January 15, 2019
FMCSA finalizes UCR fees
This rule establishes reductions in the annual registration fees collected from motor carriers, motor private carriers of property, brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies for the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan and agreement for the registration years 2019, 2020 and thereafter. For the 2019 registration year, the fees will be reduced below the 2017 registration fee level that was in effect by 18.62 percent to ensure that fee revenues collected do not exceed the statutory maximum, and to account for the excess funds held in the depository. 
The fees beginning with the 2020 registration year will be reduced below the 2017 level by approximately 9.9 percent. The reduction of the current 2019 registration year fees (finalized on January 5, 2018) range from approximately $11 to $10,282 per entity, depending on the number of vehicles owned or operated by the affected entities. The reduction in fees for 2020 and subsequent registration years range from approximately $5 to $3,899 per entity. 
This final rule became effective December 28, 2018.  See the Federal Register for details.
UMA EXPO entertains and educates
Event creates excitement for 2020
The 2019 Motorcoach EXPO entertained, educated, and impressed attendees gathered in Fort Lauderdale last week for the industry's premier trade show. Emcee Brian Walter guided attendees through the general sessions and even provided color commentary for the driver competition, which was livestreamed to allow everyone to watch their favorite driver take on the course and its challenges. Because the competition is held off-site, this innovation was a welcome addition to the event, helping everyone to share in the excitement--even drivers' families and colleagues back home.

The UMA EXPO smartphone app helped connect everyone and proved a great way to share impressions of EXPO. Using the UMA app, Braden Lewis of Lewis Coaches shared that he "enjoyed every minute of the 2019 UMA show. Can't wait until Nashville." App users shared photos with colleagues and gave shout outs to award winners and bus buddies as well as vendors with outstanding products and services.

The performance of "I like big buses," was a high point during the UMA Luncheon, and a tough act to follow for "unmarketing" guru Scott Stratten, the keynote speaker. However, his talk on branding and relevance, punctuated by humor and clever insights, kept operators engaged throughout.

The UMA Leadership Awards Celebration provided a fun and fitting tribute to the winners of the evening's awards as attendees got a glimpse of what is in store next year in Nashville when EXPO will roll into the Music City January 19-23, 2020.

If you know you want to be there, operators can register at a super low rate of $295 through February 15, 2019. Click the button for a form.
Industry standouts recognized at EXPO
Go Motorcoach 2019 Marketer of the Year  

  • Arrow Stage Lines, Omaha, NE

UMA Safety Leader of the Year Award

  • Champion Coach, Greenville, SC

METRO Magazine Motorcoach Operator of the Year

  • Barons Bus Lines, Cleveland, Ohio

BUSRide Industry Achievement Award

  • Trobec's Bus Service

UMA International Driver Competition 

  • Grand Champion: Norman Ewen, Escot Bus Lines, Largo, FL
  • 1st Runner Up: Anthony Griffith, AW Griffith Transportation Consultants, Springfield Gardens, NY 
  • 2nd Runner Up: Rick "RJ" Johnson, MTR Western, Seattle, WA 

UMA Maintenance Competition 

  • Grand Champion: Darren Haines, JAG Motorcoach, Gladwin, MI 
  • First Runner Up: Greg Lammers, Cavalier Coaches, Owatonna, MN 
  • Second Runner Up: Dave Meyerhofer, Kobussen Buses, Kaukauna, MN 

UMA Environmental Leader Award

  • Arrow Stage Lines, Omaha, NE

Vision Award Winners  

  • Small Fleet: Discovery Charters, Castroville, CA
  • Large Fleet: Dixieland Tours, Baton Rouge, LA
Congratulations to Discovery Charters, the recipient of UMA's 2019 Vision Award for smaller fleets.
Congratulations to Dixieland Tours, the recipient of UMA's 2019 Vision Award for larger fleets.
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.
Winter travel can mean tricky driving
Bus & Motorcoach News | by Rick Stoff | January 10, 2019

About 70 percent of U.S. road miles receive at least five inches of snow annually, according to Lancer Insurance. And while motorcoaches are heavier than cars and have better traction, they aren’t immune to problems caused by snow, ice and slush—particularly in places where such conditions aren’t expected.

Two passengers were killed and 44 other occupants were injured early this winter when a Teague VIP Express motorcoach tipped on its side in Byhalie, Miss., while traveling in “wintry mix” on Nov. 14. Police said the coach skidded on an icy overpass on Interstate 269 at Highway 78 and rolled onto its left side.

Be sure no kid is (literally) left behind
Bus & Motorcoach News | by Michael Bowers | January 8, 2019

Losing track of a student during travel is every tour operator’s nightmare. Once a student is separated from the group, corrective actions are limited. Preventive steps must take place, so a student doesn’t become separated.

Suggestions to prevent a lost student situation or minimize the separation period:

  • Prior to the travel program’s start, the tour leader should collect the phone numbers of all group participants, including chaperones.

  • Exchange phone contacts. The tour leader should provide their phone number and those of the chaperones and tour guide to every student, whether or not they have a phone. Students are not the only tour participants who may become separated.

Motorcoach Industry Calendar


  • 10-14 Tennessee Motorcoach Association Convention & Marketplace, IP Casino Resort & Spa, Biloxi, MS https://tnmca.net/annual-convention/
  • 16-19 Maryland Motorcoach Association Winter Operators Meeting Founders Inn & Spa, Virginia Beach, VA

MARCH 2019
  • 11-12 GNJMA Sponsor Appreciation Dinner, Spring Association Meeting & Motorcoach Professional Awards, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem http://www.gnjma.com/
  • 26 PBA Board Meeting – Wyndham York, York, PA http://pabus.org/
  • 26 PBA Investing in the Motorcoach Industry: Increasing your ROI seminar, Wyndham York, York, PA http://pabus.org/
  • 26 PBA Drivers & Employees of Distinction Awards Program – Wyndham York, York, PA http://pabus.org/
  • 27 PBA Marketplace Group Leader Show, Wyndham York, York, PA
  • 27-28 Maryland Motorcoach Association Marketplace/Travel ShowcaseDover Downs Casino, Dover, DE

APRIL 2019
  • 2 – 3 Motorcoach Industry Capitol Hill Day Fly-In sponsored by UMA
  • 7 – 9 Northwest Motorcoach Association Annual Mechanics & Tech & Tour Conference, Comfort Inn & Suites Boise Airport Boise, ID

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 ResortKenneybunkport, ME
  • 21 PBA Board Meeting, Atlantic City http://pabus.org/

  • 6-9 IMG Strategic Alliance Meeting, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 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

  • 9-10 GNJMA Fall Annual Meeting & Related Events including Group Leader Marketplace, Resorts Atlantic City http://www.gnjma.com/
  • October 21-23, 201920th Annual North West Motorcoach Association ROADEO Location TBD

  • 19-23 UMA Motorcoach EXPO, Nashville, TN REGISTER
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!