- Category: Industry News
Motor Coach Industries (MCI) has announced the delivery of 10 2023 model year MCI J4500 coaches to Cline Tours, marking the operator’s 300th motorcoach and MCI’s 10,000th J4500 built on its production line in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Cline Tours has been an MCI customer since 1996.
For its newest luxury J4500 coaches, Cline Tours selected the optional 360-degree cameras for a bird’s eye view around the coach; the RGB variable lighting package offering programable interior color options; and the optional next-generation Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) by Bendix Wingman Fusion, providing collision mitigation, lane departure, and traffic sign recognition.
“We are very pleased to celebrate production of our 10,000th J4500, a big milestone, and to do so with customer Cline Tours,” said MCI Vice President Private Sector Sales and Marketing Brent Maitland. “Cline Tours’ consistent selection of MCI’s J-Series speaks to the quality of the model, the relationship between our companies, and MCI’s responsiveness in providing reliable parts service and support. We appreciate the confidence Cline Tours has in MCI and we are committed to continuing our great relationship as Cline Tours continues to grow.”
Cline Tours chooses the J-Series because of the models’ reliability and fleet uniformity between its locations, according to Cline Tours President John McCommon. The operator has a diverse fleet of 230 vehicles, including mini buses, school buses, more than one hundred 45-foot MCI J4500 vehicles, and six 35-foot MCI J3500 coaches that operate from nine locations in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee.
“If you see one Cline Tours coach, you’ve seen them all,” McCommon said. “So many of our moves require multiple coaches. It’s important to our customers: They like the same look.”
Having launched the MCI J4500 in 2001, the model has been the industry’s best-selling model since 2004. Since then, the J4500 has undergone several redesigns, including a recent interior update that provides a more spacious cabin and industry-leading legroom. MCI also introduced a 35-foot version of the J-Series featuring all the styling and performance benefits of the 45-foot J4500. In 2019, Cline Tours was among the first operators to add six MCI J3500 coaches to its fleet.
“With regards to MCI, they are a totally first-class operation,” McCommon said. “We don’t have many issues with our J coaches and if we do, MCI jumps in to fix things. They supported us through COVID, and we’ve had a lot of other factors helping us to be in a substantially much better place today.”
To celebrate the production and delivery milestones, MCI showcased its 10,000th J4500 coach at the International Motorcoach Coach Group (IMG) Strategic Annual Meeting on August 9-12, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. The meeting brought together IMG’s tour and charter operator members throughout North America, including Cline Tours, for business, educational, and networking sessions. IMG members are an elite group of 54 leading operators throughout North America that adhere to strict safety and operational standards to ensure the highest levels of service performance.
Visit mcicoach.com for more information.
- Category: Industry News
Fresh from its successful Golf Tournament in early August, the New England Livery Association (NELA) returns to business on Tuesday, September 13, with its fall Quarterly Membership Meeting. Held at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center in Dedham, Mass., from 6 p.m.-9 p.m., the association is welcoming Chauffeur Driven President Chris Weiss as a special guest presenter.
In addition to a dinner of Italian cuisine, NELA members and guests can look forward to a discussion of trends facing the industry, as well as raffles and giveaways.
Registration fees for the meeting are $65 for NELA members/$85 for non-members or walk-ins. To register for the event, click here.
In addition, NELA is currently looking for meeting, education, and raffle sponsors who will join Cocktail Sponsor Great Bay Limousine to support the meeting. Operators or vendors interested in taking part can click here.
Visit nelivery.org for more information.
- Category: Industry News
The US Travel Association (USTA) announced in July the launch of its new Sustainable Travel Coalition, which aims to align the travel, transportation, and technology sectors in developing and advancing strategies to enable a more sustainable future for North American travel. This comes on the heels of President Joe Biden’s push for industry alternatives to fossil fuels, which included an investment in climate change policies as well as moving the country toward electric vehicle options.
The Sustainable Travel Coalition, with its nearly 60 member organizations, will serve as an advisory body on sustainability issues, opportunities, and concerns within member organizations and destinations. A dedicated Policy Committee will help drive the broader coalition’s efforts to enable regular progress and collaboration.
“Seeing the world and saving the world should not be mutually exclusive,” said USTA Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes. “As technology advances and consumers demand more sustainable travel options, the work of this coalition will ensure that the US travel industry can meet the needs of an evolving market while also protecting our planet’s natural resources.”
To accelerate investment in sustainable travel, more than 100 travel industry organizations—including groups within and outside the Sustainable Travel Coalition—called on the federal government to advance the following near-term priorities:
- A tax credit for the production and use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), such as those proposed in the Sustainable Skies Act (H.R. 3440/S. 2263).
- An enhanced tax credit to increase the availability of electric vehicle charging stations.
- An enhanced tax deduction to increase energy efficiency upgrades to commercial buildings.
- Federal investments to protect and restore natural attractions, including recreational waterways, shorelines, and National Parks.
- Other clean energy incentives for investment in renewable energy deployment, green hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, direct air capture and other innovative technologies to lower the carbon intensity of transportation fuels and the power grid.
In addition to the priorities detailed in the letter, the coalition will identify and advocate for other priorities in the coming months.
“This is clearly an issue that spans well beyond the travel industry itself to practically all other sectors of the US economy,” said Barnes. “By bringing together stakeholders across related industries, we are aligning leaders in travel, transportation and technology on the critical issues that will affect their businesses for decades to come.”
Visit ustravel.org for more information.