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  Busline News June 2020
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By Harrell Kerkhoff,
Busline Magazine Editor

Additional help may be on the way for U.S. bus and motorcoach companies in the wake of continued industry disruptions, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was announced during a June 11 United Motorcoach Association (UMA) online town hall meeting that several U.S. senators recently acknowledged their intention to introduce the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program (P4) Act.

The bill — under the guidance of U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), senior members of the committee — would authorize new lending under the existing Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to small businesses with 100 or fewer employees. It would include sole proprietorships and self-employed individuals.

Under the proposal, P4-eligible businesses would be required to have already expended an initial PPP loan, or be on pace to exhaust such funding, as well as demonstrate a revenue loss of 50 percent or more due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“(The latter point of 50 percent or more in revenue loss) encompasses just about all (bus and motorcoach industry) operators,” UMA Vice President of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs & Industry Relations/COO Ken Presley said, during the town hall meeting. “If approved, the requirements (of P4) would pretty much be the same as the previous PPP loans. That includes a $2 million limit. Participants would be able to use as much as 2.5 times their monthly payroll costs, the same as with initial PPP loans.

“This (P4) is certainly a bill our industry would support. Hopefully, it will either be passed or incorporated into a larger bill.”

Other benefits to the proposed P4 act include:

Would allow borrowers to apply for forgiveness as early as eight weeks after the loan was disbursed;

Not available to publicly traded companies;

Generally subject to the same terms, conditions and forgiveness criteria as initial PPP loans;

Reserves the lesser of $25 billion, or 20 percent, of PPP funds for employers with 10 or fewer employees;

Priority processing would be in place for underserved and rural borrowers; and,

Would require the Small Business Administration (SBA) to issue guidance.


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 March 2020 indicated vehicle imports were down in seven categories outlined, compared to March 2019. For the first three months of 2020, vehicles imports were up in four categories, compared to the first three months of 2019.

IMPORTS

8702103100 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 143 vehicles in March 2020, down 35 percent from 219 vehicles imported in March 2019. For the first three months of 2020, the United States imported 566 vehicles, down 3 percent from 581 vehicles for the first three months of 2019.

Canada sent 406 vehicles to the United States during the first three months of 2020, while Mexico shipped 114 vehicles.

The average price per vehicle for March 2020 was $272,381.82, down 10 percent from the average price for March 2019 of $301,797.01. The average price per vehicle for the first three months of 2020 was $304,450.07, down 14 percent from $354,277.64 for the first three months of 2019.

8702106100 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 three vehicles in March 2020, compared to 121 in March 2019. For the first three months of 2020, the United States imported 101 vehicles, down 71 percent from 346 for the first three months of 2019.

The United States imported 96 vehicles from Germany during the first three months of 2020.

The average price of the vehicles for March 2020 was $262,493.33, compared to $44,473.07 for March 2019. The average price per vehicle for the first three months of 2020 was $54,914.81, up 20 percent from $45,696.56 for the first three months of 2019.

8702203100 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 imported 19 vehicles in this category during March 2020, down 61 percent from 49 vehicles for March 2019. During the first three months of 2020, 78 vehicles were imported, up 56 percent from 50 vehicles for 2019.

All the vehicles were imported from Canada, during the first three months of 2020.

The average price per vehicle for March 2020 was $233,621.68, down 10 percent from $258,630.20 for March 2020. The average price for the first three months of 2020 was $250,130.18, down 3 percent from $258,612.22 for the first three months of 2019.

8702303100 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Spark Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine And Electric Motor For 16 Or More Persons

The United States imported no vehicles in this category during March 2020 or in March 2019. Three vehicles were imported during the first three months of 2020, up 50 percent from two vehicles for the first three months of 2019.

The average price per vehicle for the first three months of 2020 was $221,611.33, compared to $15,200 for the first three months of 2019.

8702306100 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 March 2020 or 2019. One vehicle was imported during the first three months of 2020 from the United Kingdom, at a price of $8,357.

8702403100 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Electric Motor Only, For Transport Of 16 Or More Persons Including Driver

The United States imported two vehicles during March 2020, down 98 percent from 91 vehicles for March 2019. During the first three months of 2020, 32 vehicles were received, down 76 percent from 134 vehicles for the first three months of 2019.

China shipped 17 vehicles during the first three months of 2020, while Canada sent 12 vehicles.

The average price per vehicle for March 2020 was $129,625, up 51 percent from $85,622.12 for March 2019. The average price for the first three months of 2020 was $57,819.56, down 22 percent from $74,005.87 for the first three months of 2019.

8702406100 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles, With Electric Motor Only For Propulsion, NESOI

The United States imported no vehicles during March 2020, compared to seven vehicles for March 2019, at an average price of $7,972.43. During the first three months of 2020, 22 vehicles were imported, the same as for the first three months of 2019.

China sent all of the vehicles during the first three months of 2020.

The average price per vehicle for the first three months of 2020 was $11,907.41, up 46 percent from $8,155.55 for the first three months of 2019.

8702903100 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles For 16 Or More Persons Including Driver, NESOI

The United States imported 119 vehicles during March 2020, down 11 percent from 133 vehicles for March 2019. During the first three months of 2020, 384 vehicles were received, up 44 percent from 267 vehicles for the first three months of 2019.

Canada sent 382 vehicles to the United States during the first three months of 2020.

The average price per vehicle for March 2020 was $116,656.81, up 96 percent from $59,472.56 for March 2019. The average price for the first three months of 2020 was $109,757.72, up 82 percent from $60,427.25 for the first three months of 2019.

8702906100 Motor Vehicles For The Transport Of 10 To 15 Persons Including Driver, NESOI

The United States imported 86 vehicles during March 2020, down 33 percent from 128 vehicles for March 2019. During the first three months of 2020, 220 vehicles were received, down 31 percent from 319 vehicles for the first three months of 2019.

Canada sent 107 vehicles to the United States during the first three months of 2020, while Germany exported 99 vehicles.

The average price per vehicle for March 2020 was $50,576.50, up 14 percent from $44,202.25 for March 2019. The average price for the first three months of 2020 was $46,804.14, up 4 percent from $44,967.38 for the first three months of 2019.

EXPORTS

Export totals for March 2020 were up in two categories, compared to March 2019. For the first three months of 2020, three categories reported increases.

8702100002 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With A Compression-Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel) Only

The United States exported 632 vehicles during March 2020, up 5 percent from 601 vehicles exported in March 2019. During the first three months of 2020, 1,596 vehicles were sent, up 14 percent from 1,400 vehicles for the first three months of 2019.

Mexico received 657 vehicles during the first three months of 2020, while Canada imported 636 vehicles.

The average price per vehicle for March 2020 was $47,705.34, down 32 percent from the average price for March 2019 of $70,023.99. The average price for the first three months of 2020 was $54,094.98, down 18 percent from $65,727.38 for the first three months of 2019.

8702200000 Public-Transport Vehicles With Both Compression-Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel) & Electric Motor

The United States shipped 122 vehicles in March 2020, down 74 percent from 462 vehicles for March 2019. During the first three months of 2020, 158 vehicles were exported, down 84 percent from 966 vehicles for the first three months of 2019.

Canada received 73 vehicles during the first three months of 2020, while Nigeria imported 40 vehicles.

The average price per vehicle for March 2020 was $52,414.34, up 83 percent from the average price for March 2019 of $28,633.18. The average price for the first three months of 2020 was $42,609.20, up 51 percent from $28,219.44 for the first three months of 2019.

8702300000 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Both Spark Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine & Electric Motor

The United States exported 28 vehicles in March 2020, down 10 percent from 31 vehicles for March 2019. During the first three months of 2020, 239 vehicles were shipped, compared to 73 vehicles for the first three months of 2019.

Mexico received 186 vehicles during the first three months 2020.

The average price per vehicle for March 2020 was $43,505.71, up 11 percent from the average price for March 2019 of $39,211.97. The average price for the first three months of 2020 was $30,572.32, up 5 percent from $28,990.77 for the first three months of 2019.

8702400000 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Only Electric Motor For Propulsion

The United States shipped 736 vehicles in March 2020, compared to six for March 2019. During the first three months of 2020, 962 vehicles were exported, compared to eight for the first three months of 2019.

Canada received 944 vehicles during the first three months of 2020

The average price per vehicle for March 2020 was $33,999.06, up 24 percent from the average price for March 2019 of $27,520.83. The average price per vehicle for the first three months of 2020 was $38,433.46, up 36 percent from $28,191.50 for the first three months of 2019.




Click on statistics to open .pdf file


Free Enterprise System Adds Four 2020 Van Hool CX45 Coaches


ABC Companies recently delivered four new 2020 CX45 Van Hool coaches to its new customer, Free Enterprise System of Jeffersonville, IN, established in 1976.

Free Enterprise is a subsidiary of Sodrel Truck Lines, a fourth-generation, family-owned business that has been in the transportation industry since 1915, with the original market of Louisville Metro. They are the oldest land-based carrier for the United States Postal Service.

“This sale represents the beginning of a great relationship,” said Aaron Babcock, ABC account manager. “We envision that Van Hool coaches will become a mainstay in the Jeffersonville fleet, and we are committed to supporting Free Enterprise across all aspects of its motorcoach operations.”

The new Van Hool coaches feature Free Enterprise’s refreshed brand integrating black metallic paint and a custom graphics package. Along with new standard features for 2020, the Van Hool CX45 models are specified with additional amenities such as: passenger seats with leather inserts and piping; wireless PA and media safety player; 110-plug-ins with USB at all seats; and, a 360-degree exterior view camera system to enhance driver visibility.

The new 56-seat Van Hool CX45 coaches will be used primarily in charter service operations, according to John McCue, president and COO. Free Enterprise is a full-service transportation company specializing in group transport for tours, charters, airport shuttles, church and school groups, sports teams, wedding groups and all types of event and occasion transport with locations throughout the greater Indianapolis metro and surrounding region and Lexington, KY. The operator also provides over-the-road service to New York City, Washington, D.C., Orlando, FL; and other popular charter group destinations.

The company’s fleet of over 47 vehicles offers a diverse mix of options to accommodate groups from 14 up to 56 passengers in a modern fleet of full-size premium passenger motorcoaches, corporate coaches, 21-seat platinum coaches, Mercedes Sprinters and 30-passenger trolleys.


Freedman Seating Introduces Passenger Protective Equipment


Freedman Seating, with essential manufacturing in Chicago, IL, and Rochester, IN, announced a new line of safety products intended to help curb the spread of germs on public and commercial transportation vehicles.

“There is nothing more important to us than to protect the safety and wellbeing of our employees, business partners and America’s transportation infrastructure. Every decision we make and action we take keeps those principles in mind,” said Dan Cohen, president of Freedman Seating. “Our team is proud to develop and manufacture PPE to help keep America moving, responding, and delivering hope.”

Freedman said its Passenger Protective Equipment, or PPE, includes three products (to start):

• Passenger Guards – Made from a clear, soft yet durable vinyl that is easy to replace, easy to clean, UV and mildew resistant. It is mounted at the top of a passenger seat, behind the passenger’s head, providing protection from sneezes, coughs, droplets and other airborne person-to-person threats and germs. These guards can be easily added in the field to 3PT mid-high, Feather Weight mid-high, GO-ES and most Freedman Foldaway seats.

• Grab Rail Covers – Easy to clean, replace or add in the field, these covers are made from CMI Dimensions Nanocide vinyl with embedded silver, a natural antimicrobial.

• Social Distance Seat Bands – Communicate social distancing restrictions with a durable seat band, wrapped around any seat designated “Do Not Sit.”

“Adding PPE to a bus is a significant step forward in improving safety and trust within public transportation at a time when attracting and retaining ridership is extremely tough,” said Cohen.

This new line of PPE products represents another benchmark in Freedman's 125-year history as an innovator of seating and safety solutions to the commercial market.

Freedman Seating is a seat manufacturer in Chicago, IL, designing, engineering, and manufacturing seat related products for many different markets, including small bus, mid-size coach, heavy-duty transit, rail, marine, delivery truck, and paratransit. Freedman Seating is an ISO 9001 registered company, with an on-site A2LA Accredited Mechanical Testing Lab.

For more information, visit www.freedmanseating.com.


Prevost Pre-owned Hires Veteran Salesperson Janet Cathey

Prevost has hired Janet Cathey to join the pre-owned sales team. She will cover eight states as the Southeast regional sales manager for pre-owned coaches. Cathey is a familiar face to many operations, and brings over 30 years of industry experience in the cutaway and motorcoach industries.

“My approach is one of customer service and building trusted relationships,” Cathey said.

Cathey joins the Prevost team from Motor Coach Industries Des Plaines, IL, where she was responsible for the sale of pre-owned coaches throughout the Southeast USA.

“We are so excited to have Janet join the Prevost team; she will be a trusted advisor to our customers,” said Mitch Guralnick, director, pre-owned coach sales. “Janet has extensive experience in this territory, and many of our customers already know and enjoy working with her.”

Cathey joined Prevost effective June 15. Visit www.prevostcar.com for more information.


U.S. Department Of Transportation Announces $5 Million Funding Opportunity For Tribal Transit Projects Nationwide

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced the availability of $5 million in fiscal year 2020 competitive grant funding to support transit services for American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages in rural areas.

FTA’s Tribal Transit Program is authorized by Congress to support public transportation for federally recognized Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages, groups, or communities, as well as to meet the needs of older adults, people with disabilities, and youth in rural areas where transit is sparse.

“Public transportation is vital for many tribal residents,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. “These federal investments are an example of this administration’s commitment to improving mobility and access to jobs and critical lifeline services in tribal communities across America.”

“Applications will be evaluated based on criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, including how the project will improve the quality of life for the tribe and surrounding communities. Examples include increased ridership and daily trips, improved service, elimination of gaps in service, improved operations and coordination, and increased reliability. The NOFO also includes criteria in accordance with the R.O.U.T.E.S initiative. The application period will close at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday, August 24, 2020,” according to a press release.

In FY 2019, FTA awarded Tribal Transit funds to 39 competitively selected projects in 20 states.

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act increased the Tribal Transit formula program from $25 million to $30 million and continued the $5 million annual competitive program. In FY 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated an additional $30 million through Tribal Transit formula funding.


Jim Paul Appointed To The Board Of The Oregon Transit Association

Complete Coach Works (CCW) Regional Sales Manager Jim Paul has been appointed to the board of directors of The Oregon Transit Association (OTA). Following a unanimous vote by the OTA board, he became a representative of private, for-profit members on behalf of Complete Coach Works.

The purpose of the Association is to assist members in the development and improvement of efficient, safe, and convenient transportation services.

“CCW is proud OTA has appointed Jim to serve on its board. Jim is an excellent sales representative, and outstanding individual. With his experience, we know Jim will make a great contribution to the board,” said Brad Carson, director of sales and marketing.

“Jim joined the CCW team in 2016 with over 40 years of direct sales experience. He is well-versed in direct sales of commercial fleets and those intricacies throughout the United States. During his tenure, he has developed the Northwest/Midwest territory by creating awareness of CCW’s turnkey solutions.

“Jim is well-recognized for sales achievements. He has a record of facilitating long-term business relationships with both customers and industry leaders.”

Paul said, “I am proud to receive this appointment, and to have the opportunity to participate and contribute to Oregon Transit’s future growth.”

Complete Coach Works (CCW) is a U.S. bus remanufacturing and rehabilitation company, and provides an array of transportation solutions with over 30 years of service in the transportation industry.

For more information, visit completecoach.com


Agencies Ramp Up Sanitary Precautions
Riders Must Now Wear Masks Or Face Coverings On The COMET

In response to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the Midlands, The COMET (Columbia, SC) is requiring masks or face coverings for all persons riding any of The COMET buses or entering any COMET facility.

According to John Andoh, executive director/CEO of The COMET, the organization will offer masks to bus passengers prior to boarding for those who do not have a face covering. Face coverings must be worn in order to access facilities as well.

“We made this decision with the safety of our riders in mind. The pandemic is still ongoing, but so is the need for our riders to get to their essential destinations safely,” said Andoh.

The COMET will provide masks until July 31 or until supplies are depleted.

“We were fortunate to be able to secure a limited supply of masks. This was important because we understand that people need time to adjust to this new policy, so we are providing masks for a period of time to help out,” Andoh added.

Reasonable accommodation for those needing to be excused for verified medical reasons may be requested prior to accessing services.



Coming in the July/August 2020
print issue of Busline
. . . . . . . . .

Busline’s Annual
Suppliers Directory

The Manufacturers
& Suppliers Resource Directory

Busline
Vehicle Showcase:

Small &
Mid-Size Buses


For further information, rankinmag@
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