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Busline News May 2017
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IDtheft
By Harrell Kerkhoff
Busline Magazine Editor

Identity theft is getting worse, with a growing number of people finding themselves at risk every day. There are ways, however, to protect individuals and companies from unexpectedly drained bank accounts and other acts of modern-day thievery, otherwise known as “social engineering.”

A recent presentation was given during a business conference in Orlando, FL, to help guide people through the minefield set by today’s “black hat hackers” and modern day con men. Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, a personal security and identity theft expert based in Boston, MA, spoke on, “Information/Computer Security and Privacy Protection: Defense Against Hackers, Attackers, Thieves and Organized Criminals.”

According to Siciliano, there is a good reason why data breaches continue to make headlines. Hacking is a lucrative business, with some criminals making more money in a day than many people make in a year. He added that the bleeding will not stop anytime soon, and the more time a person spends uninformed, the better the chance that individual will be targeted.

The good news is there are certain fundamentals that can be followed to protect important personal and business data.

“Security is all about adding layers of protection. The more layers you have, the more secure you are going to be,” he said. “In a home setting, these layers might be a big fence in the yard, a strong lock on the door, a ‘beware of dog’ sign in the window, an alarm system in place, and putting valuables in a safe. My job is to build your awareness, appreciation, desire and drive to protect your family and business from identify theft.”

Siciliano said security has evolved from just providing theft prevention in the physical world. The virtual world is now a large part of many people’s lives, and theft is occurring in this world in staggering numbers.

“Violence is part of today’s virtual world. This includes cyber bullying, stalking and various electronic threats and harassments,” he said. “Primarily, my goal is to speak to you on how to protect the data that you have been entrusted with, both at home and at work.”

For individuals, this data can include Social Security and bank account numbers. For companies, this can include employee records, client information and proprietary data involving a company’s trade secrets.

A lack of security appreciation is one of the leading contributors to human error pertaining to most security breaches, according to Siciliano. Therefore, security needs to be everyone’s responsibility, especially in a work environment.

“Corporations and government agencies are directly responsible for protecting personal information entrusted to them by customers, consumers and general citizens. Thus, measures must be taken to increase awareness in the everyday IT environment and build a secure-minded culture from the ground up,” Siciliano said. “To create this culture, all employees need to be educated and tested on security threats, such as how their day-to-day computer use behavior can negatively influence an organization’s security posture.”

Siciliano asked the audience how many of them have been educated and tested on specific security threats at work. Approximately half those people in the room raised their hand.

“If I were speaking to bankers or mortgage brokers, every single one of them would raise their hand. They are required to be educated and tested on such threats, but with most other industries there are no requirements. This is why the problem keeps getting worse,” he said. “For a criminal, the path of least resistance is not through the bank. The path of least resistance to get your money from a bank account is through your own computer. The bank is relatively secure. The same can’t always be said about personal electronic devices.”

Understanding Social Engineering

In the “good old days,” if someone wanted to take something of value from another individual, he/she usually had to either physically commit a burglary or confront the victim face-to-face, probably with gun or knife in hand. Today’s thieves don’t even have to get dressed for “work,” and their tricks of the trade often involve keyboards, computers and other electronic devices. These people use various forms of social engineering to earn a living, at the expense of their unsuspecting victims.

Siciliano defined social engineering as a collection of techniques used to manipulate people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. While similar to a confidence trick or simple fraud, the term typically applies to trickery for information gathering or computer system access and, in most cases, the attacker never comes face-to-face with the victim.

“If a con man gains your confidence effectively, you are likely to provide that person with the money in your wallet or your bank account password. The thief may also send you a ‘phishing’ email, which is an email that looks like it’s coming from your bank or other credible source, but designed to gain your confidence and take something of value,” Siciliano said. “Once you click on a link from a bad email, it can lead to your personal information being sent to a spoofed Website.”

Other forms of social engineering take a more physical form, but can be just as lucrative for the criminal. This includes people who pose as firemen, policemen, etc., to gain access to a business. From there, they often find easy access to computers and sensitive information.

He added the human gullibility is common, and everyone falls victim at some point. This plays into the hands of those behind today’s social engineering exploits.

“Everyone can be suckered. It’s just a matter of the thief finding the right trigger, pressure point and/or vulnerability of his/her victim,” Siciliano said.

Often the trigger is fear or greed. For example, someone behind a scam calls a person and tells him/or to provide valuable information in order to win a prize or stay out of some type of trouble. It’s a scam, but many well-educated people fall victim to such schemes every day.

“People will say, ‘I’m not that stupid.’ It’s not about being stupid. Some people are lonely, and loneliness sometimes trumps common sense,” he said. “There is also pressure that can negatively influence our decision making. This includes the pressure to get a job done on time or responding to a boss or colleague in a responsible way. This pressure can lead us to make decisions that we might not normally make.”

Siciliano added that a good con man knows all about the principles of influence and the psychology of persuasion.

“You can read book after book on how to influence and persuade people as well as how to negotiate to get what you want,” he said.

Social engineering comes in many forms, some more sinister than others. For example, there is the “lost thumb drive found in the parking lot” trick.

“You see a thumb drive on the ground and pick it up. There are 40 gigabytes on the drive, which is worth around $30. You put the drive in your briefcase and eventually plug it into your computer. That thumb drive was planted by a criminal, and soon launches a virus that affects your device and allows complete control over your personal information,” Siciliano said.

He added the thumb drive can also be found in an unopened package, all in an effort to gain a person’s confidence.

“The person who picked up the thumb drive thinks it simply fell out of someone’s bag. Finders keepers, right?” Siciliano said.

This particular trick was able to severely damage Iran’s nuclear program, with a “lost” thumb drive containing a highly destructive Stuxnet computer worm. According to Siciliano, the same tools that are being used as cyber weapons to fight wars are also being used by thieves to drain bank accounts.

Email scams, meanwhile, are one of the most common forms of social engineering. Siciliano detailed an FBI warning in 2016, highlighting what the agency called a dramatic increase in business email scams.

According to an FBI news release, today’s schemers go to great lengths to spoof company emails and use social engineering to assume the identity of a CEO, company attorney or trusted vendor. These con men research and find unsuspecting employees who manage money, and then use language specific to the company that they are targeting to request a fraudulent wire transfer, using dollar amounts that lend legitimacy.

There are various versions of these scams. Victims range from large corporations to tech companies to small businesses to non-profit organizations. Many times, the fraud targets businesses that work with foreign suppliers and regularly perform wire transfer payments.

Law enforcement officials have received complaints from victims in every U.S. state and in at least 79 countries, according to the FBI. From October 2013 through February 2016, there were 17,642 victims identified, with more than $2.3 billion in reported losses.

“By using the internet, there are criminals who can find out a person’s job responsibility and take advantage of that person through email scams,” Siciliano said. “It can happen to any company. By accepting this, a company can start taking steps to prevent future losses. There could be somebody lurking inside your email program as we speak.”

Siciliano discussed the website, “Have I been pwned?” (www.haveibeenpwned.com), which is designed to show if a person or company’s email address has been breached.

Recognizing Data Breaches

The terms “identity theft” and “identity fraud” refer to crimes in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data, typically for economic gain, according to Siciliano.

Data breaches that can lead to identity theft and fraud come in several forms. They include:

■ Irresponsible or malicious insiders: “These are people from inside your organization who click a link from a suspect email or do something else to make your network vulnerable. These might be employees who are disgruntled or see an opportunity to get paid at a higher level,” Siciliano said. “There might also be organized criminals working within your organization to gain access to important information. This happens a lot in the banking industry. The New York State Attorney General prosecutes approximately one teller a month. These are people accused of scamming the bank.”

■ Third-party fault: This type of breach could stem from a vendor connected to a company’s computer network;

■ Laptop theft: A computer laptop often contains vital company and/or personal information. Laptops, and other electronic devices, should always be placed in secure locations, whether at home or on the road.

“I never leave my laptop in a hotel room. If your laptop is not password protected, what is keeping the information inside that device from being stolen?” Siciliano asked.

■ Loss: Its easy to lose things. This includes laptops, smartphones and important thumb drives. Therefore, valuable information should always be backed up and password protected.

“A recent study showed, on average, dry cleaners annually find approximately 12,000 thumb drives in pant and coat pockets,” Siciliano said. “How many data breaches do you think this leads to every year?”

Physical security vulnerabilities: According to Siciliano, many people don’t have security systems in their homes and/or businesses because they feel their neighborhoods are safe and such security measures are unnecessary.

“If you don’t have an alarm system in your home or office, this is a vulnerability that you are allowing,” he said. “Have you ever read police blotters? They show all the burglaries and home invasions, some of which result in violence and death. I have heard people say, ‘I don’t want a security system because I don’t want to live like that.’ My response is, ‘You don’t want to live securely?’”

Hacking is 21st century burglary: According to Siciliano, there is no real mystery to hacking. The people who hack are no more intelligent than those who don’t hack. Hackers are simply “computer scientists.” They understand how to navigate technology a little better than most people. The “black hat” hackers, however, are the ones who seek business and personal vulnerabilities for their own gain.

The Password Dilemma

A common problem in today’s high-tech world is that everything seems to require a password to gain entry. Remembering passwords is difficult for many, and changing passwords on a regular basis is often not done. Many people use the same passwords for different accounts, and there are cases of people using very easy passwords to remember, such as “123456,” “ABCDEF” or, simply, “password.”

Gaining access to important and personal data is made easier thanks to the many deficiencies associated with passwords.

“If you are using the same password across multiple accounts, thieves have a better chance of gaining access to these accounts. They key is to not use the same password,” Siciliano said. “Many people use first names as passwords, usually the names of spouses, kids, other relatives or pets. All of this can be deduced with a little research conducted by a good hacker.”

There is also software available that automatically plugs common words into password fields. This allows password cracking to become almost effortless for hackers.

Siciliano discussed a program called Password Manager, which helps the user manage different passwords needed for different accounts. This program “memorizes” the passwords for the user. It then stores these passwords virtually in a “cloud.” Siciliano recommends backing up all information, such as passwords, in an Excel file.

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siciliano

Robert Siciliano, personal security
and identity theft expert.


“Don’t worry about a program like Password Manager getting hacked. Remember, these are security companies,” he said. “Just like any other organization, occasionally they can suffer vulnerability, but they are on top of such problems. It’s their job to protect us.

“I have over 700 passwords. I know it’s crazy, but it’s the nature of my business. I might know five of these passwords. My Password Manager knows the rest.”

According to Siciliano, not using any password is the worst thing a person can do when operating an electionic device.

“Some people don’t use a password for their desktop or laptop. If these devices are stolen, what kind of access would a thief get?” he said. “I also hope everyone’s mobile phones are password protected. If not, the person who finds or steals that device will have access to all the information not only found on that phone, but the information that the same device connects to, such as social media and bank accounts.”

Siciliano also discussed identity theft protection firms available to consumers. These companies watch applications of credit in real time.

“If you are a client of one of these firms, and the firm’s representative sees an application of credit (in the client’s name), he/she is going to contact you to make sure you, or somebody with your company, has actually applied for the credit. If there is a problem, the firm will shut (the credit application or credit card) down,” Siciliano said.

Identity theft protection firms also watch to see if a client’s personal information appears on the “dark web.”

“They will let the client know if his/her information is up for sale or has been stolen. Their restoration agents will work on your behalf to make the problem go away. This includes working with the IRS and law enforcement officials,” he said. “I believe in getting such theft protection. It’s basically an insurance policy that I don’t think we can live without today.

“It’s like anything else in life, you need to be educated and understand your options.”

Surviving In A Flawed System

It’s not surprising to Siciliano, who has spent a long career in personal security and identity theft protection, that today’s problems are only getting worse.

“We are functioning under a fundamentally flawed security system. The way our system is set up today makes data very attractive to criminals around the world. They are going after us because they can readily access and turn our data into cash,” he said.

One problem that has been felt for decades in the United States is the use of Social Security numbers as primary identifiers of people. Siciliano said Social Security numbers were never meant to be used in such a manner.

“They were only meant to be used for Social Security benefits, but their use crept into other aspects of our lives, and are now considered a primary identifier. Social security numbers are everywhere, and can be found in filing cabinets, data basis, etc.,” he said. “Some people feel their Social Security number is ‘private’ information, but in reality, it’s not. Rather, you should look at it as being ‘sensitive’ or ‘personal’ information, which is not necessarily the same thing as ‘private.’”

He explained that an individual’s “personal identified information” includes his/her’s name, address, phone numbers, email addresses, Social Security number, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, etc.

“These are personal identifying bits of information. Some of them may be more sensitive than others, but they are not private. And so, you really can’t protect any of them, which makes us all vulnerable,” Siciliano said. “Once a person understands that, he/she can begin to understand how to manage data in a way that makes it useless if a criminal gains access.”

Another area of concern with identity theft, in what Siciliano called a flawed system, is the use of credit cards.

“As long as the "bad guy" has your Social Security number, he/she can apply for credit under your name. It’s that simple,” he said.

There are also serious problems today with the easy access to fake identification. Siciliano called the identification process in the United States a joke. This is because many types of official identification come in the form of paper or plastic documentation, which can easily be forged, replicated or purchased online. This includes birth certificates, Social Security cards, driver’s licenses and passports.

“To give you an idea of how flawed the identification system is in the United States, there are 49 versions of our country’s Social Security cards in circulation, 14,000 types of birth certificates, 200-plus forms of driver’s licenses, and 14 states that use some form of ID that does not include a photo,” he said. “This is the situation that we are functioning under today. Do an online search for ‘fake identification.’ You will find companies all over the world that make fake IDs. All you have to do is pay.”

Siciliano added that it’s not his intention to scare people, but rather show how vulnerable and exposed they are, both at home and at work.

“I find most people are blissfully unaware of this threat. My goal is to change a person’s behavior for the better,” he said.

Identifying Various Forms Of Thievery

There are many ways for a thief to obtain something of value without using physical violence. Siciliano outlined some familiar and not-so-familiar ways anyone can get valuable information from an unsuspecting victim or company. They include:

■ Stealing incoming and outgoing mail: “Do you have a locked mailbox? If not, I would suggest getting one — for both your home and business,” Siciliano said. “Both incoming and outgoing mail can include sensitive information.”

He also warned of falling victim to a criminal filling out a change of address form at a post office with a specific victim in mind.

“The mail can then be sent to the thief. The victim will eventually get a notification that his/her mail has been diverted, but it may be too late,” Siciliano said.

■ Dumpster diving: How low will a criminal go? There are people who will sift through a person or company’s garbage to find important information in hopes of stealing someone’s identity.

“I never throw sensitive information in the garbage. This includes prescription bottle labels, which can lead a criminal to a person’s medical information. Prescription bottle labels can be used to scam a person, a pharmacy and/or an insurance company,” Siciliano said. “I also shred all business cards that I no longer need. A criminal can take a business card from the garbage and figure out what the person, whose name is on the card, does for a living. He/she can then send that person an email posing as somebody else. The goal is to get personal information via fake correspondence.

“If a thief does this with 100 business cards, and is successful just one time, he/she may walk away with somebody’s valuable information and a lot of money.”

■ There is safety in using a safe: All important papers and other valuables should be stored in a safe.

“Do you have paperwork stored in a file cabinet that somebody could easily look at or steal, and then use against you? Everybody should have and use a safe, even if it takes extra effort to keep putting things in and taking things out of that safe,” Siciliano said. “Security is not necessarily convenient, but is still necessary.”

Keep your wallet/pocketbook light: “Think about how much valuable information is in your wallet or pocketbook,” he said. “If you cannot tell me right now everything you have in your wallet/pocketbook, then you probably have too much in that wallet/pocketbook.”

■ Caller ID spoofing: This is when a criminal obtains a fake caller ID that shows up on a victim’s phone. The victim sees the caller ID, thinking it’s legitimate, such as from the local police department, and ends up getting scammed. Fake caller ID technology is available online for any criminal to purchase and use.

“People fall for this type of scam all of the time, providing personal information to unknown individuals,” Siciliano said.

He added it’s always a good idea to call people back, such as the police department, to find out if a call is, in fact, legitimate.

■ Stay out of the spam folder: “What is in your spam folder?” Siciliano asked the audience, during his presentation. “You should have no idea, because emails sent to spam folders can get people in a lot of trouble.

“These emails are sent to the spam folder for a reason. Your internet service providers generally know what is spam, based on certain aspects of that email. They see the server which an email comes from, and determine whether or not it’s spam. Don’t ever click on a link from an email that has been sent to a spam folder.”

■ Know about spyware: This includes “scareware,” which carries a fake anti-virus; and “ransomware,” which tries to hold data for a ransom.

“Scareware is designed to scare somebody to pay money to get rid of a virus that is not really present,” Siciliano said. “If a pop-up ad appears on your computer stating that you have a virus and need to download a program, I would recommend that you disconnect from the internet, run a scan and, in some situations, back up all data and completely reinstall your operating system. If you see that kind of pop-up, you probably are using an outdated operating system.

“Ransomware, meanwhile, holds data for ransom, including what is in your backup. A hospital recently paid around $18,000 to get its data back. Many such instances have occurred. Unfortunately, if you pay that ransom, you may get your data back, but you are also funding the thieves.”

■ Beware of KeyCatchers: These are small hardware devices that can be plugged into the back of a computer, generally the desktop, and can be used to retrieve important information.

“Let’s say one of your competitors knows a member of a cleaning crew who works in your office. That competitor can pay that crew member to plug in a KeyCatcher in the back of one of your computers to ‘catch’ valuable information. After a week or so, the same person who planted the device retrieves it and gives it back to the competitor,” Siciliano said. “I’ve seen many KeyCatchers in the backs of PCs used by teachers, probably from people trying to get test information.”

■ ATM skimming and independent ATMs: Using ATMs is a convenient way for people to draw money from their bank account. Unfortunately, thieves have found ways to take advantage of this convenience.

Siciliano explained that skimming involves a criminal placing a device over the card slot of an ATM. He advises ATM users to cover the key pad with one hand as they punch in their PIN code.

“That way, if there is a camera nearby (placed by a criminal), it can’t pick up the code. And, pay close attention to your bank statements when using ATMs,” he said. “I also never use an independent ATM. You see them at gas stations, convenience stores, hotel lobbies, etc. Anybody can get into the cash dispensing business and find a way to use your valuable information for his/her gain.”

■ Proper disposal is a must for secondhand devices: “What do you do with your old laptops, desktops, mobile phones and printers? Do you donate them, recycle them, trade them in, sell them? The problem is, they often still have personal information that a thief can use to steal your identification,” Siciliano said. “I would never sell such devices on the secondhand market. It’s also important to remove hard drives from these devices and either send them to an industrial shredder or destroy them yourself.”

■ Learn about, and use, a credit freeze: Siciliano recommends that people check their credit reports three times a year, and use a credit freeze. He said this is a program that has been around since 2008, but remains relatively unknown.

“To get a credit freeze, a person submits specific information to the three main U.S. credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). The application process is easy and inexpensive,” Siciliano said. “Prior to your credit being frozen, you will receive a letter that shows a PIN number or password. When you want to lift your credit freeze, you simply go online and type in your provided information.”

He added that using a credit freeze, “Is probably the single best thing you can do to prevent new account fraud. It’s another layer of protection when guarding against identity theft.”

Visit www.IDTheftSecurity.com
for more information.


Montana's Karst Stage Purchases Its First Temsa

Karst Stage began business in 1901, with Peter Karst using horse-drawn wagons to transport materials and loggers from Bozeman to Big Sky, MT. Over the years, the nearby Yellowstone National Park grew to be a tourism destination. Karst also ran a dude ranch for visitors traveling to and from Yellowstone Park and Big Sky. The increased tourism brought a need for other means of travel such as railroads and roads were built to better connect the areas of Yellowstone and Big Sky.

Karst upgraded his equipment in 1912 with the purchase of a Model T Ford and two Cadillacs. He sold his company in the early 1950s. It wasn’t until 1998 that Dan Martin started contracting Karst as a vendor. Then, after joining the company in 2005, he took over ownership and operations in 2012.

Martin, and his team at Karst, focus on airport shuttles, contracts with Streamline and Skyline transit operations, school and charter services to West Yellowstone and Billings school districts, as well as charters to the Yellowstone/Big Sky areas. The company’s focus on being environmentally conscious won Karst Stage the 2017 National Green Operator of the Year Award at UMA’s Expo in St. Louis this past February.

Karst

“Recently, Dan took delivery of his first Temsa motorcoach, the mid-size TS 35, which brings his motorcoach fleet to a total of 21. In choosing the Temsa, Dan said the increasing request for smaller vehicles on longer trips helped him make the decision. Karst’s new TS 35 is equipped with 110V outlets, ample underfloor luggage space and 3-point seat belts,” according to a release from Temsa.

“The Yellowstone area has unique ‘bison jams,’ which is another reason Dan preferred the TS 35, due to its short turning radius, Temsa said. “It is nimble enough to get through the cars, buses, and bison, which the drivers are excited about. And the large windows allow our riders to have a better vantage point to spot Yellowstone’s famous animals.”

CH Bus Sales, LLC is the exclusive distributor of TEMSA motorcoaches in the United States and Canada, offering two fully integral mid-size motorcoaches the TS 35 and the TS 30; as well as the full-size TS 45 coach.

For More information visit www.chbussales.com.


From MCI: Coach Purchases
And Personnel Changes

Texas' The Woodlands Purchases 25
New Clean-Diesel MCI Commuter Coaches

Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc., is completing the delivery of 25 new clean-diesel Commuter Coaches to The Woodlands Township, TX, located approximately 34 miles north of downtown Houston along Interstate 45.

The first five MCI Commuter Coaches were delivered in December of 2015, followed by 10 more coaches in March of 2016. The final 10 coaches will be delivered this month to complete an order valued at approximately $14.4 million.

The Woodlands Township funded the coaches through a competitive Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded through the Houston-Galveston Area Council, the regional Metropolitan Planning Organization.

“This is an opportunity to run brand new equipment with the latest clean-diesel engine technology to reduce emissions and relieve congestion,” said Chris LaRue, transit program manager for the Woodlands Township. “We also wanted to rebrand our fleet and provide the safest, most comfortable ride for our passengers, while reducing our overall operational expenses.”

woodlandsMCI

“The MCI Commuter Coach, based on the best-selling D-Series model, is a recommended vehicle for long-distance express routes because of its fuel efficiency, passenger comfort and safety at higher speeds. Safety technologies standard on the commuter coach include electronic stability control, fire suppression systems, three-point passenger seatbelts and an LED destination sign for improved visibility. The Woodlands Township order added optional lavatories, wheelchair lifts, seating with grab rails and arm rests, power outlets and Wi-Fi connectivity to each of its 55-seat coaches,” according to MCI.

MCI is also the exclusive distributor of Setra S417 and S407 in the United States and Canada. MCI supports over 28,000 motor coaches currently in service and offers 24-hour roadside assistance 365 days a year.

Shane Shipman Joines MCI As
New Coach Sales Representative In
The Southeast; Brian Lichter Returns
To Pre-Owned Coach Sales Midwest

Shane Shipman has joined MCI as new coach sales vice president for the Southeastern U.S. He is taking over the territory from Brian Lichter, who has returned as MCI pre-owned coach sales representative for the Midwest.

Shipman is responsible for MCI customers in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, and reports to Pat Ziska, new coach sales vice president.

Shipman has a 21-year career in motor coach operations including general manager positions with two motor coach operators based in Atlanta, and as director of Megabus.com Southeast. He was also director of charter sales and operations for Coach America, working at its Orlando, FL, and Atlanta, GA, locations.

shaneShipman
Shane Shipman

A native of North Carolina, Shipman entered the industry early in his career – he is related to the founders of Southeastern Stages, the Atlanta-based, family-owned tour and charter operator. Joining Southeastern shortly after graduating with an economics degree from Georgia State University. Shipman started in ticketing, accounting, sales, and eventually became director of charters.

He can be reached by email at shane.shipman@mcicoach.com or at 404-807-1793. He and his wife and their 7-year-old daughter reside in Atlanta, GA.

MCI said, “With the return of Brian Lichter to pre-owned coach sales, MCI is expanding in the Midwest by dividing the territory into two separate regions. Lichter is responsible for customers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. Bob Dethloff remains responsible for customers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginian and Kentucky.

brianLichter
Brian Lichter

Lichter first worked for MCI between 1996 and 2004 as a pre-owned sales representative at the company’s Sales and Service Center in Des Plaines, IL. He returned to MCI as a regional vice president of new coach sales for the Southeast in 2011. In his new role, he reports to Mitch Guralnick, vice president of pre-owned coach sales.

He can be reached at brian.lichter@mcicoach.com or 224-688-6351.

Visit www.mcicoach.com and www.newflyer.com for more information.


O’Connell Named New
Senior VP Of Sales For
ABC Companies Commercial Division/Western Region

ABC Companies recently named Bryan O’Connell senior vice president of sales for its Western Region.

ABC said, “O’Connell is responsible for the day-to-day supervision and management for all of the Western Region’s sales-related activities that impact financial performance, operational performance, new business development and inventory management, as well as ongoing development and relationship management of new and existing customer accounts.”

His most recent position was as senior vice president for Transdev, where he was responsible for strategic development and oversight of sales and operations of the company’s bus division. He brings 28 years of leadership experience within the transportation and travel and tourism-related industries for a diversity of corporations including OHH Group/Best Western and Double Tree Suites Hotels, Universal Studios Hollywood, CUSA Southern California Gray Line, Greyhound Lines, Destination America, Travelways, Inc., and Gray Line.

 

abcOconnell
Bryan O'Connell

O’Connell has participated in many local and national associations including membership and board positions with the Anaheim/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Anaheim Transportation Network, Newport Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau, California Travel Industry Association, and the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. O’Connell resides in southern California with his wife and children.

Call 800-222-2871 or visit www.abc-companies.com for more information.


ARBOC Delivers Bus To DART, Announces Personnel Promotion

ARBOC Specialty Vehicles Delivers
2,500th Bus With DART

“In 2009, ARBOC Specialty Vehicles LLC delivered the first shipment of its Spirit of Mobility model to Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). Now, they are celebrating the delivery of ARBOC’s 2,500th low floor bus, eight years after its first production,” according to a press release from ARBOC.

ARBOC/DART
Pictured left to right, are R.K. (Rocky) Rogers, assistant vice president of technical services for Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART); Don Roberts, president & CEO of ARBOC Specialty Vehicles LLC; Ryan Frost, general manager - Creative Bus Sales in Texas; and, Michael C. Hubbell, vice President of maintenance for DART.

The 2,500th bus manufactured by ARBOC is part of a 123 bus contract that was awarded to ARBOC in February of this year.

Another contributor to The ARBOC/DART partnership is Creative Bus Sales that administers the contract and provides all sales, service and parts support directly to DART.

“DART is currently one of the top 50 fleets in North America and its feedback is integral in implementing product improvements, giving ARBOC a unique advantage. This feat is a significant moment for us and I am happy to share it with DART and Creative Bus Sales, two of ARBOC’s strongest partners,” said Don Roberts, ARBOC CEO.

Founded in 2008, ARBOC Specialty Vehicles LLC develops and manufactures low-floor bus technology up to 34 feet. Through its four key product offerings, the Spirit of Mobility, Spirit of Freedom, Spirit of Independence and Spirit of Liberty, ARBOC offers low-floor paratransit products that meet/exceed 2014-2018 federal fuel economy standards.

Celebrating its 36th anniversary, Creative Bus Sales is a bus dealership, representing over 25 manufacturers across the country. Creative offers new and used bus sales, online parts ordering, service, warranty, in-house financing, and alternative fuel conversions, including CNG, propane and electric. Visit CreativeBusSales.com.

ARBOC Promotes Brad Doane
To Purchasing Dept.

bradDoane
Brad Doane

Brad Doane has joined the purchasing department at ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, LLC. Doane has been with ARBOC for five years. He began in 2012 as a welder, and was promoted to a quality control position. In 2015, Doane was named a head receiver.

As a purchasing agent, Doane is responsible for inventory control and price negotiation.

Through its four key product offerings, the Spirit of Mobility, Spirit of Freedom, Spirit of Independence and Spirit of Liberty, ARBOC offers low-floor paratransit products that serve a variety of industries and applications as well as meet and exceed 2014-2018 federal fuel economy standards.

Visit www.ARBOCsv.com for more information.

 


Ohio’s Laketran General Manager Ray Jurkowski Announces Plans To Retire

Laketran (Lake County, OH) General Manager Raymond Jurkowski has announced his plans to retire at the end of his employment contract on July 31, 2017.

Jurkowski has served as Laketran’s general manager since May 2003. During his tenure, Laketran has carried over 10 million passengers on its Local Fixed Route, Dial-a-Ride and Cleveland, OH, commuter Park-n-Ride services.

“While at Laketran, Jurkowski has overseen the investment in modern technology to improve the operational efficiency, cost-effectiveness and customer access to vital information. Over the years, Laketran has implemented GPS-enabled Automatic Vehicle Location, introduced “Real-Time Arrival” so customers can check their personal computers or smartphones to find out exactly when buses will arrive at any of Laketran’s bus stops, and revamped its fare collection system with electronic registering fareboxes,” according to a press release.

“Under Jurkowski’s leadership, Laketran passed two local sales tax levies in 2003 and 2013, which safeguarded the future of the agency through the passage of a permanent levy.”

He also dedicated his time to prepare Laketran for the future. He developed Laketran’s 10-year plan, Access To Opportunity 2014-2023, to provide a roadmap to develop public transit services to better connect residents with jobs, training, education, and healthcare with special emphasis on meeting the transportation needs of seniors and people with disabilities.

Prior to joining Laketran, Jurkowski served as the Deputy Commissioner of Transportation in Westchester County, N.Y. (1977- 1987) and was instrumental in developing one of the first public-private transit systems in the country.

jurkowski
Ray Jurkowski


In 1987, Jurkowski went to St. Louis to join the team that introduced light rail in Missouri and Illinois, and in 1998, he joined the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority as the assistant general manager of organizational development.

Laketran’s Board President Brian Falkowski credits Jurkowski as the chief architect in crafting Laketran’s Financial Recovery Plan to bring back transit services eliminated to mitigate the loss of sales tax revenue following the Great Recession.

Board President Falkowski will appoint a search committee of board trustees to find Laketran’s next general manager.




Coming in the July/August 2017
print issue of Busline.
. . . . . . . . .

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

BusCon Expo Special Emphasis
September 11 - 13, 2017 Indianapolis, IN

Vehicle Showcase:
Small &
Mid-Size Buses


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