Luxury Coach & Transportation

October 2018

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 18 of 67

LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION OCTOBER 2018 17 PEOPLE & OPERATIONS LuxuryTransportationScene PRESTIGIOUS MOTORCOACH GROUP WELCOMES OPERATION FROM MICHIGAN CLIO, Mich. — The International Motorcoach Group (IMG) in August in- ducted Blue Lakes Charters & Tours of Clio into its network, growing IMG to 57 companies throughout the U.S. and Canada. Blue Lakes is a family owned, third generation company that provides transportation from points of origin throughout Michigan and Northern Ohio across North America. "Over the years in this industry we have met some of the other IMG members through various associations and meetings and we are excited about the opportunity to share our insight and to learn and network with this very experienced group of professionals," Blue Lakes President David Cupp said. "The team at Blue Lakes Charters are committed to growing and im- proving their company and the areas of safety, maintenance, and training are shared values between the two organizations," said IMG's President Bronwyn Wilson. As the leading motorcoach operator network in North America, IMG's 57 independently owned premier bus charter com- panies vary in size, region, and diversity of business models with a range of offerings, including bus charters, escorted tours, limousines, and school buses. Each of IMG's member companies are required to adhere to strict standards and quali'cations for invitation-only membership that ensure they operate with the highest levels of performance. MARKETPLACE: VENDORS & PRODUCTS MCI GIVES SNEAK PEEK OF J3500 MID-SIZE MOTORCOACH LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. — MCI brought its summer season "Reliability Rally" to South- ern California on Aug. 14 where it gave area operators a 'rst-look at a prototype of its new J3500 35-foot motorcoach. The J3500 35-foot coach can carry up to 44 passengers and is available in multiple seating plans for corporate and shuttle uses. Produc- tion on the J3500 will start in January 2019 at the MCI plant in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the 'rst buses will be delivered to operators in late February or early March. The J3500 will be priced about $425,000 to $450,000. About 90% of J3500 parts are compat- ible with the larger J4500 45-ft. 56-60 passenger motorcoach. Among the motorcoaches on display, MCI included a 2019 livery version J4500 targeted toward luxury group transportation operators. The J3500 and J4500 coaches have been redesigned in the rear to accommodate more seats and a rear window option. Designers repositioned the lavatory and reoriented the engine compartment to create more space. The model has advanced driver assist systems, a changeable colored lighting system, and ample sightlines over the dashboard. MCI developed the model because more coach operators were asking for one to match the size of charter and tour groups in the 35 to 45 passenger range that did not need a larger 56-passenger bus, said Brent Maitland, VP of marketing and product planning for MCI. Customers preferred staying with the MCI parts and service network instead of going with another brand, he said. Mechan- ics can be cross trained to service the J3500 and J4500. The J3500 also is aimed at luxury transportation operators with minibuses who want to move up to motorcoaches. "A true motorcoach is a semi-monocoque chassis, not body on chassis," Maitland said. "It has a thicker tubing for the structure which offers more rigidity. You also have a better view up over the traf'c line and passengers sit above the side impact zone." Information: — Martin Romjue, LCT editor MCI President Ian Smart and VP of market- ing and product planning Brent Maitland led an MCI sales and product team who hosted about 100 attendees at the MCI mainte- nance and sales facility in Los Alamitos. MCI says the J3500 ranks "Best In Class" based on MCI comparisons of legroom, luggage capacity, fuel capacity, and interior rack space. CAPITAL MOTORCOACH SERVICE BUYS VAN HOOL BUSES IN BULK WASHINGTON, D.C. — DC Trails, a charter and tour bus company serv- ing Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, in August bought 15 new Van Hool coaches from ABC Companies including 14 2018 CX45 models and one 2018 TX with a two-door option. Both the CX and TX models are ADA equipped and include 110-volt outlets, Allison transmissions, six 15- inch monitors, aluminum wheels, and back-up cameras. The CX45 models are painted tangerine mist metallic and are powered by a Detroit engine. The TX model is powered by a Cummins engine and painted a metallic blue. DC Trails offers a unique combination of both line-run and charter services in- cluding tours and group transportation. It partners with many universities to 'll its transportation needs including Ameri- can University, Georgetown University, and George Washington University, to name a few. The TX model will be used for American University transportation in which DC Trails operates. Information:;

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