Bus Weekly - Bus Solutions
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03/24/2020

 


 
  These Challenging Times
 

With the world facing a global pandemic related to Covid 19, many industries have been staggered by the actions taken to stop the rapid spread. Many of the businesses most directly impacted are related to the transportation and lodging of travelers.

 
  
From Bus Solutions Holdings:

With the world facing a global pandemic related to Covid 19, many industries have been staggered by the actions taken to stop the rapid spread. Many of the businesses most directly impacted are related to the transportation and lodging of travelers. With trips, excursions and conferences being delayed or postponed at alarming rates, bus operators are being slammed at every turn with cancellations.

We have taken the liberty of preparing a commonsense check list for operators that outlines a plan of action for attempting to deal with the current situation. Thanks to the UMA and ABA organizations for their efforts in working with Congress to devise a $15B aid package and for soliciting advice from key partners to the industry. Their work and rapid pace has been unparalleled.

With a major emphasis on conserving cash, some of the most sensible actions would be:

1. Be proactive and pursue modifications to existing credit agreements in an effort to reduce or defer principal reductions until life returns to a more normal existence. Several major lenders have indicated a willingness to defer principal payment for at least 90 days. If necessary, ask for a deferral of both principal and interest or a middle ground of deferred principal and reduced interest rates.
2. Call your insurance providers and inform them that you have parked the buses and that they should cancel the liability coverage until you start using your equipment again.
3. Pursue financing alternatives for grants or loans that will hopefully be made available from the federal government shortly to improve your liquidity.
4. Furlough non-essential employees and encourage them to pursue unemployment protection until you can restart operations.
5. Request reduced rent from your landlord for at least 90 days.
6. Work with your vendors and suppliers in attempting to work out payment plans.

With no knowledge of how long this pandemic might last, cash conservation is an enormous priority and anything you can do to succeed in this area will clearly be beneficial.

Communication with suppliers and employees is of paramount importance. Everyone works much better in times like these when they are being kept apprised of the plans for survival and how everyone can work together to make certain that we all make it out on the other side.

In order to prove to your lenders and finance companies the true value of your fleet, you should refresh your most recent appraisal. Relative to infield inspections, Bus Solutions has suspended all field inspection operations until such time as it is deemed safe to do so. We are working closely with selected IT professionals to develop a methodology for using available technology that will direct your mechanics through the inspection process while we communicate with these mechanics and record the necessary data. Our process will be designed to increase speed and not waste precious time moving our inspectors by ground while also being more cost efficient. But more importantly, we can provide a desktop that will help you with your lenders and convince them of the asset quality and collateral protection. A desktop can be done more quickly and much less costly. We can provide you with the tools you need to wage the most effective effort with your lender for better restructuring efforts.

Bus Solutions has focused on the bus industry for 36 years. We helped many operators after the 9/11 and SARS tragedies and we stand ready to help again. While the current crisis continues to unfold, Bus Solutions is more than ready to work with industry professional to construct assistance packages for operators. Bus Solutions is there when you need us and has a proven ability to help.

Email us at info@bussoilutions.com   |   Phone us at 682.257.4800


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SARDO - Bus & Coach Upholstery

 
  Holiday Tours Celebrates Purchase of 100th Prevost


Holiday Tours, based in Randleman, NC, recently celebrated receiving their 100th Prevost motorcoach with the delivery of (5) new Prevost H3-45's. Holiday purchased their first Prevost coach in 1982 and the first H3-45 in 1991. Today the company has a fleet of 79 coaches, the vast majority of which are Prevost, serving more than 50,000 passengers annually.


  From Prevost:

Holiday Tours, based in Randleman, NC, recently celebrated receiving their 100th Prevost motorcoach with the delivery of (5) new Prevost H3-45's. Holiday purchased their first Prevost coach in 1982 and the first H3-45 in 1991. Today the company has a fleet of 79 coaches, the vast majority of which are Prevost, serving more than 50,000 passengers annually.

The delivery of the 100th coach was marked by a visit to Holiday Tours by Prevost Sales VP, Jack Forbes who presented General Mgr, David Moody with a special award. Forbes spoke to a small gathering of employees about the importance of the relationship: "Prevost is deeply grateful for your business and for our affiliation over the years. We have thoroughly enjoyed watching how Holiday Tours has matured and grown as a company as you have showcased Prevost in your fleet as your motorcoach of choice."

Forbes also expressed gratitude to the family for being willing to serve and help shape the industry as a whole by acting in volunteer leadership roles in both regional and industry associations.

David Schmidt, one of the first Prevost salespeople to work with Holiday Tours, had this to say: "We are proud to be associated with a company where three generations of a family have dedicated themselves not only to the success of their motorcoach business but also to the complete satisfaction of the traveling public."

Holiday Tours General Manager, David Moody said, "We are so appreciative of our relationship with Prevost. It's not just a normal vendor/customer association - it truly is a partnership." Moody is the grandson of founders Nancy & Dwight Thompson.

Holiday Tours has built their reputation on caring about their customers and their equipment. The company's website highlights their guiding principles of "Quality, Value and Personalized Service". Rhonda Moody, Director of Marketing and daughter of co-founder, Nancy Thompson, spoke with great pride about the lessons she learned from her mother about customer care. Her mother told her, "If you can make them feel like family, you've got them", Rhonda quoted. She went on to say they try to this day to model all their tour guides after her mom, who was the immensely popular original tour guide for the company.

The company was among the first to offer escorted group tours to such places as New York, Washington, Nashville, and Disney World. Destinations now include all 50 states and Canada as well as Europe, Australia and more.


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  NSTA Keeps Urging Contractor Help During Congressional Stalemate Over COVID-19 Aid

   From School Bus Fleet:

As a vote in the U.S. Senate failed to advance the nearly $2 trillion economic stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, sending lawmakers back into negotiations, an industry association is continuing to urge relief for pupil transporters.

The National School Transportation Association (NSTA) is still asking lawmakers to immediately require school districts to fund pupil transportation contracts through the conclusion of the COVID-19 health crisis, according to a news release from the association. (As School Bus Fleet previously reported, NSTA Executive Director Curt Macysyn sent letters on March 16 to 50 state governors, the Mayor’s Office of the District of Columbia, and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos calling for a mandate that requires school districts to fund transportation systems through the conclusion of the pandemic.)

NSTA Executive Director Curt Macysyn noted that the association continues to work with governors, state departments of transportation and education, Congress, and the Trump administration to craft a solution to provide relief for hundreds of thousands of school bus drivers, mechanics, dispatchers, and support staff, and preserve the capabilities of the private student transportation industry.

 

As a vote in the U.S. Senate failed to advance the nearly $2 trillion economic stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, sending lawmakers back into negotiations, an industry association is continuing to urge relief for pupil transporters.

As the U.S. Senate failed to advance the nearly $2 trillion economic stimulus package and lawmakers kept negotiating, the National School Transportation Association continued urging relief for pupil transporters. File photo

Statistically, private school bus contractors provide approximately 38% of school bus services for districts around the country employing 250,000 people, according to the NSTA.

"Keeping the student transportation system intact during this crisis has and will have many different net benefits for the county," Macysyn said. "Student transportation has already been called upon to deliver meals to students who have been displaced from their breakfast and lunch programs."

School bus operators can also play a critical role in transporting medical supplies to areas acutely affected by COVID-19, and assisting National Guard units and first responders, he added.

"We sincerely hope that legislators and policymakers take this potential outcome seriously," Macysyn said. "Only by taking action now can a crisis be averted."


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