2012 June

Team Trailways is pleased to announce a New Affiliated Partner


Energy Management Technologies

Prolong the life of your coaches by using NanoDiamond Additive (NDA) to help in the following ways;

NanoDiamond Additive (NDA) Unique Benefits:

          • 2-3 times increase of motor oils observed life and improvement of it’s protective performances; 
          • friction units recovery and wear protection; (Decrease of "Electrostatic Spark" in the engine)
          • equalization and compression rise on cylinders up to 60%;
          • Increase in MPG by 3-5%;
          • diminution of noise and vibration during work of engine;
          • 2 times decrease of carbonic acid inclusion in exhaust (carbon footprint);
          • easy cold motor start;
          • engine recovery; increase in capacity and acceleration/HP;


This product has completed the rigorous SAE testing to get the; SAE-J1321 Certification. 

Contact – Vern Swanson 
M: 704.891.3686




What’s the Best Mechanics-to-Vehicle Ratio?

Trailways Brand Survey (April 2012)

Below are the responses to the Trailways survey on the average ratio of full-time mechanics needed per bus/vehicle.  There are many varying opinions. However, based on overall numbers and comments provided, one full-time mechanic (highly trained/skilled) per 10 coaches/vehicles appears to be adequate.  Thanks to everyone who provided input! 


Detailed Comments:

"We own and operate 20 full-sized coaches and we have one factory-trained mechanic for our fleet of vanhools and our other two maintenance men have been trained at ABC’s Florida location, and the third is a helper to the other two. We believe in being pro-active…not reactive."
­Elaine Johnson, Cross Country Tours-Trailways
"We have 23 units and 1 great mechanic!"
Alyce Davidson, Thrasher Brothers Trailways 
"We tend to operate at a ratio of approximately one mechanic per 10 motorcoaches.  I suspect the ratio will vary depending upon age of fleet and use of outside sources for repairs."
Curtis Riggs, VIA Trailways
"We have 19 large motorcoaches, two mini-buses, three limousines, twenty school buses and three vans.  We employ three full-time mechanics and one part-time mechanic."
Julie at Huskey Trailways
"We have a diesel tech for every 17 buses and two assistant mechanics…  I have 14 2002 and 2004 V.H. C-2045s that my mechanics spend ninety-percent of their time on. Four mechanics to 25 coaches in all."
Dean Golden, West Valley Trailways
"We have two for a 21-bus fleet. One-per-ten buses would be a good fit."
Bill Gentry, Gentry Trailways
"I only own and operate 21 full-size motorcoaches and currently we employ three mechanics."
Jerry at Lone Star Trailways
"We have 56, full-size motorcoaches and employ seven mechanics, plus mechanics helpers, depending upon the skill level of the individual, probably, eight to 10."
Fullington Trailways 
"If you have one mechanic for 15 coaches, that should keep him busy and make his day pass quickly."
John McCommon, Little Rock/Memphis Trailways




2013 Stockholders Meeting & Conference

March 3-5, San Diego, CA – Paradise Point Resort

Friday – March 1, 2013

     – Board of Directors/Advisors early arrival

Saturday – March 2, 2013

8:30 am – 12:00 pm
Chair’s Suite
Trailways Executive Committee Meeting (Closed)
11:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Paradise Ballroom Foyer
Trailways Registration and Hospitality Desk*
12:45 pm – 9:00 pm
Room tbd

77th Annual Board of Directors/Advisors Luncheon & PM Meetings (Closed)

Tony Fiorini, Chair of Board, Presiding, Silver State Trailways

Evening Activities Sponsored by:  Lancer Insurance and Transportation Insurance Brokers

– Golfers Arrive

– Stockholders – Affiliated Partners Early Arrivals

Sunday – March 3, 2013

  – Stockholders – Affiliated Partners Early Arrival 
8:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Paradise Ballroom Foyer
Trailways Registration and Hospitality Desk*
9:00 am – 2:30 pm
Meet in Hotel lobby    
Recreational Outings (optional/fee) *
Transportation provided.  Advance registration & payment required.  Options & cost pending.
11:00 am – 3:30 pm
Meet in Hotel lobby
77th Annual Golf Outing* (course pending)



Sponsored by:  AMAYA/ASTRON Seating

(Fee/advance registration requested through Showtimegolf.com)
Transportation provided to the golf course.
1:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Meet in hotel lobby      
Trailways First Lady’s Outing*
Come join Trailways’ First Lady, Jill Fiorini, for a delightful afternoon of sightseeing in San Diego and tea (fee/registration requested). 
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Parking lot off
Pacific Ballroom
Outdoor Vehicle/Equipment Exhibition Set-Up I
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Room tbd
Trailways Hospitality Suite 

Monday – March 4, 2013

7:30 am – 10:30 am
Parking lot off Pacific Ballroom
Outdoor Vehicle/Equipment Exhibition Set-Up II (Required)
(Vehicle/Equipment must be in place by 10:30am)
7:30 am – 5:00 pm
Paradise Ballroom Foyer
Registration and Hospitality Desk*
8:30 am – 9:30 am
Mission Bay Room
Marketing & Sales Breakfast Meeting*
Mission Bay Room (Stockholders, please sit at Regional tables; regional/State Maps provided)
Sponsored by: blah, blah
9:30 am – 10:00 am
Mission Bay Room
One-Minute Sharing by Stockholders
Mission Bay Room (1 Minute Idea-Sharing:  Stockholders, please prepare to share a one minute summary of your best Trailways branding ideas or past campaign success).
10:00 am – 10:15 am Trailways Charter Sales Update   
10:15 am – 10:30 am Break
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
77th Annual Stockholders Business Meeting 
Tony Fiorini, Chair of the Board, Presiding, Silver State Trailways
Welcome & Call to Order
Stockholder Roll Call
State of the Corporation Address
Approval of Minutes—(2012 Business Meeting)
Committee or Action Reports & Updates
• Finance
Legislative Affairs
Affiliated Partners/Industry Allies
New Business
12:00 pm – 1:45 pm
Parking lot off
Paradise Ballroom
77th Annual Outdoor Exhibition & Luncheon*
Sponsored by:  ABC Companies Inc.
2:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Garden Room
Preferred Affiliated Partner Presentations (Closed-Stockholders & Preferred Partners Only)


Moderator:   Diane Walden, Trailways Corporate

Presentations:    Trailways Preferred Partners Only Presentations
(Preferred Partners, please wait in the seating area until called room)


6:45 pm – 8:45 pm
Paradise Lawn 
Trailways 77th Annual Opening Reception (Outdoors) *  
Sponsored by:  Prevost
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Paradise Ballroom 
Indoor Exhibition Set-Up I 
(For exhibitors with electrical or special set-up needs.  Please note, pop-up booths/floor signage is permitted only with purchased perimeter booths.)
8:45 pm – 10:00 pm
Board of Directors’ Open House & Late-Night Cordials & Desserts*
Sponsored by:  Setra

Tuesday – March 5, 2013

7:00 am – 10:00 pm
Paradise Ballroom
Indoor Exhibition Set-Up II (Required)
(All Indoor Exhibits must be set by 10:00am)
7:30 am – 5:00 pm
Paradise Ballroom Foyer
Trailways Registration and Hospitality Desk*
8:30 am – 10:30 am
Sunset Ballroom
Breakfast & All Education Sessions*
(Stockholders please sit at tables marked Charter& Tour or Scheduled Route for informal networking)
9:00 am – 9:45 am Federal Update – Rick Gobbell (invited)*
9:45 am – 10:00 am Break
10:00 am – 10:45 am
Sunset Ballroom
Safety & Security Panel (or other topic TBD)
10:45 am – 11:30 am
Session 3 – Operator Breakouts by Type 
Charter & Tour – Sunset Ballroom
Scheduled Route – room tbd
10:45  am – 11:30 am
Affiliated Partners Annual Meeting 
Presiding:   Roman Cornell, ABC Companies Inc.
(Affiliate Partners Only)
11:45 am – 12:00 pm
Sunset Ballroom
Breakout Summaries
Presenters:  Designee from each Breakout Group
12:15 pm – 1:30 pm
Mission Bay Room 
Trailways 77th Annual Marketing Awards & Luncheon 
Hosted by Trailways and Sponsored by Bridgestone *
Special Awards Presenter:
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Paradise Ballroom
Indoor Exhibition Center Session*
Sponsored by:  Sardo Bus & Coach Upholstery & Holdsworth Fabrics
Exhibitors are invited to give a 1 minute product or service overview.
7:00 pm 7:45 pm
Sunset Ballroom Foyer
Trailways 77th Annual Silent Auction & Reception*
Sponsored by:  Michelin Tires
8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Sunset Ballroom Foyer
Trailways 77th Annual Safety Awards Dinner Gala*
Sponsored by:  Motor Coach Industries
Co-Presenters: Tony Fiorini & Pat Ziska

Wednesday – March 6, 2013

8:30 am – 2:30 pm
Trailways Performance Group (Group Members Only)
Tom Bazow, Group Chair, Excursions Trailways


Trailways 77th Annual Conference and Stockholders Meeting Ends.
Online conference registration ($395) with Trailways will be available October 1, 2012.  
Phone 703-691-3052.  Hotel registration cut-off is Feb. 10, 2013 ($185 per room, per night).  
Paradise Point Resort & Spa  858-274-4630
* Denotes All Attendees May Participate            
Please Silence Your Cell Phone and Shut Down Laptops!
During All Meetings & Sessions: FINE$ APPLY!
Daytime Sessions & Exhibits (Monday -Wednesday); Business Casual 
Opening Reception (Monday PM); Casual Outdoors (unless inclement weather)
Dinner Gala (Tuesday PM); Business, After Five, or Black Tie-Optional
All Indoor Activities are Non-Smoking.


Tour Promotion Support


June 6, 2012 

Trailways’ corporate office will help promote your company’s tour and sightseeing products via our website, social media sites, and through travel new media.

We want to help increase or broaden your sales and marketing efforts for your scheduled tours or tours sold via your wholesale partners.

Tours are of high interest to the travel news media.

Please provide us with either your upcoming Tours’ Website Link, Brochure (PDF format), or other Tour Descriptions, along with a list of Tour Names & Dates for the remainder of 2012 and for 2013.

[xyz-cfm-form id=2]




FMCSA to Host Webinar Overview of Truck and Bus Crash Data

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Office of Analysis, Research and Technology will hold its annual webinar providing data on truck and bus crashes twice on Thursday, June 21, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST.

This webinar will cover the types of trucks and buses involved in crashes, types of crashes and truck drivers. In addition, the webinar will feature the 2010 macro data, recent trends, crash rates, the economy and crashes, and crash description and factors. It will be presented by the Analysis Division's Ralph Craft.



Bus Industry Safety Council Meeting

Trailways Represented by Mark Szyperski 


June 11 and 12, 2012
Dulles Hyatt Hotel
Herndon, VA 

Monday, June 11, 2012

The meeting opened at lunch, at 12:00 EST. There were approximately 80 people present, mostly Safety and Operations Personnel, along with some Owners of Companies. Also present were members of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

After opening, the program was turned over to:

Ms. Loretta G. Bitner, Chief, Passenger Safety Division, Office of Enforcement and Compliance, FMCSA 


Ms. Bitner gave the following report:

• In 2009 the Department put out its Motorcoach Safety program, with goals and guidelines.

• This past year, the program continue to grow in the enforcement area

• There were 170 ADA reviews via a new “strike force” that did spot checks. However ADA reviews will be incorporated into onsite annual reviews

• Enforcement will continue to grow through 2012 and beyond, especially in ADA

• Reminded the audience that large Fixed Route Fleet must be 100% accessible by October. The Department will start on November 1st doing audits of all large fleet regular/fixed route carriers

• Safety fitness determination rules will be coming out soon.

• More Training is taking place for motorcoach inspectors.

• Enforcement efforts are just not beginning. More are coming

• FMCSA has a pre-employment screening program. More information can be accessed through the FMSCA Website

• Electronic Onboard Recorders (EOBRs) are still being researched. The first round didn’t make it through the court system, but the issue has not gone away. The Department is reviewing how to move next.

• Reminded everyone that Drivers MUST have possession of their medical cards when they are driving. Many are being caught without cards on them.

• Sleep Apnea and Sleep Disorders are still a high priority issue. FMCSA is still holding “listening sessions” on these and other issues.

• FMCSA has put together the SAFER Bus Smart Phone App, and has seen an uptick in downloads of the app most recently, especially when the Enforcement Action against the 26 bus companies hit the media.

• The FMCSA Safety Checklist is now published in 9 languages• There is now a National Consumer Complaint Hotline and Database for Motorcoaches

• The FMCSA Website is now easier to navigate for Consumers and it is easier for FMCSA to Track and Resolve issues with consumers

• Passenger Carriers are being held to higher standards. Keep watch of your CSA Scores. Small changes have been made to the system. FMCSA are open and listen to comments

• More reviews and inspectors than ever before. More companies now have completed data into the system, more than what has been there in the past

• There is now a system in place to appeal and review data that has been entered into the CSA System

• Some Successes in 2011

  • 12% fewer Driver Violations
  • 9% decrease in Company Violations

• With all motor carriers in business, means the FMCSA has to inspect 770,000 companies, including all trucking and motorcoach companies. The CSA Data is helping to direct their efforts to the more “problem” carriers sooner.

• Reviewed the I-95 investigation, as much as possible. It is still an ongoing investigation, so could not talk in detail. However, it was a one year inspection, and included many State and Local Law Enforcement partners. The main “take away” was that it laid the ground work for many more investigations in the future. This was not a “one and done”. They now have more knowledge on how 3 separate organizations could create 26 different entities. This was one of the first times that not just owners, but also managers and ticket sellers were ordered to cease business.


Following her presentation, Ms. Bitner introduced:

Dr. Benisse Lester, Chief Medical Officer, Medical Programs, FMCSA 

Dr. Lester presented a program entitled
       “Sleep Apnea and Fatigue: Impact on Commercial Driver Safety Registry” 

Dr. Lester’s full PowerPoint Program is available in PDF Form by writing to her Email: Benisse.Lester@DOT.Gov

It is highly suggested that Trailways contact Dr. Lester for this PDF. It was very informative, is easy to understand and has good graphics to back up information.

Dr. Lester made a second presentation on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. Again this was a very good PowerPoint, and she said that by writing to her Email (Benisse.Lester@DOT.gov) Trailways could get the PDF of the PowerPoint Presentation.

This concluded the Luncheon Portion of the meeting. From here, the various committee meetings took place.


This author has been a member of the Human Performance Committee for 2 years. Most recently this committee published a PowerPoint Presentation for Tour Operators on how to choose a safe bus company. From there, the committee worked on a “What Every Tour Operator Needs to Know” Brochure. This is basically ready to go to print, and will be distributed at the Student Youth Tour Association meeting in July in Nashville, TN.


The next items the Human Performance Committee will be working with:

• Employee Handbook for Drivers

– Meant as an orientation/overview

– Basic/Universal information, everything from how and when to dump the toilet to safe driving techniques


The other task for the Human Performance Committee to work on:

• Driver Fatigue and Training Issues

Discussion for the rest of this afternoon was which program to start first, and areas to cover in each task.

This session was attended by Dr. Benisse Lester, Chief Medical Officer, Medical Programs, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Discussion was held with her asking questions on how various companies operate, and approach nighttime driving.

Committee Meeting adjourned at 4:30PM.



Tuesday, June 12, 2012 

Human Performance Committee meeting started at 8:00am.

Video was viewed on Fatigue produced in the 90s by the FMCSA. Discussion on how such a video might be used for companies.

• Should companies do all night drive charters

• Possible Supervisor Training

• Get families involved in the Training

Discussion turned to what topics should be in a Driver Training Manual for Drivers. It was decided the following topics:

• What is a driver
• State/Federal Rules
• Driver Health and Wellness
• Turning
• Railroad Crossings
• Mountain Driving
• Harassment
• Blood-borne Pathogens
• Customer Service
• Electronic Devices/Disruption of Attention
• Fatigue
• Multiple Bus Moves/Escorted moves
• Nighttime Driving
• SMS/Roadside inspections/CSA
• Backing
• Pedestrians
• Drug and Alcohol Procedures
• Breakdown Procedures
• Pre/Post Trip Inspections
• Ticketing and Charter Paperwork
• Map Reading and Road Signs
• Code of Conduct
• Use of the Safety Message
• Attendance

For this session, Ms. Loretta Bitner, Chief, Passenger Carrier Safety Division, Office of Enforcement and Compliance, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was in attendance.

It was pointed out that the International Motorcoach Group (IMG) has had a training program in the past that covered most of these issues, and was about to update their training manual. Members of IMG companies present suggested that IMG, the Human Performance Committee, and members of FMCSA work together on this manual. Ms. Bitner really appreciated the idea and suggestion. She said that in the 90s, the FMCSA had a core curriculum and wants to update this core. This would be used as a handout to new companies who would be applying to become registered. This program is going out to contract soon, and could take an 18 month process.

Ms. Bitner explained that in her office, if a letter is going to be sent to the industry, if she writes the letter, it must go through 16 channels of approval prior to being sent.

Any Safety Regulations questions, please Contact Rick Gobbell via email: Gobbell49@comcast.net 



Wilson Named Trailways’ Driver of the Year

Customer Service is Key at Kobussen 

Jonathan Wilson, a driver with Kobussen Trailways in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, is the winner of the 2011-12 Trailways Bus Driver of the Year Award. He was flown from the cold Wisconsin winter to Florida this past February to receive the award. He was hosted by Trailways and his company at the Hyatt Regency Bonita Springs on the Gulf Coast. The award was presented at the gala dinner where he received a standing ovation from the crowd of 200 operators and affiliates. Kobussen Trailways President Joe

Kobussen said:

“Jonathan has always been the standard in which we measure our company’s driver-professionalism, safety awareness and customer service and general motor-
coach goodwill.”

Joe also said Jonathan puts forth the company’s face with thousands of customers annually.  “Jonathan’s commitment to driver safety and customer service supports our company’s mission to provide the best, greenest and safest passenger travel,” he said, adding, “All of our employees are deeply valued.”

Mr. Kobussen explained the level of Jonathan’s commitment to service. During a recent chartered excursion, a snowstorm had closed the local airport so Jonathan personally arranged to have his customers driven from Wisconsin all the way to their destination in Florida. The group needed to be at a national high school cheerleading competition. They made it to Florida on time, plus the team even won the competition.

A lifelong native of Madison, Wisconsin, Jonathan has been a driver for 13 years. He worked as a school bus driver while attending college in 1999 and then became a motorcoach driver in 2004. He enjoyed his first tour as a driver to Washington D.C., perhaps because he has a college degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Political Science? Alas, not so: his favorite destinations are Colorado, South Dakota, Niagara Falls and the Gulf Coast. He volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and enjoys riding his motorcycle, home improvement projects, cooking and, of course, road trips! Celebrating its 75th anniversary, Kobussen’s motto is “Family Pride in Every Ride.”



Save The Date -BISC Meeting-June 11-12 2012 Hyatt Dulles – Herndon, VA

Join your colleagues for the 2012 Summer BISC meeting in Herndon, VA. Attendees will receive a Monday luncheon briefing on the how Department of Justice enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act and what non-compliance can mean to their company and how to avoid these problems.

A 10-hour OSHA compliance training program begins after lunch. All attendees will receive their OSHA 10 completion certificate.

Avoid problems with OSHA inspections in the future.



New Online MCILearn program

The new online MCILearn program makes education fun with Internet-based sessions.  Maximize your business through scheduled maintenance, marketing, and other best practices.  June  webinars:

June 13 – Tag Axle Steering
June 27 – Rear Axle Steering

please click here and register via our new Citrix Webinar Tool



Human Fatigue and Speed Cited by NTSB as Probable Cause of Fatal Motorcoach Crash in New York City

John N. Balog, Transportation Security and Safety Consultant
based in Strafford, PA, shared the recent news from the FMCSA.  

WASHINGTON – A severely fatigued motorcoach driver who lost control of the vehicle was the cause of a horrific crash in New York City last March, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said today.
On March 12, 2011, at about 5:38 a.m., a motorcoach operated by World Wide Travel of Greater New York, and carrying 32 passengers, was traveling southbound on Interstate 95, en route from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, to New York City when it departed the roadway, struck a guardrail, overturned onto its right side before colliding with a vertical highway signpost. The signpost structure entered the passenger compartment along the base of the windows as the vehicle slid forward. The impact resulted in the roof panel being torn from the vehicle body for almost the entire length of the motorcoach. As a result of the crash, 15 passengers were killed, 17 passengers received serious-to-minor injuries, and the bus driver received minor injuries.
“This crash, one of three fatal U.S. bus crashes in rapid succession last year, is one of the deadliest bus accidents the NTSB has ever investigated,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A. P. Hersman.
An examination of the driver’s work schedule, sleep times and cell phone use, revealed that his opportunity for sleep in the 72 hours prior to the crash would have been limited to short periods of three hours or less resulting in what the NTSB described as “acute sleep loss and cumulative sleep debt.”
Citing speed as a factor in the crash, the NTSB determined that the motorcoach, which had reached speeds as high as 78 mph in the 60 seconds prior to the crash, was traveling at least 64 mph in the 50 mph speed zone for at least 10 seconds before it struck the guardrail. Using a computer simulation, investigators found that had the motorcoach been traveling at the speed limit of 50 mph, it might not have overturned and the driver may have been able to steer away from the guardrail.
“Fatigue and speed are an especially lethal combination,” said Hersman. “Unfortunately, in investigation after investigation, we are seeing the tragic results of fatigue, which can degrade every aspect of human performance."
The motorcoach operator was cited as contributing to the accident because of its lax safety oversight of the driver, which stemmed from what the NTSB called “a corporate culture that fostered indifference to passenger safety.” Shortly after the crash, World Wide Travel was placed out of service by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and most of the officials, supervisory personnel and dispatchers continued to work for its sister company, Great Escapes, which is currently operating.
Among the other items identified in the NTSB’s extensive report, are improved and more comprehensive CDL background checks and records sharing, advanced speed-limiting technologies, highway barrier design standards and guidelines, on-board monitoring systems to prevent accidents including those involving fatigue, safety management systems, and occupant restraint systems.
As a result of its 15-month-long investigation, the NTSB made a total of 16 safety recommendations to the Federal Carrier Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, and motorcoach associations.
To get in touch with John, call  610-688-1214 or email him at jnbalog@msn.com


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