JANUARY 2014

COVER STORY
 
Business Stable, Strong for Motorcoach Top 50
By Nicole Schlosser, Senior Editor

While business was up for 62% of survey respondents, this percentage is lower than the last two years. However, the average increase operators experienced came in at about 30%, and every carrier who made the list plans to buy more vehicles this year.



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Features

Reinforcing Rail Safety to Prevent Crossing and Trespassing Incidents

Following the education, engineering and enforcement philosophy of rail safety nonprofit Operation Lifesaver, transit systems are developing effective outreach tools such as video campaigns produced by teenagers, and installing pedestrian fencing to prevent straight-through crossings.



‘Rapid’ Growth Showcases APTA Chair’s Skills

Peter Varga’s theme for his year as chair is “America’s Future is Riding on Public Transportation.” This is reflected in his success at accommodating increasing ridership and improving job access as CEO at Michigan’s The Rapid and his work with APTA on a reauthorization plan.



Transit Trending Toward Maintenance-Free Seating Options

Other trends include varied fabric options, space-saving flip seats for improved accessibility and robust plastic models for ease of cleaning.



LaFrance, local transit agencies forge partnerships, reap benefits

A lack of job stability in the transit bus industry, as well as the textile industry that services the transit market, is a key reason three transit properties and their seat fabric supplier forged a bond that has proven to be mutually beneficial to all participants.



2014 Innovative Operators: Arrow Stage Lines

Focusing on safety, tech amenities key to fleet success is the key to success for the Omaha, Neb. operation.



2014 Innovative Operators: Empire Coach Line

Based in Orlando, Fla., the operation is expanding markets and tapping tech for operational efficiencies.

2014 Innovative Operator of the Year: C&J Bus Lines

Whether it’s developing its workforce or working to make every aspect of a customer’s trip an enjoyable experience, the Portsmouth, N.H.-based operation, chosen as METRO Magazine’s inaugural Innovative Motorcoach Operator of the Year, focuses on fostering and maintaining partnerships at every level.



2014 Innovative Operators: VIP Tour & Charter Bus Co.

Portland, Maine operation is staying small and adapting to new ways to reach customers for the long haul.



2014 Innovative Operators: King's Tours

Knowledge, expertise and impeccable safety record sets operation apart in San Francisco.



2014 Innovative Operators: Hotard Coaches Inc.

Diverse service offerings and community involvement keep New Orleans company on top.



2014 Innovative Operators: Gray Line Tours of Tucson

Ariz.-based operator creates high-end experiential tours that give customers a glimpse of the regional culture.

DEPARTMENTS

‘Polar Vortex’ freezes up public transit service

Amtrak suffered some service disruptions and delays, with three trains halted about 80 miles from Chicago, when drifting snow and ice made the tracks impassable.



San Francisco to charge employee shuttle operators to use stops

Under the new rule, employee shuttle bus providers would pay a fee and only be allowed to use approved public transit bus stops in the city.

Intercity bus services should be part of national policy

The focus should not simply be in greater safety enforcement; a larger vision of better mobility choices, including intercity bus services, must be part of the next bill.

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