If an operator were asked to list the most important safety factors in a bus and motorcoach operation, what comes to mind as the five most important points?
Chances are slim to none that dispatch made that list. Many passenger transportation companies do not realize the dispatcher often is the forgotten ingredient in the safety soup.
An effective dispatch department can keep a motorcoach operation feeling less like a circus, and more like a well-oiled machine. As a central hub of an operation, dispatch is like the ringleader, capable of taming the beast—or at least keeping the chaos organized, and putting out fires with quick thinking and problem solving.
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.