DECEMBER 11, 2018
A packed house! One hundred and fifty safety and compliance managers and motorcoach company owners packed the auditorium at the National Transportation Safety Board's Training Center Dec. 5 and 6 to get first-hand knowledge about ways to better comply with federal mandates and what the agencies are planning for the future, as well as proactive training to enhance safe operations.

UMA's Safety Management Seminar is a day and a half event for anyone responsible for fleet safety and risk management.
FMCSA officials brief safety managers on ELD compliance and clarify technology differences
A sold-out Safety Management Seminar held last week offered bus and motorcoach safety and operations professionals the unique opportunity to gain critical knowledge from federal regulators who were on site to give briefings and clarify issues related to compliance. The annual UMA event is limited to 150 participants and takes place at the National Transportation Safety Board's Training Center in Ashburn, ,VA.

Peter Chandle r, Lead Transportation Specialist in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Passenger Carrier Division gave an update that covered everything from the proposed Leasing and Interchange Rule to the parameters that determine personal conveyance.

He issued a number of practical reminders, including:
  • update your company's DOT registry by the biennial deadline and include a proper email address
  • monitor your company's CSA SMS data and watch out for anything that is trending up
  • have a plan to provide demand responsive accessible motorcoach service (ADA regs)
  • check your operating authority and insurance filing status if you have not done so recently and especially if you have recently switched insurance companies.

Danielle Smith, Transportation Specialist in the Commercial Passenger Carrier Safety Division of FMCSA, informed attendees about the best ways to manage hours of service in phase II of ELD compliance.

In particular, she stressed that management and drivers need to be well-versed in which technology they are using and how to operate it. "Know your system," she told the group. "Don't be fumbling around or we'll know you don't know how to use it." In fact, Smith said a good number of drivers are not sure whether they are using an AOBRD or an ELD. That can be problematic because the data is transferred differently during inspections. For example, the transfer of data during inspections is not required for AOBRD systems. A best practice Smith suggested is to keep your system's information packet easily accessible in a location that is easy to find and convenient, like inside a permit book. "Let's think about how to make it easier for our drivers," she said.
Party bus operators in BC must obtain consent forms for underage bus riders
Global News | by Richard Zussman | November 30, 2018

Starting on Saturday (December 1, 2018), party bus operators in British Columbia are required to obtain consent forms from parents and guardians of underage riders. The policy shift comes as part of sweeping changes the provincial government has unveiled around party buses.

“These changes are long overdue. Families have been waiting a long time for stricter safety standards that help boost safety every single time a minor is travelling on a party bus,” Transportation minister Claire Trevena said. “I’m very pleased to see these new requirements start up in time for the holiday season and New Year’s Eve.”

The consent forms contain information about pickup and drop-off times, locations, procedures for the particular excursion, legal and safety requirements of party bus services, and how to report a concern or get more information about passenger safety.

Under the new rules drivers will check the identification of all passengers and, before departing, confirm there is a consent form for each unaccompanied minor.
Park fees resource
Click NPS map to get details
Park fees and guidelines are on the minds of operators with rates set to go up in fall of 2019 and the National Park Service has in place an interactive map that allows commercial users to click a park's "pin" for more information.

FMCSA to outline priorities at Transportation
Research Board Session January 15
Transportation Topics | by Eugene Mulero | December 4, 2018

The country’s top trucking regulator is scheduled to host its annual policy review session at the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting Jan. 15, the agency announced this week.

The TRB session will aim to outline safety activities and priorities as well as crash prediction models, trends, research initiatives, and updates regarding automated commercial motor vehicles and platooning systems, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicated.

Jeffrey Loftus with FMCSA’s technology division will be among the presenters, according to TRB’s agenda online.
Understanding transportation as a service's potential to reduce car ownership
Mobility Lab | by Leah Nelson | December 6, 2018

More users but fewer cars on the road is the estimated end result of the oncoming Transportation as a Service (TaaS) model, according to the Hon. Jennifer M. Granholm. TaaS is an attractive option for those looking for easy, flexible transportation without the hassle or cost of owning a personal vehicle.

During her presentation at 2018’s  Behavior, Energy and Climate Change  conference, Granholm, a former two-term governor of Michigan, cited a  2017 RethinkX transportation study  as she shared reasons why TaaS will be cheaper than personal cars by 2030. A self-proclaimed “independent think tank,” RethinkX tackles technology-driven subject matter and its implications for society in general.

TaaS, sometimes called Mobility as a Service (MaaS), refers to widespread deviation away from personal vehicles and towards service-based transportation. This includes rideshare options like Uber and Lyft, e-scooters, bike sharing, and many more.

Training for driver supervisors at EXPO
UMA will be offering an important two-hour training for driver supervisors at this year’s UMA Motorcoach EXPO in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The session, Drug & Alcohol Essentials, will take place from 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. on Tuesday, January 8 in room Grand CE. For more information visit .
Regional Town Hall Meetings: Dec. 12, 13
"You, ELD data, and a compliance audit"

  • How ELDs are affecting compliance reviews
  • Overview of regulatory issues in your region
  • Technology Corner: Expensify App
  • What's on your mind

Region III held their meeting at noon today, but Region I and II are set for tomorrow and Thursday.

Go to for times and the full agenda. Each meeting will be hosted by UMA board members and focused on ELD data and compliance reviews. There'll also be a legislative and regulatory briefing and time for discussion. Phone in or log in from your computer.
Musk says Tesla Autopilot poised to support lights, roundabouts, and full self-driving | by Fred Lambert | December 9, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is teasing important new developments for its Autopilot system to ‘soon’ support traffic lights, stops and roundabouts, which he says will lead to full self-driving capability.

In recent months, Tesla rewrote the neural net for its Autopilot system in order to be able to deploy more advanced driver assist features that the company promised as part of its Autopilot 2.0 program released two years ago.

It led to  the release of ‘Navigate on Autopilot’, which suggests lane changes on the highway and takes off-ramps and interchanges.

Tesla presented it as an important step toward enabling autonomous driving on the highway without driver’s input.

The countdown to EXPO is on! We are 25 days out and cannot wait to see everyone in Fort Lauderdale. Come ready to learn and network all day and bring attire for a night-time party on the beach with all your industry friends on Monday and ready to dance and party on the patio by the fountain at Cigars & Cordials on Tuesday night.
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.
Even cold meds can impair driving, NTSB warns
Bus & Motorcoach News | by Rick Stoff | December 5, 2018

WASHINGTON—The increasing use of legal and illegal medications by drivers and pilots has prompted the National Transportation Safety Board to recommend a greater study of drug use and more education for vehicle operators.

Evidence of impairing medications was found in 22 percent of non-commercial drivers tested randomly across the country in a recent study conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Nearly half of the detected drugs were legal prescription medications or over-the-counter (OTC) products.

Five classes of legal but impairing medications were found more often than “illicit drugs” in a 2014 study of pilots fatally injured in air crashes.

“The important thing is, professional drivers of motor vehicles need to be aware of what we are being given,” said Nicholas Webster, M.D., medical officer of the National Transportation Safety Board.

Don't even think of parking here
Experts share tips on navigating nightmare cities for driving
Bus & Motorcoach News | by Debbie Curtis | December 4, 2018 

From Boston’s notoriously narrow, twisting roads to New York’s confusing parking laws to ever-unpredictable Washington D.C., motorcoach drivers must be ready for detours, delays and spur-of-the-moment decisions. As a prelude to a UMA Motorcoach Expo 2019 experienced driver panel, Bus and Motorcoach News asked some veterans what their toughest cities to drive in were and to share tips on how they navigate America’s most challenging cities for drivers.
Whether you put stock in the legend of Boston’s streets being remnants of meandering cow paths or not, navigating one of the oldest cities in America can be tricky for many reasons. Mainly, the Puritans’ idea of city planning didn’t transition well into the automobile age. Since the streets aren’t laid out in a grid, a driver may be going ‘west-ish’ and then ‘north-ish’ on the same street.

2019 Motorcoach EXPO
The future of the motorcoach industry!
Come by the UMA Booth, #1223 on the show floor, during EXPO and check out the UMA Store where you can stock up on UMA-themed T-shirts and fleeces, get a free luggage tag and pick up your UMA member pin.
There will be a host of information for operators of smaller fleets during Solution Sessions on Monday, January 7!

Explore sessions on Data Qs, Fleet and Vehicle Life Expectancy, Pros and Cons of Contracting, ADA Compliance and Smaller Vehicles, Recapturing Business from Local Transit, How to Capitalize on Special Events, and MORE!

UMA Motorcoach Travel PAC
works for operators like you

With the recent election season past us and as we look to the future of a new Congress next month, it's important to remember that operators have a powerful resource at work for their interests: UMA Motorcoach Travel PAC.

The UMA Motorcoach Travel PAC (UMA PAC) is a political action committee (PAC) that uses member contributions to help elect individuals to Congress who support the goals of the United Motorcoach Association.
The UMA PAC is a valuable resource that gives UMA's representatives the opportunity to see key Washington lawmakers at their campaign events and discuss UMA positions on important issues. In recent years, UMA has made great progress in reaching out to members of Congress and their staffs, educating them on the needs and challenges of professional bus and motorcoach companies like yours and securing their support.

Motorcoach Industry Calendar


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


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

APRIL 2019
  • 2-3 Motorcoach Industry Capitol Hill Day Fly-In sponsored by UMA

JUNE 2019
  • 18-21 PBA Annual Meeting, Resorts Casino, Atlantic City, NJ (Hosted by Atlantic City/MeetAC)
  • 21 PBA Board Meeting, Atlantic City

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

  • 9-10 GNJMA Fall Annual Meeting & Related Events including Group Leader Marketplace, Resorts Atlantic City

  • 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!