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.
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.
For too many years too many bus and motorcoach operators have practiced under-pricing as a means to remain competitive. Such single-minded competitive pricing as a standard operating procedure has plagued the motorcoach industry. The fact is this is happening because a great number of coach operators do not fully understand how to price their services. The fair and profitable approach to pricing comes down to some very basic business principles.