Your Member Monthly News & Updates
Member Headlines

Bob Crescenzo of Lancer Insurance  Receives Safety Award 

At the UMA Expo last week, Bob Crescenzo, of Lancer Insurance, was recognized as the industry safety professional of the year.  

Bob is well-deserving of this award as he is a huge resource to the industry.  For our Members, Bob educates our drivers annually at the Driver Safety Meeting and provides regulation information.

Most recently, Bob published an article in December which gives an in depth look at the newly issued Part 40 drug testing regulations by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), which became effective January 1st.  Bob has done a wonderful job at summing up how the new regulations can affect your business's drug testing procedures.  He also provides suggestions for best practices moving forward.  These include r eviewing and revising your substance abuse policy and procedures, u pdating your substance abuse and training programs via communications with employees, and i dentifying a designated Medical Examiner.  See the full article here

We are proud to have Bob and Lancer Insurance participate in the GNJMA as Members and Gold Sponsor.  Congrats, Bob!
Bailey Coach Hosts Annual Vet's Trip with Help From 
Fellow Members Wolf's Bus Lines and Executive Coach 

Bailey Coach sponsored its second annual trip for veterans to the Arlington National Cemetery on November 8th.  The York, PA company transported more than 600 veterans as well as their friends and families for a day trip to the resting place of more than 400,000 active-duty service members, veterans and their families.  Owner John Bailey modeled the trip after the Honor Flight program in which airlines donate airfare for veterans to visit Washington, DC.  12 buses were used - 8 donated by Bailey Coach, 2 donated by Wolf's Bus Lines and 2 donated by Executive Coach.  Way to go!
Welcome New Members!

Two new members have joined the GNJMA since our last newsletter in December.  Please join us in welcoming them!

Main Contact: Robert Helfrich

Main Contact: Jenna Worrell
Do You Have News?

If you have news you'd like to share about your company or one of your employees, please email us.  We'd love to share your news with the rest of the Association!
 Industry Information

Annual Fees Due For All U.S. Department of
Transportation (DOT) Registered Interstate Carriers

Registration began on January 5th for all transportation companies involved in Interstate commerce.  All carriers must register and pay an annual fee based on their fleet size.  The 2018 fee is reduced by 9.10% from 2017.  For more information and to be pay online, please go on the United Carrier Registration System webpage.  Please see fee structure below:

Fleet Size 2018 Fee
0-2 -------------- $69.00
3-5 --------------
$206.00
6-20 ------------
$410.00
21-100 --------- $1,431.00
101-1000 ------
$6,820.00
1001+ ----------
$66,597.00
New Technology Being Developed By  Department
 of Homeland Security to Protect Bus and Trains

To get on a plane, passengers have to go through TSA checks, but rail and bus stations have little security presence, leaving passengers and rail and bus employees more vulnerable.
 
To address the issue, without creating long lines and elaborate checkpoints, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is trying to employ technology to assist the effort.  Inside a secure lab outside Washington D.C., DHS and researchers at Johns Hopkins University are developing a centimeter wave sensor system. 

The system would work inside panels incorporated in to the walls of subway and bus stations. Using radio waves from WiFi, the system would look specifically for particular items like metal or liquid objects.  

The sensor system is "taking advantage of signals that are very low to give us indicators of what you have in your bag, what you may be carrying under jacket," Don Roberts, the science and technology program manager at the Department of Homeland Security, told ABC News.

Link to Full Story at ABC News
Chicago Tourism  Update

Brian Whitaker, Director of Bus Operations for Windy City Limos, has reached out to us with an update regarding a City of Chicago ordinance passed earlier this Fall.  We first informed you about this issue in our December newsletter.  The ordinance would require any vehicle of 15 passengers or more to have a security guard on board and be equipped with a passenger-facing camera if alcohol would be involved.

As of December, both the Illinois Limousine Association and Midwest Bus & Motorcoach Association had attended Chicago City meetings opposing the ordinance, but their input had been largely ignored.  Choose Chicago, the official destination marketing organization for the City of Chicago, has since gotten involved in the discussion.  Choose Chicago has successfully entered discussions with the City in order to educate them regarding how the ordinance would affect convention and leisure tourism in the City.  The City of Chicago is now committed to working with Chicago area associations to amend the ordinance.  This is a major win for the Motorcoach Industry as this will act as an example for cities around the country regarding how to stop illegal party buses without affecting the bus industry as a whole.

NJ New Governor Phil Murphy Begins Term & Appoints DOT Commissioner

Phil Murphy takes office today.  While his top issues on the campaign trail were millionaire tax, legalizing marijuana and implementing $15 minimum wage, high on his list is also public transportation.  

He recently introduced Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti as his choice for the state's transportation commissioner, the  chairwoman of the boards of NJ Transit, the Turnpike Authority and the South Jersey Transportation Authority.  A native of NJ, she was born in Newark, raised in Lawrence Township and attended Rutgers.

Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti has spent six years as the executive director and CEO of the Florida Turnpike Enterprise. Before that, she worked at the NJ Turnpike Authority for 21 years, ultimately serving as its deputy executive director and executive director.  
Tax Reform Effects on Small Business

President Donald Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts of 2017 will surely have an impact on you and your business.  Some of the biggest changes include:
  • Reduces corporate tax rate to 21 percent.
  • 20 percent deduction for qualified business income of pass-through entities (sole proprietorships, partnerships, C Corps, trusts and estates).  Limitations do apply.
  • Increases the current small business expense limitation from $500,000 to $1 million and the phase out range from $2 million to $2.5 million.  The bill will allow HVAC systems, fire protection systems, security systems and property used in lodging to be treated as qualified property.
  • Increases depreciation to 100 percent for property placed in service through 2022, 80 percent through 2023, 60 percent through 2024, 40 percent through 2025 and 20 percent through 2026.
  • Allows businesses with average gross receipts of $25 million or less to use the cash method of accounting.
  • Places limitations on business interest expense deductions. (Exempts businesses with average gross receipts of $25 million or less.)
  • Increases the exemption amount from $5 million to $10 million for estate and gift taxes for decedents through 2025.
  • Provides no deduction to any activity considered entertainment, amusement or recreation, even if such activities are related to the active conduct of a trade or business.  A 50 percent deduction remains for food and beverage expenses associated with a trade or business.
  • Disallows the deduction for providing employees with transportation fringe benefits as well as commuting expenses (except as necessary for safety purposes).
 Upcoming Events

The GNJMA Spring Meeting Agenda & Registration Information

When:  Tuesday, March 13th


Schedule:

11AM Mini-Marketplace Opens*

12PM Meeting Starts - Agenda:
  • Welcome & Introductions
  • Association Updates
  • Electronic Logging Device Update
    • Danielle Smith, FMCSA Passenger Transportation Specialist*
  • Lunch
  • Bus Athlete Gameplan to Live
    •  Mark Everest, Occupational Athletics, Inc.
  • 2018 Motorcoach Professional Awards
  • Closing Remarks & Adjourn


*Danielle Smith will also have a table setup 
at the Mini-Marketplace to answer your questions.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Members, Don't Miss the Deadline to Nominate Your Outstanding Motorcoach Professional!  

 Please take the time to honor an employee that demonstrates 
excellence and professionalism at your company! 

The deadline for nominations is February 1st!

ICYMI:  Member Alerts 

Member Alerts are sent out to our Members as needed.  Since our December newsletter, we have sent two alerts:

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Contact:  Pattie Cowley, Executive Director | Greater New Jersey Motorcoach Association
 908-835-0935 x105 | pcowley@gnjma.com | www.gnjma.com