ABA Member Alerts are time-sensitive communications containing important information for your business, a call to action or both. Each member receives the alerts via email the day they are sent out. Current Member Alerts are published below, and past alerts may be found in the archive.
In recent days ABA has been alerted that some members have received solicitations for Marketplace housing from an email address firstname.lastname@example.org and a person named Kevin Anderson. Please be aware this is NOT an authorized company and it is NOT sanctioned by ABA. We strongly urge you NOT to do business with this vendor. The company claims to have rooms available at five properties in Louisville, at prices significantly higher than you would pay than if you worked with ABA when we open housing on September 9th.
Bus Operators Encouraged to File Petitions for Reconsideration with FMCSA on Lease and Interchange Rule, ABA Templates Now Available (August 17, 2015)
The American Bus Association has heard from numerous bus operators that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) final rule regarding the lease and interchange of passenger motor vehicles will have a significant negative impact on their operations because it is overly burdensome and unworkable. To address the various concerns raised, ABA and others are petitioning FMCSA to reconsider the rule. In order to convince FMCSA to reconsider the rule, we need bus operators to weigh in by petitioning the Agency as well. FMCSA needs to hear directly from you, but time is short, you have until August 25 to act.
The American Bus Association would like to recognize the 82 recipients of the fiscal year 2015 Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP) funds to implement strategies, exercises, training and technologies designed to mitigate threats to passengers and facilities of motorcoach operators.
Our office has received a number of inquiries concerning what is clearly an internet scam inviting you to attend Marketplace 2015 in Nashville. It then asks you to click the link to register. The subject of the email is "American Bus Association" and in the body of the email it is signed Virginia Wills. Do not click on the link in the email, instead please delete the email immediately.
Lease and Interchange of Vehicles Final Rule - Period Extended to Seek Reconsideration for 60 Days (June 26, 2015)
On May 27, FMCSA published a final rule regarding the lease and interchange of passenger vehicles. Following this publication, a number of members contacted ABA with various concerns about the final rule. In an effort to provide all members an opportunity to petition FMCSA to reconsider the final rule, ABA requested the Agency extend the initial 30-day deadline, for 60 days. FMCSA granted the request, and now members have until August 25, 2015, to petition the Agency to reconsider the final rule.
In late September, the World Meeting of Families 2015 will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In preparation for the event on September 22-25th and a historic visit from the Pope from the 25-27th, the City of Philadelphia and the World Meeting of Families have announced that special protocols will be put into place to alleviate the burden of increased transportation on the city’s infrastructure. The event has been designated a National Special Security Event by the Department of Homeland Security, meaning that parking will be restricted, and some highways will be closed. According to numerous estimates, over 5,000 motorcoaches are anticipated arriving in Philadelphia for the Pope’s visit.
US DOD Approved Carrier Advised to Review Contracts Due to Updated Wage Numbers Required by the Department of Labor (June 15, 2015)
For carriers who have signed Military Bus Agreements to be listed on the DOD approved carriers list, there are provisions in those agreements that are directly tied to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) wage determination as mandated by the Service Contract Act of 1965 (now codified under 41 CFR Chapter 67). Those wage determinations have recently changed following an executive order.
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill funding transportation programs that included a provision to stop the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from raising insurance minimums for motorcoach companies. ABA supports this provision and urges members to write their senators in support.
Motorcoach Industry and American Bus Association Mourns the Passing of Legendary Leader Bert Askwith, President of Campus Coach Lines and Honorary Lifetime ABA Board Member (June 2, 2015)
Bert Askwith, the founder and President of Campus Coach Lines and longtime member of the ABA Board of Directors, and Chairman Emeritus of the ABA Foundation passed away Monday, June 1st at age 104.
How FMCSA's New Bus Lease & Interchange Rule Affects You (June 1, 2015)
FMCSA recently issued a final rule concerning the lease and interchange of passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicles. The rule is intended to put an end to so-called “chameleon carriers” that have occasionally eluded FMCSA and other enforcement authorities, and it seeks to ensure that the identity of the carrier responsible for complying with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations is transparent.
On May 13, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriations approved a bill funding transportation programs that included a provision to stop the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from raising insurance minimums for motorcoach companies. The American Bus Association, along with others, worked diligently to see this provision added to the bill.
Baltimore Tourism Update (April 29, 2015)
While recent riots have not damaged the tourism assets in Baltimore, the current events have caused a number of changes to hours and to scheduled activities. If groups need alternative ideas or substitutions to an upcoming tour itinerary, Maryland offers its team of state and regional partners to help.
Group Tours Promote Individualized, Value-Added Experiences (April 28, 2015)
Several members recently brought to ABA's attention a controversial blog post about shifts in group tour demographics. Our response shares what our members have told us: group tours remain a vital market for successful attractions, and trends toward personalization aren't negatives--they're opportunities for unprecedented innovation.
Announcing New Bus Security Partnership (April 2, 2015)
The American Bus Association has formed a new partnership with CAT Eyes to offer ABA members access to new tools and to assist them with access to security grant writing services, security and emergency preparedness readiness training, and consulting services to meet or exceed current and future federal mandates.
ABA Names New Vice President of Government Affairs (March 19, 2015)
American Bus Association President and CEO Peter Pantuso today announced Suzanne Te Beau Rohde as ABA's new Vice President of Government Affairs beginning April 1, 2015. Suzanne will lead the association's legislative, regulatory, policy and lobbying efforts to support the motorcoach, tour and travel industry.
Special NYC Holiday Motorcoach Traffic Rules Effective November 21, 2014 Through January 2, 2015 (November 5, 2014)
New York City Department of Transportation (NYDOT) officials recently issued specific holiday rules and regulations for motorcoaches. These special rules and additional parking areas go into effect Friday, November 21, 2014, and run through January 2, 2015. We at ABA know that the holidays are always a very busy time in New York. We want to make sure you know what the city expects of our motorcoach drivers and tour leaders when they are in the city, including where vehicles are allowed to park, so that your groups and drivers have an enjoyable and seamless experience.
Dorothea Henry of Dallas, Pa., passed away July 29, 2014. She was the wife of longtime ABA board member Frank Henry and was involved in the family motorcoach business, Martz Group, and industry for many years.
Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it is proposing new regulations to help better protect passengers in motorcoaches during rollover crashes.
NYSDOT needs your help in preparing for the possibility of a Long Island Railroad Strike (July 17, 2014)
In preparation for the potential of a LIRR strike, the New York State Department of Transportation is attempting to ascertain the number of motor coaches that have been contracted by employers to provide service into or around NYC for the purposes of congestion mitigation and parking needs. We are asking all motorcoach operators, both in state and out of state, who may have been contracted to provide transportation in the event of a strike, to tell us how many motorcoaches you have been contracted for, your destination and pick up and drop off times. Read on for a survey link.
Fraudulent Marketplace Housing Solicitation (July 10, 2014)
Recently some ABA members have received calls and solicitations from a company claiming to represent ABA regarding housing options for the upcoming Marketplace, January 10-13, 2015, in St. Louis. This company is not affiliated with ABA. Should you be contacted by them, do not give them any information.
Motorcoach industry mourns the passing of congressman and transportation champion Jim Oberstar (May 5, 2014)
Former Democratic Congressman James Oberstar of Minnesota was a great friend of America's traveling public. During his 36 years in the House and five years as Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Oberstar worked tirelessly to improve the nation's highways, airports, and intermodal transportation centers, such as Union Station in Washington, D.C.
Take Action on Proposed CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (April 9, 2014)
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is creating a database that will contain the results of drug and alcohol tests administered to holders of commercial driver's licenses (CDLs). A recently proposed rule would require motor carriers, Medical Review Officers, and others to submit the results of these tests to FMCSA. Motor carriers would also be required to report DUIs received by their employees while driving commercial motor vehicles. Furthermore, motor carriers would be required to search the database before permitting current and prospective employees from performing safety-sensitive functions.
After May 21, 2014, driver medical certificates must be issued by Certified Examiners listed on the new National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
Scams Target ABA Members (April 2, 2014)
The American Bus Association reminds members to exercise normal caution when receiving emails and communications, in light of several recent scams. Never open suspicious emails or click on suspect links, and discard unauthorized third-party solicitations that ask for your personal information. Read more about three scams ABA is currently tracking.
Have you updated your MCS-150? (March 7, 2014)
Carriers who have not updated their MCS-150 information within the past two years or are coming up on their two-year anniversary date should check the calendar schedule below as the compliance date of the biennial update requirement began on November 1, 2013, and enforcement of this biennial filing has begun, effective March 1, 2014.
Thank you for helping make Marketplace 2014 THE place to be (February 17, 2014)
A letter from ABA Chairman Tom JeBran: How about that Marketplace! We have so many people that contributed to putting on such a great event for ABA and for the industry as a whole. The whole week we were surrounded by great friends, great venues, lively entertainment and we got a lot of business done. The final numbers are still being tallied by John Dunham and Associates on our booked business survey, but if the energy, the buzz, and the stories that I heard from attendees are any indication, I know that we knocked it out of the park.
ABA Insurance Protection Plan Update (February 14, 2014)
ABA has received calls from members regarding recent changes to existing Travel Guard insurance plans. Travel Guard has advised that they will be updating their product offering at the end of the month, and ABA members will have more choices of what to offer customers.
Government Accountability Office: CSA data not reliable in assessing carrier safety risk (February 5, 2014)
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report criticizing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program that FMCSA uses as a tool for identifying the riskiest carriers.
Motorcoach industry mourns the passing of Steve Van Galder of Wisconsin’s Van Galder Bus Company (January 24, 2014)
Steve Van Galder, the President and CEO of the Van Galder Bus Company, grew up in the motorcoach industry. His company was founded in 1947 in south-central Wisconsin by his father, Sam Van Galder. As the Van Galder Bus Company grew throughout the 1950's and 60's, Steve always knew this would be the business he would be in. Mr. Van Galder died unexpectedly Thursday, January 23, in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin. He was 66.
Beware of unauthorized solicitation offering fake Marketplace list (January 23, 2014)
In recent days, an unauthorized spam solicitation has been circulating that purportedly offers a Marketplace attendee list for sale. This solicitation IS NOT authorized by the American Bus Association, nor is ABA affiliated with any list marketing agency. ABA encourages members to ignore and delete this solicitation if received.
ABA encourages operators to attend FMCSA listening session on knowledge testing requirements for new entrant carriers at Marketplace (January 7, 2014)
FMCSA will hold two public listening sessions at Marketplace concerning knowledge testing of new entrant bus operators. ABA highly encourages all bus operators who are in Nashville for Marketplace to share their views with the FMCSA in one of these sessions.
Motorcoach, travel and tour operators likely to be affected by government shutdown (October 4, 2013 Updated)
With much of the federal government being closed because of the dispute over funding the government, ABA wants to let motorcoach, travel and tour operators we are closely monitoring the situation and how the shutdown could impact our members and their businesses.
ABA applauds House passage of sleep apnea bill (September 26, 2013)
Today’s House of Representatives vote of 405-0 on H.R. 3095 is a great endorsement of the position taken by the American Bus Association and other important transportation partners concerning the issue of sleep apnea and driver fatigue.
ABA Operators to Receive Daily Security Reports (May 23, 2013)
Operators will begin to receive the Transit and Rail Intelligence Awareness Daily (TRIAD) report on a daily basis via email. This report provides a summary of potentially dangerous individuals and activities that may target transportation companies for acts of terrorism or other serious crimes. This bulletin is provided in partnership with the American Public Transportation Association, Transportation Security Administration and Information and Infrastructure Technologies, Inc.