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.
Jun 1 2009 | Posted in Maintenance
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
May 1 2009 | Posted in Maintenance
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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.
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.
Mar 1 2009 | Posted in Maintenance
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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.
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.