Jan. 13, 2019
Bieber Bus was experiencing financial difficulties in the last years leading up to its eviction from the PABT in July, 2018 over $200,000 in overdue rent. The bus company proceeded to attempt to find alternative pick-up/drop-off spots for its Lehigh Valley, PA clientele who definitely deserve the daily bus service. Now, Beiber Bus has a permit for the corner of 8th Ave & 39th St at close proximity to PABT. This of course makes a mockery of PABT as well as the 1950’s laws that were created to get the busses off the streets and into the bus terminal . The moral here for Beiber Bus is you could be getting something better at a bargain basement price, if you play your cards right. The fee for the corner bus stop if extended for 12 months is a mere $4,500 (or $12.32 per day).
The City of New York, after the PABT was unable to find gate space in the late 1990’s for new intercity carriers such as Chinatown-based Fung Wah and Lucky Star (Travel Pack) as well as overheight double-decker Van Hool Megabus (Stagecoach); as well as a history of allowing permits for seasonal operators like Hampton Jitney; has either ceased to enforce the 1950’s law regarding the prohibition of bus stops within 3 miles of the PABT, or altered those laws. New York City now has over 118 curbside bus stops (How to rent a bus stop in Midtown Manhattan)
More details here: Beiber Bus finds close proximity bus corner for intercity bus service
PANY-NJ officials should not be surprised. After all, they spend $100 millions to upgrade airport terminals and air-tran monorail systems. But when it comes to capital improvement or rebuilding of an out-of-date dilapidated bus terminal, they forget to include any expenditures (2015 Capital improvement plan)! Now, after they were embarrassed in the last capital improvements announcement omission, the Commissioners have agreed (Feb. 2017) to a $3.5 Billion new PABT slated to open in year 2029-2030.
Meanwhile, the streets are open frontier!
Jan. 4, 2019
Scotland based Stagecoach will sell its North America division: Megabus, to a private equity firm for $271 million. The sale is expected to be completed by late April, 2019 to Variant Equity Advisors of Los Angeles, CA. Megabus is a combination of bus companies and licensed operators that provide coast-to-coast bus service throughout US and Canada.
Written Nov. 11, 2018, Updated on bottom, on Dec. 23, 2018.
There hasn’t been a more serious challenge to the free flow of interstate bus travel since authorities betrayed the Freedom Riders in the 1960’s; civil rights activists rode Trailways and Greyhound buses in mixed racial groups with the purpose of breaking up Jim Crow travel laws in the South. Then, as now, the promise of interstate carriers to not discriminate nor allow prejudice of our precious passengers regardless of their race, skin color, national origin, age, gender, or language (accent) is at a crossroads. In particular, there is no federal requirement, nor has there ever been a federal requirement, for a passenger who boards an interstate bus to retain on his person a document that proves citizenship, or permanent residency, or visiting rights to this country.
The only time that an interstate bus operator checks for such type of border crossing documents is if the bus is intended to go through a border crossing. To think, or consider, that a bus, any bus, can be halted and inspected by Customs and Border Patrol agents at any location within 100 miles of the US border which encompasses surface square miles of roughly 22 percent of the nation – and covers the densest populated areas, over 200 million people! – without a specific probable cause of a felony, is outrageous and wrong. These actions must be held to a higher standard and should not be the original intention of the 1953 law that established a 100-mile border zone. ACLU publishes a brief explanation of this law: The Constitution in the 100-Mile Border Zone
This week, a passenger, Ms. Rocio Cordova from California, has filed a lawsuit against Greyhound, also seeking class-action status, with a high profile law office. Ms. Cordova, as plaintiff, accused Greyhound of violating state consumer protection laws barring unfair and unlawful business practices by allegedly consenting to racial profiling by law enforcement officers despite promises not to discriminate on the basis of race, skin color, national origin or language. Córdova said she also suffered economic injury from delays, and the suit seeks a court order barring the alleged practice. Lawsuit targets Greyhound over warrant-less stopping of buses by border agents. Washington Post (Nov. 8, 2018). This lawsuit will be a landmark case. This should not be a politically-charged issue. All interstate bus operators recognize and respect the importance of police protection and law enforcement.
Our union brothers and sisters at ATU 1700 have encouraged their employer to “send an official letter to Department of Homeland Security saying that Greyhound will not consent to agents boarding company buses without probable cause or a warrant, the Fourth Amendment’s legal standard for domestic routes that don’t cross formal check points.” Read more: ATU 1700 Oct. Bulletin Karen Miller, President of Local 1700, says it best: “For us this is about passengers, not politics…management must stand up for constitutional law enforcement that respects all of our customers’ right to travel with dignity.”
UPDATE on DEC. 23, 2018:
Greyhound Bus Lines has re-assessed their liability and position regarding random, unannounced Customs & Border Patrol Agent inspections on their scheduled line runs and have published some new policies and guidance regarding how passengers can respond to these intrusions. Greyhound website “Your Rights” link These newly announced policies which can be read on the Greyhound website are published in this new Washington Post article:
Dec 20, 2018
Peter Pan received delivery of five new 2019 model year MCI J4500 coaches before the Thanksgiving holiday last month. These coaches feature MCI’s optional Bendix Fusion, the next-generation Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) featuring a collision mitigation camera radar system with stationary vehicle braking, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and more. Fuel efficiency was also improved as the 2019 J4500’s new swing-out e-Fan system is showing fuel savings averaging 3 percent above the already exceptional standard fuel efficiency of the J4500 model as demonstrated in independent tests.
Peter Pan’s relationship with MCI began in the early 1970s. Tom Picknally said the company first went with the MC-8 coach and added MCI models ever since. “MCI understands multi-generational operators and what they need to continue building their business.”
Today Peter Pan has over 137 MCI J4500s in its fleet of 250 MCI coaches.
More here: Peter Pan adds five 2019 MCI J4500’s
Nov 30, 2018
A fleet of five full-size Alexander Dennis transit busses has been developed with “unmanned, autonomous” technology in the Edinburgh area. The busses will begin travelling 14 miles with up to 42 passengers in a collaborative trial funded by the UK government. Initially, the unmanned busses will have a bus driver present as a backup for passenger safety.
Sept. 30, 2018
Sherperdsville, Kentucky. New Flyer of America, a subsidiary of NFI group which owns MCI International, New Flyer/America and two other entities opened a new $30 Million facility here in Kentucky, expecting to employ over 550 employees. The main mission of the factory is the manufacture of motorcoach and transit bus parts and components. The 300,000 sq. foot factory will be a state of the art addition to one of the largest bus manufacturer companies in the world which began in 1930. NFI also owns New Flyer of Canada which is where the MCI J-4500 is assembled (in Winnipeg, Manitoba).
Sept. 21, 2018
Sept. 30, 2018 will be the last day of BusPlus Mass DOT subsidized Peter Pan service from Springfield to Albany, NY and return. (Originally two busses: one in each direction daily.) This ends a three year run where bus service was provided under state partnership to Springfield, Northampton, Deerfield, Greenfield, Shelburne Falls, Charlemont, North Adams, Williamstown, Troy, and Albany. Details of the contract change are not available.
There will be a “bump bid” from Miles down effective Oct. 1, 2018 in Springfield division.