Member News
Your 2019 Motorcoach Professional 
Award Winners  
Missing: Dan Lesane, Jonah Stahl, Brian Kenny, Linwood McCoy

The Greater New Jersey Motorcoach Association's 2019 Motorcoach Professional Awards were held on March 12th at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem. The annual event honors employees who demonstrate excellence and professionalism in the industry.  

The awards are held annually at the Spring Association meeting.  It is a great way for our member companies to recognize their "stand-out" employees in front of industry leaders, peers, friends and family.  Recipients received a plaque, a watch, overnight stays, food vouchers and other gifts from our casino partners.  Thank you to Caesars Entertainment, Resorts, Sands & Tropicana!  

This year's honorees:

* Bob Agresti of Starr Bus Charter & Tours
* Jose Gual of Greyhound Bus Lines
* Jerome Jones of Vanderhoof Transportation
* Brian Kenny of Rockland Coaches
* Daniel Lesane of Suburban Transit
* Linwood McCoy of Short Line Bus
* Luciano Muniz of Peter Pan Bus Lines
* Mark Renne of Lakeland Bus Lines
* David Ruhling of Stout's Transportation
* Frank Shoemaker of Lenzner Coach Lines
* Jonah Stahl of Werner Bus Lines
* Krzysztof Szwajkos of Panorama Tours
* Stanley Williams, Jr. of DeCamp Bus Lines

Look for a recap of the meeting in our Spring Newsletter.  Also, photos from the event are posted on our website member portal  (Member Info/Event Photos), login credentials required.  If you were in attendance, just a reminder to please complete our brief post-meeting survey.  Thank you to all who participated our events!

Trans-Bridge Lines Presents Silver Service Award  

The Silver Service Award honors those employees who have reached the 25-year active service milestone. Drivers with this distinction are presented with a Certificate of Achievement and Silver Service Award decals on the bus of their choosing that are placed on the interior and exterior of that coach.   Tom Negrete of Bethlehem, PA has received the Silver Service Award!

Tom began his driving career with Trans-Bridge Lines in 1993 as a part-time coach driver while also working for the Bethlehem School District and Lehigh University. Tom retired from the Bethlehem School District after 35 years of service and has been employed full-time with Trans-Bridge for the past three and a half years, operating the Allentown/Clinton route for Trans-Bridge Lines' New York service.

During his free time, Tom likes working out and running. He is an avid fan of high school wrestling and NCAA Wrestling. He was recently a volunteer coach for West Bethlehem Youth League Wrestling. He also enjoys his favorite vacation spot, Ocean City, Maryland.
Human Trafficker Caught on Lakefront Bus Lines 

GNJMA Member Lakefront Bus Lines, had a driver pull over his bus on I-90, after a female passenger told him she was being held against her will and forced to prostitute herself, by a man who was also on the bus.

When officers arrived, the female passenger, a woman from Illinois, told them she and the male had traveled through several states before ending up on the side of the road.  Read more...

Members, did you receive the invitation to attend our webinar on April 29th?  Please register to learn more about how you can help combat the growing human trafficking problem.  The link is below under GNJMA Upcoming Events. 
GNJMA Scholarship Applications

Thank you for submitting the scholarship applications by March 1st.  Our Scholarship Committee is reviewing the blind applications for consideration.  Thank you to our committee members Rich Eckelson, Tony Febbo, Frank Sorvino, Mike Trageser & Steve Weiss.   Winners will be announced at our Annual Meeting in October.  To read more, visit our website page:  GNJMA Scholarship Program .
MCI Launches Technician  Apprenticeship Program

Motor Coach Industries (MCI) announced the MCI Academy - the first motorcoach training program to earn Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) accreditation in 2017 - is breaking more new ground as the exclusive training provider for the Motorcoach Technician Apprenticeship Program with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), creating the first-ever technician apprenticeship program for the industry.    Read more...
Prevost & ABA Partner on Entry-Level Driver Program

ABA has partnered with Prevost to help ABA members with the challenges of recruiting, training and retaining qualified drivers by offering courses relevant for new and experienced drivers.

These classes will help prepare your drivers for the new 2020 law. They are the most affordable in the industry.  Read more...

The following organization(s) joined the GNJMA since our February newsletter was published.   Welcome!

Busie - Louis Bookoff
Members:  Get Noticed! 

If you have news you'd like to share about your company or one of your employees, or  if you are interested in being in our Member Spotlight, please contact us with photos, links and let us know what you would like to highlight.

 Industry Information
UMA Partners With Organizations For Fly-In

The Bus & Motorcoach Industry Legislative Fly-In, scheduled for April 2-3, will bring together operators from UMA and 20 national, state and regional associations who will rally behind a shared agenda.  This event is expected to be the largest industry advocacy event to date, the event is free and provides a professional briefing and customized a ppointment schedule for each participant.   For more information, click here.
Recap:   Governor  Murphy's  Second Budget Address

Governor Phil Murphy delivered his second budget address at the Statehouse in Trenton. Speaking in front of New Jersey's lawmakers, he urged everyone to invest in a better future that starts with the middle class and works its way up. 

Here is what you need to know:
  • Murphy proposed a $38.6 billion state budget
  • He expects a $1.2 billion increase in spending
  • The increase in spending will rely on increasing the millionaire's tax and reducing some state costs
  • The plan leaves a $1.2 billion ending fund balance
  • New Jersey is projected to close the fiscal year with a surplus of $1.1 billion, which is much more than anticipated
  • Corporate business tax revenue will surpass projections
  • Gross income tax is expected to recover in two months
  • Murphy found $1.1 billion in savings for the next fiscal year from cost-reductions in the state department and public employee benefit changes
  • Local aid to schools will increase $282.1 million and higher education funding will increase $30.8 million
  • Fund appropriations to NJ Transit will increase $100 million, and there will be a net $25 million increase in aid to avoid a fare hike
  • $100 million will be spent to fight the opioid crisis
  • $447 million will be raised by lowering the state's top tax rate threshold from $5 million to $1 million
To read Murphy's entire address, click here
New Jersey Marijuana Legalization  Agreement 

Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders confirmed they have reached an agreement on the main provisions of a bill to legalize recreational adult-use marijuana, setting up the possibility of a vote before the budget break.

Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Senator Nicholas Scutari, and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano joined Murphy in a press release announcing the main provisions of the bill. They include:
  • a $42-per-ounce excise tax;
  • a 2 percent municipal tax on product grown or manufactured within the town's jurisdiction;
  • a 1 percent municipal tax on wholesalers within a town's district;
  • a 3 percent local tax on product sold within their jurisdiction.
New Jersey Paid Family Leave is Expanded

On Tuesday, February 19, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law an expansion of the New Jersey state paid family leave program. The expansion of the law will permit employees in the State of New Jersey to take twice as much paid leave time off from work than before if they are parents of newborns or caregivers of certain relatives with serious health conditions. The new law also expands the definition of relatives for a caregiver.    Read more...
Where NY Legislature Stands On  Congestion Pricing

Governor Cuomo has become an ardent supporter of congestion pricing as a means to help fund the MTA.   The Assembly did not include congestion pricing in its budget, but several members said that they're still discussing the issue.

"I think the conference is OK with the conversation continuing," Heastie told reporters on Tuesday. The issue his members have is the issue his members always seem to have: suburban and outer-borough representatives don't like the idea of having to pay to cross into Manhattan's central business district, particularly since many of them live in places with poor public transportation options.  

"[Congestion pricing] remains completely viable, open and we are going to be actively engaging on the subject," Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Westchester) said. "We have no choice."

The Senate resolution says the chamber will support congestion pricing, but call "for modifying the Executive proposal to ensure the final plan treats drivers fairly, reduces peak-hour congestion, give incentives for efficient commercial vehicle and business travel, dedicates revenues equitably, and is properly and transparently implemented."
FMCSA Updates
  • FMCSA Allows New Option For Camera System to Replace Mirrors on Trucks and Buses
  • FMCSA Officially Confirms It's Proceeding With Proposal For Hours Of Service Overhaul
  • Audit Initiated of FMCSA's Oversight of Commercial Driver Medical Certificates
  • FMCSA Formally Ends Its Driver Diabetes Exemption Program
  • Publicly Available Information on ELDs
  • FMCSA Acts to Upgrade Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) Regulations and Slash Burdensome Regulatory Costs by $18 Million Annually
  • Coming Soon, FMSCA Commercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse
GNJMA Upcoming Events

  • Golf Outing 
  • Meet & Mingle
  • Board of Director's Meeting
  • Fall Annual Association Meeting
  • Group Leader Marketplace - Exhibitors:  Registration Open!
  • Mini-Marketplace

For more information, please visit the GNJMA Events Page!
 ICYMI:  Member Alerts

Member Alerts are sent out to our Members as needed.  Here is a sampling of what has been sent recently:
  • Warning: Deadlines Are Closer Than They Appear!
  • Discounted Hotel Rate For The Sands Extended Until Saturday, February 16th!
  • 10 Days Until March!
  • Invitation To Joint Association Meeting
  • Last Call for Spring Meeting and Scholarship Applications!
  • Online Learning Opportunity - Busing On The Lookout - April 29th 2PM
  • The Passing of Dee Villani of Villani Bus
  • UCR Enforcement Starts April 1 
All alerts, as well as past newsletters, can be accessed via our website member portal (Member Info/Documents/Member Alerts)  with logon credentials.
 Thank You To Our Sponsors!

Visit our Sponsor Page for a list of all of our sponsors!

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Contact:  Pattie Cowley, Executive Director | Greater New Jersey Motorcoach Association
 908-835-0935 x105 | |