JANUARY 2013

COVER STORY
 
2013 Motorcoach Top 50 Expand Fleets, Training
By Nicole Schlosser, Senior Editor

Business was up in 2012 for the majority of respondents. While FirstGroup America and Coach USA still hold the top two spots, Horizon jumps up to number three.



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Features

Alternative fuels, tech take center stage at BusCon 2012

New vehicles fueled by natural gas and propane or improved to meet customer demands were displayed throughout the show floor, while APTA President/CEO Michael Melaniphy delivered the Keynote Address touting the public transit industry’s growth in the U.S.



The Road to Motorcoach Refurbishment

Buying a new motorcoach to replace an aging vehicle is not always financially possible, but refurbishment can be a viable alternative. Choosing the right company, considering financing options and making a detailed refurb plan are essential to getting the most out of your coach.



Program teaches operations importance of PM, inspection

Designed to fill a gap in training throughout the nation, the program looks at issues in the garage as well as new technologies on the horizon.



Transit Systems Find Creative Ways to Generate Revenue

Agencies are looking beyond conventional ads and tapping new technology, such as virtual grocery stores, regenerative braking and Groupon, to bring in more funds.



2013 Innovative Operator: A Candies Coachworks

A Candies Coachworks - Gainesville, Fla. After branching out from limo service into charter tours in 2006, A Candies Coachworks began providing service for University of Florida athletic teams.



2013 Innovative Operators: B&W Charters

B&W Charters - Kalamazoo, Mich. Events such as holiday and light tours keep B&W Charters’ trolleys running in the winter. The vehicles are in high demand during wedding season in the spring and summer.

2013 Innovative Operator: Yankee Trails

Yankee Trails - Rensselaer, N.Y. To bring in business during the holiday season, Yankee Trails launched “Santa’s Magical Express.” The service includes a holiday-themed scavenger hunt and sing-a-longs.



2013 Innovative Operator: Windstar Lines

Windstar Lines - Carroll, Iowa Windstar Lines has acquired about 10 smaller motorcoach operators in the past 12 years to expand its service and stay competitive in the market.



2013 Innovative Operator: Tornado Bus Co.

Tornado Bus Co. - Dallas The Tornado Bus Co.’s new bus facility, which opened in October, encompasses 8.5 acres and is 10 minutes from downtown Dallas.



2013 Innovative Operator: Peter Pan Bus Lines

Peter Pan Bus Lines - Springfield, Mass. Peter Pan added new MCI J4500s to its fleet. The coaches have clean-diesel engine technology to help reduce emissions and burn less fuel.



2013 Innovative Operators: Pacific Coachways

Pacific Coachways - Garden Grove, Calif. Pacific Coachways received the California Highway Patrol’s STAR award in 2010 and 2012 for its outstanding safety record — the result of thorough driver training, according to the operator.

DEPARTMENTS

Transit agencies: Big Brother is not watching

Each of the Central Ohio Transit Authority’s 305 buses is equipped with video and audio surveillance, which can be used clarify incidents reported by drivers or customers.



Judge's decision to bolster Calif. high-speed rail project

The judgment means bidding and construction will move ahead as planned on the first phase of the 800-mile high-speed rail system set to connect the northern and southern parts of the state.

Pub Perspective: Improving public perception of motorcoach industry is key

All of these changes, designed to improve the public’s perception of the industry, can only be good for operators around the country who provide top-notch services to millions of passengers each year.



Northern Calif. BRT line begins service

Monterey-Salinas Transit contracted Argentinian artist Pablo Lobato — who also designs for the Monterey Jazz Festival — to design bus wraps for its new BRT line.

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