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Operations

Go Clean: Bus washing is a best practices basic

The easiest, fastest and least expensive measure bus and motorcoach operators can take to make a lasting impression is to keep the vehicles washed and shining. How clean is clean? A question both private and public operators are asking to promote a more positive public image and a more inviting option to upscale riders.

The extra care given to the exterior surfaces of transit buses has become a greater concern with the advent of sophisticated bus-wrap advertising, and with transit buses sporting a more polished upscale appearance. A bus wash system represents a significant capital investment from initial planning to installation.

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Paratransit takes a hit in budget decisions; but the beat will go on

In an economy this bleak with requisite budget slashing unfortunately becoming the new order of the day, agencies and companies seem to be operating on the premise that they are just doing what a business has to do.

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Cool heads prevail in road rage incident

Jason Pollard, a quick thinking operator for Connecticut Transit (CTTRANSIT), Hartford, CT, and a team of supervisors faced a bizarre scene an agency could never anticipate. Deadheading an empty bus to his route start one early morning in late January, Pollard encountered a man and a woman in the breakdown lane running toward him. As she approached, he realized the woman was trying to escape a frenzied attacker.

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How to pass the torch and not get burned

The motorcoach industry is peppered with proof that family-owned and operated businesses can take management transitions in stride. There may be differences in management styles and temperaments, advances in technology and the changing face of today’s economy to contend with, but with proper steps and a little planning, the process can strengthen both the company and the family.

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Motorcoaches put stimulus dollars to work

Public and private coach operators across the country are vying for and receiving federal funding under the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), more commonly known as stimulus funding.

There is a lot of talk these days about shovel-ready projects. While it would be difficult to actually find a shovel on the production line of the Motor Coach Industries (MCI) factory in Pembina, ND, it is fair to say the nearly 250 workers at that facility are wrench-ready.

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New lifts give maintenance a leg up

Introduced at APTA Expo 2008, the Rotary Mach 4 is the company’s most recent iteration of its mobile column lift. Rotary sales manager Roger Perlstein says this product sets up fast and raises a vehicle 70 inches in 78 seconds. The company claims this is quicker than comparable lifts.

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Work less, save more

With a reputation for its design and production of fully automatic transmissions for a wide variety of vocational applications, Allison Transmission, Inc., Indianapolis, IN, is dedicated as well to helping its customers operate as efficiently as possible, particularly in a down economy.

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Preparing for extreme cold weather operations

On January 16 the ambient temperature in Chicago reached minus 24 F with the associated wind chill in excess of minus 40 F. On that day, the North Pole registered minus 8 F. The temperature was so extreme that no matter how anyone dressed, the average person could only stay outside for about 15 minutes.

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When the going gets tough…

A down economy presents challenges of every sort. One of the subtler is to nail down the one maxim that keeps everything in perspective. Over the last couple of months I have talked and listened to motorcoach operators and industry leaders who only reconfirmed my belief that when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.

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What a difference a driver makes

Hiring and retaining highly qualified drivers is among an operator’s greatest challenges. With increased ridership and greater focus on public transportation, the pressure to find safe and responsible drivers becomes more crucial as bus operations experience further expansion, but it is not necessarily risky business.

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©2013 BUSRide Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Content on this website is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in while or in part without the express written consent of the publisher.

© 2010-2014 BUSRide Magazine All Rights Reserved. Content on this web site is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the publisher.