April 9, 2019
Mall of America's ESP: A marvel of technology
Host site for Sales Summit is social media innovator
Fast Company took a look at the way Mall of America keeps its finger on the pulse of the consumer, using its Enhanced Service Portal or ESP. Their unique portal fuses the digital and physical shopping experiences of guests by integrating into a unified service all the communication channels through which guests contact Mall of America. As a result, Mall staff is able to more quickly and effectively answer questions, provide information and proactively identify guest service opportunities. The team staffing ESP brings together the Mall of America website; social media channels; telephone, text and dispatch teams; guest services and security into a space that will foster quick and easy communication between ESP team members, ensuring the best and fastest possible responses for guests.

Watch Fast Company's video and learn more! Then, see it for yourself at the Sales Summit! The first 50 registrants for the UMA Sales Summit will receive a behind-the-scenes tour of ESP. Sign up now!
Up your sales game to compete in a rapidly changing economy. Learn the trends that are shaping consumer demand and the strategies that can keep your buses full year-round. Register now to attend the 2019 UMA Bus & Motorcoach Industry Sales Summit.
The group photo had to be inside at our dinner at Clyde's of Gallery Place.
A day of advocacy for the motorcoach industry
UMA, 20 partners meet in 150 Congressional offices
Nearly 100 representatives from UMA and 20 national, state and regional industry associations joined forces to call on Congress to preserve the partial fuel tax exemption for motorcoaches and to educate members and their staff on the role our industry plays in creating jobs, generating tourism revenue, and providing clean, green and safest transportation.

There is no charge to attend the Fly-In, which includes a professional legislative briefing, transportation to and from Capitol Hill, a group dinner, and a debriefing reception where participants connect after an exhilarating day working to build understanding of our industry among federal lawmakers.

Look for full coverage in the May 1 issue of Bus & Motorcoach News. Photos from the event are online.
New app available for FMCSA’s Pre-employment Screening Program

A new version of the mobile app for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) is now available for those who access the system via a mobile device.
To better assist motor carriers with the hiring process, the PSP provides secure, instant online access to commercial vehicle drivers’ safety histories.

With the drivers’ written authorization, driver records are available immediately for review in a secure, mobile-friendly format. Compatible with Apple mobile devices, the app gives PSP account holders the option to request and review driver requests on-the-go. Users simply log in, fill in a driver’s name and license information, and submit the record request.

Under contract to FMCSA, NIC Federal, LLC adheres to strict federal privacy requirements including oversight of the mobile app.

A study shows that motor carriers using PSP have, on average, decreased crash rates by 8 percent, and driver out-of-service (OOS) rates by 17 percent. For more information, visit https://www.psp.fmcsa.dot.gov/psp/Public .
NPS webinar will review CUA policy updates
The National Park Service (NPS) Commercial Services and Recreation Fee Programs will host two webinars on the topic of road-based commercial tour CUA requirements and commercial tour entrance fee changes effective October 1, 2019.

The webinar hosts will review CUA application processes, CUA and entrance fee requirements, reporting requirements, and additional topics.

Webinar dates:  April 24, 2019 and May 6, 2019
Time:  To be announced
Format : WebEx

Webinar times and access links will be posted shortly to the  NPS Commercial Use Authorizations website , so please visit the site for updates. The NPS Commercial Services Program will also soon post on the website a CUA program email address to serve as a central point of contact. That information will be posted shortly, and we welcome the submission of questions via that email account that we will seek to address on the webinars.

UMA will update members about the times for the webinars when arrangements are announced.
Bus & Motorcoach News is mailed twice monthly to all UMA members. In addition, it's available online 24/7 at www.busandmotorcoachnews.com and by email, on a schedule you choose! Invite everyone on your staff to stay informed about the industry by signing up for email updates from  Bus & Motorcoach News Sign up here. You can choose daily or weekly updates! Below is a sampling of what's in our latest digital and print editions.
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Movie site tours a growing tour niche
Bus and Motorcoach News | by Kim Schneider | April 6, 2019

They were once the sole hallmark of Hollywood, and its travel calling card. But state film credits have brought movie sets (and a thriving tour industry around movie settings) to the rest of the country—from North Carolina beach towns where Nicholas Sparks romances have been translated to the big screen to Jurassic-style Hawaiian forests in which you aren’t really going to see a dinosaur but feel like at any moment you just might.

No, you don’t need to run a tour to “Game of Thrones” sites in Ireland or Croatia or Lord of the Rings in New Zealand to fill a tour bus—or 20.

The Arkansas House and Senate have just passed legislation creating what could be the country’s newest tour group theme: the True Grit Trail on Highway 22 between Dardanelle and Fort Smith.

Battery-electric pays off over time
Bus and Motorcoach News | by Rick Stoff | April 8, 2019

Battery-electric motorcoaches are expected to deliver significantly lower lifetime costs than comparable diesel-powered vehicles, but the first buses may be on the road before the numbers are calculated.

“We are looking right now at how to take the reduction in operating costs and compare that to the acquisition and infrastructure costs,” said Thom Peebles, vice president of marketing at ABC Companies, the North American distributor for Van Hool. “When we go into testing models in the real world we will be able to determine real costs, lifecycles, emission reductions and what it will cost to put charging infrastructure in place.”

Purchase costs could be higher due to the prices for battery packs, but there could be offsets for the reduced complexity of electric components. It also is assumed that operating costs for battery motorcoaches will be lower due to expected savings in maintenance and energy. Manufacturers say there will be several new expenses but then savings that offset those.

Enjoy ABC Companies' April Fool's Day video
Bus & Motorcoach News launches Marketplace
Bus & Motorcoach News has launched Marketplace, a dedicated page of visual and text-only classified ads for time-sensitive initiatives and items, such as to sell buses or equipment, post a job opening, and to sell a business. This is a great way for UMA members, who receive editions of  Bus & Motorcoach NEWS  twice a month as part of their membership, to cross-sell and cross-promote, as well as welcome others from the bus and motorcoach industry to get their classified ad in front of the UMA members and beyond.

Contact Katie Rollert for more information!
Road to Zero Coalition awards grant aimed at increasing seatbelt use in motorcoaches

Sara’s Wish Foundation (SWF) and the University Massachusetts Transportation Center (UMTC) have received a Safe System Innovation Grant from the Road to Zero Coalition to advance the SWF and UMTC collaborative effort to end traffic fatalities by 2050.

This grant will help SWF and UMTC continue creating an effective national motorcoach seatbelt educational campaign “kit” to increase seatbelt usage on motor coaches. The kit will be distributed to motor coach operators and include easy-to-implement templates of actions. These include formal announcements made by the motor coach driver, a video via an in-vehicle monitor or internet-based application, promotional banners at the entrance to the motor coach and in the terminal waiting area, text or email messages sent to riders, digital messages promoting seatbelt usage when tickets are purchased online as well as a simple message printed on the ticket and also attached to the back of each seat: e.g., “Be Safe…Sit, Click and Ride.

Motorcoach Industry Calendar

APRIL 2019
  • 24 NPS Webinar on road-based commercial tour CUA requirements and commercial tour entrance fee changes effective October 1, 2019 -- Time and link TBA
  • 29 GNJMA Webinar: How the bus industry can combat human trafficking LEARN MORE

MAY 2019
  • 6 NPS Webinar on road-based commercial tour CUA requirements and commercial tour entrance fee changes effective October 1, 2019 -- Time and link TBA
  • 29-30 UMA Inaugural Sales Summit, Mall of America, Bloomington, MN Learn more and register

JUNE 2019
  • 18-21 PBA Annual Meeting, Resorts Casino, Atlantic City, NJ (Hosted by Atlantic City/MeetAC)
  • 20-23 New England Bus Association Annual Conference, Nonantum Resort Kennebunkport, ME
  • 21 PBA Board Meeting, Atlantic City http://pabus.org/

JULY 2019
  • 28- August 1 , Regional Meeting of AMA, GMOA, and SCMA, Renaissance Hotel/Convention Center, Montgomery, AL Learn More

  • 6-9 IMG Strategic Alliance Meeting, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 12-14 Midwest Bus & Motorcoach Association (MBMCA) Annual Convention and Trade Show (and Roadeo Competition), Isle Casino Hotel, Bettendorf, IA www.mbmca.org
  • 14 PBA Safety & Preparedness Workshop, York Springs, PA http://pabus.org/
  • 15-18 NAMO Annual Conference & Marketplace – Springfield, MO Oasis Hotel and Convention Center  http://www.namo-coaches.org/

  • 11, Maryland Motorcoach Association Annual Crab Feast, Kentmorr Restaurant and Crab House. Stevensville, MD
  • 18-22 Regional Meeting of NCMA, VMA, and MCASC, Embassy/Marriott/Benton Convention Center, Winston-Salem, NC Learn More

  • 9-10 GNJMA Fall Annual Meeting & Related Events including Group Leader Marketplace, Resorts Atlantic City http://www.gnjma.com/
  • 13 -15 California Bus Association’s 46th Annual Convention and Trade Show, Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa www.cbabus.com
  • 20-22 Bus Association of New York (BANY) Annual Meeting and Marketplace, Sands Bethlehem, Bethlehem, PA – bany@banybus.org
  • October 21-23, 201920th Annual North West Motorcoach Association ROADEO Location TBD

  • 25- 27 California Bus Association’s 47th Annual Convention and Trade Show, Omni Rancho Las Palmas in Rancho Mirage, CA (Palm Springs) www.cbabus.com
Remember, as a UMA member you have the power of discounts on the best products and services, access to relevant education, targeted professional resources, and colleagues all over the map. Remember to consult your member directory when you need help on the road, access to more vehicles to meet demand, or services out of your area. We are UMA! Want to find other members to do business with? Use the online directory.

Reach the UMA staff by calling (703) 838-2929 or by email at info@uma.org . We love to hear from our members!