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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.

Bob Dylan hops the bus tour to John Lennon’s childhood home

When his European Tour hit town in early May, 67-year-old music legend Bob Dylan paid £16 and stepped aboard a public tour bus in Liverpool, UK, as one of 14 tourists to examine photos and documents in the National Trust-owned home where Beatle John Lennon grew up with his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George.

Gray Line avails the sights of The Dominican Republic

Gray Line Worldwide, Denver, CO, recently folded the Dominican Republic into its global network of sightseeing tours, which includes the Turks and Caicos Islands within the Caribbean.

Transit cranks up the twittering machine

I am all for communicating thoroughly in as few words as possible, but I do not twitter. Think haiku poetry in which the form reduces the keenest observation to its purest 17 syllables.