View as Webpage

6/25/2024

It's Your PBA GO News!

Archived Newsletters

MEMBER NEWS

5ba8c926-eaa8-4cbb-9368-94a31a5c8f61 image

Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites

Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites provides an in-depth look into the history and culture of Bethlehem, from its establishment in 1741 as a Moravian community to the present. Through the preservation of original buildings and sites, comprehensive exhibits, research collections, and educational programs, the organization reveals the unique role that Bethlehem and its people played in the formation of the United States.


Contact: Malissa Grimsley at 610-882-0450 or mgrimsley@historicbethlehem.org.

PBA Members Attend State Event

Several PBA Members attended an important tourism event in Scranton, PA on May 20th. At the event, the Governor announced he increased the state tourism budget by 60% and the state slogan is now: The Great American Getaway. A new commercial for the state was also debuted.


Pictured below are (left to right) Nicole Boyer from Mount Hope Estate & Winery, PA Lt. Governor Austin David, Amy Brooks from Susquehanna Trailways, Bob Chepalonis from Martz Trailways and Governor Josh Shapiro.

Executive Coach Attends Fundraiser

Dale McMichael, PBA Board of Director, Executive Coach represented PBA at a fundraiser for Representative Bradford on June 3, 2024 in Harrisburg, PA. Thank you Dale!

Starr Tours Owner Honored at 2024 Women In Tourism Awards

PBA Member Starr Bus Charter and Tours proudly announces that Sandy Borowsky, Owner and Vice President, has been recognized as an honoree at Davler Media’s City Guide and Delta Air Lines 3rd Annual 2024 Women In Tourism Awards. This prestigious award celebrates female leaders who create unforgettable travel experiences and have positively impacted the New York City tourism industry. With 25 years of dedicated service, Sandy's exemplary leadership and entrepreneurial achievements have truly set her apart, rightfully earning her this well-deserved recognition. 


The award ceremony, held at City Winery in New York, brought together over 300 industry professionals to honor outstanding women who contribute to making NYC one of the world’s favorite destinations. Sandy Borowsky was selected as the Tour Operator Honoree by a panel of 10 distinguished tourism professionals who reviewed over 240 submissions of highly qualified and accomplished nominees. Read the press release. Read the press release. Sandy is also a PBA Board Member. Congratulations!

8111c49a-3cb9-4c65-961a-18fe54cd8ebc image

Trans-Bridge Lines Motorcoach Driver Honored

by Moravian University

PBA Member Trans-Bridge Lines motorcoach driver William C. (Bill) Bond has received the H.T.D. Gillespie Award for outstanding service to Moravian University’s athletics program.


Bond was honored by Moravian University, located in Bethlehem, PA at a recent All-Athlete Banquet.


Bond began his driving career with Trans-Bridge Lines in 1994 and provides his services for many different athletic teams at Moravian. He was also recently recognized by the company for 23 years of safe driving. For his hard work and commitment to safety, Bond earned a certificate of achievement, engraved company pin, and award plaque. Read more...

7812ca6b-1d68-46c2-bdf6-f4911458bc2b image

ABC Companies Announces Strategic Acquisition of Van Hool Motorcoach Division by VDL Groep

PBA Member ABC Companies, is pleased to announce the strategic acquisition of the Van Hool brand motorcoach division by VDL Groep, coupled with a 10-year exclusive distribution agreement which marks a significant step towards diversifying and enhancing Van Hool's production capabilities and customer offerings at ABC Companies. Read the press release.

Distinctive Systems Names New Director

PBA Member Distinctive Systems is excited to announce that Jason Fenske has been named Director, Support and Training Services. Jason brings 15+ years of motorcoach experience at Badger Bus Lines and five years working with Distinctive Systems under Bob Hopwood as a member of our Support and Implementation team. Jason provides the experience and knowledge needed to manage and grow our Customer Support Services provided to the 350+ North American Clients using Coach Manager, the Tour Booking System, and the Vehicle Maintenance System. 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.

2024 Annual Conference Recap!

The PBA Annual Conference was held June 17-20th and hosted by Visit Ithaca with the primary location at the Ithaca Hotel. Events were also held at Personal Best Brewing and La Tourelle.


We are excited to share a recap of the multi-day event that brought together motorcoach operators, tour planners, associate members, and travel supplier members for an opportunity to Network, Educate, and Showcase. The event was a success, providing attendees with various activities to increase business opportunities. Participants had the chance to engage in five fun fams, a dine-around, an opening reception at Personal Best Brewing, a closing event at La Tourelle, an Industry Expo, Sales Retreat, and numerous learning opportunities from industry experts.


Congratulations to our Door Prize Winners from the Sales Retreat & Industry Expo:


Sales Retreat Door Prize Winners:

  • Visit Montgomery - 2025 PBA Marketplace Directory Full-page ad
  • Kreider Farms - 2025 PBA Marketplace Booth
  • Resorts Casino - One-year PBA Membership
  • Penn Wells Hotel and Lodge - 2025 PBA Annual Conference Registration


Industry Expo Door Prize Winners:

  • Translite Enterprises - 2025 PBA Annual Conference Directory Full-page ad
  • Motor Coach Industries - One-year PBA Membership
  • Advantage Remarketing Solutions - 2025 PBA Annual Conference Registration


Industry Expo Gift Card Winners

  • Fullington Trailways - $200 gift card
  • Wolf's Bus Lines - $100 gift card
  • Perkiomen Tours - $50 gift card


View some photos below and make sure to check out all of the photos online! If you attended, don't forget to provide us your feedback!

PBA Board of Director Election Results!

The PBA General Membership Meeting was held at Hotel Ithaca at Ithaca NY on June 18th.


Prior to the meeting, PBA reached out to board members whose terms were expiring this month. All but two responded they were interested in continuing to serve you.


At the meeting, the voting members were invited to vote on the 2024 Slate of Candidates whose terms were expiring for another two-year term. They also voted to add a new Travel Supplier, Margo DeRouchie from Pennsylvania's Americana Region (see more about Margo below).


The membership voted to accept the slate as presented by the Nominating Committee. Below is a list of elected directors, one new, and the rest renewed for another two-year term.


Congratulations and thank you to the Nominating Committee members!

Pictured below is the current PBA Board of Directors. Missing from the photo is Jonathan Berzas.

b82fe81c-fb7a-446e-849a-e46511960af8 image

Margo DeRouchie is the National Sales & Business Development Director of the Reading and Berks County visitors bureau, Pennsylvania's Americana Region. She has been employed there for over 15 years.


What is your background? 

"I worked in the fashion merchandising/consulting industry at Wanamaker’s and Donecker’s, as well as the healthcare industry: The Reading Hospital & Medical Center, Aetna Health Plans, and Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates. At age 40, I completed my undergraduate degree in Marketing at Alvernia University as a single mother of two. I interned with the Visitor's Bureau in 2005, and the tourism bug bit me! Later, they contacted me when a position became available, and I interviewed for the Member Relations Coordinator role. Then, the National Sales Director of group tours, meetings and conventions, and sports tourism position was open, and I was invited to interview for it. I was so honored to take that position! Now, I’m delighted to take on the Business Development Director position. I love what we do; it quickly sparked my passion, and I have so much respect for our partners. I am doing what I can to help create a wonderful experience in our area so that visitors will continue to return and spread the good word about all we have to see and do in Reading and Berks County!"


What is your favorite thing about Berks County? 

"I can’t say one thing! I’m rooted in our PA Dutch culture, the beautiful countryside, agriculture, arts, music, historic sites, museums, and award-winning events. We have so many incredible partners, and they have so much passion for their business. I value their support in our efforts to promote tourism. Without them and their docents or volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do to create an excellent experience for our visitors!"


What's something about yourself that others may not know?

 "I was in the U.S. Navy during Desert Storm. I reported to the U.S.S. Sierra AD-18 in Charleston, South Carolina, and we got underway two weeks later for a 6-month Med cruise. We stayed a month longer due to Desert Storm (in case they needed all hands on deck). We were a repair ship, and there was a good reason that we were dubbed “The Ship with the Helping Hands.” 

PBA Bylaws Update

Also, at the General Membership Meeting, a proposed PBA Bylaw change was voted on and implemented. See what changed below and view the current bylaws here.


ARTICLE II: MEMBERSHIP

SECTION 1. Operator Membership

2. Applicant must have a Satisfactory rating from the USDOT. Any member must also hold a Satisfactory rating from the USDOT. If for some reason the company is downgraded to conditional, they have 6 months to obtain a Satisfactory rating. The executive committee can convene to review any extenuating circumstances the operator may have with the USDOT and make a recommendation to the PBA Board of Directors concerning membership.

PBA Inaugural Scholarship Winners

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, referred by Operator Member Fullington Trailways and Edward James Bankston, referred by Operator Member Anderson Coach & Travel. Each received a check in the amount of $1,000.


Pictured below from left to right is PBA Chair Tammy Wolf Baker, Jennifer Corman from Fullington Trailways, accepting on behalf of Michelle Welch and Sam Perales from Anderson Coach accepting on behalf of Edward James Bankston.

PBA Attends the AACA Museum's Spring Fling

PBA was a proud sponsor of the "Rest Stop" tent with free water supplied along with the bus manufacturers' tables at the Annual Spring Fling held May 31st and June 1st in Hershey, PA!

PBA Member Prevost also celebrated their 100th anniversary at the event. Attendees explored a multimedia historical journey that highlighted the founding of Prevost and traced the company’s growth and innovation through the decades. They also had the opportunity to see up close “Clarisse,” the replica of the very first Prevost coach ever built by Eugène Prévost. The Prevost team also received a special award, with the 2024 H3-45 being honored as the “Best Manufacturer Demonstrator.”

Spike-and-Jim-Michaud-with-then-MBT-President-Tom-Collins- image

In one of the highlights at the Spring Fling, Tom Collins was honored at the Town meeting. He had a distinguished career in the bus industry, and spent countless hours helping preserve the industry's history as part of leadership of the Museum of Bus Transportation/America's Transportation Experience / AACA Museum, Inc. Read more about Tom.

View some pictures below!

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.

Register Today!
f9361273-d331-425b-bc17-6e3e074555f0 image

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.

b4ad2652-9d39-4251-8dca-7af69bf08cf7 image

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

Congestion Pricing Delayed! 

Shapiro Administration Opens EV Charging Stations off I-80 in Emlenton 

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that a federally-funded electric vehicle (EV) charging station in Emlenton, PA, is now open to the public following expansion under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program. Read more...

Shapiro Administration Seeks Public Comment on Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) invited the public to comment on the draft 2025 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The program consists of projects around the state that support the Shapiro Administration's vision of a safe and reliable transportation network that connects Pennsylvanians to opportunities and services. The comment period will remain open until July 3, 2024. Read more...

Shapiro Administration Invests Nearly $10 Million to Improve 10 Pennsylvania Airports

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced a nearly $10 million state investment in projects at 10 public use airports for facility improvements, infrastructure preservation, and development. Supporting safe, reliable infrastructure while growing the Commonwealth's economy is a key priority for the Shapiro administration. Read more...

Shapiro Administration Announces Improved Online Experience on 511PA Traveler Information Mobile App and Website

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PA Turnpike) announced that 511PA – Pennsylvania's free, statewide travel information service – has been upgraded with a new website, mobile app, and phone system. This announcement comes just days after Governor Shapiro launched a new PA.gov to meet Pennsylvanians where they are online, deliver human-centered digital experiences, and make Commonwealth services easier to find. Read more...

Pennsylvania Enacts Hands-Free Driving Law

Pennsylvania has passed a new law banning drivers from holding phones or other electronic devices while driving to reduce distraction-related accidents. This legislation expands on the 2012 ban on texting while driving, now including activities such as checking emails, browsing social media, and watching videos. Read more...

Pennsylvania Office Of Outdoor Recreation Joins National Coalition Supporting $1.1 Trillion Industry Nationwide

Pennsylvania Director of Outdoor Recreation Nathan Reigner announced that the Commonwealth’s Office of Outdoor Recreation was recently welcomed into Confluence of States, a national coalition of states working to grow the $1.1 trillion outdoor recreation economy and drive collective goals and strategies forward. Read more...

Philadelphia Plans New Intercity Bus Terminal Near 30th Street Station 

Philadelphia is planning a new intercity bus terminal near 30th Street Station. The city has received a $90,000 grant to evaluate three potential locations around the station area. This initiative addresses ongoing issues with the current temporary bus stops, which lack proper facilities and have faced community opposition. The new terminal aims to provide amenities such as seating, bathrooms, and ticket offices, and will require substantial infrastructure work. Read more...

SEPTA Approves Bus Network Redesign Plan

The SEPTA board voted to approve recommendations for the authority’s first-ever comprehensive bus network redesign, previously known as “Bus Revolution.” SEPTA will now proceed to implement the plan, with the first service changes for customers expected to begin next year. Read more...

10 PA Waterfalls You Can Stand Behind

We visited the waterfalls and gorges in Ithaca recently. Did you know PA has some waterfalls too that you can walk behind?  There are hundreds of incredible waterfalls in Pennsylvania, but there are only a select few that you can walk behind. So, if you’ve always wanted to go behind the veil of a waterfall, these spots are for you. Read more...

FMCSA Hosts Public Listening Session on Safety Fitness Determination Process Updates 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has scheduled a series of public listening sessions to discuss proposed updates to its safety fitness determination (SFD) process. These sessions aim to gather feedback from stakeholders, including drivers, carriers, and industry experts, on potential changes intended to enhance the safety evaluation of motor carriers. Register for any of the three sessions; alternatively, FMCSA will accept written comments through August 7.

FMCSA Advances Procedural Rule Amid CDL Regulation Pushback

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a final rule updating CDL regulations to align with the latest American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators standards, ensuring uniform implementation without adding new requirements or costs. Read more...

Coach USA Initiates Voluntary Chapter 11 Sale Processes To Maximize Value of Its Businesses

Coach USA, a leading provider of passenger transportation and mobility services, today announced that it commenced voluntary Chapter 11 proceedings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to facilitate sale processes to preserve jobs, ensure continued service and maximize the value of its businesses. Read more...

More Than 500 Pieces of Equipment Sidelined During Brake Inspection Event

CVSA reports inspectors recently identified 570 (11.6%) commercial motor vehicles during a single day brake inspection event needed to be put out of service. Read more...

CVSA Brake Safety Week Set for August 

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has announced that Brake Safety Week will take place August 25-31, 2024. During this period, CVSA-certified inspectors will conduct inspections focused on brake systems and components, specifically targeting brake linings and pads. Read more...

UCR Fees Set to Increase in 2025

Starting in 2025, fees for the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) program are slated to rise. The UCR fee adjustments will affect motor carriers, brokers, and freight forwarders operating across state lines. This increase comes as part of periodic adjustments mandated by federal law to ensure adequate funding for state motor carrier safety programs. Read more... 

How One School District Is Turning to AI To Solve Its Bus Driver Shortage

To address a severe shortage of bus drivers, Colorado Springs School District 11 has turned to artificial intelligence (AI). The district partnered with RouteWise AI, a technology developed by the rideshare company HopSkipDrive, to optimize bus routes and manage transportation logistics more effectively. Read more...

New York State Lawmakers Approve Charter Bus Seat Belt Use 

New York State lawmakers have recently approved a critical measure aimed at enhancing passenger safety on charter buses. The bill mandates that charter bus passengers aged 8 or older must use safety restraints or face a $50 fine. Additionally, police could ticket the parents of passengers between 8 and 15 years old if the parent or guardian is present during the violation. This legislation was prompted by a tragic crash last September that resulted in the deaths of two Farmingdale High School educators. Read more...

Mayor Adams Seeks Mask Ban at NYC Protests After Mayhem and Vandalism

Mayor Eric Adams is urging city and state officials to reintroduce a mask ban at protests — something that had ended during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more...

Washington, DC's Ohio Drive Roadway Closures and Detours to Affect National Mall Access

DC Water closed Ohio Drive, SW, between Independence Avenue, SW, and West Basin Drive, SW, for approximately six years on June 17, 2024, to complete the Potomac River Tunnel Project. During this period, eastbound and westbound travel lanes, parking lanes, and sidewalks through West Potomac Park will be closed. Detours will be posted for pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists. A relocated Ohio Drive is expected to open by October 15, 2024. The project aims to reduce combined sewer overflows into the Potomac River. For more details and to stay updated on the project and road closures, visit the Potomac River Tunnel Project page.

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.


82bae190-6d3c-4f22-b69e-2c09ad4ae0b3 image


Got News?


Share your stories with us!

Email Diana Kowalski!

STAY CONNECTED!

PBA maintains active Social Media Platforms. In addition to the emailed communications we send to you, we actively share information to our platforms. We encourage you to LIKE US, FOLLOW US and ENGAGE with us! #pabus

Facebook  LinkedIn  X