Lancer Leader Ally
Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Motorcoach and specialty vehicle dealer ABC Companies and partners charter bus and shuttle company MTRWestern and electric powertrain manufacturer Proterra are recognizing another significant step towards zero-emissions travel. As part of the ABC Companies’ Zero Emissions Tour, which highlights the availability of sustainable transportation, MTRWestern put into operation a 75-passenger Proterra-powered battery electric Van Hool TDX25E double-deck motorcoach, which can travel around 260 miles between charges. The bus traveled between Seattle, Wash., and Vancouver, B.C.

To mark the celebration, the partners co-sponsored a reception on July 27 at the Victor Tavern at Denny Triangle in Seattle where guests had the opportunity to network and learn more about the tour. Special guests included Washington State Senator Christine Rolfes, Washington State Representative Nicole Macri, Chairman of Seattle Hospitality Group Howard Wright, as well as leaders from regional big tech and energy provider organizations. Also in attendance was Clean & Prosperous Washington Executive Director Michael Mann, who addressed the importance of reducing carbon emissions to improve health and job outcomes and propel a stronger more competitive economy in Washington State.

"The gathering allowed key zero-emissions advocates to discuss the significant progress and readiness of the unique electric vehicles available today featured in the ABC Zero Emissions Tour, while also bringing attention to the growing challenges presented by limited publicly available chargers for commercial passenger vehicles,” said ABC Companies Vice President of Marketing Thom Peebles. “These vehicles are available and in market now and not only operate with zero emissions but also remove up to 75 vehicles from the roadways per trip while in operation. … They should be a priority in infrastructure planning.”

“The Zero Emissions Tour provides an unprecedented opportunity to show customers, along with industry and government leaders on both sides of the US/Canada border, our commitment to literally building a bridge to sustainability,” said MTRWestern President Jeremy Butzlaff. “We want our customers and communities to understand that zero emissions travel is a reality now, even as technology and infrastructure are still growing.”

“We’re excited about the continued tour rollout, and the opportunities it offers operators like MTRWestern to raise awareness about our industry’s significant contribution to environmental sustainability in transforming our local and regional communities, while also having an impact on global carbon reduction,” said ABC Companies President & CCO Roman Cornell.

“This tour gave stakeholders an opportunity to literally kick the tires of innovation,” explained Mann. “We saw that the technology exists to squeeze the pollution out of our transportation system. Now, we simply need policymakers to get the incentives right to make it happen.”

Visit abc-companies.com for more information.

[08.09.22]

Business Travel Still Lagging Leisure: The road to the travel industry’s recovery has been a challenging one, fraught with airline cancelations attributed to hiring challenges, higher fuel prices, and weather issues, but leisure travel is nearing a full recovery over 2020 numbers. According to a new case study conducted by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, business travel destinations aren’t seeing the same increase in travel demand as leisure—and it’s taking a toll on international business. From the study: “The rebound in business destinations consistently trails others. This is concerning because face-to-face interactions are known to be necessary to foster business dynamics, and many such interactions cannot be substituted with videoconferencing. Another crucial finding is that China's zero-COVID policy has isolated the country from international air traffic in a dramatic and potentially long-lasting way. International traffic there has remained nearly nonexistent since March 2020.”

Although corporate employees are ready to get back to their robust travel agendas, according to recent Global Business Travel Association polls, corporations are continuing to reduce spending on non-essential meetings in favor of videoconferencing and phone calls. That’s not to say that the sector hasn’t seen a healthy recovery. Estimates from aviation data company Arc put business travel recovery at about 70 percent of pre-pandemic numbers, and some of the one-on-one meetings are instead being replaced by larger conferences/trade shows and executive retreats.

Sources: GBTA, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Marketplace.org

Strong Hiring Continues: What recession? Prices may be higher everywhere, and the economic growth is cooling considerably if you believe the GDP numbers from Q1 and Q2 2022, but hiring continues to defy economists’ predictions. Besting the anticipated 258,000 jobs by more than double, employers added a whopping 528,000 jobs to the payroll last month, as reported by Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on August 5. The important leisure & hospitality sector added around 96,000 jobs, although it struggles to match its pre-pandemic employment levels (off by about 1.2 million jobs, according to BLS). It’s also the best jobs report since February 2022, indicating that employment is back to 2020 numbers.

Source: BLS

Small Business Confidence Ticks Up, But Ambivalence Remains: According to the latest NFIB Small Business Optimism Index report (July 2022), small business confidence rose from 89.6 to 89.9 in July, a slight increase that is still below its average of 98 over the past 49 years. The organization responsible for the report, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), noted that while inflation and prices for goods continue to remain high, sales were still in an upward trend. Chief among the conditions for uncertainty were the rates of inflation and the ability to find qualified staff.

Source: NFIB

[08.09.22]

Ira Goldstein City & State’s Power 100 List, Ira Goldstein of The Black Car Fund

City & State, a weekly publication dedicated to the politics and policies of those who move New York, recently named Ira Goldstein (#84) of The Black Car Fund (BCF) and Matt Daus (#86) of Windels Marx and the International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR) to its Transportation Power 100 list.

Published in the August 8, 2022, issue, the list highlights those who are shaping current and future policies surrounding transportation in the Empire State, which includes everything from taxis to scooters. The list also included recently named New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission Chair David Do (#19), who is now leading the city’s taxi and for-hire vehicle fleets.

Matt Daus City & State’s Power 100 List, Matt Daus of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group

Goldstein is the longtime executive director of BCF, which oversees workers’ compensation and offers safety programs for more than 70,000 independent drivers in the New York metropolitan area. Under his leadership, Goldstein has implemented programs to streamline workers’ compensation, increase driver safety, and expand no-cost health and wellness benefits to drivers. BCF also offers accident support and legal assistance to its members. During the pandemic, the BCF also distributed masks and other personal protective equipment to drivers.

Daus is the founder and chair of Windels Marx’s Transportation Practice Group and was the former commissioner and chairman of the Taxi & Limousine Commission. Since 2009, he has served as president of IATR, a nonprofit educational and advocacy organization composed of government transportation commissioners and regulators from around the world. Daus is a regular in the pages of Chauffeur Driven as a contributing writer, as well as a speaker at CD/NLA events.

The entire list can be found here.

Congrats to all those named to the list!

[08.09.22]