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7/9/2024

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Archived Newsletters

MEMBER NEWS

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Starr Bus Charter and Tours Launches New Website for an Enhanced Booking Experience

PBA Member, Starr Bus Charter & Tours is thrilled to announce the launch of its newly revamped website www.starrtours.com, designed to offer an enhanced and seamless travel booking experience for our valued customers. With a focus on user-friendly navigation and many innovative features, the new website aims to make planning and booking trips with Starr more convenient and enjoyable than ever. Read the press release.

ABC Companies Continues to Bolster Its Senior Executive Team

PBA Member ABC Companies, a leading provider of motorcoach, transit, and specialty passenger transport equipment and industry leader in electric mobility solutions in the USA and Canada, is pleased to announce several significant leadership transitions within its Senior Executive Team.


Chuck Carns, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and member of the ABC Companies’ Board of Directors, will be transitioning to an advisory role as he prepares for retirement. While he will be stepping down from his CFO duties this summer, ABC is pleased to announce that he will continue to serve as a Strategic Business Advisor through the end of 2024. Read the press release.

Bird-in-Hand Family Inn ‘Raises the Roof’ as Part of Rebuilding Efforts

PBA Member Bird-in-Hand Family Inn had a “barn raising” to rebuild hotel rooms and an office damaged in a Dec. 18 explosion.


Workers finished framing the building, adding trusses and putting on the roof for the event that’s meant to evoke the group effort Amish church members undertake to quickly rebuild a neighbor’s barn. Bird-in-Hand’s barn raising included a hospitality tent for viewing the work and a luncheon for workers and hotel guests.


Terry Buda Moser, a spokesperson for Bird-in-Hand Corp., said the new guest rooms are slated to be finished by the end of August with work on the lobby and new office expected to wrap up by the end of October.


Bird-in-Hand Corp. is also continuing to rebuild its nearby restaurant, which was damaged in an unrelated Jan. 30 fire. While that work is being done, Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant & Smorgasbord has temporarily relocated to the former Revere Tavern in Paradise Township at 3063 Lincoln Highway. Buda Moser said she did not have a timeline for the reopening of the restaurant. Read more...

Hershey Farm Resort Opening Announcement

PBA Member, Hershey Farm Resort announced that their new facility will be opening on Friday, July 26th. They will be sending out sneak peaks of some of their Grand Smorgasbord menu items, retail selections and Cafe 23 delectables. Follow them on Facebook to keep updated!

Katherine O'Donnell Takes the Helm at

Richmond Region Tourism

Katherine O'Donnell, the new CEO of PBA Member and our 2025 Annual Conference host Richmond Region Tourism, aims to revitalize the area's tourism industry by emphasizing collaboration, inclusivity, and innovation. With a background in economic development and tourism promotion, O'Donnell plans to leverage Richmond's unique history and culture to attract more visitors. She intends to work closely with local businesses, governments, and community stakeholders to create compelling tourism experiences that showcase the region's diversity and historical significance. Read more...

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PBA Members Voted the Top in the Nation

USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice Awards highlight the best of the best in contests covering categories such as destinations, food and drink, hotels, and things to do. Nominees in all categories are submitted by a panel of experts. The final set of nominees are selected by 10Best editors before being presented to the public.


  • Greyhound Bus, was voted #5 for best bus service for providing amenities like free Wi-Fi, onboard restrooms, and comfortable reclining seats, so you can relax and enjoy the ride.




Two of the top three buffet restaurants in the nation are located roughly 13 miles apart in Lancaster County.


PBA Inaugural Scholarship Recipients

The Pennsylvania Bus Association (PBA) announced the recipients of the Inaugural Scholarship Awards at the PBA Annual Conference in Ithaca, NY.

 

The program was developed to promote higher education goals of our operator members, and their families, whether it be to pursue a college degree or a trade certification. The Scholarship Program is funded by fundraising efforts, which started in 2023. 

 

The 2024 Scholarship winners are Michelle Welch (pictured on the left below), referred by Operator Member Fullington Trailways and Edward James Bankston (pictured on the right below), referred by Operator Member Anderson Coach & Travel. Each received a check in the amount of $1,000. Read the press release.

Pay It Foward Program!

As a PBA member, when you refer a new member to PBA, they will receive 15% off their first year's dues using promo code 15OFF.  


As the referrer, you will also receive 15% off your next renewal with the Pay It Forward program


Let's grow together and make a difference!


  1. Click the Refer button in your member portal by logging in and completing the short form and we will do the rest!
  2. Alternatively, you can share the application link and promo code with organizations that you feel will benefit from PBA membership: www.pabus.org/Join-PBA. Make sure to tell your referral to enter your name and company in the field on the application form and share the promo code 15OFF with them.


The deadline is September 30, 2024!

PBA Member Testimonials - We Would Love Yours!

Read what some Members have to say about what PBA Membership means to them! We would love your testimonial too, click here to submit yours.

UPCOMING EVENTS!

Motorcoach Safety & Preparedness Workshop

August 8, 2024

York Springs, PA

Registration Open!


2025 Marketplace

March 24-25, 2025

Hosted by Discover Lancaster 

Save the Dates!


2025 Annual Conference

June 16-19, 2025

Hosted by Visit Richmond

Save the Dates!



Interested in Hosting a 2026 PBA Event? Please visit our 2026 event pages for a copy of the bid specs. Deadline is 1/1/25.

-2026 Marketplace

-2026 Annual Conference

Read the below testimonial from our 2023 Annual Conference host Andrew Nixon, Executive Director of PBA Member, Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau:


“Hosting the 2023 PBA Annual Conference has been a truly fulfilling opportunity for our area.


The event allowed us to demonstrate how well we can host a corporate sales function while also giving the wonderful Pennsylvania tour operator members of PBA a chance to experience our region first-hand.


Working with PBA’s staff and members to bring their Annual Conference to Chautauqua County, NY has been one of the most beneficial things we could have done in terms of developing tour operator relationships”.

Motorcoach Safety & Preparedness Workshop - August 8, 2024


Registration is open for the 11th Annual PBA Motorcoach Safety & Preparedness Workshop scheduled for August 8, 2024!


The program will run from 8:30AM to 3:30PM, with registration starting at 8:00AM.


This year's workshop has been designed to address issues that a variety of our motorcoach members are seeking. The workshop format presents a variety of topics led by subject matter experts, enabling participants to select a track that aligns with their role; Group 1 for Mechanics and Group 2 for Dispatchers, Office Personnel, Safety Directors and Office Staff.


Registration Deadline: July 26th!

Register Today!
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Marketplace

March 24-25, 2025

The 2025 Marketplace will be hosted by Discover Lancaster at Spooky Nook in Manheim, PA on Tuesday, March 25. The educational session, networking reception, Board of Director's meeting, and setup will all occur the day before, Monday March 24.

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Annual Conference

June 16-19, 2025

The 2025 Annual Conference will be hosted by Visit Richmond!


We will be experiencing the area with FAMS, Dine-Around Night and Opening & Closing venues at area partners.

INDUSTRY AND COMMONWEALTH NEWS

No PA Budget To Start 2024–25 Fiscal Year

Pennsylvania starts the 2024-25 fiscal year with no budget in place. Because of that, many municipalities, school districts and others who rely on the state for funds do not know how much state money they will receive. This marks the second consecutive year that the budget is not in place by the state-mandated deadline of June 30th, with the state senate adjourning for the week, and the state house adjourned after a voting session that included approval of the capital budget for grants and an act to establish the Pennsylvania Poet Laureate and the poet laureate nominating committee. Read more...

Department Of Labor & Industry Launches New Online Resource For School Bus Drivers, Other Seasonal School Workers Seeking Unemployment Compensation Benefits

The Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) has created a new web page with information for school bus drivers and other seasonal workers about how to apply for Unemployment Compensation (UC) benefits during the summer break. The page includes information about how to reopen a claim, how to avoid unnecessary eligibility issues, and what to expect in terms of payment timing for eligible claimants. Read more...

Senate Approves Resolution to Lift Restrictions on Qualified CDL Drivers Ages 18-20

A resolution urging the U.S. Congress to lift restrictions for holders of Commercial Driver’ Licenses (CDLs) who are 18-20 years old received Senate approval. The measure, introduced by Sen. Rothman (R-34) seeks to allow these drivers to transport goods across state lines. Read more...

USDOT Secretary Visits PA, Touts Federal Investments’ Impact

PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll joined USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Governor Josh Shapiro, and various local and elected officials in early June as the secretary toured sites in Harrisburg, Lancaster, and Steelton. Buttigieg spoke with local media about the federal BIL’s impact. Read more...

Funding Available to Repair/Replace Broken or Non-Operational EV Chargers

PennDOT recently announced the Electric Vehicle Charger Reliability and Accessibility Accelerator (EVC-RAA) program to repair and replace non-operational electric vehicle (EV) chargers across the state. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), this initiative supports improving EV infrastructure, addressing climate change, and enhancing transportation reliability. The proposal period to pursue funds for EV charger repair or replacement opened on July 2 and closes on August 14, 2024, at 5:00 PM EDT. Read more...

FTA Makes $1.9M Available to Improve the Transit Customer Experience

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced $1.94 million in competitive grant funding is now available. This funding will support research conducted by providers of public transportation. Read more...

New Federal Overtime Rules Take Effect, Making More Salaried Employees Eligible

The U.S. Department of Labor final rule, Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees, took effect on July 1, 2024. The final rule updates and revises the regulations issued under section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act implementing the exemption from minimum wage and overtime pay requirements for executive, administrative, and professional (EAP) employees. Revisions include increases to the standard salary level and the highly compensated employee total annual compensation threshold, and a mechanism that provides for the timely and efficient updating of these earnings thresholds to reflect current earnings data. Read more...

Marijuana Rescheduling Will Not Alter DOT Drug Testing, Buttigieg Tells Congress

A proposal to drop marijuana to a Schedule III drug will not prevent safety-sensitive positions – such as truck drivers – from being tested for the substance, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said at a House committee hearing on Thursday, June 27. Read more...

USDOT Announcements on Oral Fluid Drug Testing: Amendments and Rulemaking Proposals, Comments Due by July 22, 2024 

On June 21, 2024, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) made several significant announcements in the Federal Register concerning its May 2, 2023 final rule on drug testing methodologies. This rule had previously authorized employers to use oral fluid drug testing as an alternative to urine testing. This final rule is effective on August 5, 2024, without further notice unless DOT receives adverse comment by July 22, 2024. Comments to the notice should be submitted by July 22, 2024 to https://www.regulations.gov/commenton/DOT-OST-2021-0093-0421.

Read more...

Vinn White Appointed Deputy Administrator of FMCSA

Vinn White has been appointed as the Deputy Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In this role, White brings over two decades of experience in public service, specializing in transportation policy and safety. His career includes notable positions such as serving as the Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and as the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary of USDOT. Read more...

Fleets Prepare for Stricter Monitoring of Driver Drug and Alcohol Violations

FMCSA will require states to downgrade affected CDLs, as federal clearinghouse expands its reach in November. Read more...

Proposed Changes to Road-Based Commercial Tour Requirements and Fees by the National Park Service - Comments Open Until August 10th

The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing standardized commercial use authorization (CUA) requirements and fees for road-based commercial tour operators (RBCTs), with a shift to an online application and reporting system. This initiative aims to streamline processes across NPS units and address industry concerns regarding inconsistency and complexity in CUA requirements. Read more...

$932 Million Grant Program to Fund Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles, Available for Application

On April 24, EPA announced availability of over $930 million in grants for the purchase of clean heavy-duty (HD) vehicles, but it is limited to Class 6-7 vehicles (school buses are eligible, but not OTRB Class 8 buses). Applications are now open for the competitive grant program. Eligible applicants for this funding opportunity include state and local governmental entities; public school districts; and nonprofit school transportation associations. Applications are due July 25

MTA Board Move Could Give NYC Congestion Pricing Advocates Legal Pathway

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board passed a resolution that blames New York State for pausing congestion pricing, despite the transit agency’s readiness to move the program forward and potentially putting the state at odds with a law requiring the MTA to begin the program. Some say this move creates a legal pathway for those who want the controversial tolling program to begin immediately. Read more...

MTA Expands Bus Route Violation Areas in NYC with ACE

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced the beginning of a new set of Automated Camera Enforcement (ACE) areas on 14 bus routes across Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx. Read more...

UC San Diego TREDS Announces Online Course for Commercial Drivers

TREDS is pleased to announce the launch of Just Drive: Deliver Distraction-Free online course for commercial drivers. The free 60-minute self-paced course addresses the risks and consequences of distracted driving and provides strategies to prevent this behavior, focusing primarily on the use of cell phones and electronic devices. See attached flyer for more information. Register now.

ICYMI

Alerts, Invitations, Press Releases, and more are sent out to our Members as needed. Here are the emails we sent out since last GoNews below.


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