Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - 14

Fast
Lane

TRENDS

First alert for travel news

Green Is Good

Clean machines vie for ABA's Green Operator Award

E

nvironmentally friendly
motorcoaches. Some people
still might have the misconception that motorcoaches
pollute, but big strides are
being made to make them
the most environmentally friendly form
of public transportation, far ahead of
airplanes, trains, and private cars.
Slowly, more people understand that
every single motorcoach passenger
eliminates one more car from exhaustfilled highways. "The motorcoach industry has made huge strides improving its
environmental performance, reducing
emissions through a range of technological advances," says ABA President
and CEO Peter Pantuso, CTIS. The ABA
Foundation and environmental groups
say that one full motorcoach takes more
than 40 cars off of the road.
Part of this success story is the ABA's
Green Operator Award. This honor,
sponsored by MCI, is bestowed annually to two operators, one large and
one small, following rigorous, objective
analysis of performance criteria submitted by entrants.
ABA members Coach USA/Megabus
.com and H & L Charter won in 2014.
"These two companies are well-respected
for their success in business," says
Pantuso. "Part of their success and good
reputations has been their commitment
to environmental stewardship."
Megabus.com drew its green inspiration from its parent company, Coach USA,
based in Paramus, N.J., and owned by
Stagecoach Company of Perth, Scotland.
14

DESTINATIONS

/ JULY-AUGUST 2014

Starting in 2006, the company bought
330 double-decker buses at $750,000
apiece from the Belgian manufacturer
Van Hool. The buses use biodiesel fuels.
They're equipped with SmarTire, a tire
pressure and temperature monitoring system that allows drivers and maintenance
crews to sustain correct tire pressure. The
company also uses a GPS tracking system
to monitor idling times. Less idling also
reduces carbon emissions-and cost.
"That all improves fuel efficiency and reduces carbon emissions," says Mike Alvich,
Megabus' vice president of marketing and
public relations. "Adding these elements
was a plus. Green was important to us from
the get-go."

"The industry
has made
huge strides
improving
environmental
performance."

While Megabus is clearly one of the
nation's mega-carriers, H & L Charter
of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., headed
by Elaine Fickett, is a much smaller
company. It operates 13 coaches. Fickett
began making green changes in 1995.
Her company had always recycled waste
oil, tires, batteries, and fluorescent tubes.
More recently, in 2009, the company
applied for and received California state
grants to install diesel particulate filters.
These now reduce carbon emissions on
five of its older vehicles.
Fickett also traded three older vehicles
for 2009 models that had factory-installed
filters. Two years later, she bought three
new vehicles; each has these filters and
also uses diesel exhaust fluid, another
step toward reducing emissions. This year
she bought a $500,000 Van Hool that has
those technologies and other environmentally conscious features.
Fickett also participated in the Green
Coach Certificate Program developed in
conjunction with ABA and the United
Motor Coach Association at the University
of Vermont (UVM) in Burlington.
"We developed a network and worked
with the motorcoach industry to help it


http://www.Megabus.com http://www.Megabus.com http://www.Megabus.com

Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014

Contents
Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - BB1
Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - BB2
Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - Cover1
Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - Cover2
Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - 1
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Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - 3
Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - Contents
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