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Busline News June 2021
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 March 2021 indicated vehicle imports were down in four categories outlined, compared to March 2020. For the first three months of 2021, vehicles imports were down in eight categories, compared to the first three months of 2020.

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 121 vehicles in March 2021, down 15 percent from 143 vehicles for March 2020. For the first three months of 2021, the United States imported 345 vehicles, down 39 percent from 566 vehicles for the first three months of 2020.

Canada sent 302 vehicles to the United States during the first three months of 2021.

The average price per vehicle for March 2021 was $276,857, up 2 percent from $272,382 for March 2020. The average price per vehicle for the first three months of 2021 was $314,364, up 3 percent from $304,450 for the first three months of 2020.

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 2021, the same as for March 2020. For the first three months of 2021, the United States imported six vehicles, compared to 101 vehicles for the first three months of 2020.

The United States imported three vehicles from Canada, two vehicles from Germany and one vehicle from China during the first three months of 2021.

The average price per vehicle in March 2021 was $78,231, compared to $262,493 for March 2020. The average price per vehicle for the first three months of 2021 was $159,296, compared to $54,915 for the first three months of 2020.

8702203100 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Com-Ing Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel), And Electric Motor Designed For Transport Of 16 Or More Persons

The United States did not import any vehicles in this category during March 2021, compared to 19 for March 2020. During the first three months of 2021, two vehicles were imported, compared to 78 vehicles for the first three months of 2020.

Two vehicles were imported from Canada during the first three months of 2021.

The average price for the first three months of 2021 was $504,366, up 102 percent from $250,130 for the first three months of 2020.

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 of 2021 or 2020. Also, no vehicles were imported during the first three months of 2021, compared to three vehicles during the first three months of 2020, at an average price of $221,611.

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 the first three months of 2021, compared to one vehicle received during the first three months of 2020, 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 three vehicles during March 2021, up 50 percent from two vehicles for March 2020. During the first three months of 2021, 35 vehicles were received, up 9 percent from 32 vehicles for the first three months of 2020.

China shipped 21 vehicles during the first three months of 2021.

The average price per vehicle for March 2021 was $331,708, up 156 percent from $129,625 for March 2020. The average price for the first three months of 2021 was $244,124, compared to $57,820 for the first three months of 2020.

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

The United States imported no vehicles in this category during March 2021 or March 2020. During the first three months of 2021, 18 vehicles were imported, down 18 percent from 22 vehicles for the first three months of 2020.

China sent 16 vehicles during the first three months of 2021.

The average price per vehicle for the first three months of 2021 was $10,132, down 15 percent from $11,907 for the first three months of 2020.

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

The United States imported 113 vehicles during March 2021, down 5 percent from 119 vehicles for March 2020. During the first three months of 2021, 327 vehicles were received, down 15 percent from 384 vehicles for the first three months of 2020.

Canada sent 325 vehicles to the United States during the first three months of 2021.

The average price per vehicle for March 2021 was $107,497, down 8 percent from $116,657 for March 2020. The average price per vehicle for the first three months of 2021 was $140,848, up 28 percent from $109,758 for the first three months of 2020.

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

The United States imported 84 vehicles during March 2021, down 2 percent from 86 vehicles for March 2020. During the first three months of 2021, 148 vehicles were received, down 33 percent from 220 vehicles for the first three months of 2020.

Canada sent 134 vehicles to the United States during the first three months of 2021.

The average price per vehicle for March 2021 was $37,747, down 25 percent from $50,577 for March 2020. The average price per vehicle for the first three months of 2021 was $38,967, down 17 percent from $46,804 for the first three months of 2020.

EXPORTS

Export totals for March 2021 were down in three categories, compared to March 2020. Three categories also reported decreases for the first three months of 2021, compared to the first three months of 2020.

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

The United States exported 439 vehicles during March 2021, down 31 percent from 632 vehicles exported in March 2020. During the first three months of 2021, 1,255 vehicles were sent, down 21 percent from 1,596 vehicles for the first three months of 2020.

Canada received 541 vehicles during the first three months of 2021, while Mexico imported 480 vehicles.

The average price per vehicle for March 2021 was $48,480, up 2 percent from $47,705 for March 2020. The average price per vehicle for the first three months of 2021 was $50,748, down 6 percent from $54,095 for the first three months of 2020.

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

The United States shipped 121 vehicles in March 2021, down 1 percent from 122 vehicles for March 2020. During the first three months of 2021, 255 vehicles were exported, up 61 percent from 158 for the first three months of 2020.

Mexico received 142 vehicles during the first three months of 2021, while Canada imported 82 vehicles.

The average price per vehicle for March 2021 was $38,296, down 27 percent from $52,414 for March 2020. The average price for the first three months of 2021 was $21,397, down 50 percent from $42,609 for the first three months of 2020.

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

The United States exported 37 vehicles in March 2021, up 32 percent from 28 vehicles for March 2020. During the first three months of 2021, 103 vehicles were sent, down 57 percent from 239 vehicles for the first three months of 2020.

Mexico received 56 vehicles during the first three months of 2021.

The average price per vehicle for March 2021 was $29,860, down 31 percent from $43,506 for March 2020. The average price for the first three months of 2021 was $23,760, down 22 percent from $30,572 for the first three months of 2020.

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

The United States shipped 149 vehicles in March 2021, down 80 percent from 736 vehicles for March 2020. During the first three months of 2021, 253 vehicles were exported, down 74 percent from 962 vehicles for the first three months of 2020.

Canada received 250 vehicles during the first three months of 2021.

The average price per vehicle for March 2021 was $50,227, up 48 percent from $33,999 for March 2020. The average price per vehicle for the first three months of 2021 was $49,150, up 28 percent from $38,433 for the first three months of 2020.



Click on statistics to open .pdf file


Van Hool CX45E Electric Motorcoach From ABC Companies
Now HVIP-Eligible In California


Roman Cornell is pictured with a production two-door CX45E battery electric motorcoach.

“ABC Companies, a provider of motorcoach, transit and specialty passenger transport equipment in the U.S. and Canada, has announced that the new Van Hool CX45E zero-emission, electric motorcoach has been approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). Both the 2020 and 2021 production models of the Van Hool CX45E qualified for a $120,000 voucher, which can help California fleet owners offset incremental costs during EV infrastructure build-out, while also helping to accelerate their own carbon-neutrality goals,” according to a press release.

“Electric coaches offer solutions for organizations and corporations that are committed to carbon neutral goals,” said Roman Cornell, president and CCO of ABC Companies. "As governments continue to set ambitious goals to cut emissions and fleet operators switch to zero-emission vehicles, EV adoption will only accelerate. Moreover, programs such as the CARB HVIP project are available to supplement transition to EV integration and aid fleet owners in launching zero-emissions initiatives right now.

“Commercial fleet owners are increasingly weighing the benefits of fleet electrification and embracing zero-emission, electric vehicles. ABC Companies is leading the ZEV charge with an expansive portfolio of production electric vehicles suitable for numerous applications, from 12-passenger vans to premium motorcoaches which are available now.

“Currently, used for corporate commuter shuttle service in and around the San Francisco Bay area, the CX45E is aligned with mobility trends that demand cleaner, more efficient transportation. Working closely with customers and using data gleaned from the vehicles, via ABC Connect Telematics powered by ViriCiti, ABC’s SVT (Specialty Vehicles and Technology) team scrupulously studies every kilowatt consumed during operation to understand and optimize the vehicle’s overall efficiency. The first in-service production unit regularly exceeds 250 miles of range capability in real-world application. While these actual ranges are impressive, the kWh use per mile is the true test of efficiency as range can be adjusted with battery software, size or other variables. However, the amount of energy required to power the vehicle in operation is an indisputable fact. The results of this key measure continue to exceed our expectations, leading to our longer than projected ranges.

“From the integration of the Proterra battery system to the configuration of auxiliary components, the CX45E has been precisely designed and engineered for an electric motorcoach specific application. With ranges and vehicle efficiency exceeding our initial projections, ABC customers are realizing the benefits of this tested and proven electric vehicle technology.”

According to the company, by processing collected data, leveraging analytics and understanding the user (drivers and passengers) experience, ABC’s “Plug Into Savings” onboarding program is designed to optimize all aspects of EV operation to net a seamless journey to EV integration and helping customers realize the full benefit of their EV strategy. Designed to guide them through each critical step, from route modeling and planning, to charging infrastructure, telematics, equipment maintenance and service, as well as driver familiarization and training, ABC can help fleet owners create a blueprint for electrification.

“For both ICE and EV fleets, smooth operations require constant insights into a wide range of variables. From driver monitoring and equipment performance to understanding energy usage and accurately allocating charging and infrastructure support, daily customer input combined with real-time insights are allowing us to quickly identify opportunities to optimize and expedite integration of the CX45E into existing fleets,” said Brian Nelson, director of technical solutions ABC Companies.

“Real-time, real-world learning is crucial to constant program refinement that can impact daily operations and reveal opportunities for greater optimization. For example, EV drivetrain monitoring provides full visibility into charging processes to troubleshoot any issues, perform timely maintenance and understand usage patterns. Also studying driver behavior during operation and completing enhanced training, allows drivers to make a seamless transition from ICE operation.”

“We are continuing to see the impact drivers have over energy usage, which is exciting, as skilled drivers can measure their impact on overall range, energy consumption and ultimately savings,” said Thom Peebles, vice president of marketing ABC Companies.

The company said ABC’s historically service-intensive approach has provided an unplanned advantage for customers during electric deployment, and industry leading partners, like Proterra, share the same conviction to unwavering customer support and fleet uptime. Throughout the “Plug Into Savings” onboarding process, a flexible and agile support team of specialists in vehicle design, battery design, charging and infrastructure, maintenance and energy utilization, provide the expertise behind the seamless operation of these coaches, integrating the benefits of zero emission vehicles into today’s fleets.

For more information, phone 800-222-2875 or visit www.abc-companies.com.


Lake County (OH) Mobile Food Pantry Continues Distributions Through Summer

The Lake County Mobile Food Pantry program has secured donations from the Greater Cleveland Foodbank to extend the program through September.

The Lake County Mobile Food Pantry is a retrofitted 12-passenger Dial-a-Ride bus operated by Laketran. With its traditional passenger seating replaced with shelving and updated graphics to promote the program, the retired bus is now providing fresh produce to thousands of Lake County seniors.

The program is a collaboration between Laketran, Lake County Commissioners Senior Services, Council on Aging, Lifeline and the Greater Cleveland Foodbank. The agencies work together to secure food donations, and each play a role in taking reservations, managing volunteers and distributing the food.

Since launching in January, the Lake County Mobile Food Pantry has served 4,449 individuals and 2,460 total senior households throughout Lake County.


U.S. Green Building Council Certifies Jacksonville (FL) Regional Transportation Center At LaVilla As LEED Gold

The U.S. Green Building Council has certified the Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center at LaVilla (JRTC) as a LEED Gold facility, a first for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA).

The council uses LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, as a building rating system that provides a framework for environmentally-friendly and energy efficient building standards.

The JRTC at LaVilla received 63 out of 65 eligible credits for the “Build Design and Construction” category, which is used for new constructions or major renovations of existing spaces. LEED Gold certification requires between 60-79 credits. The JRTC at LaVilla is the second LEED-certified facility built by the JTA. The Intercity Bus Terminal is also a LEED Silver-certified building.

One of the primary features that makes the JRTC sustainable is its crescent-shaped structure and glass curtain wall, which allows natural daylighting, reducing the need for lighting, and provides insulation to allow for more efficient use of HVAC systems. Along with traditional sustainability features, including LED lighting, water efficient fixtures and landscaping, among others, the JRTC was able to achieve innovation credits for enhanced transit accessibility, locally sourced and recycled materials, and enhanced sustainability in design and construction practices.


Oceanside, CA’s NCTD Receives $4 Million Grant To Support Transition To Zero-Emissions Bus Operations

The North County Transit District (NCTD) announced that the California Energy Commission (CEC) has awarded the district a $4 million grant to construct a hydrogen fueling station at the agency’s West Division BREEZE Facility in Oceanside. Once constructed, this station will have the capacity to support up to 50 hydrogen fuel-cell electric buses, bringing the district closer toward achieving its goal of transitioning its entire fleet to zero-emission buses by 2042.

The CEC grant advances NCTD’s transition from compressed natural gas to zero-emissions bus operations by approximately four years, allowing the agency to rapidly scale up and leverage an initial purchase of 25 hydrogen-powered buses, set to be put into service by spring 2025. The construction of the fueling station and anticipated deployment of new zero-emission buses puts the agency ahead of local, state, and federal goals for greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

The project is funded by the CEC’s Clean Transportation Program, which invests more than $100 million annually to support innovation and accelerate the deployment of advanced transportation and fuel technologies.

NCTD intends to design, construct, and commission the hydrogen fueling station infrastructure at its Oceanside facility by mid-2022.


From Prevost
Cloud One Proprietary Seat Line

“The Cloud One seat series design focuses on comfort and ergonomics giving passengers an upgraded ride combined with uncompromised safety. Prevost engineers have ensured that Cloud One meets all North American safety regulations,” said Francois Tremblay, Prevost general manager.

“We conducted workshops with more than 100 passengers of all ages and body compositions who gave us great insight,” said Jeff Gagne, Prevost product manager. “Using that information and our strong supplier relationship, we created the ultimate seat for the North American coach industry.”

Cloud One is available in three tiers of style and comfort, and a variety of color combinations. All three collections come with the option of a standard headrest or a new ergonomic winged headrest.

Luxury Collection: Full leather or leatherette, double stitching, piping and additional tufting on the sides and seat pan;

Premium Collection: Full leatherette, double stitching and piping; and,

Standard Collection: Flat woven or velvet options and leatherette accents.

The first coach with Cloud One seats will be delivered in July 2021. For more information, visit www.prevostcar.com.


ActivePure Air Filtration From Anderson Coach

Anderson Coach & Travel is comfortably hitting the road in 2021 with cutting-edge air filtration technology on board every vehicle.

Company President Doug Anderson said the Anderson Coach fleet is equipped with ActivePure air filtration devices. Anderson has fully deployed the devices on more than 40 commercial coach vehicles. Passengers and operators have embraced it and feedback has been “overwhelmingly positive,” Anderson said.

The ActivePure system has been proven to reduce and eliminate viruses, bacteria, and allergens in the air and on every surface.

“We’re so confident in the product that we would recommend it to any motor carrier,” Anderson said. “It’s simple science. It’s safe and easy to install.”

As motorcoach and passenger carriers faced an unprecedented worldwide crisis, the industry came together. While rallying elected officials for financial support a year ago, company leaders across the nation were researching options from UV light to sprays to help keep passengers safe and healthy on board.

“Over the last year since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we’ve done our due diligence investigating every possible option. We feel this is the best for us and our passengers. We want to share that solution with our friends in the industry,” Anderson said.

ActivePure works by harnessing microscopic oxygen and water molecules in the air and then producing supercharged molecules, which attract airborne impurities and drop them to the ground. Once the particles are on the ground, oxidizers destroy viruses, mold, pollen, and bacteria, sanitizing the air and surfaces up to 99.9 percent.

The state-of-the-art system can be placed anywhere in a vehicle where there is a 110-volt outlet (Anderson generally keeps them in overhead storage areas) and Anderson said guests appreciate that they can see it working while they are traveling on board. Anderson also uses the units throughout its office and garage complex. ActivePure is used in classes, hospitals, homes, offices and sports facilities.

“We’re thrilled people are finally feeling safe enough to travel again,” Anderson said. “We’re ready to hit the road.”

Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 recently featured Anderson and ActivePure in a story at WTAE.com, which shows how easy it is to use, and the CEO explained the science behind it. Learn more about ActivePure at GoAnderson.com/CleanCare.

Contact Anderson Coach & Travel Director of Operations Ryan Nicklin at 1-800-345-3435, ext. 503. Messages can be sent to cleancare@goanderson.com.


Motor Coach Industries Unveils Its First Battery-Electric Zero-Emission Luxury Coach In The North American Market: The J4500 CHARGE™

Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., has unveiled its new zero-emission, battery-electric J4500 CHARGE™ coach.

“The J4500 CHARGE™ — a zero-emission version of the industry’s J series tour and charter luxury coaches — leverages EV technology from New Flyer and delivers over 200 miles of range, while also delivering enhanced safety features,” according to a press release.

“NFI has pushed EV and automated innovation forward, and today we achieve another milestone in our technology road map through the launch of MCI’s first battery-electric luxury coach,” said Paul Soubry, president and CEO of NFI. “With the unveiling, MCI further expands NFI’s portfolio of zero-emission vehicles and continues our ability to lead the ZEvolution.”

MCI’s J4500 CHARGE™ incorporates advanced technology to power its high performance, including optimized battery placement for weight distribution and handling; enhanced regeneration for energy recovery and greater efficiency; exceptional torque and gradeability for smoother, more powerful operation; and next generation, ethically sourced, high-energy batteries that deliver over 200 miles of range. To learn more, visit mcicoach.com/electric.

According to the press release, the new J4500 CHARGE™ is perfectly suited for use by tour and charter, employee shuttle, and executive coach operators looking to lower their emissions and total operating costs while maintaining the luxury and passenger experience that has defined MCI for decades.

“Our J4500 CHARGE was made for high performance through unmatched design, with each detail developed to provide an exceptional passenger experience while supporting zero-emission travel with clean, safe, reliable mobility,” said Chris Stoddart, president of NFI North America Bus and Coach. “With fully customizable interiors, the industry’s best warranty coverage, and expert infrastructure support offered through NFI’s Infrastructure Solutions team, the J4500 CHARGE is leading the next generation of travel.”

According to the release, “The J4500 CHARGE™ features brighter, more spacious interiors with industry-leading leg room. Parts support is provided by NFI subsidiary NFI Parts, North America’s largest parts supplier, with training offered by the industry’s only ASE-accredited training center, MCI Academy. Further training and workforce development support is provided through NFI’s Vehicle Innovation Center (VIC), North America’s first and only innovation lab dedicated to the advancement of bus technology. The VIC now offers detailed virtual sessions to allow operators and drivers to increase their EV and AV training.”

“We successfully completed prototype testing of our J4500 CHARGE in 2018, and since then have continued rigorous field testing of MCI’s battery-electric performance to prove operation through virtually any condition,” said Brent Maitland, MCI’s vice president of private sector sales and marketing. “And, not only do our EVs include the industry’s best warranty, at 30 months, they are supported by NFI’s bus and coach service and support network — with 24/7 roadside assistance to support operators any time of day.”

New Flyer and MCI will deliver J4500 CHARGE™ electric coach training through a no-cost virtual session hosted July 7, 2021, through the VIC. To register, visit newflyer.com/VIC.

NFI also offers comprehensive infrastructure support through its Infrastructure Solutions team, providing safe and reliable infrastructure services for sustainable mobility projects with over 200 chargers installed to date. To learn more, visit newflyer.com/infrastructuresolutions.


Amaya-Astron Seating Introduces The Apollo Project For Motorcoach Operators In North America

Amaya-Astron Seating introduces the Apollo Project for motorcoach operators in North America. Amaya-Astron Seating is offering this special program through 2021. The goal of this program is designed to help operators as they once again get back to business. The Apollo Project is a cost-effective way for motorcoach operators to update and upgrade interiors with new seats. The forecast of new coach sales being down, Amaya sees an opportunity for refurbishing existing coaches by replacing their older seats.

What it is: A full set of seats with a choice of either the GT or A220 seat models, which are two of Amaya’s most popular seat models installed on MCI, Prevost, and Volvo coaches from the factory. Operators also have a choice of flat-woven or plush fabric with stylish design that includes automatic footrests. Built for comfort and designed for safety, and now, helping to reduce the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus, all fabrics are treated with an antimicrobial solution.

Cost: $26,000 — including freight to the majority of locations throughout North America. Other options and accessories are available at an additional charge.

"One of the ways to enhance a customers’ experience will be to change the look and feel of seats, as well as the overall comfort and safety of passengers. Amaya’s goal is 100 percent customer satisfaction. Amaya-Astron seats come with a three-year warranty from the factory, and the best aftermarket sales and service support in the industry,” according to the company.

*See Amaya-Astron’s ad in the May/June print issue of Busline (pg. 31)
for more details and pictures of the seats and fabrics available.

"Amaya-Astron seats focus on ergonomic design in order to add to overall seat comfortability. All seat models now feature a thinner seat-back design to increase passenger legroom. Amaya supports motorcoach manufacturers by offering several different seat models including: the GT, A-220, SIGMA, and the newest model the Alpha. There are many available fabric and upholstery options and choice of accessories/options. The most common of these are grab handles; airline style and flip-up tray tables; cup holders; mesh magazine pockets; and, 110V outlets. Amaya-Astron also offers luxury-seating options such as the 2+1 seats. Offering a variety of different seat models and types is just one of the many ways Amaya-Astron works to keep ahead of the market.

"Amaya-Astron Seating Co. also continues its long-standing position as the “premier” seat manufacturer for the North American motorcoach industry. With over 13-plus years producing three- point seat belts to meet the FMVSS, NHTSA, and DOT regulations as well as requirements on all models of seats available to the North American coach manufacturers. Amaya’s engineering and production departments focus on not only meeting, but exceeding these safety standards/requirements as well as designing and building the most comfortable seats available to the market today."

To learn more, contact North American Sales Representatives: Bob Greene bgreene45@cox.net or Jeff Goldwasser interiors@jeffgoldwasser.com, and Donovan Albarran, vice president of Export Sales, donovan@amaya-astron.com.mx, or visit www.amaya-astronseating.com, an English language version.




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