With departures and arrivals as punctual as clockwork the Red Arrow is the lifeline travelers rely on to carry them up and down the Canadian province of Alberta. Commuters of every ilk have integrated the luxury motorcoach service into their regional travel to and from Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton and Fort McMurray. The bonus is a ride more comfortable and convenient than any transportation service they have ever experienced. Passengers say they view the Red Arrow, a division of the Pacific Western Transportation group of companies, as their perfect solution — just as its founder and chairman Robert B. Colborne originally envisioned.
Bus fires continue to be a pervasive problem for our industry. Speaking before the recent Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) safety summit in Washington D.C., I presented on the precise causes and origins of motorcoach fires, noting that insurance and government data indicate that across the United States two buses on average catch fire each day.
In the United Kingdom, the authorities most unusually decided seat belts should be fitted not only to new vehicles but also retrofitted to all existing coaches in circulation. This, of course, created an outcry that neither the seats nor the floors of many older coaches were suitable for retrofitting, and that a serious accident could be made worse by old seats breaking free with passengers belted on to them.
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.