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Busline News May 2019
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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 February 2019 indicated vehicle imports were up in fove categories outlined, compared to February 2018. For the first two months of 2019, vehicles imports were also up in five categories, compared to the first two months of 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 205 vehicles in February 2019, up 13 percent from 182 vehicles imported in February 2018. For the first two months of 2019, the United States imported 362 vehicles, up 2 percent from the first two months of 2018.

Canada sent 138 vehicles to the United States during the first two months of 2019, while Macedonia exported 100 and Mexico shipped 98.

The average price per vehicle for February 2019 was $391,257.20, down 5 percent from the average price for February 2018 of $410,916.18. The average price per vehicle for the first two months of 2019 was $386,026.98, down 5 percent from $408,089.49 for the first two months of 2018.

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 72 vehicles in February 2019, compared to three in February 2018. For the first two months of 2019, the United States imported 225 vehicles, compared to 55 for the first two months of 2018.

The United States imported 222 vehicles from Germany during the first two months of 2019.

The average price of the vehicles for February 2019 was $56,464.89, up 34 percent from $41,983.67 for February 2018. The average price per vehicle for the first two months of 2019 was $46,354.52, down 21 percent from $58,866.24 for the first two months of 2018.

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

One vehicle in this category was imported during February 2019 from Canada, at a price of $257,731, which was also the first vehicle imported during the first two months of 2019. No vehicles in this category were received during 2018.

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 the first two months 2019 or 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 received by the United States in February 2019 or all of 2018.

The United States imported two vehicles from Canada during the first two months of 2019 at an average price of $15,200.

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 the first two months 2019, compared to one vehicle during the first two months of 2018, 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 36 vehicles during February 2019, compared to one vehicle for February 2018. During the first two months of 2019, 43 vehicles were received, compared to one for the first two months of 2018.

Canada shipped 38 vehicles during the first two months of 2019.

The average price per vehicle for February 2019 was $24, 421.50, down 88 percent from $210,284 for February 2018. The average price for the first two months of 2019 was $49,422.65, down 76 percent from $210,284 for the first two months of 2018.

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

The United States imported eight vehicles during February 2019, down 11 percent from nine vehicles for February 2018. During the first two months of 2019, 15 vehicles were imported, up 67 percent from nine for the first two months of 2018.

China sent all of the vehicles during the first two months of 2019.

The average price per vehicle for February 2019 was $8,898.38, up 36 percent from $6,552 for February 2018. The average price per vehicle for the first two months of 2019 was $8,241, up 26 percent from $6,552 for the first two months of 2018.

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

The United States imported 74 vehicles during February 2019, down 44 percent from 132 for February 2018. During the first two months of 2019, 134 vehicles were received, down 30 percent from 192 for the first two months of 2018.

Canada sent 130 vehicles to the United States during the first two months of 2019.

The average price per vehicle for February 2019 was $56,682.91, down 32 percent from $83,103.52 for February 2018. The average price for the first two months of 2019 was $61,374.82, down 21 percent from $78,056.57 for the first two months of 2018.

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

The United States imported 136 vehicles during February 2019, up 84 percent from 74 during February 2018. During the first two months of 2019, 191 vehicles were received, down 41 percent from 323 for the first two months of 2018.

Canada sent 162 vehicles to the United States during the first two months of 2019.

The average price per vehicle for February 2019 was $46,268.22, down 3 percent from $47,763.30 for February 2018. The average price for the first two months of 2019 was $45,480.14, down 7 percent from $48,812.99 for the first two months of 2018.

IMPORTS

Export totals for February 2019 were up in two categories, compared to February 2018. For the first two months of 2019, two categories also reported increases.

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

The United States exported 436 vehicles during February 2019, down 29 percent from 615 vehicles exported in February 2018. During the first two months of 2019, 799 were sent, down 33 percent from 1,194 for the first two months of 2018.

Canada received 454 vehicles during the first two months of 2019, while Mexico imported 203.

The average price per vehicle for February 2019 was $65,605.06, down 15 percent from the average price for February 2018 of $77,385.30. The average price for the first two months of 2019 was $62,495.51, down 22 percent from $80,533.22 for the first two months of 2018.

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

The United States shipped 222 vehicles in February 2019, compared to six vehicles for February 2018. During the first two months of 2019, 504 vehicles were exported, compared to 10 for the first two months of 2018.

Canada received 462 vehicles during the first two months of 2019.

The average price per vehicle for February 2019 was $27,100.81, up 9 percent from the average price for February 2018 of $24,761.67. The average price for the first two months of 2019 was $27,840.18, up 67 percent from $16,626.80 for the first two months of 2018.

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

The United States exported 23 vehicles in February 2019, up 109 percent from 11 vehicles for February 2018. During the first two months of 2019, 42 vehicles were shipped, up 110 percent from 20 vehicles for the first two months of 2018.

Mexico received 23 vehicles during the first two months 2019.

The average price per vehicle for February 2019 was $19,167.04, down 30 percent from the average price for February 2018 of $27,517.82. The average price for the first two months of 2019 was $21,446.55, down 15 percent from $25,165.30 for the first two months of 2018.

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

The United States shipped no vehicles in February 2019, compared to four vehicles for February 2018, at an average price of $56,735.75. During the first two months of 2019, two vehicles were exported, down 60 percent from five for the first two months of 2018.

Canada and Ecuador received one vehicle each during the first two months of 2019

The average price of the vehicles for the first two months of 2019 was $30,203.50, down 46 percent from $56,388.60 for the first two months of 2018.




Click on statistics to open .pdf file


Foreign Deliveries Of eBuses From BYD

BYD Delivers 15 eBuses To Badajoz, Spain

BYD has delivered 15 pure electric 12-metre eBuses to Spain’s southwestern city of Badajoz – one of the largest eBus orders for BYD in the country.

“Public transport operator, TUBASA (Transportes Urbanos de Badajoz, SA), part of Grupo Ruiz, and one of Spain’s principal road passenger transport groups, has already put the vehicles into service. The zero emission BYD eBuses were delivered as fleet replacements for TUBASA, and are already returning substantial savings when compared to the company’s previous diesel-powered buses,” said BYD.

The BYD eBus delivery was marked at a special ceremony in Badajoz, which included representatives from TUBASA and the mayor of Badajoz, Franciso Javier Fragoso. The BYD fleet delivery means Badajoz becomes the largest user of electric buses in Spain, with TUBASA operating the highest percentage of electric buses within any public transport fleet in Europe. In a significant commitment to making the city even more environmentally friendly, the mayor has pledged that the move to a 100 percent all-electric bus fleet will continue in Badajoz.

Nobina, Sweden Increases BYD eBus Orders To 138

Nobina, Sweden’s and the Nordic region’s largest bus operator, has added an additional 20 eBuses to its growing orders from BYD. Deliveries of the 18.0-metre articulated ‘K11’ eBus model will begin at the end of 2019.

Two separate deliveries of this latest BYD eBus order will be made, with four vehicles destined for the Barkarby district of Stockholm, and 16 for the city of Linköping.

The latest electric bus order follows Nobina’s order for 26 BYD vehicles last autumn, which included 11-off 12.0-metre eBuses, 10 18.0-metre articulated eBuses and five 8.7m midi-buses – all scheduled for delivery this summer. A total of 138 vehicles will see Nobina as BYD’s largest bus fleet customer in the Nordic region.

“Thirty-six BYD eBuses are running successfully in several Swedish cities including Eskilstuna, Ängelholm, Norrtälje and Landskrona – with around 70 further BYD eBuses scheduled for delivery in Norway and Denmark. Recent sales reaffirm the electric bus manufacturer’s growing presence in Europe, including orders in the Netherlands, France and Italy. Over 700 BYD eBuses are now in operation or on order throughout Europe," according to a release.

“The drive toward emission-free transport is an essential objective for Nobina. Nobina’s latest emission-free BYD eBuses are powered by new generation, cobalt-free, BYD iron-phosphate batteries offering high levels of performance, operational safety and are produced to rigorous environmental standards.”

Visit www.byd.com for more information.


News From Complete Coach Works

Complete Coach Awarded Contract By OCTA To Furnish And Install Up To 484 Bike Racks And 73 Spare Units

Complete Coach Works (CCW) has been awarded a contract with Orange County (CA) Transportation Authority (OCTA) to furnish and install up to 484 three-position bike racks and 73 spare units.

According to a press release, “Alternative modes of transportation have become popular in order to decrease automobile use and reduce emissions. To keep up with this growing trend, municipalities are changing infrastructure to better accommodate cyclists. By upgrading to a three-position bike rack, OCTA will be able to offer more rack space to cyclists interested in using public transportation to supplement their commute.

“Upgrading to a three-position bike rack allows agencies to enhance existing mounting systems without complete replacement. The new racks are fabricated from stainless steel to prevent corrosion and reduce overall maintenance costs. The bike rack will also allow cyclists to load and unload their bikes with ease — which increases safety and reduces interference with bus route schedules.”

Kevin O’Brien, general sales manager at CCW, said, “Prioritizing the needs of our clients is a core part of our company philosophy. We are proud to partner with an agency that values its customers as much as we do. We are excited and thankful for the opportunity OCTA has provided us, and look forward to the completion of the project.”

Complete Coach Works Receives Contract To Conduct Mid-Life Rehab On Long Beach Transit Buses

Complete Coach Works (CCW) has won a contract to perform mid-life rehabilitation on 72 Gillig buses for Long Beach Transit (LBT), the second largest public transit agency in Los Angeles County, with 26 million annual boardings. This project is part of LBT’s State of Good Repair Program.

All buses will be given a complete exterior paint job with associated decals, Cummins ISL-G recon engines, new aluminum wheels, upgrades to exterior and interior lightning, upgrades to exterior mirrors, repainted driver’s area and new decals as part of a cosmetic rehab.

“As these vehicles reach the mid-life point, the cosmetic, mechanical, and electrical restoration work will return them to like-new condition. CCW provides high-quality remanufacturing services, and we are proud that our work is ensuring the optimal performance of buses, such as those in the Long Beach Transit fleet, through the entire lifespan,” said Kevin O’Brien, general sales manager of Complete Coach Works.

CCW provides a range of remanufacturing, repair, and alternative fuel conversion services. CCW technicians have the specialized training, OEM qualifications, and technical equipment to diagnose and repair these systems and return vehicles that are ready for revenue service, according to the company.

For more information on CCW, visit www.completecoach.com.


Mobile’s Gulf Coast’s New MCI J3500 Keeps On The Move

Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., (NFI) has delivered a new 35-foot MCI J3500 to Gulf Coast Tours, based in Mobile, AL.

According to Nick Chamblee (who took over the 30-year-old Gulf Coast Tours in 2016 from his father, Ed Chamblee) not every tour, corporate or group client needs a full-size luxury coach to deliver a great experience. Sometimes a smaller vehicle with big luxury, reliability and safety built in works just as well.



Gulf Coast Tours Operations Manager Theresa Chamblee and Safety Manager Bernell Robinson
mark the delivery of the Mobile, AL- based tour and charter company’s new MCI J3500 coach.

“In motor coaches, we’re an all-MCI J4500 fleet and the chance to offer the J4500 experience in a smaller coach really resonated for us,” said Chamblee. “We’re seeing a need for group-size flexibility from schools and groups, and we think it could open new doors to business with the corporate and private charter market. Not every group needs a 56-seat coach when a really great 40- or 44-seat coach (with all the amenities) will do.”

MCI said, “The new MCI J3500 is MCI’s latest debut to complement its best-selling J4500, recently redesigned with increased space and passenger comfort. The J3500 is a member of MCI’s new J-Series family of coaches that feature all the styling and comfort hallmarks of the J4500, with seating for up to 44 passengers, a Cummins engine, shared J-coach components and a turning radius of under 33 feet that makes it a natural for high-traffic situations that call for top maneuverability.”

Chamblee, a former professional musician who knows about traveling by bus, understands there’s always an opportunity to win over a customer who’s never considered coach travel as a viable, long-term option. Giving customers an option like the J3500 as a substitute for mini-buses or limousines opens new vistas.

He said, “The reliability of the MCI brand – and the ability to maintain it with interchangeable parts we stock for our fleet of 17 J4500 coaches, tells our customer that smaller doesn’t mean they have to settle for anything less than a big-coach experience.”

Gulf Coast Tours' first J3500 comes equipped with a top-of-the-line four-monitor entertainment system with four monitors, the 2017 EPA Cummins L9 w/ engine brake, three-point seatbelts and the optional RGB interior lighting feature offering six pre-programmed colors (red, blue, green, cyan, magenta, yellow) plus white for the best customer branding experience.

“I think it’s important to give the customer a passenger experience that’s all their own,” said Chamblee.

Gulf Coast Tours chose the 40-seat configuration to give high school, college and university athletes the best legroom in this new, smaller coach configuration.

“From just two hours following delivery, the coach has never stopped moving,” Chamblee said.

Chamblee, and his wife, Theresa, run the company together – Chamblee as CEO and Theresa as operations manager.

However, he said that the entire team wears many hats as a small business, and that no two weeks are ever the same.

“I like the challenges, and we all keep on our toes.” For more information, visit www.gctbus.com or www.MCI coach.com.

MCI Names Brian Jablonski San Francisco Bay Area Sales And Service Center Manager

MCI has named Brian Jablonski as the new service center manager for its Bay Area Service Center. Jablonski brings a 23-year career in charter, automotive and aviation fleet maintenance and management to the position. He is responsible for keeping the year-old Hayward, CA, center at full capacity, establishing strong relationships with operators and overseeing a team of factory trained MCI technicians. He reports to Ron Miller, director of MCI Service Centers.

According to a press release, MCI, which initially invested nearly $3 million in the two-story, 34,000-square-foot Hayward complex at 4120 Point Eden Way in 2017, is enhancing its services for area operators.

“We’re engaged with major employers in Silicon Valley that operate private transportation systems,” said Miller. “These coaches need to be maintained on a daily basis, and that requires our operational model to be in tandem with our operators.”

The Bay Area Service Center will offer flexible service hours, complete coach maintenance agreements and access to on-call MCI mobile maintenance assistance.

Mike Apple, MCI vice president of preowned coaches and service centers, said, “We are the local OEM, and service hundreds of coaches daily; we have the expertise operators can trust. Every MCI Service Center will now have two pre-owned loaner coaches ready to go, so operators can keep their fleets on schedule.”

The Bay Area service center is MCI’s largest OEM Service facility and its second in California. MCI also operates a Sales and Service facility in Los Alamitos near Los Angeles, CA. Both facilities feature satellite NFI Parts warehouses and offer service and training expertise to public and private operators up and down the Pacific Coast.


Prevost A Sponsor Of 2019 LCT Show

“Prevost was proud to be the State of the Industry Sponsor for the International Luxury Coach and Transportation Show (LCT), held recently at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. The opportunity permitted Prevost to reaffirm its commitment to the limousine transportation industry,” according to a press release.

Prevost Vice President and General Manager Francois Tremblay was invited to welcome attendees during the opening session, where he spoke about the merits of owning and operating motorcoaches in the limousine business.

“Celebrating its 35th year in 2019, the LCT Show is a global event that is the largest convention in the world for the luxury charter transportation industry. Operators worldwide attended for the new-product showcases, industry overviews, educational presentations and invaluable networking opportunities,” according to the release.

Tremblay said, “Prevost is very proud to support the LCT Show. This convention is filled with tremendous opportunities, during which we can help limousine businesses explore the many ways motorcoaches can expand and create new business.”

Tremblay spoke about the potential of motorcoaches to attract and accommodate larger groups, specialized tours, and customers accustomed to premium-tier transport such as professional sports teams.

“Adding motorcoaches to a fleet opens doors to these larger markets,” said Tremblay. “These opportunities may include large concert venues, major sporting events, and specialized tourism and business functions.”

Tremblay emphasized the benefits for limousine operators as members of the Prevost family— including, “access to the Prevost service network in the motorcoach industry, as well as scheduled maintenance programs and service contracts that ensure consistent practices, predictable costs, and assistance at every step to keep the coaches running.”

He informed limo operators about the network of 16 Prevost Service Center locations across the U.S. and Canada, with more locations coming in 2019.

Prevost exhibited the 2019 H3-45 and Volvo 9700 at this year’s event – both outfitted and equipped with components and new features to interest the limousine sector. Prevost also offered an exclusive walk-away lease program during the show.

Prevost said the Volvo 9700 is ideal for limousine service.

“As motorcoaches gain more traction in the limousine industry, Prevost is offering the Volvo 9700 Limo Edition, featuring an sleek all-black interior, luxurious leather interior, sparkled, gray wood-grain flooring, and lower driver mirrors thereby sending a message to operators who may be eyeing motorcoaches. Adjustable seat tracks allow catering to customers’ comfort and personal space. Seats can be easily rearranged or removed as needed to comfortably load a specific number of passengers.

“The H3-45 model on the show floor showcased a new comfortable, custom luxury seating option. Ergonomically designed and built to maximum width, the high-end reclining seats, configured in a spacious 2+1 layout, are affixed to an adjustable slide track, and can accommodate 22 to 34 passengers. Each seat offers a standard cup holder, personal table, 110v/USB outlets, and foot rest (with optional leg supports) for comfort first-class travelers and that professional sports teams will appreciate.”

Prevost is a manufacturer of premium intercity touring coaches and produces conversion coaches for high-end motorhome and specialty conversion. It is part of the Volvo Group.

For more information, visit www.prevostcar.com.


Echo/AFC Transportation Adds 7 New Van Hool CX45 Coaches

Echo/AFC Transportation, a privately-held ground transportation company in Texas, has added seven new 2019 Van Hool CX45 coaches to its fleet of over 300 vehicles. Echo/AFC’s operations span the entire state of Texas providing group travel services for a full range of tour, charter, shuttle, limo and commuter services.

“These new coaches are built to a customized specification that will support an elite passenger experience that is the hallmark of the Echo/AFC Transportation brand,” said John Ferrari, Echo/AFC Transportation CEO. “The models offer passenger seating for up to 56 guests, and the coaches offer a mix of luxury upgrades including leather-insert seats, contoured and modified contoured parcel racks with integrated 23-inch monitors, 110V outlets with USB connectors, and woodgrain flooring throughout. Several of the coaches also feature chrome mirrors and side-view cameras. Three models are fully-ADA compliant with wheelchair lifts.

“Our amenities package is a great investment. Passengers love the way these coaches look and feel, and our drivers appreciate how the coaches handle. The simplicity of the integrated drivers’ dash area is a huge plus for our driving staff,” said Ferrari. “The new coaches also sport a black tone-on-tone graphics package-scheme that prominently features a freshly rebranded corporate logo that unifies the Echo/AFC brands within a simple and modern design.”

ABC’s relationship with Echo goes back to 1999. ABC has been providing the operator with new Van Hool equipment as they cycle out older models every few years.

“John and his team are incredible to work with,” said Greg Gates, senior account manager at ABC Companies’ Grand Prairie, TX, location. “Helping to ensure the fleet is as modern and reliable as possible is integral to supporting their operational goals. With over 95 percent of the fleet comprised of Van Hool models, Echo/AFC relies on ABC’s support team for warranty and technical issues.”

“ABC’s technical team is second to none in terms of responsiveness, reliability and knowledge,” said Ferrari. “Echo/AFC operates a 40,000-square-foot service facility which maintains the fleet and utilizes ABC Parts for a full inventory of Van Hool components. In addition, Echo/AFC mechanics participate in regional Van Hool equipment and technical training sessions conducted by ABC throughout the year.”

As part of its safety protocol, Echo/AFC has integrated technologies to monitor and enhance driver performance. Utilizing Drive-Cam systems to capture and record events, GPS tracking and integrated ELD fleet-wide, Echo/AFC is focused on enhancing and promoting a strong safety culture throughout the organization, according to Ferrari.

“The firm is committed to future growth outside the Texas region, and has recently extended operations to the state of Florida, where it will run collegiate charter and shuttle service for the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. As the company continues to grow, fleet utilization will be key to supporting the demands within each market. We’ll lean on the relationship with ABC to support those goals. It’s comforting to a have a long-standing relationship with someone who knows your expectations, and how you want to run your operation today, and in the future.”

ABC Companies is a provider to the transportation industry with product and service offerings that cover new and pre-owned full-size highway coach equipment along with transit specialty vehicles. ABC supports customers with an after-sale service network for service and repairs, collision services, and extensive OEM and quality aftermarket parts needs for transit, motorcoach and heavy-duty equipment from 10 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.

For more information, visit www.abc-companies.com.



Coming in the July/August 2019
print issue of Busline.
. . . . . . . . .

Busline’s Annual Suppliers Directory
The Manufacturers & Suppliers Resource Directory

Guide To Green

Vehicle Showcase:
Small &
Mid-Size Buses


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