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Coaches carry the pride

Years ago when part-time driver Gene Mitchell was the crew chief for Purdue University Bus Department, he coined the saying, Anyone can get a bus anywhere, but no one can buy the kind of service that comes from someone who truly cares.

Gray Line Washington D.C. offers a taste of D.C.

Gray Line Washington D.C., a division of the Martz Group, is out with its new tour program, A Taste of D.C. Martz says the product offers extra value in a new format that enables Gray Line customers to see more of the nation’s capitol more cost effectively.

Intercity Transit awarded for its vision

ntercity Transit, Olympia, WA, serves a population of 150,000 within 97 square miles in the Puget Sound region. In early 2001 Intercity Transit faced the loss of 40 percent of its revenue due to the elimination of the State of Washington Motor Vehicle Excise Tax. Following a difficult 40 percent reduction in service and staff, the board rededicated itself to a six-year strategic plan to finance and restore its services, and strengthen the role of Intercity Transit in the community. Voters approved doubling the local sales tax for public transportation in 2002. Service restoration began in early 2003 with new services focused on establishing high-frequency corridors and more direct access.

Dispatch is the X factor in safety

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.

The good want the bad and the ugly off the road

With the federal transportation agencies catching it from all sides, the announcement by DOT Secretary Ray LaHood for a full departmental review of motorcoach safety certainly touched a nerve in one operator in Texas.

Where there’s a niche, there’s a way

Professionals at Thomas Built Buses, High Point, NC, a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America, spent the last twelve months cultivating a new business venture from the germination of an idea to the full construction of MyBus, the company’s latest addition to its line up.

UITP showcases hybrid innovations at Vienna Expo

Every two years the 124-year-old International Union of Public Transport (UITP) holds a major Conference and Exhibition, and staged its 58th event in June in Vienna, Austria.

The capital of Austria is a fascinating city with a long and colorful history, and is the only city in Europe with a million-plus population in which more people travel by public transport than by car, with a highly efficient network of metro, tram and bus services.

Luxury is viable

As the economic downturn continues, motorcoach companies of every size are experiencing its impact, doing what they can to weather the conditions. The more pro-active operators are exploring new markets and ways to retain existing customers. Added value is one such strategy.

Three years ago when the economy was beginning to show some promise, Daimler Buses North America, Greensboro, NC, could not have stated luxury any bolder than at the 2006 UMA Expo with its one word campaign. The dominant theme in the marketing and promotion of the Setra S 417, the word luxury leaps off the side of the floor model.

Transit on the Cook Islands clocks around the rock

In the South Pacific where coral reefs surround each of the 15 atolls that make up the Cook Islands, only two bus routes run on the main island of Rarotonga. One runs clockwise, the other anti-clockwise to serve the population of 14,000. The company owner Kevin Cook and his drivers could not ask for a more manageable traffic system.

Hybrids get energized

DesignLine USA, Charlotte, NC, announced in June the first of 21 hybrid-electric transit buses are headed to the City of Baltimore, while New York City is completing its testing and evaluation and is about to take delivery on its first of 90 DesignLine vehicles.