Ed Hope (1942-2019)

Mar. 5, 2019

Ed Hope, a 53-year member of Amalgamated Transit Union, and a Peter Pan coach driver for 30+ years has passed after fight with illness. Ed Hope reached a pinnacle of 4 Million Safety Miles as recorded with the National Safety Institute. He will be missed by all.

Obituary Hartford Courant – Ed Hope

Yates Funeral Home obituary

                           Peter Picknelly & Eddie Hope at Awards Banquet. March, 2016. Receiving 4 Million Safety Miles Award.  Only bus driver in the nation  to receive 4 million safety miles award.

 

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NTSB Report on Dahlia bus crash Flushing, Queens 2017

Mar. 3, 2019

The NTSB has issued their final report on a Sept, 2017 Dahlia bus accident in Flushing, Queens, New York. Part of the report cites new information that a metal “coffee” thermos was found at the accident scene near the foot control pedals. In addition, audible sounds on the motorcoach GPS forward-facing video camera detected a “metal rattling sound” seconds before the accident, as well as exclamation sounds from the operator. Proof of the thermos involvement was not conclusive. (A driver-compartment facing camera would have disclosed whether or not the thermos was causal.)

The NTSB was unable to determine with certainty, whether or not the thermos played a role in the accident by falling and possibly wedging underneath or between the brake and throttle pedals. Official cause of accident was unintended speed acceleration/inability to brake by operator. There were three fatalities and over a dozen injuries. 

Street View camera – You Tube

CBS New York – Dahlia bus crash 2017 clip

NTSB final report summary: Dahlia bus crash

NTSB report full version: 10 pages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THIS RE-ENACTED PHOTO is ONE POSSIBLE SCENARIO: NTSB

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Kelley Transit bus of Torrington, Ct closes doors

Feb. 18, 2019

Kelley Transit bus company of Torrington, CT which operated charters and commuter service has suddenly ceased operations last week. The company had declared Chapter 11 re-organization bankruptcy in 2011. The company had a transportation history of over 150 years!

Both Peter Pan Bus Lines  and Dattco of New Britain will likely bid on the commuter bus contract Torrington to Waterbury, according to spokesperson of the state bureau of public transportation. CT Transit will temporarily operate the service until bidding and award are completed within the year.

https://www.registercitizen.com/news/article/Torrington-s-Kelley-Transit-Company-closes-13608420.php

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Stagecoach is selling North America Megabus division

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.

BBC News – Stagecoach sells Megabus division

Megabus being sold to Variant Equity Advisors

 

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Greyhound facing serious Ca. lawsuit over Border Patrol tactic

Written Nov. 11, 2018, Updated on bottom, on Dec. 23, 2018.

OPINION:

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.”

WBUR-Boston Public Radio Podcast

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: 

Greyhound handing out flyers to passengers regarding unannounced inspections by CBP

 

 

 

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New J4500’s for Peter Pan

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

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