2012 July


Want to Reach Bank Travel Planners & Loyalty Program Directors?

 

Register Today for the 2013 Bank Travel Conference, February 5-7, 2013 in Virginia Beach, VA

Trailways Corporate has a prominent Trailways brand tradeshow position again next year. 

We have five (5) tradeshow representative slots available ($600 fee).   

The majority (89%) of suppliers booked business at the last conference in Memphis.

You must sign up through Trailways to secure one of the five slots. (click to link to website/form).

 

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REI Introduces Mobile Video Surveillance Wireless Upgrades

(Omaha, NE, July 24, 2012) – Radio Engineering Industries, Inc. (REI) introduces two new wireless fleet software add-ons for REI’s mobile video surveillance system:  A.R.M.O.R-Auto Pilot and A.R.M.O.R.-Diagnostics.

The server based software components can be used independently or combined for a complete safety solution. A.R.M.O.R-Auto Pilot manages wireless downloading, reporting and automated notification of video events you define, as well as video download requests made while the vehicle is off or in the lot.

The software tool allows a user to determine which events are reported plus their urgency, while viewing the events in an easy-to-navigate environment.

Call REI for a demo. Specify REI today: 800.228.9275 | radioeng.com Contact Information: Radio Engineering Industries, Inc. Kathy Kirstine Vice President of Marketing 6534 L Street Omaha, NE 68117 402.339.2200, ext. 264 402.339.1704 fax kkirstine@radioeng.com radioeng.com

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Flagship Trailways “stars” with Kate Winslet

Flagship Trailways “stars” with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin in the new movie "Labor Day" and the vintage Eagle bus was donated by Flagship and adorned with VT plates in ‘66 and South Carolina in ‘68.  Flagship's owner Tom McCaughey said, “Flying in the Eagle, I was able to time-travel.”  

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Capital Trailways Adds Selma Bus Service in Alabama

July 8, 2012 – SELMA TIMES JOURNAL STORY By Robert Hudson

From now on, Capital Trailways buses won’t just be passing through Selma, as it’ll now call the city home.

Trailways will now have departures from Selma, as a ribbon-cutting ceremony will officially welcome the business back on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at its location on Broad Street. Trailways is making its return, after leaving from Selma years ago.

Mark Szyperski, corporate vice president of Trailways, said Trailways will fill a need for customers in rural locations thanks to a federal grant it applied for through Alabama Department of Transportation, which helped it get started.

“The federal government, multiple years ago, realized that small-town America needed to have some sort of connection with the rest of the United States, so they have a federal program called the 5311(f) grant,” Szyperski said. “The 5311(f) was meant for private companies to get back into rural service.” The grant doesn’t pay for service, but gets it off to a start so it can become self-sustaining. Szyperski said Trailways will offer a number of advances for customers, including wireless internet, and purchasing tickets will be easy. “It’s not your grandfather’s bus anymore. The buses have wireless internet … and all that stuff on them,” Szyperski said. “So it’s a different extreme from what it used to be. People tend to ride once they have the availability of the service. People can buy their tickets from the driver. He can take credit card, debit card or cash on the site. And they can go online and buy their tickets as well, and they can get a discount if they do go online because they can buy them in advance.”

Szyperski also said the service will fill many needs of the community. “The general public — and we’ve noticed this at Trailways throughout the United States — are coming back to buses because of the cost of fuel,” Szyperski said. “It’s just so much easier to leave your car at home and ride and go someplace.

There are some people who absolutely need the service and have not had the ability. For example, a person will be able to go to college courses in the morning. We’re going to get there at 7:30 a.m.to Tuscaloosa for example.  The V.A.hospital is up there.”

From now on, Capital Trailways buses won’t just be passing through Selma, as it’ll now call the city home.

Trailways will now have departures from Selma, as a ribbon-cutting ceremony will officially welcome the business back on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at its location on Broad Street.

Trailways is making its return, after leaving from Selma years ago.

Mark Szyperski, corporate vice president of Trailways, said Trailways will fill a need for customers in rural locations thanks to a federal grant it applied for through Alabama Department of Transportation, which helped it get started.

“The federal government, multiple years ago, realized that small-town America needed to have some sort of connection with the rest of the United States, so they have a federal program called the 5311(f) grant,” Szyperski said. “The 5311(f) was meant for private companies to get back into rural service.”

The grant doesn’t pay for service, but gets it off to a start so it can become self-sustaining.

Szyperski said Trailways will offer a number of advances for customers, including wireless internet, and purchasing tickets will be easy.

“It’s not your grandfather’s bus anymore. The buses have wireless internet … and all that stuff on them,” Szyperski said. “So it’s a different extreme from what it used to be. People tend to ride once they have the availability of the service. People can buy their tickets from the driver. He can take credit card, debit card or cash on the site. And they can go online and buy their tickets as well, and they can get a discount if they do go online because they can buy them in advance.”

Szyperski also said the service will fill many needs of the community.

“The general public — and we’ve noticed this at Trailways throughout the United States — are coming back to buses because of the cost of fuel,” Szyperski said. “It’s just so much easier to leave your car at home and ride and go someplace. There are some people who absolutely need the service and have not had the ability. For example, a person will be able to go to college courses in the morning. We’re also going to go at 7:30 in the morning to Tuscaloosa for example. The V.A. hospital is there."

 

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House Small Business Hearing on FMCSA’s CSA Program

June 17, 2102 – Rick Gobbell shared a summary of the House Small Business Hearing on FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Program that was held in Washington last week on July 11th. He said, "I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to how well the FMCSA convinced this committee that CSA is a viable program. It isn’t difficult to assess.  While the hearing focused on trucks primarily, we wanted to share this with Trailways."

MEMORANDUM

TO: ASECTT Members
FROM: Jim Edwards
DATE: July 11, 2012
SUBJECT:House Small Business Hearing on FMCSA’s CSA Program

On July 11, 2012, the House Committee on Small Business held a hearing entitled “Is FMCSA’s CSA Program Driving Small Businesses Off the Road?”. 

The hearing’s purpose, according to a July 3 memo from Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO), was to “examine the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program and its effects on small business.” Graves released a statement, listing FMCSA’s reasons for implementing the CSA program, as well as reasons why many industry stakeholders have raised concerns over the program. In particular, Graves noted the Safety Measurement System (SMS) as a major concern.

The following witnesses testified at the hearing: Bill Bronrott, the Deputy Administrator of FMCSA (Washington, D.C.); Daniel A. Miranda, CEO of Hit Em Hard Transportation (Elverta, CA), who was testifying on behalf of Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association; Jeff Tucker, CEO of Tucker Company Worldwide (Cherry Hill, NJ); Michael Belzer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Wayne State University (Detroit, MI); and Anthony Gallo, Senior Analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, LLC (Baltimore, MD).

According to a statement from ranking Democratic Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), the majority of trucking businesses (around 90 percent) are small businesses. CSA is meant to “remove unfit drivers.” By expanding oversight, the FMCSA can be more helpful in keeping people safe. She said CSA will provide smaller carriers with “a level playing field.”

Bronrott stated SMS “[prioritizes] carriers for review by the [FMCSA].” Also, he stated that “[CSA will] allow the [FMCSA] to reach more carriers with its limited resources.” Miranda voiced his concern that “CSA is flawed because its scoring system … is prejudicial [and] arbitrary … and disproportionately punish[es] small businesses.” Gallo testified that “[Wells Fargo continues] to find the FMCSA’s … CSA safety program problematic. Based on our research, we do not believe stakeholders should rely on CSA … scores as an indicator of carrier safety performance or future crash risk.” Tucker said, “TIA supports FMCSA and its mission to improve motor carrier safety on the nation’s roadways. TIA appreciates the economic strength our nation gains from small business motor carriers, brokers, and manufacturers. … We ask Congress to develop a legislative fix similar to the Graves Amendment …. This … would create a uniform standard against liability ….” Finally, Belzer included three potential solutions: “Get government regulators out of their silos [i.e., have Labor Department and FMCSA collaborate]. … Implement Chain of Responsibility and Safe Pay rules like those enacted by the Australian Parliament to create a level playing field in a deregulated environment. … Tighten regulations on subcontracting that balances the power between contractors and trucking companies, as Australians have done.”

Bronrott repeatedly stated under questioning that “safety is FMCSA’s number one priority.” He said CSA holds drivers accountable, citing data from 2011 showing an 8 percent reduction in truck and bus violations as well as a 12 percent drop in driver violations.

“The agency now utilizes a range of safety and intervention tools to get to the root of [the problem],” said Bronrott.

Velazquez brought up the recent Wells Fargo report that stated there was no meaningful statistical relationship between CSA ratings and unsafe driving. When asked for a response, Bronrott disagreed, saying “[the FMCSA] did not agree with the conclusions of that report,” and that there is a “strong correlation between SMS BASICs and crash risk.”

After Velazquez asked Bronrott whether or not CSA would diminish small businesses, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) added that Wells Fargo did another study that included small businesses. The study, West noted, reported the same results as Wells Fargo’s first CSA studies.

Later, Bronrott explained that the “crash weighting” statistic was concerned with a driver’s involvement in a crash, regardless of whether or not it was his fault. This prompted Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA) to ask, “How can you hold someone accountable for something that’s not [his] fault? … Why can’t we hold [the FMCSA] accountable?” Bronrott later told Graves that it will not be until summer 2013 that the FMCSA releases its findings on CSA, three years after the initial implementation in 2010. This concluded the first panel’s testimony.

The second panel testified next. Miranda stated that CSA is “oppressive and punitive,” and that “though well intentioned, [the FMCSA’s CSA program] is a program full of flaws.” Gallo said that multiple studies conducted by Wells Fargo evidenced there is “no meaningful relationship” between CSA data and reality.

Tucker said “[the FMCSA] has created a heavy burden” on small businesses, adding that he has had to hire a lawyer as a result of the CSA program and has had to “turn away a number of carriers who’d like to do business with me.” Tucker then responded to Bronrott’s repeated statements that the FMCSA’s main goal is safety, saying, “We want safety. … [Safety] is not the issue. … This isn’t safety; this is waste.” He added, “Many shippers will not use motor carriers because they have an alert in one or more of these arbitrary [CSA] categories.”

West asked the panel if the federal government had met with them. Miranda replied, “[The government] didn’t talk to any of the people affected by this. … They’re changing the way I feed my family. … They’re not caring about anything we say.”

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Philadelphia Parking Authority Bill Signed By the Governor

Elaine Farrell, CAE, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Bus Association has shared the following good news with us taking effect today:

HB 2390 which exempts buses over 16 passengers from oversight by the Philadelphia Parking Authority was signed into law by Governor Corbett today.  The exemption wording reads as follows:

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1.  The definitions of "limousine service" and "taxicab" in section 5701 of Title 53 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes are amended and the section is amended by adding definitions to read:

"Limousine service."
(1)  Except as provided in paragraph (2), a motor vehicle providing any of the following services:
(i)  Local, nonscheduled common carrier service for passengers on an exclusive basis for compensation.
(ii)  Common carrier service for passengers for compensation:
(A)  from any airport, railroad station or hotel located in whole or in part in a city of the first class; or
(B)  to any airport, railroad station or hotel located in whole or in part in a city of the first class from a point within the city of the first class.
(2)  The term does not include any of the following:
(i)  Taxicab service.
(ii)  Service that was otherwise exempt from the jurisdiction of the [commission] Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission prior to the effective date of this subparagraph.
(iii)  Other paratransit service.
(iv)  Employee commuter van pooling.
(v)  A vehicle with a seating capacity of 16 or more persons, including the driver.

The Act takes effect immediately…….today!

As you know, PBA has been very involved with efforts to exempt buses from PPA’s oversight, particularly since new PPA  regulations were published in December 11, 2011.   Through meetings and conversations with Dennis Weldon, Esq. with the PPA, we were able to forge a very productive relationship and do what is right for the motorcoach industry…….exempt buses.

Please feel free to call me if you have any questions or require additional information.  HB 2390 also reviews new ADA requirements for taxi’s and accounts for 99% of the bill, actually.  We appreciate PPA’s generosity in allowing us to be a part of this House Bill to exempt buses.


 

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MCI Finalizes Acquisition of Setra in US & CAN; Partnership with Daimler

SCHAUMBURG, Ill.,  July 2, 2012 —Motor Coach Industries, Inc. (MCI) today announced the completion of its acquisition of Setra’s operations in the U.S. and Canada and the establishment of a strategic partnership with Daimler Buses (Daimler).   Through the acquisition, MCI obtains responsibility for sales and service support of Setra S 417 and Setra S 407 motor coach models; the company’s pre-owned coach inventory; the distribution of Setra and related genuine Daimler Buses parts; and the operations of Setra’s service center in Orlando, Fla.  Daimler has also assumed a minority ownership position in MCI, forming an engineering, technology  and manufacturing alliance as part of the transaction. Final terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.  Rick Heller, MCI CEO, said, “This transaction strengthens MCI’s luxury motor coach offerings in the North American marketplace with the Setra brand, while establishing a strategic partnership with the world’s leading manufacturer of motor coaches. While we expect to integrate our internal operations, the strategic intent is to maintain the integrity of the MCI and Setra brands.  This includes maintaining a separate new-coach sales effort. Much of the consolidation will occur in internal and support functions, and we will communicate these changes with our customers as quickly as possible.”    “We expect the transition to take about 150 days to complete, with minimal disruptions to both MCI’s and Setra’s customers,” added Sandra Morison, MCI’s Chief Financial Officer.  “Our goal is to quickly integrate Setra’s support processes within MCI’s current network.”   

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New York City Adds 44 Curbside Legal Bus Parking Spaces; New Map

Mark Boungard, Adirondack Trailways has shared the news below for Trailways carriers travelling into New York City.  New York City has added 44 curbside legal parking spaces for Charter and Tour Buses in midtown, increasing the total number by 30%, according to Christine Berthet & Martin Treat, Co Founders, CHEKPEDS, a pedestrian safety advocacy group on the west side of Manhattan.  The front of the map shows the  parking locations and the best routes to reach them from the theaters; the back of the map shows the best routes to reach the Lincoln Tunnel and the highway when leaving the theaters. Both identify the preferred routes to avoid residentialdistricts through which buses are not permitted to travel. DOWNLOAD – the map  or call (212) 239-2917. "Hopefully, by following the preferred routes and using the legal parking locations set forth on the MAP we will help cut down on the congestion in mid-town Manhattan," Mark said.  

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Congress Approves Two-Year Transportation Bill

Congress officially approved a two-year transportation bill, as part of a broader package that included resolution of other long-simmering issues, including student loans and federal flood insurance.

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Student Youth Travel Association’s Annual Conference Alert

Attention Trailways Stockholders!  Are you interested in attending the 2012 Student Youth Travel Association’s Annual Conference? It will take place in Nashville, TN, at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel August 24-28. Registration is still open..but hurry.  Since there are so many Trailways companies who have joined SYTA and will be attending as independent representatives, Trailways Corporate will not have a booth/attend.  So if you have an interest in this show, you may register at www.syta.org/annualconference

Important Appointment Dates:
July 18, 2012:  Online Pre-Scheduled Appointments Close
July 27, 2012: Online Manual Appointments Open
August 10, 2012:  Online Manual Appointments Close

Registration questions: Becky Malave, 703-610-0257, bmalave@mmgevents.com

 

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