The American Bus Association (ABA) recognized two green motorcoach operators and an exceptional woman leader in the industry at its Marketplace conference in Nashville, Tenn., held from Jan. 11 to 15.
Two ABA member motorcoach companies, Coach USA, the parent company of Megabus.com, and H&L Charters, won the ABA’s “Green Operator Award,” sponsored by Motor Coach Industries (MCI). Coach USA/Megabus.com of Paramus, N.J., was picked from the candidates in the large category of motorcoach operators, those with a fleet size of more than 30 motorcoaches. H&L of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. was picked in the small category with 30 or fewer buses.
The two companies were selected by their peers after an extensive review process of their day-to-day motorcoach operations, which also included the company’s commitment to environmentally-friendly ways to drive, the use of anti-idling techniques when the coach is not in use, the safest and greenest ways to recycle oil and other engine fluids and overall business practices that promote environmental protection and awareness.
As part of the judging, ABA received significant assistance from David Kestenbaum, director of the University of Vermont’s Certification for Sustainable Transportation program. The University of Vermont program helps motorcoach operators obtain their goals, which include being a good environmental steward, reducing their overall costs, saving energy and promoting the company with the University’s “eRating” certification and driver training programs.
“The motorcoach industry is committed to improving the environment and Coach USA/Megabus.com and H&L Charters are shining examples of the work being done in our industry,” said ABA President and CEO Peter Pantuso, CTIS. ”We are very proud that both are great ABA member companies, and it once again shows that by committing to be environmentally responsible, these companies, and others like them can be leaders in the industry.”
“Motor Coach Industries is proud once again to partner with ABA and recognize these high profile companies, Coach USA/Megabus.com and H&L Charters for their great work, when it comes to best environmental practices. Both are great examples of an industry that safely transports hundreds of millions of people each year,” said MCI President and CEO Rick Heller.
Meanwhile, Mary Young, owner of Capitol Tours in West Columbia, S.C., won the first ever “ABA Media Women in Buses Award.” The ABA’s Women in Buses group was founded more than two years ago to encourage professional women in the motorcoach, travel and tourism industries to work together to form new business and networking opportunities.
“Mary Young is an important leader not only in the ABA’s Women in Buses, but at Capitol Tours where she co-owns the company with her husband Buddy Young and the entire motorcoach, travel and tourism industry,” said ABA President and the CEO Peter Pantuso.
“ABA Media and The Pohly Company are proud to partner with ABA on this important award, to be given annually to salute the work of Women in Buses and Mary Young is very deserving of this honor,” said Diana Pohly, the Owner and Publisher of The Pohly Co., the official publisher of ABA Media.
Young came into the motorcoach business in the early 1990s while working as a Registered Nurse when her husband, Buddy Young, was deployed to the Middle East with the Air National Guard.