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Busline News February 2019
Click here for complete current print issue of Busline Magazine

By Rick Mullen,
Busline Magazine Associate Editor

The following import/export categories include motor buses, coaches, trolley buses and gyrobuses.

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau trade figures for December 2018 indicated vehicle imports were down in three categories outlined, compared to November 2018.

IMPORTS

Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Only Comp-Ign Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel), Designed For Transport Of 16 Or More Persons, Incl

The United States imported 264 vehicles in December 2018, down 12 percent from 301 vehicles for November 2018. During all of 2018, 2,439 vehicles were imported.

During all of 2018, Canada sent 1,012 vehicles to the United States.

The average price per vehicle for December 2018 was $431,398.24, up 3 percent from the average price for November 2018 of $420,381.25. The average price for all of 2018 was $402,148.58.

Public-Transport Passenger Vehicles For Transport Of 10 Or More Persons With Only Comp-Ign Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel), Other

The United States received 36 vehicles in December 2018, down 82 percent from 200 vehicles for November 2018. During all of 2018, 1,760 vehicles were imported.

Argentina shipped 899 vehicles during all of 2018, while Germany sent 835.

The average price per vehicle for December 2018 was $69,310.06, up 71 percent from the average price for November 2018 of $40,551.56. The average price for all of 2018 was $43,869.43.

Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Comp-Ign Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel), And Electric Motor Designed For Transport Of 16 Or More Persons

The United States received no vehicles during November and December 2018. During all of 2018, six vehicles were imported.

Macedonia sent three vehicles, while Canada exported two and Belgium shipped one, during all of 2018.

The average price per vehicle for all of 2018 was $490,661.50.

Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles For Transport Of 10 Or More Persons With Comp-Ign Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel), And Electric

No vehicles in this category were imported during all of 2018.

Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Spark Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine And Electric Motor For 16 Or More Persons

No vehicles in this category were imported during all of 2018.

Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Both Spark Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine and Electric Motor for 10 to 15 Persons

The United States imported no vehicles in this category during November or December 2018. During all of 2018, Japan shipped one vehicle at a price of $10,325.

Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Electric Motor Only, For Transport Of 16 Or More Persons Including Driver

The United States imported no vehicles during November and December 2018. During all of 2018, 18 vehicles were imported.

China shipped 12 vehicles during all of 2018.

The average price per vehicle for all of 2018 was $180,598.50.

Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles, With Electric Motor Only For Propulsion, NESOI

The United States imported six vehicles in this category during December 2018, up 100 percent from three vehicles for November 2018. During all of 2018, 76 vehicles were imported, all from China.

The average price per vehicle for December 2018 was $35,928, up 465 percent from $6,354.67 for November 2018. The average price per vehicle for all of 2018 was $10,773.22.

Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles For 16 Or More Persons Including Driver, NESOI

The United States imported 40 vehicles during December 2018, down 23 percent from 52 vehicles for November 2018. During all of 2018, 1,129 vehicles were imported

Canada sent 1,094 vehicles to the United States during all of 2018.

The average price per vehicle for December 2018 was $50,332.43, down 24 percent from $66,344.83 for November 2018. The average price per vehicle for all of 2018 was $70,619.07.

Motor Vehicles For The Transport Of 10 To 15 Persons Including Driver, NESOI

The United States imported 54 vehicles during December 2018, up 64 percent from 33 vehicles for November 2018. During all of 2018, 1,399 vehicles were imported.

Canada sent 789 vehicles to the United States during all of 2018, while Germany exported 555 vehicles.

The average price per vehicle for December 2018 was $42,292.65, down 1 percent from $42,702.88 for November 2018. The average price per vehicle for all of 2018 was $45,898.17.

IMPORTS

Export totals for December 2018 were up in two categories, compared to November 2018

Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With A Compression-Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel) Only

The United States exported 623 vehicles during December 2018, up 15 percent from 543 vehicles exported in November 2018. During all of 2018, 8,981 vehicles were exported.

Canada received 5,358 vehicles during all of 2018, while Mexico imported 1,680.

The average price per vehicle for December 2018 was $43,092.96, down 54 percent from the average price per vehicle for November 2018 of $94,133.69. The average price per vehicle for all of 2018 was $78,328.81.

Public-Transport Vehicles With Both Compression-Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel) & Electric Motor

The United States shipped 177 vehicles in December 2018, down 40 percent from 296 vehicles for November 2018. During all of 2018, 983 vehicles were exported.

Canada received 537 vehicles during all of 2018, while Venezuela imported 262.

The average price per vehicle for December 2018 was $62,763.10, up 112 percent from the average price per vehicle for November 2018 of $29,670.70. The average price per vehicle for all of 2018 was $30,482.34.

Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Both Spark Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine & Electric Motor

The United States exported 36 vehicles in December 2018, up 177 percent from 13 vehicles for November 2018. During all of 2018, 306 vehicles were exported.

Mexico received 97 vehicles during all of 2018, while Canada imported 36.

The average price per vehicle for December 2018 was $26,480.11, up 5 percent from the average price per vehicle for November 2018 of $25,179.23. The average price per vehicle for all of 2018 was $32,666.24.

Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Only Electric Motor For Propulsion

The United States shipped four vehicles in December 2018, down 86 percent from 28 vehicles for November 2018. During all of 2018, 79 vehicles were exported.

Canada received 36 vehicles during all of 2018.

The average price of the vehicles for December 2018 was $20,600, down 31 percent from $30,016.21 for November 2018. The average price per vehicle for all of 2018 was $103,978.77.




Click on statistics to open .pdf file


BYD Grows West Coast And Pacific Northwest Coach & Bus Team With Appointment Of 2 Sales Associates

BYD has announced the expansion of its West Coast and Pacific Northwest Coach & Bus Team with the addition of two new associates.


Robert “Bobby” Bafus


Scott Smith

Robert “Bobby” Bafus will cover Washington, Oregon and Idaho; and Scott Smith will cover the northern California territory, north of Los Angeles County. Both will report to Justin Scalzi, BYD’s West Coast director of business development.

“California, Washington, Oregon and Idaho are proactive, natural adopters of electric transit vehicles, and as such, we’ve added Bobby and Scott to help us keep ahead of the region’s growing needs,” Scalzi said. “They will help both public agencies and private entities from the planning stages through delivery, operation and maintenance of electric bus fleets.”

Scalzi is responsible for BYD’s northern California and Pacific Northwest region, which includes Alaska and Hawaii. BYD regional clients include Oregon’s Lane Transit District; Washington’s Link Transit; and California’s Fresno Rural Transit, Kern Transit, Marin Transit, Monterey-Salinas Transit, and Napa Valley.

Bafus has served as a project manager for BYD Coach & Bus in Lancaster, CA, since mid-2018. He worked with the BYD production and engineering departments to help track and monitor electric-battery bus orders for clients, before assuming his new sales associate post. Prior to joining BYD, he worked as a senior technical specialist for EDF Renewables, one of the largest renewable energy developers, working closely with customers on major contracts.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he served as an aviation electrician, Smith has used his technical and managerial skills to consistently deliver a high-level of client services while completing large-scale projects for various end-user technology businesses, according to BYD.

Among his past positions, Smith has served as a systems analyst for General Dynamics, project manager for M.A.I. Systems, Inc., and started his own software development company, Virtual Business Systems, specializing in GIS applications.

“BYD continues to set the curve for delivering the innovative and fast-advancing technology of battery-electric buses,” said Bobby Hill, vice president of BYD Coach & Bus. “Decisions like the December 2018 California Air Resources Board (CARB) Innovative Clean Transit regulation, which requires state public agencies to transition to 100 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2040, will continue to keep zero-emissions buses moving forward.”

Visit www.BYD.com for more information.


Champion Coach Carries Champions To The Super Bowl In MCI J4500s

Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., said it was pleased to be a part of this year’s biggest sporting event through its relationship with Greenville, SC-based Champion Coach, a major transportation provider to professional and college athletic teams throughout the United States.

Champion Coach earned one of the highest-profile assignments in professional sports on February 3 — the exclusive right to transport both contenders to this year’s Super Bowl, which took place in Atlanta, GA. Their ride? Twelve MCI J4500s, each specially appointed for staff and players of the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.

“Champion Coach owner and CEO Craig Dance praised his new MCI J4500 coaches for standout reliability and style,” according to an MCI press release. “In his presentation to Atlanta’s team transportation selection committee earlier last year, Dance put his newest 2018 and 2019 MCI’s J4500’s best-in-class features on full display — from industry-leading legroom and luxurious seating options to optional programmable lighting bringing MCI’s newest ‘Wow Factor’ to each organization’s colors and branding.

“We lined up our new J4500 coaches and showed each lighted with a different color interior,” said Dance. “It made quite an impression. We stood apart from anyone else and that, with all the Champion Coach brand represents, gave us the leading edge.”

Champion coaches were featured on national broadcasts from the teams’ arrival in Atlanta to their delivery to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on game day.

“It was spontaneous coverage all week long, and a proud moment for Champion Coach,” said Dance. “I’m grateful to our staff and our assistance from MCI to assure the flawlessness of each coach move.”

“It was a particularly proud moment for MCI for its relationship with Champion Coach, as well as with many more customers and their J4500s taking people to the big game flawlessly and in style,” according to MCI

“It was an exciting moment to catch glimpses of Champion Coach’s fleet and other MCI coaches moving thousands of people including teams, media and spectators throughout the weekend as they enjoyed pre-game events and Sunday’s big game,” MCI President Ian Smart said. “Enhancing the travel experience is what makes this industry great.”

“Champion Coach exemplifies MCI at our best,” added MCI Vice President of New Coach Sales Pat Ziska. “There are many things that contribute to the J4500 being the industry bestseller. This includes reliability, durability, passenger comfort and, in this case, modern curb appeal, best-in-class legroom and new interior lighting that really made a difference. And, our behind-the-scenes support is always on call 24/7 to help keep MCIs rolling.

“The Super Bowl deserves a super coach, and MCI shares in Champion Coach’s enthusiasm, appreciates their business and is honored to help them reach the spotlight they’ve worked so hard to achieve.”

Dance, who co-founded Champion Coach in 1998 with his wife and executive vice president Hazel Dance, began his career in sports broadcasting, but later took a job in team transportation. His career choices and sports knowledge have driven Champion Coach to its position as the regional transportation provider for the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and many college teams, including those from the University of Georgia, Clemson University, and Duke University.

On the corporate side, Champion Coach serves such major accounts as BMW North America, Sealed Air, and Delta Airlines.

In January, the company also received the 2019 United Motor Association (UMA) Safety Leader of the Year Award, during the UMA Expo in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Visit www.mcicoach.com for more information.


Complete Coach Works Hires Mitch Guralnick As Director Of Business Development

Complete Coach Works (CCW) has announced the appointment of Mitch Guralnick as the company’s director of business development. Guralnick will be responsible for driving business and increasing revenue, identifying and developing new business opportunities, and expanding the presence of the company and its brands.


Mitch Guralnick

He joins the CCW team from MCI Sales & Service Inc., where he served as vice president of pre-owned coaches prior to his retirement. During his tenure, starting in 1999 at MCI, he directed service, sales and business development efforts. Guralnick was also the president of White Bus Co., a charter, tour, and contract operator, before selling the company in 1998. Overall, Guralnick comes to CCW with 40-plus years of experience in the transportation industry.

“I am very excited to join the Complete Coach Works family. My plan is to mentor the sales team, while expanding some new sales opportunities available to our company, and customers new and old,” Guralnick said.

Brad Carson, director of sales and marketing, added, “We are very excited to welcome Mitch to the CCW family. Not only will he bring a deeper insight on customer relationship quality to our sales team, but will also serve as a great role model for our employees and vendors who come into contact with him.”

Visit www.completecoach.com for more information.


Stertil-Koni Hires John Sliney As Assistant Service Manager

Stertil-Koni, a provider of heavy-duty vehicle lifts for the bus and motorcoach industry, has announced that John Sliney has joined the company as assistant service manager.


John Sliney

Sliney will provide a broad range of activities including technical support, equipment troubleshooting assistance, vehicle lift installation oversight and heavy-duty lift equipment training for Stertil- Koni’s distributor network across North America and their customers.

Stertil-Koni Director of Operations Kevin Hymers said, “Stertil-Koni is dedicated to delivering the highest level of customer service and is pleased to welcome John, a seasoned pro, to our team. With 15 years of automotive and lift industry experience, he has the ideal background to further advance Stertil-Koni’s record of delivering exceptional service in assisting distributors, and their end-users, with training, troubleshooting and mastering new technologies in the lift industry.”

Sliney is not new to vehicle lifts and Stertil-Koni, having previously worked as a service technician for Reeder Distributor, an exclusive Stertil-Koni dealer of the company’s lift products, headquartered in Fort Worth, TX.

His experience includes servicing automotive lifts, alignment machines, tire machines, brake lathes, industrial fans, heavy-duty lifts, bulk oil systems, and bulk fuel systems. Sliney also has experience working as a welder, has rebuilt starters and alternators, and worked for a brake and alignment shop.

“I have a broad range of knowledge, and I am always ready to accept a new challenge and learn more,” Sliney said. “I pride myself in providing the highest quality of customer service, regardless of the job at hand.”

Sliney spends his off time participating in drag racing, and in 2017 he achieved a lifelong dream to own and race a nostalgic front-engine dragster, the “Memory Maker.” He resides in Haslet, TX.

Visit www.stertil-koni.com for more information.


TransCapital Funding Specializes In Commercial Equipment Finance

Industry veteran Don Coolbaugh has announced that newly formed TransCapital Funding is a full service originator of loans and leases to the transportation and vocational truck marketplace.

“Through newly established relationships, TransCapital Funding has arranged lending for all credit types and for borrowers purchasing one unit or large fleets,” Coolbaugh said, who is president of the company. “We also offer working capital loans, along with a specialized team to assist the purchasing and selling of assets of customers nationwide. We have the capital in place to fund quickly and hassle free.

“Our overriding ambition is to bring intuitive and accommodative lending and service platforms to all of our customers. After listening to thousands of operators over the years, it is apparent that most want a lending partner that is not only capable, but is easy and efficient to work with, and can facilitate the products necessary to grow with the needs of their operations.”

Coolbaugh has over two decades of experience in the field. Visit www.transcapfunding.com for more information.


Wisconsin’s GO Riteway Acquires Indiana-Based Cardinal Buses

Riteway Bus Service, Inc., d/b/a GO Riteway Transportation Group, has announced it has acquired Cardinal Buses, Inc.

Milwaukee investment bank, Bridgewood Advisors, represented GO Riteway in the transaction.

GO Riteway is headquartered in Oak Creek, WI, and has 1,475 employees, in 22 locations, with over 1,250 passenger transportation vehicles. This includes school buses, motorcoaches, minicoaches, black cars and airport shuttles. Cardinal Buses is headquartered in Middlebury, IN, and has satellite offices in Mishawaka, IN, and Holland, MI. The company has 120 employees and operates over 50 vehicles,

“When the companies are combined, the GO Riteway/Cardinal Bus operation will become one of the largest diverse fleets in the Midwest. The owners of Cardinal Buses were nearing retirement age, and were looking for a business partner who would maintain the company legacy,” according to a GO Riteway press release.

“We have been looking to grow the geographic footprint of our motorcoach business for years, but it was important for us to find a company that shared our family values. We respect the business the Shoup family, and their valued employees, have built. We plan to keep the Cardinal name in the markets where they operate,” GO Riteway Chairman Ronald Bast said. “Just like our name in our markets, its brand is a longtime symbol of safe and reliable passenger transportation.

“Not only do we plan to retain all Cardinal employees, we expect there will be excellent career opportunities in the future as we look to grow this business regionally.”

Cardinal Buses was started in 1923 when Branston Shoup purchased Middlebury Bus Lines. Branston’s son, John, took over the business in 1954, and today the company is owned by John’s sons, Matt and Dan Shoup.

GO Riteway was founded in 1957 by Rollie and Pearl Bast with four school buses in Germantown, WI. Today, it is co-owned by four members of the Bast family: Ronald, Rochelle, Wendy and RJ.

Visit www.goriteway.com for more information.


Limmer Named Chief Executive Officer At HART


Benjamin Limmer

The Hillsborough Area (Tampa, FL) Regional Transit Authority (HART) board of directors recently voted unanimously to name Benjamin Limmer, AICP, the authority’s new chief executive officer.

“Benjamin Limmer will bring the experience this county needs to expand service for our fast-growing area,” said HART Board Chair Commissioner Lesley “Les” Miller. “Increasing mobility in our county is our basis for a prosperous and sustainable future. Today, we welcome a seasoned transit professional with more than 15 years of experience.”

Limmer is a native of Michigan and currently serves as the assistant general manager at the Metropolitan Atlanta (GA) Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). He leads a team of 200 employees in the areas of customer service, external affairs, marketing, policy, planning and business development.

Before joining MARTA, Limmer held transit leadership positions at the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., the city of Atlanta, Valley Metro in Phoenix, AZ, and the Regional Transit Authority in Cleveland, OH.

Limmer replaces interim CEO Jeff Seward, who has been serving for over a year since former CEO Katharine Eagan left the agency to lead the Port Authority of Allegheny County, in Pittsburgh, PA.

Visit www.goHART.org for more information.


Greater Dayton (OH) RTA’s Gene Rhodes Remembered For Leadership, Making A Difference


Eugene Allen Rhodes

The Greater Dayton (OH) RTA mourns the loss of a colleague and friend with the passing of Chief Performance Officer Gene Rhodes.

Eugene Allen Rhodes died on Jan, 19, 2019. He was 66. For more than eight years, Rhodes touched the lives of many RTA employees through the various roles he held in the human resources, maintenance, and performance management teams, according to RTA.

“If you ask RTA employees to describe Gene in a word, you would hear: intuitive, coach, mentor, caring, funny, interested, and friend,” said RTA CEO Mark Donaghy.

Rhodes was the driving force behind many programs designed to improve the agency including: employee wellness, “Be the One” outstanding work awards, succession planning, “Leadership 2020,” discipline without punishment and the agency’s veteran recognition programs.

In November 2018, the RTA dedicated the Eugene A. Rhodes Veterans Memorial outside of its Longworth Campus. The memorial was named in his honor due to his strong support for veterans and programs supporting their service.

“It will not only be his incredible work ethic, but also his stinging wit, that will be remembered by his coworkers,” Donaghy said. “Gene could bring the most serious of meetings to an abrupt halt with a fragment of a sentence, introduced at the perfect moment, leaving someone in the room red-faced and the rest of us stunned or caught in an incredible belly laugh.”




Coming in the March/April 2019
print issue of Busline.
. . . . . . . . .

CTAA Expo
May 16-25, 2019
Palm Springs, CA

Vehicle Showcase:
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Busline Buyers' Guide To
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Busline Buyers' Guide To
Video Surveillance, Safety, Entertainment
& Tracking Technology


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