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Busline News January 2019
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By Harrell Kerkhoff,
Busline Editor

As 2019 begins, many people are working on New Year’s resolutions. Traditional resolutions often include a focus on eating healthier, getting more exercise and an overall desire for better self-care. Accomplishing these goals can also lead to another positive development — a better attitude. Simply put, it’s hard to have a good attitude about anything if a person is not properly taking care of oneself.

Having a good attitude is essential for a better life — both at work and at home, according to attitude specialist and author Matt Booth, who spoke on the topic during a recent conference in Dallas, TX. His session was titled, “A Bad Attitude Is Like A Flat Tire — You Can’t Get Far Without Changing It.”

“Attitude” is a subject that Booth has been researching, writing and talking about for many years.

“I love the topic, trying to figure out why two people in the same situation view that situation two different ways, exhibiting two different attitudes,” he said. “It’s a huge topic.”

Booth defined the word “attitude” as, “How one person reacts to another person and/or situation that surrounds him/her.”

“If one person is involved in a minor car accident, he/she may react differently from another person who is involved in a minor car accident,” he said. “A person’s true attitude is exhibited.”

Booth asked attendees at the educational session if they had ever worked with someone, or had a customer, with a “flat tire” when it came to attitude.

“Isn’t it strange how many people, with the worst attitudes, don’t know they have a ‘flat tire.’ They don’t even know they are running low on air,” Booth said. “I find that fascinating.”

Booth discussed how it’s possible to not only survive, but thrive in a negative environment, by exhibiting a more positive attitude.

“Most people understand the benefits of being positive at work, and in life in general,” Booth said. “They know that a positive attitude is essential to success.”

The problem, he added, is possessing a positive attitude most of the time. This is often easier said than done.

“We are living in an extremely negative world. The news is filled with floods, fires and hurricanes. There is a big ‘iceberg of negativity’ that floats into everybody’s living room each night,” Booth explained. “On top of that, people today carry around their electronic devices that let them know, almost instantly, every time a school shooting or terrorist attack takes place.

“This is the world in which we live, as well as our co-workers and clients. It’s therefore important to properly recognize each piece of negativity, in order to remain as positive as possible.”

Booth explained that it’s impossible to be positive all of the time. There are even studies that show certain benefits to being angry and negative at times. There is nothing wrong with having “one of those days.”

“The problem is when ‘one of those days’ turns into ‘two of those days,’ ‘three of those days,’ and on and on,” Booth said. “Obviously, that is not OK.”

To combat the pervasiveness of a bad attitude, Booth shared strategies, tips and practices people can utilize to be more positive.

“‘Awareness’ is the first big issue; being aware of your attitude, and the attitudes of those people around you,” Booth said. “Ultimately, better attitude awareness can improve a person’s overall work environment and home life.”


Actions have consequences — both good and bad. Booth explained how common things, like the simple greeting, “Hi, how are you doing?” can be improved upon, in an effort to provide a more positive environment and better attitude development.

“That type of greeting has become so generic that many people either don’t pay attention to what you have just said, or they provide a negative response — reflecting on what is going on with their lives,” Booth said. “Often, if you meet somebody who has a ‘flat tire,’ you can’t help but become sucked in (to that person’s negativity).”

After listening to an audio tape from author and motivational speaker, the late Zig Ziglar, Booth decided to take a new approach to the customary greeting of people. He began to ask more people: “Tell me something good.” The response was often much more positive.

“A little change in your attitude, and how you communicate with people, can start a ripple effect. You begin to pump up people’s ‘flat tires,’” Booth said.

During his presentation, Booth asked attendees to spend five minutes discussing with a person sitting next to him/her about something good that had recently happened in his/her life. Booth then shared an example of something good that had recently happened in his own life — his personal focus on being more encouraging to those people surrounding him on a day-to-day basis.

“I learned that the best way to push out negativity in my world was to encourage others. I began asking myself, am I encouraging my children enough? Am I encouraging my wife enough? What about my co-workers, clients, other family members and friends?” Booth said. “I learned that it’s a big deal to encourage people, especially in today’s world.”


The second exercise that Booth had his audience participate in involved an “attitude inventory.” For this exercise, he had each person write down the first name of five people he/she has spent the most time with on a daily or weekly basis. Each of the five people listed was then given a percentage rating, by the person taking the attitude inventory, based on his/her positive nature — from 100 to 0 percent.

“Once you do that, put your own first name at the bottom of the list, and give yourself a score on how positive you think you are on a regular basis,” Booth said. “Then, add up the percentages of the five people you listed and divide that number by five. Compare this final number with the positive attitude percentage you gave yourself.

“What does that tell you? Let’s say you gave yourself a 90 percent positive attitude rating, while the five people you listed averaged 50 percent. Over time, common sense says, the people around you may pull your attitude down, or you could pull their attitudes up if you are a strong leader. What is it like to be more positive than the people around you? The answer is often: hard, overwhelming and exhausting.

“Flip that around. If you gave yourself a 50 percent positive attitude rating, while the people around you averaged 90 percent, logically those people could either improve your attitude, or you could be the one doing the draining (of their once good attitudes).”

Booth added that most people measure value by how much they have of something. However, this is not always the case when it comes to attitude.

“I’ve been conducting the ‘attitude inventory’ exercise over the past five years, with hundreds of groups and thousands of people from all over the world. There have only been two times when somebody came up to me and said, ‘Hey, I’ve done something like this before,’” Booth said. “That tells me there is a huge lack of awareness regarding not only our own attitude, but the attitudes of those people around us.

“The key is to start the conversation about attitude, and to let people know that attitude is important for building relationships, both at home and at work.”


It’s very hard, if not impossible, for a person to routinely exhibit a positive attitude if that person is not taking good care of his/her physical and mental state. Booth outlined five key elements to possessing a positive attitude, spelling out the acronym: NEEDS.

“If you know someone who has a ‘flat tire,’ check on that person’s basic ‘NEEDS.’ If you have a ‘flat tire,’ check on your own basic ‘NEEDS,’” Booth said.

They are:
N — Nighttime Sleep: “The average adult requires seven to eight hours of sleep each night. The problem is, some people wear (their lack of sleep) like it’s a badge of honor. It’s not. Your body and mind need the proper amount of sleep every night,” Booth said. “If you only got three hours of sleep last night, how are you going to be positive today? It’s impossible. Sleep is like a Swiss army knife of health care — it helps you in so many ways.

“If you are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, there is almost no way you can keep a positive attitude. You are doing a disservice not only to yourself, but also your family and work.”

E — Exercise: “It’s also important to get some form of exercise on a regular basis. You have to move. It’s another basic need for a positive attitude. If you don’t move enough, you will get cranky,” Booth said. “It’s important to find a form of exercise that is the right fit for you.”

E — Eat Right: “You have to eat right. Figure out the best food for your body. This is critical to being healthy,” he added.

D — Drink Water: “I recently read a study that stated up to 75 percent of Americans are on the borderline of dehydration,” Booth said. “Our bodies are largely made of water. You have to stay hydrated.”

S — Spirituality: “I feel it’s important to believe in something bigger than yourself,” Booth said. “The world can be tough and it can be hard. It may be impossible to figure out life on your own.

“Remember, a small change for the better with your overall attitude can result in a positive ripple effect as it pertains to the people around you. Beware of your attitude, and the attitudes of others. Also, don’t forget to encourage people. This helps push out negativity.”

Visit www.mattbooth.com for more information.

BYD Stands Ready To Deliver Zero Emissions Buses To Help California Meet Clean Transit Goal

BYD (Build Your Dreams), a manufacturer of battery-electric technology headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, with an electric bus manufacturing facility in Lancaster, CA, said it applauds the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for adopting the Innovative Clean Transit regulation, requiring a zero-emission transit system by 2040.

“We stand ready to deliver and make the transition to zero emission buses a reality,” BYD President Stella Li said. “Our Lancaster facility has the capacity to produce 1,500 buses, and we have partnered with Generate Capital to make a leasing program available to accelerate this transition. We also provide solar and storage products that can help customers charge their new buses. We are excited to work with leaders across the state to transition their fleets.”

According to BYD, it has delivered 79 all-battery-electric, zero-emissions buses to California transit authorities with another 122 orders on the way. The company currently has 19 public transit customers in California, and has provided more than 100 additional buses to public and private entities in California, with another 161 buses on order. BYD has partnered with Generate Capital for an electric bus leasing program that allocated $200 million to accelerate adoption of private and public sector electric buses. This leasing program provides agencies with another option beyond normal government financing used for infrastructure and other capital improvements.

“In addition to its Los Angeles headquarters and Lancaster manufacturing facility, BYD is building a service hub in the Bay Area to offer full service to customers. As a leader in clean energy and the largest battery storage manufacturer in the world, BYD can partner with customers to offer solar plus storage with a power purchase agreement (PPA) to cover the cost of charging infrastructure and remove demand charges,” according to the company.

Even before the new rule was being considered, BYD has stated its workforce has grown from 30 employees from 2011 to 2014 to nearly 1,000 today. BYD has invested more than $250 million in the region to date, including some $53 million in the Lancaster facilities. The company has also invested in the purchase of an additional 150 acres of land near its Lancaster manufacturing plant; and is planning service/maintenance centers across the United States.

“The firm’s battery-electric, zero-emissions buses, not only meet, but also exceed all current and future stated FTA ‘Buy America’ requirements, incorporating over 70 percent U.S. content. BYD is projected to spend over $50 million this year with U.S. vendors,” according to the company.

Visit www.BYD.com for more information.

SouthWest Transit Seeks Greater Passenger Accessibility With 2 MCI D45 CRT LE Commuter Coaches

Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., (NFI), has announced that SouthWest Transit, of Eden Prairie, MN, is taking a major step forward in passenger accessibility with the order of two new MCI D45 CRT LE Commuter Coaches. It is the first U.S. transit agency to order the coaches for its fleet.

The D45 CRT LE’s accessibility design features a second door with an automated ramp and a curb-level vestibule with seating for passengers, including those with wheelchairs and other mobility devices. The front entry features a roomy, well-lighted, ergonomically-designed spiral entryway leading to upper-level forward seating.

"The dual entry system has shown significant decreases in dwell times to match low-floor transit boarding times," according to MCI.

The Buy America compliant new model recently passed its Altoona test, the U.S. Federal Transit Administration’s reliability-test for new bus models at the Altoona, PA, test center. In 2020, MCI plans to begin production on a battery-electric version of the model.

Since its October 2017 industry debut, MCI’s next-generation Commuter Coach has toured the country in passenger tests, including one by SouthWest Transit during this summer’s Minnesota State Fair, where SouthWest Transit provided over 100,000 rides.

“Passenger response has been very favorable,” said Len Simich, chief executive officer of SouthWest. “They like the speed and ease of entry and exit. During the State Fair we get some heavy loads, and with the vestibule area, we were able to accommodate standing passengers with plenty of room.”

Simich added that the company’s two new MCI D45 CRT LE coaches allow for better vehicle scheduling and a cost-savings by providing the right vehicle for both the load demand and accessibility needs.

“On our express city-to-suburban routes, we currently either have to deploy the lift on our current fleet of commuter coaches which requires additional time, or deploy a 40-foot low-floor vehicle which doesn’t always match well with the passenger loads that bus will experience during the course of the trips it makes during the peak hours,” he said. “We also have two transit ambassadors stationed along the corridor on routes in downtown Minneapolis who alert dispatch when a wheelchair lift is needed. Rather than take the additional time to move seats and drop the lift on a standard coach, or to insert a 40-foot low-floor vehicle that may not have the seating capacity needed for any given trip, the new D45 CRT LE model takes care of both issues seamlessly.”

Simich also said that during SouthWest’s test of the MCI D45 CRT LE, passengers with mobility challenges highly favored the new vestibule design, which was actually created with the help of accessibility user groups.

“It’s an exclusive design that allows passengers with mobility devices ease of entry and secure designated seating,” he said. “From what these passengers have told us, the D45 CRT LE creates a comfort level they appreciate.”

SouthWest’s new D45 CRT LE coaches will come with seating for 52 passengers, featuring cup holders and arm rests along with power outlets, Wi-Fi connectivity and bike racks. MCI anticipates that delivery will take place by the end of May 2019.

Visit www.mcicoach.com for more information.

Coming In 2019: The All New Van Hool CX45E All Electric Bus

"Electric vehicles are gaining traction in the U.S. market, and ABC Companies, with partners Van Hool and Proterra, are poised to lead the switch to electric with the introduction of the Van Hool CX45E All Electric Bus," according to the company.

“The dynamic is changing and the market is primed for this technology,”ABC Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer Roman Cornell said.

“Along with bringing our innovative new coach to market, we are also focused on preparing our customer-base for acceptance and adoption of a technology that will forever change the transportation landscape,” ABC President & Chief Executive Officer Dane Cornell added.

“As the exclusive distributor of Van Hool equipment in North America, ABC affirms to define the category with the release of this first-ever all electric model developed and manufactured by market-leaders Van Hool and Proterra,” according to an ABC Companies press release. “The Van Hool CX45E integrates all the specifications onboard the popular CX-coach platform with one distinctive exception — the switch from diesel power to Proterra’s battery-electric drivetrain and supporting components.

“In addition to the long-term value of battery-electric buses, we are proud to bring a truly zero-emissions solution to our industry,” said ABC Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Jay Oakman. “While Van Hool and Proterra bring laser-focus expertise to the design-build aspect of the project, the crucial aspects of charging and infrastructure are also well-supported via Proterra’s scalable and proven depot charging system.”

“Adopted by major OEMs in automotive, transit bus and coach bus industries, Proterra offers multiple solutions that fit individual user demands for charging requirements. For the CX45E, powering up is as simple as plugging in a standard J1772-CCS Type-1 charger,” according to ABC Companies.

The CX45E All Electric prototype is currently undergoing field and bench testing to optimize performance and reliability. Information regarding performance range, battery-reliability and charging, as well as numerous simulations that replicate real-world conditions and applications are being compiled as tests are completed and validated. Comprehensive results and reports from Phase I testing can be accessed through ABC Companies’ Commercial Group.

A prototype of the Van Hool CX45E is slated for debut in the U.S. by Q4 of 2019, with production models available for customer delivery following shortly thereafter.

A CX45E introductory video can be viewed at www.abc-companies.com.

Hometown Trolley’s Kristina Pence-Dunow Is Keynote Speaker At Wisconsin Marketplace

Kristina Pence-Dunow, CEO and owner of Hometown Trolley, Crandon, WI, was the featured keynote speaker at the recent Wisconsin Marketplace Governor’s Award Ceremony. The event is a business capacity building conference for minority, women and veteran-owned companies to learn how they can do business with state, federal and local agencies as well as corporations.

Kristina Pence-Dunow

These markets represent billions of dollars of annual purchasing, with special programs to include minority, women, veteran and disadvantaged business owners. For more than 30 years, this conference has provided opportunities for businesses to meet with potential buyers, identify funding sources, connect with business assistance resources and build their capacity. Marketplace is a program of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

As keynote speaker, Pence-Dunow shared her insight on how Marketplace, business certifications and resources helped her start, grow and sustain her business.

Pence-Dunow founded Hometown Trolley in 1992. The company builds trolley buses for public and private transportation, delivering to locations across the U.S. and abroad. During her speech, Pence-Dunow focused on how she helped the company remain stable while also raising her children over the past 26 years.

According to the company, Hometown Trolley is the nation’s only woman-owned transit vehicle manufacturer, and is a certified disadvantaged business. Named the 2017 Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Pence-Dunow has strived to grow her company and brand to compete with manufacturers 10 times her size, while maintaining a high-quality product with a solid base of repeat customers. She has attributed the growth and success to her company to maintaining a personal connection with her employees and customers.

Visit www.hometowntrolley.com for more information.

Arlington, TX, Awards ARBOC Contract For 10 Fully-Accessible Spirit Of Independence Buses

ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, LLC, a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., has announced that the Handitran, of the city of Arlington, TX, has issued a contract to purchase 10 fully-accessible Spirit of Independence buses from ARBOC.

With over 30 years of history, Handitran maintains an ADA-compliant (Americans with Disabilities Act) fleet made up of 20 body-on-chassis (cutaway) buses. The Independence vehicles purchased from ARBOC will replace 10 aged, standard-floor buses within the fleet, serving in Handitran’s demand response service, a transit service used primarily by elderly and disabled patrons.

“We are proud of the service we deliver to our customers, and are always looking for innovative ways to provide as many safe, comfortable and enjoyable trip experiences as possible for all our clientele,” said Alex Radke, transit operations supervisor, city of Arlington. “ARBOC offered us the opportunity to extend that safety and comfort to our customers, while potentially offering more availability due to the agility offered by this vehicle.”

According to Radke, Handitran had been looking for ways to reduce its footprint on the roads and allow a more nimble approach to travel and passenger delivery in its city.

“We are proud to support Handitran and the city of Arlington in increasing passenger accessibility in this city,” said Don Roberts, president of ARBOC Specialty Vehicles. “The evolution of the low-floor cutaway has led to increased efficiency and accessibility throughout North America. ARBOC estimates it takes around 25 percent less time to board a low-floor ARBOC bus than a standard-floor bus using a wheelchair lift. We commend Handitran on its commitment to providing this option to its riders.”

According to ARBOC, the company “has been innovating accessible transit for North Americans since 2008. It estimates that nearly 70 percent of North America’s low-floor cutaway buses are manufactured by ARBOC.”

Visit www.arbocsv.com for more information.

Stertil-Koni Announces Growth In 2018

Heavy-duty bus and truck lift manufacturer Stertil-Koni has announced that the company achieved record sales growth in 2018, capturing additional market share in both the municipal and public sectors across the U.S. and Canada.

Keying the performance, noted company President Dr. Jean DellAmore has been Stertil-Koni’s exclusive focus on the heavy-duty vehicle lifting segment coupled with its range of vehicle lifting systems.

The company’s products are used in bus and truck maintenance facilities across North America, as well as by the U.S. military, the aviation sector, pupil transportation and additional vertical industries.

“The Stertil-Koni business model is a disciplined one,” said Dr. DellAmore. “It is focused on the delivery of cutting-edge engineering and a philosophy that supports continuous innovation — all backed by exceptional customer care provided by a highly-trained, exclusive North American distributor network.

“That network,” he continued, “is also unique in our space, with the average tenure of a Stertil-Koni distributor now topping 14 years. As a result, our distributors are able to fuse the very best in heavy-duty vehicle lifting systems with exceptional product knowledge and local support.”

Recapping the year’s significant product advances, notably in safety, ease-of-use, and capacity, Dr. DellAmore noted, “Importantly in 2018, the Stertil-Koni inground DIAMONDLIFT became the first piston-style lift in North America with a continuous recess system. Why is that so significant? With Stertil-Koni, our lifting unit travels horizontally, while fully recessed below floor level, making it easier and safer to lift low-clearance vehicles.”

In addition, Stertil-Koni introduced a broader range of adapters in 2018. First, two adapter kits, tailored for the inground scissor (ECOLIFT) and telescopic piston DIAMONDLIFT, were debuted. These help facilitate more efficient lifting by engaging the front and rear lifting points on buses and trucks. Second, Stertil-Koni brought to market inground lift adapters for school buses and trucks. These securely embrace the vehicles’ axles, frame or suspension, according to the company.

The prior year was also a period in which Stertil-Koni accelerated its environmental stewardship, building on the “green” movement throughout the transportation sector.

According to Dr. DellAmore, “One of our top performers in 2018 was the Stertil-Koni wireless Mobile Column EARTHLIFT, made from components that are 98 percent recyclable, and utilizing an Active Energy Retrieval System that saves power and delivers up to 35 percent more lifting cycles at maximum load.”

The company also broadened the deployment of two Stertil-Koni inground lifts — the telescopic piston DIAMONDLIFT and scissor-style ECOLIFT — both of which utilize a high-pressure low-fluid volume design with containment systems to mitigate the possibility of hazardous fluids entering the surrounding environment.

“Looking ahead,” Dr. DellAmore concluded, “our team is not one to rest on its laurels. We are fully committed to bringing additional innovations and lifting enhancements to customers in 2019, always with a dedication to improving safety, durability, and ease-of-use of Stertil-Koni heavy-duty vehicle lifts.”

Visit www.Stertil-Koni.com for more information.

Ohio’s Laketran Receives Safe Operators Award Recognition

Shown, left to right, are Laketran CEO Ben Capelle,
Laketran Board President Brian Falkowski and
OTRP (Ohio Transit Risk Pool) CEO Barbara Rhodes.

At a recent board of trustees meeting, Laketran, based in Painesville Township, OH, was recognized by Ohio Transit Risk Pool as the 2018 recipient of the organization’s Safe Operators Award Recognition (SOAR) award.

Ohio Transit Risk Pool is a not-for-profit public transit risk pool serving 10 regional transit authorities across Ohio, providing stable property and casualty coverage and risk management education. Laketran joined the risk pool in 1996.

“OTRP would like to congratulate Laketran for its excellence in safety and this important achievement,” said Barbara Rhodes, CEO of OTRP, during the award presentation to the Laketran board of trustees. “In the 13-year history of the award, Laketran has won the SOAR award five times.”

“I am very proud of the professionalism of our drivers in achieving this award, but also our maintenance, road supervisors and training teams,” said Ben Capelle, CEO of Laketran. “It may sound cliché to say that safety is everyone’s responsibility, but at Laketran, everyone plays a role in maintaining the fleet, from supervising and training our drivers to preparing them to put the safest service on the road.”

The SOAR award was established in 2005, and is presented annually to the transit system that operated at a lowest cost per transit mile in the prior year. In 2017, Laketran operated 3,789,236 miles throughout Lake County.

“We are honored to receive the SOAR award this year. This award is a reflection of our drivers’ commitment to safety on the roads in Lake County,” said Brian Falkowski, Laketran board president. “When you operate over 120 buses that travel almost 4 million miles in a year accidents are bound to happen, but this honor illustrates our commitment to safe driving to keep our community safe as well as our costs down.”

Visit www.laketran.com for more information.

Brandy Jones Named Cincinnati Metro’s Vice President Of External Affairs

Brandy Jones

Brandy Jones, APR, has been promoted to the role of vice president of external affairs at Cincinnati Metro.

In this role, Jones serves as the organization’s spokesperson and will oversee Cincinnati Metro’s marketing and communications, customer relations, sales, external affairs and government relations activities.

Jones has more than a decade of public relations and communications experience, and has held several roles within the agency including director of external affairs, external affairs manager, public relations manager and internal communications coordinator. Prior to Cincinnati Metro, she served as an account coordinator at the Kevin Wilson Public Relations Agency.

She is a graduate of Xavier University and has a degree in communications: public relations, and holds an Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential. Jones has received numerous awards for her public relations work, including several Blacksmith Awards from the Cincinnati Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. She is also a 2017 recipient of the Cincinnati Business Courier’s “Forty Under 40” honor.

Jones currently serves as vice president of the Cincinnati PRSA, and previously led the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (Cincinnati Chapter) as president.

Cincinnati Metro is a non-profit, tax-funded public service of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, providing about 14 million rides per year.

Visit www.go-metro.com for more information.

Coming in the March/April 2019
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