Last week I had the opportunity to get out to Tampa, Fla., for UMA Expo 2011, and, I've got to say, things are looking encouraging.
While there is still much debate on the seat belt issue and whether passengers will wear them even if it is a federal mandate for operators, there is little debate that federal regulations put in place and, in the pipeline, will indeed help make motorcoach travel safer and improve the customer experience, overall.
Also, it appears that many operators are starting to see the light at the end of tunnel, as we begin to finally see the economy picking up. Many operators I spoke with at the Expo are cautiously optimistic that the downturn will soon be history and business will again pick up. In fact, many said they already have more bookings set for this spring and summer at this point, than they had around the same time last year.
The most encouraging sign I saw at Expo, though, was during the Young Guns session, where five operators all under the age of 35 spoke frankly about their experiences and how they see the motorcoach industry growing in the future. The mere presence of those five guys is proof that the motorcoach industry will continue to move forward with a new vision and a renewed vigor and. With the older guard serving as mentors, it seems fairly safe to bet that the next generation will help take the industry to the next level.
Agencies that use Twitter to respond to users’ complaints or answer questions get more positive Twitter reaction and more civil discourse online, according to Lisa Schweitzer the author of a recent study analyzing tweets of public transit agencies. “It’s about the marketing potential of social media — a lot of public transit agencies are simply tweeting their problems to the world by blasting out late service announcements. That’s not a good use of Twitter,” she says. “Transit agencies can influence the tone of the discussion by interacting with patrons online,” Schweitzer explains. “It gives people something to respond to, and it reminds people that somebody is listening.”
Usually by early January, I will hopefully have taken down the last of our holiday decorations and eaten or given away the remaining sweets that have become a part of my regular diet during the month of December. Then, of course like most people, I’ll think about ways I want to improve myself for the coming year. Whether it be exercising more (walking from the parking lot to my office doesn’t count), eating less ice cream or managing my email better. The latter practice alone would help improve my efficiency at work immensely. I’m sure you probably feel the same way.
A new National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study solidifies what the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Transit Savings Report has been telling us for years now: riding public transportation can save users money.
June 20 will mark the 8th annual National Dump the Pump Day sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, in partnership with the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Driving a bus never looked easy. Living in California and being stuck in my car as much as I am, I’ve always had tremendous respect for the men and women who operate buses on a daily basis. So, when the call came that I would get my shot to drive in Sunday’s APTA Bus Roadeo, I was both excited and nervous.