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Cross-Border Issues for Motorcoaches and their Passengers November 2, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Cross-Border Issues for Motorcoaches and their Passengers November 2, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cross-Border Issues for Motorcoaches and their Passengers November 2, 2011

2 Defining the Motorcoach Industry Provides a variety of servicesProvides a variety of services –Tour, Charter, Schedules, Sightseeing Major cog in the US and Canadian economic engine - $55 Billion IndustryMajor cog in the US and Canadian economic engine - $55 Billion Industry Flexible, Diverse, and IndependentFlexible, Diverse, and Independent –What can they do for your business and the local economy? –How can you catch them and their customers? –How can you make them an ongoing partner?

3 Elevated Passenger Deck Elevated Passenger Deck Baggage Compartment Baggage Compartment 30 – 45 Feet Long 30 – 45 Feet Long Carries Passengers Carries Passengers Still evolving...Still evolving... What is a Motorcoach?

4 Small Business Characteristics A network of small businessesA network of small businesses 3,200 private sector motorcoach companies 3,200 private sector motorcoach companies Family businesses Family businesses Operating about 32,000 buses Operating about 32,000 buses Less than 50 companies have more than 100 buses Less than 50 companies have more than 100 buses 90% have fewer than 25 buses 90% have fewer than 25 buses The average operator owns 7 – 10 buses The average operator owns 7 – 10 buses Every bus supports five jobs Every bus supports five jobs

5 An Overview of Private Motorcoach Services (by percentage of companies) Contract Commuter – 7%Contract Commuter – 7% Scheduled Service – 19%Scheduled Service – 19% Airport Shuttle – 21%Airport Shuttle – 21% Sightseeing – 29%Sightseeing – 29% Tours – 59%Tours – 59% Charters – 96%Charters – 96%

6 US Passengers Carried Annually (In Millions 2010)

7 The Economic Impact of Motorcoach Tourism One coach visiting overnight, is worth nearly $12,000 to a destination. This includes meals, lodging, entertainment and shopping. Add services for the coach and the number can exceed $13,000.One coach visiting overnight, is worth nearly $12,000 to a destination. This includes meals, lodging, entertainment and shopping. Add services for the coach and the number can exceed $13,000. The motorcoach industry supports 200,000 direct and 800,000 indirect U.S. jobs.The motorcoach industry supports 200,000 direct and 800,000 indirect U.S. jobs.

8 Motorcoach Industry Trends Historical Growth.Historical Growth. Frequent Development ofFrequent Development of New/Niche Services. New/Niche Services. Charter & Tour Oriented.Charter & Tour Oriented. City to City Opportunities,City to City Opportunities, Increase in Low-Cost Curbside. Increase in Low-Cost Curbside. Flexibility in Trip Customization.Flexibility in Trip Customization. Moving away from Group-only to a la carte. Moving away from Group-only to a la carte. Intermodal Capability and Connectivity.Intermodal Capability and Connectivity. Safe!Safe!

9 Motorcoach Industry Trends Following the cruise model Intermodal Capability and Connectivity adds to success of the industryIntermodal Capability and Connectivity adds to success of the industry Capitalize on the point-to-point serviceCapitalize on the point-to-point service SafeSafe

10 Foundation/Research/Economic-Impact

11 Making Border Crossings Easier

12 A Few Border Stats NY is the #1 state for northern US bus border crossings. –In 2010: 39,000 out of 116,000 (33%) buses –1.2M out of 2.4M bus passengers (50%) –MI was #2 (29% for buses &14% passengers) Border Crossing Results at NY State Level (Yearly) Year Trucks Trains Buses Personal Vehicles Source:

13 NY Land Ports of Entry 6 Areas of Entry 14 Lanes Available for CMVs*

14 NY Airports 12 International Airports

15 Border Crossing Concerns Unpredictable delays can severely disrupt group travel itineraries and planned events. Having passengers leave the bus for processing not only creates delays, but it can create a negative travel experience. Traveler wait times vary wildly across the travel modes. Can you imagine a 3-4 hour wait for an air passenger to go through customs?

16 Border Crossing Concerns Safety and logistical problems can arise from a long delay at a border crossing. –Drivers hours of service compliance issues. –Relief driver possibly needed, which may increase the cost of the trip. Some drivers are being removed from trips at border crossings due to rehabilitation issues based on past US misdemeanor convictions. –At times events occurred (15 – 20 years earlier (beyond pre-employment background checks)

17 Border Crossing Recommendations Provide additional commercial vehicle traffic lanes for processing. Create an advance manifesting system. –Pilot program currently in use at Port Champlain. Limited usage thus far (30), but potential for expansion. ABA hosted webinar in late August 2011 to increase participation. –Need to have online and offline access. –Understand differences between scheduled service vs. charter bus services.

18 Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) Pilot Program

19 Border Crossing Recommendations Increase staffing at border locations to help expedite motorcoach screening. –Why use 1 officer for a group of 50 (or a random sampling) when you could use 3 or 4? Allow for advance customs declaration cards to be used. Consider a pre-screening location in advance of the actual border. Introduce roadside signs displaying current wait times.

20 Border Crossing Experiences DHS and CBSA have an important role to protect both countries from inadmissible persons, to intercept contraband and collect applicable taxes. Our industry wants to cooperate and support those efforts

21 Border Crossing Experiences In April 2010, a Quebec coach operator had two coaches wait in line for over 6 hours to cross from Quebec to Vermont. The hockey teams they were transporting to a tournament in Vermont had to forfeit their games Charter and tour coach passengers were seen by CBSA and DHS as relatively low-risk and therefore processed in a different manner than scheduled line-run buses. Now charter coaches are often treated the same: passengers disembark; baggage is removed/inspected; passengers processed individually; documents are scanned. 45 percent of coach passengers are students and 35 percent are seniors, with both categories low security risks.

22 Operator Experiences When specifically asked about border crossing experiences, operators said: –Good flow at Port Huron, Sarnia, Detroit. Windsor –Lake Champlain can be problematic with no wait time to hours or wait time –The Niagara crossings are the biggest problem spots –Need automated equipment so CBP/CBSA can swipe passports and documents –Montreal to NYC bus at Christmas was 12 hours delayed and 6 hours at Easter INCONSISTENCY is the biggest problem – Cant Plan!

23 Border Crossing Experiences Its not just the actual passenger processing time that creates the long delays, rather the time buses have to spend in the queue with other traffic waiting to reach primary inspection Unpredictable delays at the border can severely disrupt itineraries, missing scheduled events such as sporting events, concerts, meal reservations, boat cruises and flight connections (a TX to Winnipeg carrier just discontinued service because connections with other carriers could not be guaranteed) Long delays create safety and logistics issues for companies regarding driver hours of service regulations. Bus companies now have to factor in additional costs associated with sending relief drivers to the border to meet a delayed coach or begin trips with an additional driver to conserve hours for the border segment

24 Border Crossing Experiences Air passengers would never tolerate 2,4 or 6 hour delays to be cleared. It would be front page news and would be rectified quickly. Motorcoach passengers are discriminated against in relation to travelers arriving at a port of entry by other modes. All passengers regardless of their choice of transportation mode should be entitled to the same level of service from CBSA and DHS

25 Border Crossing Experiences Seniors have told tour directors they were made to feel so unwelcome, the experience, stressful and intimidating and they wont take another cross-border tour/charter Tour operators tell us they feel some border crossing officers appear to have a disdain for bus passengers and are lacking in customer service skills CBSA and DHS have shown sincere concern about any allegations of unprofessional conduct and poor customer service and encouraged persons to request a supervisor and report incidents, but most are reluctant to do so

26 Border Crossing Experiences Existing CBSA and DHS facilities and staffing levels at some of the busiest ports of entry are inadequate to comfortably and efficiently process all bus passengers so procedures should be modified Consider implementing a mandatory advance passenger information (manifest) system for charter and tour buses at all ports to expedite clearance procedures Consider implementing an ETA system, in conjunction with advance passenger information, to address the unpredictability of bus volumes, so staff can be scheduled and deployed accordingly

27 Border Crossing Experiences Imagine your driver is bringing a group home at the tail-end of a long holiday weekend at a busy U.S./Canadian border; the inspection line is long; a couple of the coaches ahead of him are double-decker line-haul vehicles; on top of it all, he has already been at the wheel for close to his allotted service hours. It may sound like perfect-storm conditions for a difficult border crossing, but for many operators it's an all-too-common scenario. Border crossings, especially at high-traffic spots like Windsor and Niagara Falls in Ontario and Douglas/Peace Arch at Surrey, British Columbia, can try drivers' patience.

28 Border Crossing Experiences When a Canadian tour and coach company was invited to participate in a pilot program, management was eager since with pre-manifesting they can usually get through by going to the front of the line and can then be processed in about five minutes as opposed to the previous 40 to 45 minutes. Passengers in these situations require all charter/tour passengers to provide information to help with pre-screening. This process should be standard (with few exceptions for scheduled carriers) for all operators. For a charter/tour the passengers are the same crossing in both directions. Scheduled carriers already collect passenger names and information

29 A Focus on Safety Motorcoaches are the safest form of surface transportationMotorcoaches are the safest form of surface transportation There have been 67 motorcoach accidents with onboard fatalities between 1999 and 2009 that have resulted in nearly 250 passenger fatalities.There have been 67 motorcoach accidents with onboard fatalities between 1999 and 2009 that have resulted in nearly 250 passenger fatalities. –Of the formally investigated motorcoach accidents, –Of the formally investigated motorcoach accidents, 54 percent of bus passenger and bus driver fatalities over the past decade were caused by bus companies that were either operating illegally or with significant safety problems Priority #1 – Get the illegal, unethical companies off the road ……. NOW!

30 Lets Stay in Touch! Peter Pantuso, CTIS President & CEO 111 K Street, NE, 9 th Floor Washington, DC Phone: (202) Web Site: Reach us toll-free, 24/7 at (800)


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