10/08/2019

 


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  New Prevost H3-45s expand Air Bear Travel's reputation for quality service


  From Prevost:

Air Bear Travel has been the "People's Choice" for business and domestic coach transportation throughout the greater Cheboygan, MI area since 1984.

In 1995, Paul and Shelli France acquired the company, where Shelli had worked for the previous 10 years. The couple has since grown their enterprise from a fledgling one-room office into a full-service travel agency with their own motorcoach tour charter service.

Keeping with the traditions of the trade, Air Bear Travel handles ticketing for airlines as well as reservations for cruise ships, all-inclusive hotels and resorts and ground, air and rail excursions.


New Prevost H3-45s expand Air Bear Travel's reputation for quality service
 

Additionally, the company operates its own proprietary motorcoach tours with their own motorcoach fleet which now includes five new, late-model Prevost H3-45s, ranging from 2017 to 2019.

The company recently took delivery on their two newest 2019 H3-45s models, which feature the trademark frameless scenic windows to enhance passenger visibility, as well as back up cameras for the driver and wireless microphones for tour hosts.

According to the Frances, customers of Air Bear Travel are impressed with the quality, ride and curb appeal of the Prevost H3-45. They especially appreciate the expansive views and comfort from the high deck, as well as ample space for luggage in some of the largest bays in the North American coach industry.

Air Bear Travel acquired its first Prevost coach in 2016. "We were wanting to make a change and had been eying Prevost for some time and felt ready to see if the brand would make a noticeable difference in our operations," Paul France says. "We were pleased to say our first Prevost H3-45 made an immediate impression. We knew immediately that this was clearly the right decision."

Since January 2016, the Frances have added 12 more Prevost H3-45s to the Air Bear fleet..........VISIT PREVOST >

  Accessible travel advances with low-entry motorcoach

Low-entry motorcoaches are the next advance in wheelchair-accessible transportation, said Kelly Buckland, executive director of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL). The organization assisted in the design of the Motor Coach Industries (MCI) D45 CRT LE commuter coach. NCIL Executive Director Kelly Buckland checks out the D45 CRT LE prior to the disability community march to the Capitol on July 23


  From Bus & Motorcoach News:

Low-entry motorcoaches are the next advance in wheelchair-accessible transportation, said Kelly Buckland, executive director of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL).

The organization assisted in the design of the Motor Coach Industries (MCI) D45 CRT LE commuter coach. NCIL Executive Director Kelly Buckland checks out the D45 CRT LE prior to the disability community march to the Capitol on July 23

A curb-level, mid-coach door and ramp opens to a patented vestibule on the same level. The vestibule holds wheelchair securements, seating for companions, power outlets and USB ports. Bicycle racks are optionally available.

"It is so much easier than boarding buses with lifts," Buckland said. "You don't have to worry about a lift working. If the ramp doesn't deploy automatically, the operator can do it by hand in a few seconds. You get in, back into the securement and off you go."

ADA requirements

The U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990 and required that carriers purchase or lease only accessible vehicles for service provided over a prescribed route on a fixed schedule. "Demand responsive" carriers, such as charter and tour operators, "must provide service in an accessible bus to passengers with disabilities on a 48-hour advance notice basis."

"Close to 100% of fixed-route buses operated by public transit agencies are now accessible," reported a 2014 study, "Accessible Transit Services for All," prepared for the Federal Transit Administration. About 15 million accessible trips were provided by transit agencies annually before passage of ADA. The total increased to 106 million trips in 2012.

While wheelchair lifts have provided millions of accessible trips, Buckland acknowledged, they have drawbacks.

"If you ask me about city buses, I would tell you they are doing very well. I don't think I have seen a city bus without a ramp or a lift in I-don't-know-how-long. In the motorcoach industry I have had different experiences. I haven't done any research on how they are doing specifically, but in the motorcoaches I have ridden they have not worked well," he said............READ MORE >

  First Student to Acquire Special-Needs Transportation Company

 From School Bus Fleet:

NEW LENOX, Ill. - First Student signed an agreement on Thursday to acquire special-needs transportation company Hopewell Transportation.

Hopewell, based in the Chicagoland area, offers school transportation to special-needs students and their families. The acquisition of the company, which will continue to operate under the Hopewell Transportation name, is expected to close by early November.

"Traditional transportation models are not one-size-fits-all, and Hopewell has advanced a service that meets the unique requirements of the special-needs population," said Paul Osland, president of First Student. "Through this partnership, we intend to grow as well as learn about the special care the Hopewell team puts into transporting our most vulnerable population. We will continue to search for opportunities where we can leverage our expertise to benefit school districts, students, and families."


Hopewell, based in the Chicagoland area, offers school transportation to special-needs students and their families. The acquisition of the company, which will continue to operate under the Hopewell Transportation name, is expected to close by early November.

Established in 2011, Hopewell Transportation operates a fleet of more than 200 vehicles to transport special-needs students for 20 Chicago area school districts.

"First Student has long been an industry leader when it comes to developing and implementing best practices for transporting special-education students," said Will McDermott, president of Hopewell Transportation. "Working together, we can strengthen our commitment to provide safe and reliable transportation to the districts we support and those entrusted to our care."   ..........READ MORE >


 

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