Lancer Leader Ally
Friday, August 12, 2022

PBA

The Pennsylvania Bus Association (PBA) recently held its annual conference in State College on June 20, which included awards, elections, and gearing up for the year ahead. The association, which was Incorporated in 1923 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to representing the business and governmental interests of private bus companies operating in Pennsylvania, is also looking ahead to its milestone 100th anniversary in 2023.

PBA

Officer Positions (term through June 2024):
Chair:
Tammy Wolf-Baker of Wolf’s Bus Lines (first woman chair)
Vice Chair:
Brian Kurtz of Elite Coach

New Directors Elected (term through June 2024):
Douglas Rydbom of Premier #1 Limousine
Tracy Showman of Quest Coach
Gary Hahn of National Comedy Center (Travel Supplier Representative)

Operator Members Renewed (term through June 2024):
John Bailey of Bailey Coach
Sandy Borowsky of Starr Bus Charter & Tours
Amy Brooks of Susquehanna Trailways
Todd Campbell of Campbell Bus Lines
Jonathan Berzas of Fullington Trailways
Nelson Floyd of Perkiomen Tours
Jim JeBran of Trans-Bridge Lines
Alison Sherman of Klein Transportation
Gary Shimshock of Budget Charter

PBA

To view the full PBA Leadership Team, click here.

The PBA also recognized nine PBA members’ employees as the recipients of the Drivers and Employees of Distinction Award. The recipients were honored at the June 21 luncheon and received engraved plaques, pins, and Bulova watches. The awards are an annual program that enables bus company members to recognize outstanding employees for contributions to the company they are employed by, their passengers, the motorcoach industry in general, and the community in which they serve.

The honorees included:
Driver of Distinction Award: Chris Yeckley of Anderson Coach, George Snedeker of The Fullington Auto Bus Company, Pablo Barrionuevo of Martz Trailways, and Larry Fink of Susquehanna Trailways

PBA Employee of Distinction Award: Nichole Baer of Anderson Coach, Brenda Shue of Bailey Coach, Claye Knepp of The Fullington Auto Bus Company, Kelly Hay of Mlaker Transportation, and Kristin Miller of Wolf's Bus Lines

Additionally, John Bailey of Bailey Coach was surprised with his own Employee of Distinction Award thanking him for his six years of chairmanship.

Visit pabus.org for more information.

[07.05.22]

You asked for it and we listened. In this column, we ask operators of all sizes and from all walks of the industry a question about their business and report their answers so you can assess how your own company compares to your peers. If you would like to participate, please email Rob Smentek at rob@chauffeurdriven.com for next issue’s question.

TOPIC: What benefits/incentives are you offering to attract new employees? What has been successful or not?


Benchmark and Best Practices
We offer company-paid vacation time, health insurance premium of 50 percent for employee individual coverage, short- and long-term disability, and competitive pay. Dental and vision coverage are also available. We have surveyed employees about 401(k) plans but haven’t found much interest. More importantly, by treating our employees fairly and with respect, they become our best recruiters through word of mouth. Chauffeurs from different companies talk to each other all the time and make comparisons. We attract experienced chauffeurs because of our excellent reputation and compensation/benefit package
Randy Allen, Partner/CTO
James Limousine Service in Richmond, Va.


Benchmark and Best Practices Honestly, we’re not really doing anything unusual; we’re just paying appropriate hourly pay rates, health insurance contributions, IRA with match, flexible schedules, and PTO.
Nick Boccio, General Manager Buffalo Limousine in Buffalo, N.Y.


Benchmark and Best Practices We believe that most households have two needs: benefits and cash.
We see a division of labor occurring in most cases, so:
1. Companies that offer great benies (we don’t) get great employees.
2. Companies that pay above-average wages (we do) get great employees.
3. Companies that try to do a little of each struggle to satisfy either and can’t afford great employees as a result.
Dan Goff, Owner
A Goff Transportation in Ruckersville, Va.


Benchmark and Best Practices I have increased pay, educated myself on HR hiring practices to better identify qualified applicants, and listened to their needs and expectations. Also, we offer flexible schedules, try to accurately convey the realities of the job so they can manage their expectations, and seek direct referrals from drivers and friends. We’ve stopped just short of offering bonuses because it’s unfair to current drivers. I’m looking to reclassify my posting (for online job sites) under hospitality instead of transportation to see if that helps. I don’t consider hiring TNC drivers anymore; they just can’t adjust away from a taxi mindset and it wastes my time in training.
Thomas Halsnik, President
Walsh Chauffeured Transportation in Tampa, Fla.


Benchmark and Best Practices To retain and inquire about talented employees, we offer competitive pay and sign-on bonuses; we also utilize an employee referral bonus program. To increase morale and stimulate our drivers on every payroll, we also have a safety and performance bonus. With this, we make them feel special and appreciated. We are also in process of offering PTO and some health benefits.
Stefan Kisiov, Managing Partner
K&G Coach Line in Park Ridge, Ill.


Benchmark and Best Practices I can honestly say after 28 years in the industry that NOTHING motivates a new potential recruit more than money! I promise that is truly our “secret sauce.” With medical care being more than affordable, that doesn’t seem to be a motivator for our new hires, nor a 401(k). So, I find that if I pay a chauffeur more ($15/hr) not only do they stay for many years, but they feel appreciated and can pay their bills. Money is and will always be the way to secure fantastic help at any position you are trying to fill. Also, after an employee’s first year, a paid week vacation for all full-time drivers is a guaranteed. This method has helped me retain and recruit after the pandemic, and I’m proud to say I have the same team for 16 years both part time and full time with additional new team members.
Wendy Kleefisch, President
Brevard Executive Limousine in Indialantic, Fla.


Benchmark and Best Practices Money is always to be considered, but the quick-dollar employees I am not interested in. There have been times where some of my managers would come to me concerned about the opening of a new call center or Amazon distribution center near our office. In none of those cases did we have mass attrition because of the work environment we have that could never be replicated by such larger companies. When looking at Amazon’s incredibly high turnover, it tells me that people go there for the idea of making a high hourly wage and quickly realize it’s not what they expected. My point is that it starts with the environment and then once they’re in you tend to have more success in retention of great talent—as long as you have a healthy place to work.
Shariff McMichael, President/CEO
Dav El/BostonCoach in Everett, Mass.


Benchmark and Best Practices We have found that new hires are looking for positions where they can grow. We start them as dispatchers/reservation agents, and after eight months they have the opportunity to become the assigned group coordinator to one of the sales agents and gain a commission from those groups. When they gain experience and get to know the matrix of our operation, they can become the leader of one of the properties we serve. With chauffeurs, we assign a lead chauffeur for each property who oversees training the team on all details of these properties. Lead chauffeurs can take their vehicle home and has a minimum guarantee of a productivity bonus.

Our car washers are usually 16-18 years old, but as soon they are mature enough—and the lead chauffeurs tell me they are ready—they can start the process to become chauffeurs (once they are 19+ years old).

For our sales team, they love commissions, taking their clients around, and being driven by one of our chauffeurs. At the same time, they are our mystery shoppers.

For the administration team, getting them involved in all decisions of the company is often more important to them than the benefits they get.
Robert Rodríguez, President/CEO
First Class Destination Solutions in Carolina, Puerto Rico


Benchmark and Best Practices If an employee of ours brings in a new employee, he or she is offered a vacation worth €2500.00. With this method, we have already been able to add two new people to our team.
Bart van Leijden CEO/Founder
ETS Luxury Driving in Barendrecht, Netherlands


Benchmark and Best Practices We really haven't changed anything regarding our hiring practices. I am not a fan of hiring incentives like bonuses. In my opinion, things like this erode your culture as bonuses should be going to the people you have currently on the payroll, not to potential hires. However, we do offer medical benefits, bonuses, paid holidays, and PTO to our chauffeurs.
Scott Woodruff, Owner
Majestic Limo & Coach in Des Moines, Iowa


We’ve loved hearing your answers to our benchmarking questions—but we always welcome suggestions for future topics, too!
Send an email to rob@chauffeurdriven.com you just might see your query answered in our next e-News.

[07.06.22]

ABC Bus Companies

Bus provider ABC Companies is conducting a North American demo tour of its 100 percent battery electric Van Hool motorcoach models along with several zero-emission cutaway shuttle vehicles. These electric vehicles showcase the potential for transporting 12 to 69 passengers completely emissions free. The Van Hool TDX25E Double Deck 69-passenger motorcoach, and the CX45E 52-passenger coach utilize Proterra battery systems and are capable of ranges over 250 miles per charge. In addition, the tour also includes 100 percent battery electric cutaway shuttles based on popular chassis options including the Ford E450. Since early May, the company has sponsored tours and test drives with customers in key regions around the country to showcase the EV models, while creating awareness and educating commercial users, their communities, stakeholders, and lawmakers about the many benefits of zero-emissions ground transportation.

With tour stops across the US and Canada, it has also highlighted the flexibility of these vehicles to travel utilizing publicly available chargers. With the growing number of available fast chargers through networks such as Electrify America, the tour has also included a number of long-distance connections between tour stops. Most recently, the Van Hool TDX25E double deck motorcoach traveled more than 2,500 miles from Florida to California exclusively on public chargers. This follows a number of other trips completed by other tour vehicles showcasing their flexibility across various temperatures, travel speeds, elevations, grades and more. All vehicles are monitored in real time with telematics systems capturing precise locations, vehicle performance, energy usage, projected ranges, and more, providing ongoing learning and real-world data.

ABC Companies President & CCO Roman Cornell

“The goal of the ABC Companies Zero Emissions Tour is simple: we want customers and communities to understand that zero-emissions coach and shuttle travel is a reality now, even as technology and infrastructure is still growing. There are a lot of misconceptions and confusion about what is reality versus what is still in development. Bringing these vehicles directly to our customers, demonstrates our confidence in their potential to transform travel now. This is a rare moment in time for the motorcoach and passenger transportation industry to lead a transformation that is top of mind with the public and our government,” said ABC Companies President & CCO Roman Cornell.

Through the Zero Emissions Tour initiative, ABC Companies is committed to supporting the net-zero sustainability goals of communities, municipalities and regional operations throughout North America. The company’s diverse portfolio of clean-diesel and EV commercial ground transportation vehicles and programs are designed to integrate world-class technology, technical expertise, and aftermarket support that focus on a cleaner future.

“We’ve shaped this program to give our operators the unique ability to experience electric vehicles in their fleets firsthand, which in turn allows them to promote and directly demonstrate to customers and communities their commitment to green transportation and a zero-emissions future,” said ABC Companies Vice President Marketing Thom Peebles.

Visit abc-companies.com for more information.

[06.28.22]