Motorcoach Leaders Discuss Current Industry Hurdles
By Janna Starcic
Jan. 8, 2019
Peter Pantuso sat down with Metro Magazine to discuss the most pressing issues facing operators and what is being done to help.
What are two of the most pressing issues facing the motorcoach industry?
Peter Pantuso: The most pressing issues are certainly driver issues, with the second but equally important being the changing industry. We have seen some companies leave the market abruptly and others have sold or are for sale. This creates some uncertainty in the marketplace. We have also seen the addition of technology companies entering the industry posing as bus/motorcoach companies and existing businesses are trying to better understand how to compete with them based on a new business model. Not to say that all of these changes are good or bad, but that they definitely are changing the industry.
How is the ABA helping members deal with these issues?
ABA is making certain our members are aware of what is happening in the market. We are not able to help them change their respective business operations, but we can help facilitate a dialogue. This is one of the reasons we have partnered with the Busworld Academy to be part of our 2020 convention in Omaha. The Academy looks at the industry, globally, from the changes in technology that advance autonomous technologies to the requirements in cities that will ban diesel vehicles by 2025 and beyond. Being able to look at the industry globally, and at the 30,000 foot level, will better prepare our members in North America for what may eventually be the norm around the world, and not the exception.
Looking back at 2018, what has had a positive impact on business for operators?
I believe that any and all technologies that enhance safety or better connect the operator to their customers provide significant value to the industry. This can include ELDs, which help to level the playing field and ensure that all operators are following the Hours of Service rules and it can include apps that make it easier for the customer to reserve seats, track the bus, and more.