Thursday, October 31, 2013

International Bridge, Tunnel & Turnpike Association’s Statement on VA Supreme Court Ruling in Danny Meeks, et al. v. Virginia Department of Transportation, et al.

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA), the worldwide association representing toll facility owners and operators and businesses that serve them, issued the following statement reacting to the Supreme Court of Virginia’s ruling in Danny Meeks, et al. v. Virginia Department of Transportation, et al.  The ruling, issued earlier today, stated that tolls can be imposed on the Midtown and Downtown tunnels, indicating that the tolls can proceed as planned this winter.

“The Supreme Court of Virginia issued the correct ruling today in determining that tolls on the Midtown and Downtown tunnels are constitutional,” said Patrick D. Jones, Executive Director and CEO of IBTTA.  “Tolls are not a tax; they are a user fee. The truth is that tolls are a fair and precise way to pay for transportation facilities because there is a clear and direct link between use of the facility and payment for that use.  If you don’t use the facility, you don’t pay for it. You only pay a toll when you choose to drive on a toll road for a higher level of convenience, reliability and safety.”

Jones went on to react to today’s ruling by stating, “With an ever increasing burden on states and municipalities to pay for highway and infrastructure development and maintenance, tolling is an incredibly valuable tool that must remain in the toolbox for government officials.  Today’s ruling thankfully allows officials in the Commonwealth of Virginia to continue to embrace tolling as a proven, reliable funding method that is already delivering results in 34 states across the country.”

IBTTA recently released a new fact sheet addressing the top five myths circulated by opponents of tolling, including the myth that “tolling is double taxation”. The fact sheet, “Debunking the Myths of Highway Tolling”, outlines the truths about tolling as a successful and proven way to fund our nation’s highways and, in some situations, an increasingly appropriate and viable alternative to other forms of transportation funding and financing.

The fact sheet states some of the “primary benefits” of tolling include “better, safer roads; less congestion; more predictable trip times and reduced need for taxes to pay for roads.”  Tolls provide money today for projects that can be built in the near future and meet the demand for decades to come.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Research and Markets: 2012 European Fleet Managers' Willingness to Pay for FMS

DUBLIN--()--Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/5s9c7c/2012_european) has announced the addition of the "2012 European Fleet Managers' Willingness to Pay for FMS" report to their offering.
“2012 European Fleet Managers' Willingness to Pay for FMS”
Voice of the Customer Study
The overall objectives of this study are to investigate typical attitudes towards fleet telematics (fleet management system solutions), to understand the key feature and service expectations, to explore perceptions and willingness to pay for fleet telematics services, to examine vendor satisfaction and brand perceptions, and to look into vendor consideration and selection criteria.

Data was collected in June and July 2012 by means of a panel-based survey in France, Germany, UK, Italy, and Benelux. A total of 155 decision makers or key influencers for fleet management solutions were surveyed and the findings showed that vehicle management and fleet security and control are currently the two most-used services.

Key Topics Covered
1. Research Objectives and Method Details
2. Overview of the Commercial Vehicles Telematics Market
3. Executive Summary
4. Fleet Facts and Purchase Criteria - Commercial Vehicles
5. FMS in Use Attitude Towards FMS
6. FMS - Awareness and Familiarity
7. Future Interest in FMS
8. Willingness to Pay and Business Models
9. Vendor Consideration and Selection Criteria For FMS
10. Key Conclusions
11. Appendices
12. The Frost & Sullivan Story

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/5s9c7c/2012_european
 
About Research and Markets 
Research and Markets is the world's leading source for international market research reports and market data. We provide you with the latest data on international and regional markets, key industries, the top companies, new products and the latest trends.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

CKCVR Annual Fleet Study Shows Some Positive Signs for 2014

Columbus, OH (October 29, 2013) CK Commercial Vehicle Research (www.ckcvr.com) has completed their 2013 Annual Fleet Study.  Fifty-five representatives from small, medium and large for-hire, private and government fleets responded to this year's 20 - question survey covering planned 2014 truck and trailer purchases for replacement and added capacity, brand choice drivers, equipment specifications, new technologies, effects of new regulations including Hours of Service, overall fleet health and challenges for 2014.   The study is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the commercial vehicle industry.

Key points from this year's study include:

·         Percentage of survey participants planning equipment purchases in 2014 for Class 8 and trailer equipment similar to 2013.

·         Volumes for 2014 should increase over 2013 for all classes of vehicles covered in this report

·         More upside for 2014 orders than risks

·         Availability of drivers continues to impact planned purchases and ability to add capacity

·         Spec's to reduce fuel consumption gaining with fuel efficiency the number one factor chosen most often as a reason to buy a particular truck brand

·         Small percentage of planned Class 8 and trailer purchases designated for added capacity

·         Hours of Service, along with other pending regulations, having an affect

·         Most fleets in good shape

·         90+% of freight originates in the U.S. for the survey group

·         Biggest challenge in 2014 - people (drivers and techs)


For more information about CKCVR's 2013 Annual Fleet Study and details on how to order the 28-page report, send an e-mail to chris@ckcvr.com or visit www.ckcvr.com and click on 2013 Annual Fleet Study

About CK Commercial Vehicle Research

CK Commercial Vehicle Research (CKCVR) is a business of CK Marketing & Communications located in Columbus, Ohio. CKCVR regularly polls fleet decision makers about equipment purchasing, technology choices, fleet operating environment, maintenance practices and current industry issues  CKCVR’s fleet advisers represent a mix of large, medium and small for-hire, private and government fleet operations.

Schneider National Shares Impact, Challenges of Hours of Services Changes

GREEN BAY, Wis. – (Oct. 24, 2013) – For most transportation carriers, predicting the impact of the July 1 Hours of Service (HOS) changes required a crystal ball. But for premier truckload, logistics and intermodal provider Schneider National, the process involved more science than fiction.

Since the new HOS implementation, Schneider has realized a 3.1 percent drop in productivity on solo shipments and a 4.3 percent decline on team shipments. The results are similar to Schneider’s forecasted 3–4 percent, which was based on predictive modeling and presented as testimony to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in February 2011.

“The Hours of Service changes could not have come at a worse time,” said Dave Geyer, senior vice president/general manager of Schneider’s Van Truckload division. “We now need more drivers to do the same amount of work, but regulations, economic conditions and demographics are working against us in terms of recruiting new drivers. Those who do answer the call deserve an attractive wage and good benefits, but we’re being restricted in the number of miles we can give them and the ongoing challenges that come with sharply rising operating costs.”

While productivity has been impacted, safety has not.

“Operating safely continues to be core to how we do business,” added Geyer. “Safety performance dramatically improved under the previous Hours of Service rules and there is no evidence to support that changing the rules has improved safety. Ongoing feedback from our drivers is consistent: they do not feel better rested as a result of the rules change; just less productive.”

For many drivers, the lure and independence of the open road are no longer worth the pay and regulatory pressure they are now facing. Driver turnover is trending up and is back at prerecession levels.

Citing a recent research brief, John Larkin, managing director of Stifel Transportation & Logistics Research Group, stated regulations such as HOS create a challenging driver market. “Virtually all of the proposed federal rules and regulations either reduce the size of the driver pool or reduce the productivity of the drivers remaining in the pool,” he noted. “As a result, drivers remain a scarce input.”

Carriers and drivers aren’t the only ones adjusting to the changes; shippers are feeling the impact, too. Many shippers are indicating carriers across the industry – as well as their own private fleets – are already experiencing productivity and on-time service declines.

“To put it in the simplest of terms, capacity continues to tighten, productivity has been reduced and it’s harder – and more costly – than ever to acquire and retain drivers,” Geyer explained. “This trifecta is a cost burden that carriers cannot bear alone.”

About Schneider National, Inc.
Schneider National, Inc. is a premier provider of truckload, logistics and intermodal services. Offering the broadest portfolio of services in the industry, Schneider’s solutions include Van Truckload, Dedicated, Regional, Bulk, Intermodal, Brokerage, Supply Chain Management, Integrated Delivery and Port Logistics.

A $3.5 billion company, Schneider National has provided expert transportation and logistics solutions for over 77 years. For more information about Schneider National, visit www.schneider.com.

Biodiesel Production Tops 1 Billion Gallons

WASHINGTON – New EPA statistics released Thursday show the biodiesel industry has cracked the 1 billion gallon mark for the third consecutive year, with several months of production remaining.

“This is a tremendous achievement that is a testament to the hard work of the biodiesel industry and the success of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as an effective policy for diversifying our fuel supplies,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board. “Biodiesel is proving that Advanced Biofuels are working now, and we need the Obama Administration and Congress to continue this success.”

Biodiesel is the first EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide and 1 billion gallons of annual production. With plants in almost every state in the country, the industry has surpassed RFS targets since the program began while using an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats.

The latest production figures, which cover volumes reported through September, show that the industry produced 140 million gallons in September, for a year-to-date biodiesel total of nearly 1.1 billion gallons.

EPA’s production volumes are reported under the Biomass-based Diesel category of the RFS. To view the figures, visit the EPA's website here. The monthly numbers show a total of nearly 167 million gallons under the Biomass-based Diesel category for the month of September. That total includes some 27 million gallons of renewable diesel, a diesel replacement similar to biodiesel that uses a different technology.

For the year, total Biomass-based Diesel production under the RFS stands at more than 1.2 billion gallons, on pace to reach some 1.7 billion gallons by year’s end, significantly exceeding the RFS requirement of 1.28 billion gallons.

NBB is the U.S. biodiesel trade association. Last year, the industry supported some 50,000 jobs nationwide. Under the EPA’s definition, Advanced Biofuels under the RFS must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent compared with petroleum diesel. The agency has determined that biodiesel’s reduction is 57 percent to 86 percent.

Alliance AutoGas Announces New EPA Certifications for Propane Vehicle Conversions

Asheville, NC, October 25, 2013 – National clean vehicle and fuel provider Alliance AutoGas announces that it has recently received new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifications for propane covering over 50 vehicle platforms.

Alliance AutoGas, the U.S. authorized distributor for PRINS autogas technologies, converts conventional gasoline vehicles to run on clean propane autogas and installs on-site and public fueling stations. This year, make and model families for which Alliance AutoGas has received EPA certification of the Prins VSI System are: 2012 & 3013 GM 4.8L & 6.0L which includes vehicles such as the Silverado and Express.

“Four additional certifications are completed and awaiting final EPA authorization, five more are in process and will be completed by 4th quarter 2013,” notes Stuart Weidie, President of Alliance AutoGas.  “We are hastening the pace of the certifications while continuing to build our support and training network on a daily basis.”

Stuart Weidie calls these newly announced certifications a “critical step in expanding our portfolio to meet the increasing high market demand.”

Public and private fleets that work with Alliance AutoGas to convert these vehicle models will reduce emissions and fuel costs simultaneously – all while using a domestic made fuel.

The EPA certifications, provided by Blossman Services, Inc., equipment technology provider of Alliance AutoGas, allow the Alliance to serve more fleets across the country – particularly government and commercial fleets that rely heavily upon light and medium vehicles like vans and trucks.  Current Alliance Autogas customers, which range from national transportation companies, taxi & shuttle fleets, law enforcement and private fleets in 41 states, are experiencing significant fuel cost savings and reduced maintenance when compared to conventional gasoline-powered vehicles.

Alliance AutoGas is America’s only complete program to transition fleets to clean burning propane autogas. The Alliance AutoGas program includes vehicle technology, EPA-certified conversions, refueling infrastructure, data integration, fuel supply, and all the training you need to keep your fleet up and running on autogas.  Originally founded by Blossman Gas ,the nation’s largest independent propane company, Alliance AutoGas is comprised of more than 90 companies nationwide.   Visit www.allianceautogas.com.Contact: David Finder, National Energy Programs Manager for Blossman Gas at 828.251.0027 or dmfinder@blossmangas.com

PRINS – PRINS Alternative Fuel Systems, a group company of SHV Energy with headquarters in the Netherlands, has been a world leader in the development of alternative fuel systems for more than 25 years. PRINS is a global supplier of alternative fuel systems and components for automotive, bus, HDV, industrial and marine applications and has established distribution channels in over 50 countries. Visit www.prinsautogas.com.

Mojio Secures $2.3 Million Seed Financing and Previews Key Features for First Version Connected Car App

VANCOUVER, BC – October 28, 2013 – Mojio (MO-jee-oh), the company connecting cars to your favorite people, places and things, today announced that it has closed a seed financing round led by Relay Ventures, with participation from 500 Startups, BDC and a number of other private funds. The $2.3 million in seed financing will be used by Mojio to bring to market its connected car app, which is in the final stages of development and will launch within a few months.

“Mojio is creating a custom driver experience through an ecosystem of car apps that will mirror the highly personalized relationships people have with their smartphones, making people’s driving lives intuitive and seamless,” said Jay Giraud, CEO of Mojio. “This financing has now propelled our company to a leadership position to bring that vision to the rapidly growing connected car market.”

Mojio is a cloud-connected device for cars. It is supported by a smartphone app for iOS and Android that unlocks and connects real-time vehicle information to a user’s life. From parking payments to turning off lights as a user leaves home, Mojio will automate many everyday tasks while keeping driver safety and convenience top of mind. Quick and easy to install, the device simply plugs into the onboard diagnostic port (OBD) of most cars introduced since 1996. Mojio uses an always-on cellular connection and an open platform to support an ecosystem of drivers, partners and companies focused on continually improving the driver experience through the world’s first app store for cars.

“Mojio has the right approach to becoming the breakaway leader of the connected car space and has the right team to execute on the company’s vision,” said John Occhipinti, partner at Relay Ventures.

The first release of Mojio will include diagnostic reporting, social connection and location tools:

Diagnostic Reporting

Mojio protects cars by collecting critical vehicle data and alerting the driver in simple language when there is a problem, and provides peace of mind when all systems are in check. The era of the painfully vague “engine” light will come to an end as Mojio specifies the problem and will soon recommend mechanics offering a real-time deal or the nearest locations for a repair. Mojio will also offer road warriors mileage tracking and quick and easy fuel efficiency reports.

Social Connectivity

Each Mojio user creates a profile complete with their user preferences and car details. Mojio automatically loads the user’s profile to create a seamless connected driving experience in any Mojio-enabled car. With a couple of screen swipes, Mojio lets drivers share their data or follow friends with turn-by-turn directions. Mojio also keeps driver safety and attention top of mind by removing the social pressure to respond to texts while driving by auto-responding on the driver’s behalf. Mojio knows the driver’s next destination and will automatically notify people they will be meeting of an updated estimated time of arrival (ETA). These features help to ensure the driver remains focused on the road.

Location Tools

With a 4G cell connection built right into the Mojio device, drivers are connected to the car at all times. This enables the driver to easily find their car, which is particularly useful when sharing a car or parking in a hurry. Mojio will alert the driver if the car is being towed, stolen or broken into, and can provide real-time tracking to police or help deliver facts for an insurance claim. Mojio also offers geo-fencing options that can let the owner know how fast or far the car is being driven at the hands of another driver.

Additional apps will be made available from the Mojio app store for cars. These will be announced in Q1 2014.

About Mojio

Mojio is reinventing driving around your smartphone, keeping you connected to your favorite people, places and things. A cloud-connected device for your car and an app for your smartphone, Mojio unlocks your real-time vehicle information and connects that information to your life. From parking payments to turning off lights as you leave home, Mojio will automate many of your everyday tasks, keeping driver safety and convenience top of mind. As an open platform, Mojio has created an ecosystem that lets people and organizations develop apps that help drivers save time, money and headaches - and have fun doing it. For more information, please visit: www.moj.io

International Tolling Association Releases “Debunking the Myths of Highway Tolling

WASHINGTON, DC – The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA), the worldwide association representing toll facility owners and operators and businesses that serve them, today released a new fact sheet addressing the top five myths circulated by opponents of tolling. The fact sheet, “Debunking the Myths of Highway Tolling”, outlines the truths about tolling as a successful and proven way to fund our nation’s highways and, in some situations, an increasingly appropriate and viable alternative to more traditional forms of transportation financing.  

The new IBTTA fact sheet states:

“Highway tolling is a proven, reliable funding method that is already delivering results in 34 states and Puerto Rico, but unfortunately, federal law prohibits states from using tolls to rebuild existing lanes of interstate highways.”  It goes on to state that these major myths around tolling “are making it tougher for tolling to help fill our nation’s infrastructure funding gap.”

Some of the “primary benefits” of tolling include “better, safer roads; less congestion; more predictable trip times and reduced need for taxes to pay for roads.”  The fact sheet says, “Tolls provide money today for projects that can be built in the near future and meet the demand for decades to come.”

The top five myths that the new fact sheet addresses are:

Myth #1:  “Our Highways Are Already Paid For” -- The reality is that there are no free roads. There are only toll roads and tax supported roads. The big difference is that you only pay for a toll road when you choose to drive on it.

Myth #2:  “Tolling is Double Taxation” -- A toll is a user fee, not a tax.

Myth #3:  “Tolling Causes Delays and Congestion” -- Today, most toll roads, bridges and tunnels collect tolls electronically, keeping traffic flow moving.  All Electronic Tolling also improves local air quality by reducing idling and congestion.

Myth #4:  “Tolling Technology Violates Driver Privacy” -- The toll facility operators, like other businesses, protect their customer data and typically retain transaction data only long enough to ensure proper payment.

Myth #5: “It Costs Too Much To Collect Tolls” -- According to a 2012 Reason Foundation study, the cost of collecting tolls in a mature AET system may actually be cheaper than the cost of collecting the gas tax.
In April, IBTTA released, “Tolling in Brief,” another fact sheet that called on the federal government to embrace additional funding options, including tolling.

Both fact sheets have been released as part of IBTTA’s public awareness campaign, Moving America Forward, which was launched to highlight the benefits of tolling to policy-makers, the media, and other interested parties. More information can be found at www.ibtta.org/MAF.

BRIAN WRIGHT JOINS DONLEN AS SVP, PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Northbrook, IL — Donlen, the fleet industry's most comprehensive provider of integrated financing and asset management solutions, announced today that Brian Wright joins Donlen as Senior Vice President, Products and Services. In this role, Mr. Wright will be responsible for the entire lifecycle of key Donlen product offerings from strategic planning through execution.

Mr. Wright will be a member of Donlen’s Senior Leadership Team, reporting directly to Tom Callahan, Donlen President.

“At Donlen, we’re committed to providing world-class products and services for our customers, and we continue build a team of industry experts who will help Donlen achieve our long-term goals,” said Mr. Callahan. “Brian’s pragmatic marketing framework, proven product management skills, and keen external focus aligns well with our strategic direction and will ensure we continue to provide our customers with the tools they need to succeed.”

Mr. Wright brings expertise to Donlen in several key areas, including strategic marketing, product development, Six Sigma methodologies, change management, and P&L discipline.

“I’m thrilled to join such a talented team,” said Mr. Wright. “Donlen is leading the industry by providing solutions that fleet managers need to effectively manage their vehicles, and I look forward with working with Tom and the Donlen team to build on those offerings and bring even more value to our customers.”

Most recently, Mr. Wright was Sr. VP US Channel and Alliance Market at Ceridian Corporation, where he previously held the position of Sr. VP and Chief Marketing Officer. He has also held the position of Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager, Vehicle Life Management at GE Fleet Services.

Mr. Wright achieved his Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification in 2003, and is the recipient of several awards, including the GE Pinnacle Award and the GE Fleet Services President’s Award. He holds a BA from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA, and a Masters of Divinity from Duke University in Durham, NC.

For more information about Donlen, visit www.donlen.com.

About Donlen Corporation

Donlen is the industry's leading provider of integrated financing and management solutions for corporate fleets. Utilizing a highly consultative and strategic approach, Donlen helps fleets reduce cost, improve utilization, and increase driver safety and productivity. Donlen's innovation has been honored with the Computerworld 2012 Honors Laureate for Economic Development, the 2012 and 2013 InformationWeek 500 List of Top Technology Innovators Across America, and the 2013 CIO 100. Their workplace excellence has been recognized on the IAOP The Global Outsourcing 100® list for seven of the last eight years, and as one of the 101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago each year from 2007-2012. Founded in 1965 and headquartered in Northbrook, IL, Donlen is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation (NYSE: HTZ). For more information about Donlen, visit www.donlen.com.

ATD Announces Nominees for 2014 Commercial Truck of the Year

McLEAN, Va. (Oct. 28, 2013) – The American Truck Dealers (ATD) has announced seven nominees for the 2014 ATD Commercial Truck of the Year, an annual award recognizing the top truck entries in the heavy- and medium-duty categories.

The heavy-duty (Class 8) nominees are International ProStar with Cummins ISX15, Kenworth T880 Vocational Truck with PACCAR MX-13 engine and Peterbilt Model 579. The medium-duty (Class 3-7) nominees are Hino 195h-DC, International TerraStar 4x4, Kenworth Class 6 K370 Cabover and Peterbilt Model 220.

The award recognizes a winner in each category. The winners will be announced Sunday, Jan. 26, during the 2014 ATD Convention & Expo, which runs concurrently with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Expo in New Orleans from Jan. 24-27.

The winners will be determined by a panel of journalists, who test drove and evaluated the trucks at the Manheim’s auction site in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 18. The judging categories include innovation, design, safety and driver satisfaction. For truck photos and descriptions, click here. (http://www.nada.org/American+Truck+Dealers/ATD+Commercial+Truck+of+the+Year/)

Keynote speakers at the 51st annual ATD convention include Lt. Gen. Russel L. HonorĂ© (U.S. Army Ret.), who led the Defense Department’s response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana; Philip Byrd, chairman of the American Trucking Associations; and ATD Chairman Dick Witcher, chief executive officer of Minuteman Trucks in Walpole, Mass.

For more information or to register, visit www.atdconvention.org.

About ATD

The American Truck Dealers, a division of NADA, represents about 2,000 medium- and heavy-duty truck dealers. ATD members share in NADA’s programs, services and benefits. For more information, visit www.atd.org.

Xantrex continues Freedom SW series momentum with the launch of New 24V inverter/chargers

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Oct. 29, 2013 – (Marine NewsWire) Originally launched 16 years ago in 12V configuration and then re-engineered in early 2010 with pure sine wave technology, the best-selling Xantrex Freedom SW series of inverters/chargers continues to thrive and evolve, enjoying strong consumer demand in both recreational and commercial markets. Building on the amazing success of 12V models, the all-new 24V models represent a logical line extension, embodying all of the premium qualities that built the Freedom name.

“The new 24V models deliver a great mix of clean AC power, rapid charging performance, a wealth of features … all at a very enticing price,” said John McMillan, Director of Sales, Xantrex brand at Schneider Electric. “The demand for these new products is very high with a plethora of orders already in our system. We are an engineering company at heart – the rapid evolution of the Freedom SW is a testament to our passion of refining and developing new products and technologies.”

Designed for use in large boats, RVs, buses, commercial trucks and other heavy-duty applications, the new Freedom SW 24V is ideal for powering a demanding mix of AC loads and charging large 24V battery banks. The Freedom SW 24V, available in 2000W/50A and 3000W/75A models, incorporate pure sine wave performance and advanced features including parallel and series stacking and generator support mode. Parallel stacking allows for system expansion by enabling two units to work in synergy to provide up to twice the rated current and charging output. Series stacking enables operation of 240VAC applications such as a dryer, water pump or welder. Generator Support Mode enables the Freedom SW to automatically supplement a generator when AC loads exceed the generator’s capacity. In addition, a myriad of built-in features enable users to customize the performance to suit their specific needs.

The Freedom SW offers full output at higher temperatures and features efficient, power factor corrected charging. Just like its 12V counterparts, the 24V models have been thoroughly tested in Xantrex’s internal Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) chamber under extreme conditions to ensure the highest degree of reliability, and are specified to meet CSA, UL 458 with marine supplement, FCC Class B and ABYC requirements. Both models are in stock and available to aftermarket and OEM partners.

A video detailing key features and benefits is available at http://bit.ly/1bDuSLb. The datasheet is downloadable at www.xantrex.com.

About Xantrex

The Xantrex brand, owned by Schneider Electric, is one of the most successful and popular brands of onboard AC power technology. Xantrex products are used in a variety of applications in the RV, marine, military, construction, EMS, bus, work service vehicle and commercial truck markets. Xantrex ensures its products are put through extensive reliability testing and certifies its products to comply with various regulatory standards to meet or exceed the applicable requirements for safety, quality, efficiency and environment. With more than three decades of design, engineering and manufacturing experience backed by Schneider Electric’s global infrastructure, Xantrex power solutions offer an enviable mix of advanced technology and unmatched bankability.
www.xantrex.com

About Schneider Electric

As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, and data centers/networks, as well as a broad presence in residential applications. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, and efficient, the company's 140,000 plus employees achieved sales of 24 billion Euros in 2012, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations “Make the most of their energy.”
www.schneider-electric.com

Regional Transportation Authority Awards Travel Information Center Contract to First Transit

CINCINNATI—The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) in Chicago recently announced that First Transit will manage its Travel Information Center (TIC). The new TIC will be located in Glen Ellyn, IL as of January 2014, and will handle the 5.2 million calls the Center receives annually.

The TIC will offer several service enhancements including an expanded Interactive Voice Response System scheduled for launch in July, 2014, which will provide trip-planning information about riding the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace, 24-hours a day. Currently, the RTA’s TIC operates 20 hours a day. Riders can reach the Center by telephone, email or via web chat. The new TIC will also generate automated customer satisfaction surveys. The transition to the new Center will be seamless to customers, who can continue to call 836-7000 from anywhere in the region. The RTA will also continue to provide its online trip planning services at rtachicago.org.

First Transit is a leading private provider of transit management and contracting services, providing complete operations and transit management services, comprehensive preventative maintenance and inspection programs to meet customer transportation and budgetary needs.

About First Transit
First Transit, Inc. - a division of Cincinnati, Ohio-based FirstGroup America - is a leading provider of transit management and contracting services. With more than 50 years of experience, First Transit operates and manages nearly 11,000 buses for transit authorities, state and federal agencies, municipal organizations, colleges and universities, and private companies across North America. The safety and security of its passengers is the company’s core value, and the organization has been recognized by the National Safety Council for its commitment to safety and outstanding safety record. For more information, visit www.firsttransit.com or follow the company on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FirstGrpAmerica.

About the RTA: The RTA provides financial oversight, funding and regional planning for the three public transit operations in Northeastern Illinois: The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus and train, Metra commuter rail and Pace suburban bus and paratransit.  For more information, visit www.RTAchicago.org.

Universal Lubricants Names Murray VP of Environmental Services

WICHITA, Kan. (October 29, 2013) –Universal Lubricants®, a leader in sustainable energy solutions, today announced the promotion of environmental industry veteran Ned Murray to vice president of environmental services.

Murray now is responsible for the company’s environmental and industrial services division, including, used oil and filter collection, vacuum services, industrial cleaning, environmental project management, hazardous and non-hazardous waste disposal and transportation, drum removal, and wastewater collection and treatment.

Murray’s knowledge of environmental services is grounded in 30 years of experience working with Safety-Kleen in field services, project management and business development, as well Clean Harbors, Perma-Fix Environmental Services and MHF Logistical Solutions. He was a vice president with Shamrock Environmental Corporation prior to joining Universal Lubricants in April 2012 as director of sales for the company’s Industrial Division. In January 2013, he also became general manager of Universal Lubricants’ expanding South Division. Murray is the company’s primary representative in NORA, an association of responsible recyclers.

“Ned is an innovative leader who has worked in every aspect of the environmental services industry from Superfund cleanups to the Gulf oil spill and industrial waste removal,” said CEO Jan Horsfall.  "He knows this business inside and out, and is a strong advocate for our closed loop process.”

Universal Lubricants' closed loop process is a self-contained, self-sufficient system for collecting used oil, then re-refining, blending, servicing and distributing it as clean, high performance lubricants.

“Our closed loop process can continue on – using the very same oil – for as long as America uses oil.” Murray said. “It requires that each of our divisions – used oil collection, re-refining, blending and servicing – work together seamlessly to recover and reuse virtually everything the company touches. Compliance and safety are top priorities for our employees and customers. My team’s job is to service our customer's environmental services needs, while ensuring we follow the law, maintain compliance with all environmental regulations and keep our employees safe. “

A leader in environmental stewardship, Universal Lubricants operates a state-of-the-art re-refinery in Wichita. The company is building on its momentum to expand geographically while staying true to its history of long-term, productive customer relationships.

For more information about Universal Lubricants’ products, services and its closed loop process, please visit www.universallubes.com


About Universal Lubricants®
Founded in 1929, Universal Lubricants is a driving force in used oil collection, base oil refining and distribution. Through its closed loop process, the company collects, re-refines, blends and re-distributes its own engine oils and lubricants – never losing guardianship within the chain – to ensure that every quart is of the highest quality for optimal performance. Universal Lubricants operates 36 facilities nationally, including one of the world's most technologically advanced re-refineries in Wichita, Kansas. A leader in research and development, Universal Lubricants is a Pegasus Capital Advisors portfolio company and employs more than 430 workers. For more information visit www.universallubes.com.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

CAR LEASE CUSTOMER CREDIT APPROVALS CONTINUE SLIGHT DECLINE

CINCINNATI, OHIO (October 23, 2013) – Swapalease.com, the nation’s largest car lease marketplace, reports the latest year-to-date credit approvals average recorded at 72.7% in September, down slightly from a 74.5% approvals rate YTD in August. The average YTD approvals rate considered to be “healthy” is 70%, according to the company.

A new auto lease trend appears to have formed over the last three months, one that shows the approval rate slipping during the previous three months compared with the same time last year when the rate showed a slight increasing trend (see chart below). Swapalease.com executives say this trend is most likely the case because the company is processing 45.5% more applications this year compared with the same time last year.

“There are more drivers looking to change their vehicle today compared with this time last year, which is also reflected in the increased number of people shopping for a different car in the showrooms,” said Scot Hall, Executive Vice President of Swapalease.com. “We expect to see the overall approvals average shift a little during this process, as a large segment of these shoppers are still focused on improving their credit from the downturn.”

Credit is the lifeblood of vehicle leasing, and each incoming driver looking to take over a lease on the Swapalease.com marketplace must be approved by the car lease company. In reviewing approvals activity only, Swapalease.com has seen 39% more approvals when comparing the previous three months of 2013 with the same time in 2012, and 16.8% more approvals YTD in 2013 compared with the previous year.


 About Swapalease.com

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Swapalease.com is the world’s largest automotive lease marketplace and the pioneer in facilitating lease transfers online. More specifically Swapalease.com matches individuals who want to get out of their lease with people who are looking for short-term lease agreements. Prospective buyers can search the listings for the exact vehicle they want, and then register for a nominal fee, allowing them to use Swapalease.com’s safe online system to contact the prospective seller and close the deal. For more information about Swapalease.com or how to exit your lease early, call 866-SWAPNOW or visit www.swapalease.com.

Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s Survey of Economic Activity: Monthly Leasing and Finance Index


Washington, DC, October 23, 2013— The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25), which reports economic activity from 25 companies representing a cross section of the $725 billion equipment finance sector, showed their overall new business volume for September was $7.7 billion, down 6 percent compared to volume in September 2012. Month-over-month, new business volume was up 20 percent from August. Year to date, cumulative new business volume increased 6 percent compared to 2012.

Receivables over 30 days were at 1.5 percent in September, down slightly from 1.6 percent in August. Delinquencies declined from 1.8 percent in the same period in 2012. Charge-offs were unchanged from August at 0.4 percent, and only slightly higher than the previous five months’ all-time low of 0.3 percent.

Credit approvals totaled 77.3 percent in September, down from 79.1 percent the previous month.  Fifty-six percent of participating organizations reported submitting more transactions for approval during September, unchanged from the previous month.

Finally, total headcount for equipment finance companies was up 1.2 percent year over year.

Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation's Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) for October is 54.0, a decline from the September index of 61.3, demonstrating the negative impact of the federal government’s budget response on an otherwise steady industry outlook. 

ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAEsaid: “September’s year-over-year drop in new business volume seems to reflect a pull-back in corporate confidence in the U.S. economy spawned by the fiscal crisis in Washington. Uncertainty created by the inability of policy makers to come together to agree on sustained tax and spending policy is holding back the U.S.economy, and in particular, capital investment. The equipment finance industry and our members look forward to getting past this crisis and on with the business of supporting sound growth policies that stimulate capital formation, stabilize the capital markets, and, ultimately, strengthen our economy.”

Daniel Krajewski, Vice President, Business Development, Direct Capital Corporation, said, “After an expected decline in the summer months there was a healthy rebound in activity in September, which exceeded the early Q2 spike. We remain cautiously optimistic about the continued growth in the sector and are encouraged to see that average delinquency metrics remain low. We believe that we will close out the year strong, but are consistently monitoring the economic and governmental issues that may impact demand.”

About the ELFA’s MLFI-25

The MLFI-25 is the only index that reflects capex, or the volume of commercial equipment financed in the U.S. The MLFI-25is released globally at 8 a.m. Eastern time from WashingtonD.C., each month on the day before the U.S. Department of Commerce releases the durable goods report. The MLFI-25 is a financial indicator that complements the durable goods report and other economic indexes, including the Institute for Supply Management Index, which reports economic activity in the manufacturing sector. Together with the MLFI-25 these reports provide a complete view of the status of productive assets in theU.S. economy:  equipment produced, acquired and financed.

The MLFI-25 is a time series that reflects two years of business activity for the 25 companies currently participating in the survey. The latest MLFI-25, including methodology and participants is available below and also athttp://www.elfaonline.org/Research/MLFI/

MLFI-25 Methodology
The ELFA produces the MLFI-25 survey to help member organizations achieve competitive advantage by providing them with leading-edge research and benchmarking information to support strategic business decision making.
The MLFI-25 is a barometer of the trends in U.S. capital equipment investment. Five components are included in the survey:new business volume (originations), aging of receivables, charge-offs, credit approval ratios, (approved vs. submitted) andheadcount for the equipment finance business.
The MLFI-25 measures monthly commercial equipment lease and loan activity as reported by participating ELFA member equipment finance companies representing a cross section of the equipment finance sector, including small ticket, middle-market, large ticket, bank, captive and independent leasing and finance companies. Based on hard survey data, the responses mirror the economic activity of the broader equipment finance sector and current business conditions nationally.


ADP Credit
BancorpSouth Equipment Finance
Bank of America
Bank of the West
BB&T Bank
BMO Harris Equipment Finance
Canon Financial Services
Caterpillar Financial Services
CIT
De Lage Landen Financial Services
Dell Financial Services
Direct Capital Corporation
EverBank Commercial Finance
Fifth Third Equipment Finance
First American Equipment Finance, a City National Bank Company
GreatAmerica Financial Services
Hitachi Credit America
HP Financial Services
Huntington Equipment Finance
John Deere Financial
Key Equipment Finance
LEAF Commercial Capital
M&T Bank
Marlin Leasing
Merchants Capital
PNC Equipment Finance
RBS Asset Finance
SG Equipment Finance
Siemens Financial Services
Stearns Bank
Suntrust
Susquehanna Commercial Finance
US Bancorp Equipment Finance
Verizon Capital
Volvo Financial Services
Wells Fargo Equipment Finance


About the ELFA
The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) is the trade association that represents companies in the $725 billion equipment finance sector, which includes financial services companies and manufacturers engaged in financing capital goods. ELFA members are the driving force behind the growth in the commercial equipment finance market and contribute to capital formation in the U.S. and abroad. Its more than 575 members include independent and captive leasing and finance companies, banks, financial services corporations, broker/packagers and investment banks, as well as manufacturers and service providers. ELFA has been equipping business for success for more than 50 years. For more information, please visit www.elfaonline.org.

ELFA is the premier source for statistics and analyses concerning the equipment finance sector. Please visithttp://www.elfaonline.org/Research/  for additional information.

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation is the non-profit affiliate to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, providing future-focused research to the equipment finance industry. For more information please visit the website atwww.leasefoundation.org

NAIAS road trips bring major product commitments


Detroit, Mich., Oct. 22, 2013 -- With a full three months prior to show time, Detroit's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) has secured dozens of worldwide vehicle introductions. The products will debut in nearly all vehicle categories, including concepts, luxury, sports/performance, crossovers, trucks, SUVs, and alternative fuel technologies. More than 30 press conferences are expected to be held during two NAIAS Press Preview days, January 13-14, 2014, at Detroit's Cobo Center.

After numerous meetings with global auto manufacturers in Detroit, Los Angeles and Frankfurt, the dynamic NAIAS executive team has returned with an impressive lineup of confirmed production and concept vehicles that automakers will show for the first time anywhere - at NAIAS 2014, largely considered to be one of the top five shows in the world. 

NAIAS 2014 Chairman Bob Shuman said automakers around the world continue to demonstrate the importance of the Detroit show relative to their global launch platforms by committing numerous world debuts.
"Manufacturers have clearly stated that 'Detroit' continues to be a significant component in their global auto show strategies," said Shuman. "Our partnership with manufacturers in Asia, Europe, and North America has never been stronger, and their ongoing confidence in the NAIAS is evident by the critical worldwide product unveilings headed for Detroit's world stage." 

Manufacturers, to date, that have confirmed worldwide vehicle debuts (some multiple) at NAIAS 2014:
 
  • Acura
  • Hyundai
  • Audi
  • Kia Motors America
  • Bentley
  • Lexus
  • BMW
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Cadillac
  • Nissan
  • Chrysler Group
  • Subaru
  • Chevrolet
  • Toyota
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Volkswagen
  • GMC
  • Volvo
"For 25 years automakers have designated NAIAS as the venue of choice for worldwide and North American vehicle unveilings, new exhibits, and breakthrough product technology," said Shuman. "Our close contact and work with manufacturers throughout the year has a direct correlation with the number of worldwide products that are launched here, the number and rank of corporate executives that participate, and the incredible number of international press that cover the NAIAS. The actions of the automakers confirms their continuing confidence in Detroit."

New Cobo Center Part of Nation's Hottest Downtown
Despite recent challenges, the City of Detroit is experiencing rapid growth and vigorous economic development. With new business, housing and hotels opening in the city, a positive, vibrant attitude has washed over the region. Perhaps the most visual representation of the exciting rebirth is the new and improved Cobo Center.
Visitors to NAIAS 2014 will be among the first to see the completed construction improvements, and will amaze at the transformation of the former Cobo Arena, now known as the Grand Ballroom. Portions of the dramatic, 40,000 square-foot, glass-enclosed space in-the-round provides floor-to-ceiling views of the Detroit River, the Detroit skyline, and the shoreline of neighboring Windsor, Ontario. The Grand Ballroom, which accommodates up to 3,500 people, also features a hydraulic stage lift, perfect for press conference vehicle reveals, and transporting show cars from the street level below. Additionally, Cobo's shimmering, new, three-story glass atrium awaits NAIAS ribbon cutting activities, concerts, and other main stage events amid 30,000 square feet of contiguous networking space.

Kenworth Sales Company Opens Full-Service Location in Heyburn, Idaho


HEYBURN, Idaho, Oct. 22, 2013 – Kenworth Sales Company has relocated its parts dealership in Heyburn, Idaho, to a newly renovated full-service facility offering expanded customer support.

Kenworth Sales Company’s new 19,000 square-foot facility has 12 service bays for service and PACCAR engine support, 5,700 square feet of parts storage and display space featuring quality Kenworth proprietary and TRP all-makes parts, and a comfortable driver’s lounge. The dealership is located on 8 acres north of Exit 208 on U.S. Interstate 84 at 322 South 600 West, adjacent to a motel and a travel center with fuel stations. The new location has a large parking lot with ample room for drivers to maneuver their trucks and trailers.

Salt Lake City-based Kenworth Sales Company recently celebrated the relocation with a grand opening at the new Heyburn dealership that featured a barbecue and a vendor fair with 200 customers attending. Kenworth Sales Company also operates 19 other dealerships in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

“Heyburn has a strong agriculture and farm industry. A number of local companies move agricultural products and freight, and they need a facility where they can shop for quality trucks and obtain excellent parts and service support,” said Kyle Treadway, president of Kenworth Sales Company. “To serve those customers, our new location offers extended hours of operation Monday through Saturday and is open Sunday. We also support truckers traveling eastbound and westbound on I-84 through Idaho.”

Treadway said the PacLease franchise at the new Heyburn facility is offering local fleets the opportunity to rent Kenworth trucks powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and try them out before they lease or buy them. Fleets operating along the I-84 corridor through Utah, Idaho, and eastern Oregon can rent Kenworth LNG trucks through a rental program available from PacLease, Kenworth Sales Company, and Blu LNG.

“Blu LNG has opened an LNG station in Jerome, Idaho, 45 miles to the northwest and has another one planned for Cassie, Idaho, 25 miles to the southeast,” Treadway added. “The LNG stations will offer local customers convenient locations to get their LNG-powered Kenworth trucks refueled.”

Kenworth Sales Company - Heyburn is open from 6 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The phone number is 208-678-3039. Key personnel are Matt Carr (district manager), Dave Stout (service manager), and Jim Brown (parts manager).

The new full-service dealership is part of the Kenworth dealer network of more than 340 locations in the United States and Canada.

Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World’s Best® heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth's Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth is a PACCAR company.   

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

XRS AND NAVISTAR TESTING REAL-TIME FLEET DIAGNOSTICS SYSTEM


ORLANDO, Fla.—Oct. 21, 2013—XRS Corporation, (NASDAQ: XRSC) the leader in mobile trucking intelligence, announced today at the American Trucking Association (ATA) Management Conference and Exhibition that the company is real-time testing a new remote diagnostics platform from Navistar, Inc.

The new system – Navistar OnCommand™ Connection – is the first single remote diagnostics portal to use an open architecture system, allowing direct interfaces with existing telematics providers. The system is designed to increase vehicle uptime by supporting quicker repairs and controlling maintenance and repair costs. Navistar OnCommand Connection will be available beginning in January 2014.

“As more fleets embrace mobile telematics, drivers and fleet managers increasingly want comprehensive, all-in-one systems that incorporate the best and most essential tools for trucking intelligence,” said Brendan Reidy, president, chief operating officer and chief technology officer for XRS Corporation. “An open-architecture system like Navistar OnCommand Connection gives our customers a new level of compatibility that will improve performance and efficiency, while making our industry safer and more productive than ever before.”

Due to EPA regulations and OBD compliance requirements, there are an unusually large number of different fault codes, making diagnostics complex for drivers and fleet managers. Navistar’s OnCommand Connection helps de-code fault data in real time to communicate each fault code’s level of severity and determine appropriate actions. The system uses diagnostic data to create simplified vehicle health reports, leading to quicker repairs, better controlled maintenance procedures and more predictable repair costs.

“By partnering with our customers’ existing telematics providers such as XRS, we can pull diagnostics-related data and create easy-to-understand vehicle health reports,” said Nadine Haupt, director of powertrain product marketing for Navistar. “The visibility into the operational health of the vehicle empowers customers tounderstand the severity of vehicle issues and determine the appropriate actions, ultimately leading to increased uptime.”

OnCommand Connection directly interfaces with the Navistar Repair Advocate and Dealer Directory tools, allowing customers to view action steps, vehicle location and proximity to the nearest service location. The company anticipates it will be able to support a majority of the industry’s customer base, including most vehicle makes and models.

Navistar will announce pricing in conjunction with the January launch.

About XRS Corporation
XRS Corporation, the leader in mobile trucking intelligence, delivers software solutions to the trucking industry to help maintain regulatory compliance and reduce operating costs. Data-driven intelligence for compliance and performance is the new competitive edge fortrucking operations, and XRS is leading the trucking industry’s migration to mobile devices by offering products with no upfront hardware costs and run on smartphones, tablets and rugged handhelds. XRS has sales and distribution partnerships with the major wireless carriers supporting the U.S. and Canadian trucking industries. Through our mobile products, fleet managers, dispatchers and drivers collect, sort, view and analyze data to help lower costs, increase safety, attain compliance with governmental regulations, and improve customer satisfaction – all through their mobile devices. For more information, visit www.xrscorp.com or call 1-800-745-9282.

About Navistar
Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International® brand commercial and military trucks, MaxxForce® brand diesel engines, and IC Bus™ brand school and commercial buses. An affiliate also provides truck and diesel engine service parts. Another affiliate offers financing services. Additional information is available at www.Navistar.com

InComm Partners with Utah Transit Authority to Launch FAREPAY Card


ATLANTA – October 17, 2013 – InComm, a leading prepaid product and transaction services company, announced a partnership with the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) to launch the FAREPAY card.  Commuters can use the card to pay for fare onbuses, trains and streetcars in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas serviced by UTA.
The FAREPAY card will help those who prefer not to carry cash and parents who need to purchase fares for their children, while also making boarding buses and trains faster and easier for commuters. Through a partnership with Vix Technology, which provides electronic fare collection integration services, riders simply tap on and off buses and trains during their travels. UTA will sell the cards at over 300 InComm-integrated retail locations in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area.
“We’re thrilled to partner with InComm and offer this card to our commuters,” said Clair Fiet, UTA chief technology officer. “We knew we could rely on InComm’s technology and expertise to provide a solution for our commuters that would simplify the process of using and paying for our transportation services.  As more and more consumers move away from paying in cash for products and services, cards like FAREPAY are the preferred method of payment now and in the future.” 
Users pay just $3.00 to activate the FAREPAY card. It is a closed-loop card that can then be loaded with funds anywhere from $5 to $500. The card is universally reloadable, meaning that customers can get the card from one participating retailer, but reload funds onto it at another participating retailer. Furthermore, once the card is registered, if it is stolen, it can be canceled and funds can be returned.
“We’re seeing a trend within the transportation industry to provide ways for all consumers – whether they are purely cash-based or simply prefer not to pay using credit or debit cards – with alternative methods of payment such as reloadable cards,” said Phil Graves, executive vice president, InComm.  “By making these cards available to purchase and reload at various participating retail locations, consumers have more options than ever before to pay for and budget their transportation costs. We’re pleased to partner with UTA to provide the FAREPAY card and we are confident it will be well-received by commuters.”
Under the current setup, rail riders have to purchase tickets at kiosks before boarding trains or buses, but the new FAREPAY card will streamline that process by creating one card for bus, train and streetcar services. Commuters can now take the FAREPAY card straight from the participating retailer and go right to a TRAX or a FrontRunner train station or a bus and board.
“Up to 25 percent of our customers still pay for single fares one at a time with cash and coins, leaving them with pockets full of change,” said Fiet.  “The new system will certainly make the payment process much more convenient.” 
UTA officials said another benefit of the card is the possibility that the technology will allow them to someday implement a fare system that is based on distance of the ride rather than a flat fee. The technology will enable them to track traffic and patterns more effectively, which can lead to better routes.

About InComm
InComm is a leading provider of cutting-edge prepaid products, services and transaction technologies to retailers, brands and consumers. InComm supports more than 400,000 points of distribution and helps retailers build prepaid card destinations, connects brands with new markets and gives consumers a simple, secure shopping experience. InComm stays ahead of emerging trends by analyzing market needs and leveraging its global, innovative commerce platform, go-to-market expertise and extensive partner relationships. With 123 global patents, InComm is headquartered in Atlanta and has offices in North and South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. For more information, visit www.incomm.com or follow us on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/incomm.

About UTA
Established in 1970, UTA has become a multi-modal transportation leader. UTA’s services are 100% accessible with a fleet of more than 600 buses and paratransit vehicles, 400 van pools, 146 light rail vehicles, 63 commuter rail cars, and 18 locomotives.  UTA operates in 6 counties along the Wasatch Front including 36 miles of light rail and 90 miles of commuter rail.  In 2012, UTA’s ridership was approximately 43 million boardings.

Omnitracs Launches New Applications for Proactive Tire Maintenance


ATA Management Conference & Exhibition, Orlando, Fla.—Oct. 20, 2013—Omnitracs, Inc., a wholly -owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated and a leading provider of integrated wireless systems, applications, and services to transportation and logistics companies, today announced the launch of its Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) and Trailer Tire Inflation Alerts (TTIA) applications, both of which provide fleets with tools for proactive tire maintenance. These two new applications—along with the Fault Monitoring application—comprise Omnitracs’ Vehicle Diagnostics suite, which is designed to help for-hire and private fleets reduce maintenance expenses, prevent accidents and improve safety.  As announced on Aug. 23, 2013, a definitive agreement was entered into to sell Omnitracs to Vista Equity Partners, a U.S.-based private equity firm. Closing of the acquisition is expected during the first quarter of fiscal 2014, subject to the terms and conditions of the definitive agreement.

Tire Pressure Monitoring and Trailer Tire Inflation Alerts applications equip fleets with the tools to proactively monitor and maintain proper tire inflation, extending the life of tires while reducing operational expenses and factors that contribute to blow outs and accidents caused by improper tire maintenance. By displaying and delivering  the right information, which is pulled directly from integrated, third-party Tire Pressure Monitoring and Tire Inflation system, to the right person in near real time, these applications help ensure that fleets can take prompt and necessary actions to repair or replace tires before a safety issue arises.

Tire Pressure Monitoring delivers easy to understand graphical data on tire conditions, such as under inflation, over inflation and normal, to back-office staff and drivers, making it easy for them to identify which tires are having issues and the proper course of action. TPM also provides customer configurable alerts that can be sent to back-office staff, allowing them to determine appropriate remediation steps. With Trailer Tire Inflation Alerts, fleets receive notifications of tire airing events whether the tractor is moving or stationary, enabling back office personnel to proactively contact drivers to discuss how best to address the issue. Supporting data delivered with alerts, including vehicle ID, time, location, and vehicle speed, helps fleets improve troubleshooting and analysis. TTIA also allows for customer configuration of alert notifications based on frequency, duration and type of event, so that each fleet can determine what constitutes a critical airing event. 

“For many fleets today, the absence of timely, critical data can make monitoring and managing tire conditions for safety a challenge,” said Vikas Jain, vice president of product management and software as a service at Omnitracs. “Omnitracs’ Tire Pressure Monitoring and Trailer Tire Inflation Alerts applications are delivering on a very real need—to bring added tools and information to customers who are committed to preventative safety measures. Both applications address critical tire maintenance needs, helping fleets extend the life of their tires, reduce expenses and prevent accidents caused by improper tire care.”
Both applications will be available starting November 2013 for customers who are currently using an Omnitracs Mobile Computing Platform 110 or 200 (MCP110 or MCP200).

Omnitracs will demonstrate its latest partner enhancements at booth #705 at ATA Management Conference & Exhibition, Oct. 19-22 in Orlando, Fla. For more information, please visit http://www.omnitracs.com/tire-management.

Transportation Tolling Experts Look Back on Year of Emergency Preparedness, Planning and Adaptation


WASHINGTON, DC – One-year ago, Super Storm Sandy struck a deadly and destructive blow to homes, businesses and communities up and down the East Coast of the United States.  As one of the costliest storms in U.S. history, Storm Sandy wreaked havoc on water, power and transportation infrastructure – the lifelines that connect people to one another.
To better prepare for extreme weather events in the future and preserve mobility for the customers they serve, members of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) came together in several forums over the past year to share their experiences and lessons learned.

“From Super Storm Sandy in the East to deadly tornadoes and floods in the Midwest, severe weather has had a huge impact on transportation infrastructure,” said Patrick D. Jones, Executive Director and CEO of IBTTA.  “Because many of our members are on the front-lines responding to these natural disasters, we thought it was important to facilitate these discussions to support effective responses to severe weather events around the globe.”

In January, just months after Storm Sandy devastated a swath of the Northeast, IBTTA held a forum to capture the front-line success stories and lessons learned from affected tolling authorities. 

“What we saw unfold with Sandy was something we had never seen before in any of our careers, and maybe in two or three generations,” said James Fortunato, Vice President and Chief of Operations at MTA Bridges and Tunnels in New York.

Super Storm Sandy delivered a harsh lesson “about the need to prepare for extreme weather such as these kinds of super storms in a way we didn’t previously,” said Ronnie Hakim, Executive Director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. 

You can read a full report from the forum titled, Super Storm Sandy: Adaptation and Resilience”, as well as view an Illustrated Audio Presentation.

During IBTTA’s Organization Management Workshop in Baltimore in June, IBTTA assembled communication experts from transportation authorities to share best practices for communicating with the public during a severe weather event using both traditional and social media. A summary of these discussions appears in aThematic Report

And, during IBTTA’s 81st Annual Meeting, in Vancouver, Canada in September, Bryan Norcross, Senior Hurricane Specialist for The Weather Channel, led a discussion on “Resilience Around the World:  Protecting our Assets and Our Customers from Severe Weather.” The session focused on a variety of severe weather challenges and the steps that transportation agencies are taking to address them.  The Thematic Report from that session will be available on IBTTA’s website by early November.

The January 2013 Forum on Super Storm Sandy and the other sessions throughout the year are part of a dialogue to build greater resilience and adaptability across the tolling industry.  IBTTA is committed to helping transportation agencies around the world prepare for severe weather events now and in the future.