the unthinkable, you not only need to train operators and conduct drills, but implement the right tools and technologies in advance. Here are a few suggestions to give transit security staff better on-board visibility to assess and respond to emergencies quickly and improve incident investigations.
Integrated vehicle tracking A live fleet tracking application can tie all of this technology together in a single map-based view. Your emergency response team can view live on-screen alerts when panic buttons are pressed, locate the exact GPS location of the bus to dispatch help to the scene, and even click on the bus to tap into live on-board video to assess the situation.
One of the newest and most effective technologies for assessing emergency situations as they happen is live streaming video.
Locate the right footage and auto-download With video management software and a wireless network in your bus depot, you can download alarmed video footage automatically as the bus returns to the yard. Or when an incident occurs you can schedule a download from any device via a webbased application. Video management software also makes it easier to locate video related to a crime scene. Simply highlight the incident location on a map to display all vehicle tracks travelling through the area and click the vehicle track to set a start and end point for your download.
Add more cameras for a better view You never get a second chance to get a better view. Camera placement is critical to delivering the right footage no matter where an incident happens on and around the bus. While there is a trend towards highresolution cameras to improve views outside the bus (i.e. capture license plates), ensure you have enough cameras to prevent any gaps in visibility inside the bus, especially in high incident-prone areas, such as the bus entrance, driver seat and fare box area. Alarm-triggered recording and live alerts Give drivers the tools to alert security staff to an on-board emergency and trigger recording of the incident. A panic button connected to the on-board surveillance system can trigger recording of a special camera view of the driver in case of assault, if union agreements prevent you from continuously recording drivers. It can also transmit a live security alert via email or on-screen in a real-time vehicle tracking application such as Seonâ€™s vMax Live Plus. Live streaming video One of the newest and most effective technologies for assessing emergency situations as they happen is live streaming video. This technology allows authorized transit staff to tap into secure footage from any installed bus camera in real-time, to access live video and audio as the emergency unfolds. This technology is particularly useful in hostage situations or where a driver is unreachable via radio due to a medical condition.
Ensure you have enough cameras to prevent any gaps in visibility inside the bus.
When disaster strikes on a transit vehicle, transit agencies are under intense public scrutiny. Could the incident have been prevented? Did they do everything they could to respond quickly and efficiently? What really happened and who is at fault? Having the right evidence at your fingertips can mean the difference between a prolonged civil suit costing millions, and a speedy investigation absolving you of wrongdoing. In this case, it pays to be prepared in advance. Lori Jetha serves as marketing manager for Seon, a video surveillance and fleet management company based on Coquitlam, BC, Canada. Visit www.seon.com.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
looks back on 100 years T By Doug Jack
With BUSRide celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, here is a look at how far MAN buses and coaches have come over the last 100 years. Actually, the German bus builder has roots that date back more than 250 years, around the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution.
The gas-fueled MAN Lion’s City is the 2015 European Bus of the Year.
BUSRIDE | NOVEMBER . 2015
he company began manufacturing truck and bus chassis in 1915 as Lastwagenwerke M.A.N. Saurer, a joint venture with a factory at Lindau on Lake Constance, which separates Germany and Switzerland. Headquartered in Arbon on the Swiss side of the lake, Saurer supplied chassis, engines and gearboxes to the joint venture. The first chassis were a three-ton model with propshaft drive and a four-ton model with chain drive. MAN already had extensive experience of building railway carriages, and some chassis bodied as buses. As one of the real pioneers of the European commercial vehicle industry, Saurer had granted a truck licence to the United States in 1911, which contributed to the establishment of Saurer Motor Company. The chief investor, JP Morgan, instigated a merger and the subsequent creation of International Motor Company, which later merged with Mack Trucks. Ironically, the U.S. Army used Saurer trucks to reach the German front in the First World War. The first real separation between truck and bus models appeared in 1924. MAN introduced a bus with the floor only two steps above the ground, with a step over the rear axle and an outward opening hinged door to each row of seats. In the same year at the Berlin Automobile Exhibition, MAN introduced the world’s first diesel truck with a direct injection engine. From 1925 on, diesel engines were in buses for the German Post Office. MAN moved the steering wheel from the right side to the left in 1926 and added a second rear axle allowed higher capacity on buses. As early as 1932, MAN most likely was the first manufacturer to discontinue production of vehicles with petrol engines due to the superiority of its diesel units. By this time, it had also launched its first electric trolleybuses. Until 1937, all MAN buses were normal control with the driver sitting behind the engine. That year, the company introduced its LPS forward control chassis, in which the driver sat alongside a front mounted engine. The folding front door was ahead of the front axle. Normal control models are still in production. A most unusual bus, the DT launched in 1937, featured a tractor unit with its own separate cab coupled to a large semi-trailer that carried up to 100 passengers. MAN is refreshingly frank about its role in the Second World War. The German Government had placed major orders for military equipment before the War and the company continued throughout. MAN not only produced high mobility trucks, but also Panther tanks and submarine engines. During 1944, allied bombing raids largely destroyed the main factories in Nuremberg. After the War in 1945, the 3rd U.S. Army gave MAN permission to again produce trucks and buses. Despite enormous problems, the company not only survived — it actually prospered, producing new and more efficient models and exporting vehicles. busride.com
The first all-steel integral bus, the MKH introduced in 1952 had a rear-mounted engine. A prototype articulated bus presented in 1953 had a normal control layout and a twin axle trailer supplied by Kässbohrer, known today as Setra. MAN broke into the US market in 1970, supplying SG192 and SG310 articulated buses to several customers, including public transit authorities in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Washington. These models featured a high floor over a horizontal engine mounted between the first and second axles. Although an assembly plant opened in Cleveland, NC, the dollar fell markedly against the strong German currency and MAN closed its U.S. operation in 1984 after building 1,231 rigid and articulated buses. MAN acquired Büssing in 1968, another famous German manufacturer believed to have established the world’s first regular scheduled bus service back in 1904, and became famous for its use of horizontal engines. The Büssing symbol of the lion originally displayed on the coat-of-arms of a Duke of Brunswick, who erected a bronze lion statue of a lion his city in the 12th century, is still seen on MAN buses and coaches. Although double-deck city buses are often regarded as peculiarly British, MAN supplied them regularly to Berlin and secured large orders from Baghdad in the 1970s. In 1988, MAN launched the NL202 city bus, a full-length low floor vehicle about 16 inches above the ground. Several variations soon appeared, including midibuses, over-length tri-axle and articulated models. The Lion’s Coach Efficient Line came onto the market in 2014 with its drivetrain carefully matched to achieve a 6-percent saving in fuel consumption compared with previous models. In 1992, the high deck Lion’s Star coach marked another step forward. When MAN acquired Neoplan, the deal brought a large range of more stylish coaches, including the double deck Skyliner. MAN soon ceased building Neoplan’s city buses and retained the brand was for its coaches. MAN opened a bus factory near Poznan, Poland, in 1998 to build city buses that gradually took over production from the Salzgitter plant. The company had established a truck and bus plant in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1966, and opened a second factory in Ankara 20 years later, which now builds all complete MAN and Neoplan interurban and luxury coaches. In recent years, MAN’s innovative bus engineers have built a fleet of buses fueled by hydrogen, using modified diesel engines rather than fuel cells, seeing no long-term future for this technology. It has since developed hybrid vehicles and gas remains a popular option.
A MAN bus supplied to the German Post Office in 1915.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
Recognition is a powerful incentive This is the sixth article in this series. For the first five articles, find the Driver Safety eBook at www.busride.com/ebooks.
he Moston Public Transit Agency has been implementing a new plan to greatly improve their safety NORMS. They are now meeting to discuss the progress. “OK, we are now four months into the plan to change the drivers behaviors, what are the results?” asked George, the executive director. “Really well,” said Ryan, the supervisor charged with leading the implementation. “Everyone is on board and we have had no accidents at all in the past four months. When we go out on route audits, we see everyone staying back four seconds. We see no rushing and we see no one being first away from lights as they change. We really have changed the driver’s behaviors. The new recognition program has also helped.” “We observe the drivers to see if they are buying into applying the practices of LLLC Defensive Driving and the other eight safe practices listed on our Vision, Mission and Values poster,” Linda, one of the dispatchers added. “We are taking the time to recognize and compliment the team. We have created award patches and pins, which are awarded when we see the good practices.” “Recognition, do they really care?” George asked “Don’t they want a reward, rather than recognition?” “Napoleon Bonaparte once said, ‘There is not enough money on this earth I can pay a man to die for me. But, if I shake his hand, look him in the eye and offer him a ribbon, he runs at bullets,’” Ryan replied. “Recognition done right is far more powerful than reward. Everyone likes to be appreciated for a good job. Peer recognition works.” “So please give me a summary of the steps we have taken and what we will do next,” George said. “We have taken eight steps so far,” said Greg the driver trainer. • The agency agreed that the goal was to set safe NORMS. To do all it can to get drivers to do it right, the first time, every time, in everything they do. • The agency then trained all the drivers in two foundational safety
BUSRIDE | NOVEMBER . 2015
programs – Safety Best Practices and LLLC Defensive Driving. These indoctrinated the drivers in knowing what safety is, that risk is the enemy, where risk comes from and clearly how to remove or reduce risk. Safety is no longer a grey subject but very clear in exactly what they need to do each and every day. • The agency adopted the Vision, Mission and Values (VMV) of do it right, the first time, every time by removing or reducing risk through no unsafe behaviors. Staff then asked the drivers to focus on the 12 behaviors on the VMV poster to achieve this VMV. • The drivers were then challenged to turn the four practices of LLLC Defensive Driving into their own NORM by continually reminding themselves every day to practice LLLC. They are to say and think about it as they board the bus and at least every hour. When they do this for 30 days, it will be their NORM. • Staff explained to the drivers that any professional driver who causes an accident or contributes to an accident is a failure in their profession. No one wants to be a failure and adopting these practices will prevent them from being a failure. Accidents are caused by deliberate and conscious unsafe behaviors and they have total control to change these behaviors. Drivers were individually asked if they know a behavior is unsafe, involves risk that can be removed or reduced, and why would they perform this behavior. Drivers understood the WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) and agreed to change their behaviors. • All agency managers, supervisors, dispatchers and trainers agreed to apply and support the practices to set these safe NORMS. • The agency hung the two pictured posters reinforcing the desired behaviors and regularly discussed the contents of these posters. • The agency then created a recognition program to monitor and encourage the drives to do it right the first time, every time. “This is all great and it is working,” George said. “What are the plans to continually improve and make sure we do not slip backwards?” “We still have a couple of steps to initiate,” Ryan replied. “First, we need to involve the drivers far more in asking them how we can get the VMV followed all the time. If they help plan the battle, they are less likely to battle the plan. Second, all new drivers will be instilled with our new NORMS from the moment they start training. By using the new commentary driver training, added to Safety Best Practices and LLLC Defensive Driving, we will ensure that we maintain the safe NORMS we seek.” Jeff Cassell is president of Transit & Paratransit Company (TAPTCO), Hudson, OH. TAPTCO provides training courses that change driver behaviors. Visit www.taptco.com.
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