DECEMBER 18, 2018
UMA announces industry advocacy day, invites partners for 2019 Bus & Motorcoach Industry Legislative Fly-in
Industry leaders are planning for record attendance at the 2019 Bus & Motorcoach Industry Legislative Fly-In, April 2-3, in Washington, DC. UMA is leading an effort to bring together all industry associations from the national, state, and regional levels to partner with the association to support a day of advocacy for shared priorities.

“I am pleased with the growing energy and collaboration transpiring between a wide variety of industry leaders who will be coming together with a single agenda for this important event. We are excited to expand the invitation list this year to include all industry leaders, both regional and national to unite and provide input for this year’s legislative agenda,” said UMA President and CEO Stacy Tetschner.

The hotel room block has been secured for the Fly-In and attendees can go to  to book rooms. All participants will receive a professional legislative briefing, transportation between the hotel and Capitol Hill, and support during meetings with legislators.

Potential government shutdown looms; call ahead if you have national parks on your itinerary
by Ken Presley | UMA Staff | December 18, 2018

Time is ticking by and there is still no deal. About a quarter of the government is scheduled to close on Friday absent a spending bill.

President Donald Trump continues to wrangle with Democrats regarding an increase in border security spending; more specifically – the wall. As of today, most are looking to the Senate to resolve the issue since the House of Representatives do not return until Wednesday.

"If we don't have border security, we'll shut down the government," warned Trump during a meeting with Democratic leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer in the Oval Office Dec. 11. "If it's not good [on] border security, I won't take it."

Senate Republicans are searching for a way out of the impending partial government shutdown — but they are waiting for President Trump to weigh in before making a move.

About 850,000 non-essential government workers that are employed by Homeland Security, Transportation, Commerce, Interior, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Justice and independent agencies, including NASA, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, will be furloughed. Essential employees such as those with law enforcement at the FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Administration; Border Patrol; and Transportation Security Administration will be on the job.

The government services that would continue include the U.S. Postal Service, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents would still work, and air travel would continue virtually unaffected. Social Security checks would be mailed as planned.

Medicare and Medicaid coverage would continue unaffected. Customs and Border Patrol agents at the border, and U.S. troops deployed to the border, would still work as usual.

National Parks

The national park system is expected to largely remain open in the case of a government shutdown, although visitors’ centers at those facilities will likely be closed. Some iconic sites, including the Statue of Liberty, may be closed altogether. If you have groups traveling to these destinations, call ahead to confirm their status – and, of course, have a Plan B.
In the event of a shutdown . . .

DOT has published its  plan  for operations during a lapse in annual appropriations. According to that plan, around 34,000 of DOT’s 55,000 employee would continue working during a shutdown.

  • Since safety is considered essential, air traffic controllers, aviation, pipeline and most safety inspectors continue to work
  • FHWA and FMCSA will continue most of its functions (roadside truck safety inspections, etc.)
  • FHWA and FMCSA’s operations are mostly paid out of the highway trust fund’s revenue from federal gas and diesel taxes, which continue to be collected during a shutdown
  • What DOT functions are halted?
  • Any work on issuing new regulations would cease throughout the department and its nine agencies
  • NHTSA’s investigations of auto safety defects would be suspended
  • Many transit and rail programs
Customs and Border Patrol 
  • Truckload border crossings could see delays because Customs and Border Patrol prioritizes security over speedy freight flows
Coalition wins UCR fee exemption for intrastate school buses
UMA was part of a coalition led by the National School Transportation Safety Association that successfully advocated before the Unified Carrier Registration Board for an exemption to UCR fleet size calculation for school buses and school vehicles owned by for-hire contractors that are operated exclusively as intrastate transportation for school children.

Leaders of the coalition met with the Board on December 13 and following the presentation and discussion, the UCR Board voted to approve the request. NSTA President Blake Krapf said, “NSTA member contractors reached out to our advocacy team earlier this year noting that UCR fee exemptions available to other intrastate motor carriers were not available to school bus contractors. NSTA worked with member contractors and industry leaders to develop the facts and law supporting the request. NSTA appreciates the collaborative work and support from our peer associations and the careful consideration of the UCR Board in voting to approve the request. This is a significant achievement by NSTA that will benefit all of our members, but especially our smaller contractors faced with discontinuing trips due to the cost of UCR fees on their entire fleet.”
Motorcoach, tour and travel industry associations collaborate for mutual interests
Washington, D.C. – On Dec. 7, leaders of the motorcoach, tour and travel industry came together to discuss issues affecting all aspects of the industry and their respective members. This was a rare opportunity for industry leaders to collaborate on collective issues facing their members.

In attendance were: Stacy Tetschner, United Motorcoach Association; Peter Pantuso, American Bus Association; Lisa Simon, International Inbound Travel Association; Bronwyn Wilson, International Motorcoach Group; Pam Inman, National Tour Association; Doug Switzer, Ontario Motor Coach Association; Carylann Assante, Student Youth Travel Association; and Eva Hotard, Trailways Charter Bus Network. Terry Dale of the United States Tour Operators Association was not able to attend but has been active and engaged with the industry associations and supportive of the issues discussed.

Because of the commonality and shared memberships among industry groups, the leaders agreed that the health and wellbeing of the industry impacts each organization and its members, and as a united group they can accomplish more on common issues than working in silos.

For example, the National Park Service (NPS) is raising fees for groups, requiring onerous record keeping by operators, mandating that tour operators and (sometimes) motorcoach operators pay Commercial Use Authorization fees for each park visited, and adopting parking management programs at some parks that can limit visitors’ access for groups. All the associations are working together on this issue and/or supporting the efforts of those organizations more directly involved. Joint meetings with NPS and the Interior Department will continue and each of the associations will share information as it is made available.

The association leaders agreed that sharing issues and challenges that face their collective memberships will create a stronger industry lobbying presence, whether on Capitol Hill or at the federal and state agency level.
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Autonomous vehicles likely to be a
slowly-arriving commodity | by Tom Davenport | December 12, 2018

My wife recently needed a new car, and unlike me she seeks only basic transportation. I like exotic electric cars or plug-in hybrids with the most sophisticated electronics; my wife wants a reliable car with room for our dog and a comfortable seat for her mother. But helping her shop for this transportation utility vehicle (TUV) was very enlightening to me.

The basic lesson for me is that electronic capabilities are pervasive in cars now. You don’t have to buy a BMW, a Cadillac, or a Tesla to get all sorts of sensors and detectors for safer driving, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, streaming music sources, in-vehicle wifi, et cetera, et cetera. These cool tech features are increasingly standard on virtually all vehicles—except, oddly enough, for the most expensive ones. The car my wife and I eventually agreed upon, a Honda CR-V (certainly a competent TUV if not an exciting one), has as many electronic features as either of the two Teslas and one BMW (an unreliable 530e plug-in hybrid) I have recently owned. BMW charges an annual fee for Apple CarPlay; it’s free on the Honda. SiriusXM satellite radio comes for free on the Honda (at least before the monthly subscription fee kicks in); when I bought my Tesla Model S it was a $2500 option (that included other audio features). I’m beginning to think that my wife is the smarter automotive consumer in our marriage.

The countdown to EXPO is on! We are 18 days out and cannot wait to see everyone in Fort Lauderdale. Download the app! Start looking for your flipflops and scan the map of the exhibit hall to see which vendors you need to put on your must-see list!
Bus & Motorcoach News is mailed twice monthly to all UMA members. In addition, it's available online 24/7 at 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.
Congress contemplates the Vehicle Mile Tax
Bus & Motorcoach News | by Ken Presley | December 16, 2018

When driving through a new residential development, you seldom see or think about what makes a development even possible. Miles of water and sewer pipes, natural gas pipes, electric lines and naturally, roads run through the development. Of course, we need a multitude of interstates, expressways and local roads just to get to the residential development roads. We may take it for granted, but this is basic infrastructure 101.

Just after World War II, the United States got busy building infrastructure. The most obvious was the interstate highways. Communities boomed. Politicians have always understood that infrastructure, roads, highways, water, sewer, natural gas and electricity are essential to economic growth.

In 1956, the Highway Trust Fund was established to pay for the nation’s new interstate system by taxing fuel at 3-cents per gallon.

EXPO primer: Your guide to the 2019 show
Bus & Motorcoach News | by UMA Staff | December 17, 2018 

Bus & Motorcoach News has created a resource you can take advantage of even before you arrive in Fort Lauderdale for the 2019 UMA Motorcoach EXPO. The online guide is chock-full of information about major events and when and where they'll be. EXPO hours, drawing times for Passport Game prizes, special member benefits sessions in the UMA booth--they're all included in this handy guide. Start getting excited and bookmark the link below for future reference.

2019 Motorcoach EXPO
The future of the motorcoach industry!
The Sneak Preview After Party on the beach is on everyone's mind as so many of us face winter weather at home! You can look forward to steel drum music, ocean breezes, sand beneath your feet and good friends all around. And of course there'll be top-notch food and drink along with giveaways, and games, plus tiki torches and bonfires lighting up the night!

Video of MGM exec from 2018 EXPO online for UMA members only

Back in January of 2018, EXPO attendees were intensely focused on keynoter Michael Dominguez as he shared his insights into how companies need to change and evolve if they are to remain relevant and profitable. Do you remember how his presentation lit up the room? Recapture that feeling by viewing the video online and sharing it with colleagues on your team!

It's available using the link below with your UMA member log in.

Motorcoach Industry Calendar

  • 4-6 IMG Maintenance and Safety Forum, Fort Lauderdale, FL

  • 10-14 Tennessee Motorcoach Association Convention & Marketplace, IP Casino Resort & Spa, Biloxi, MS
  • 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
  • 26 PBA Board Meeting – Wyndham York, York, PA
  • 26 PBA Investing in the Motorcoach Industry: Increasing your ROI seminar, Wyndham York, York, PA
  • 26 PBA Drivers & Employees of Distinction Awards Program – Wyndham York, York, PA
  • 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

  • 6-9 IMG Strategic Alliance Meeting, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 14 PBA Safety & Preparedness Workshop, York Springs, PA
  • 15-18 NAMO Annual Conference & Marketplace – Springfield, MO Oasis Hotel and Convention Center

  • 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
  • October 21-23, 201920th Annual North West Motorcoach Association ROADEO Location TBD

  • 19-23 UMA Motorcoach EXPO, Nashville, TN
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 We love to hear from our members!