On July 6th, Members of the Greater New Jersey Motorcoach Association (GNJMA) Board of Directors met with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator Ray Martinez at Suburban Transit.
Available Board Members in attendance included Frank Smith of A. Yankee Line, John Coakley of Klein Transportation, Jon DeCamp of DeCamp Bus Lines, Treasurer John Gillispie of Starr Tours, Vice-President Tom Taylor of Lakeland Bus, Secretary Michelle Petelicki of Panorama Tours, Scott Sprengel of Suburban Transit/Coach USA and Executive Director, Pattie Cowley.
Ray expressed his interest in hearing from the Members what he could help, as well as a general meet & greet with the leaders. This isn't the first time Ray has met with the Association. The Board met with Ray in 2016 in Trenton requesting assistance with the issues with CDL testing and new inspection requirements. At the time, Ray was the Administrator of the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicle. He helped our Members by providing solutions including assigning a point person for us to contact to get appointments scheduled quicker, as well as organizing CDL Train-the-Trainer workshops for our Members. You may recall, we held two; one at Greyhound and one at Suburban Transit/Coach USA facilities.
The discussions focused on safety as well as developing challenges in the bus and motorcoach industry. Topics discussed included:
- Electronic Logging Devices, including hours of service and exemption rules (specifically the 100 mile radius exemption). It was suggested allow drivers to handle the checkbox process vs. company administrators. This would prevent unnecessary steps and avoid additional expense.
- Personal Conveyance, including what conditions are defined as adverse.
- Data Q and Scores: Several GNJMA Member companies have experienced issues with clerical mistakes putting them Out of Service. It was suggested that there should be a simple and easy way to fix these mistakes without it effecting CSA Scores. Ray is being provided with specific examples Members brought up for him to look into further.
- Medical Card Online System: Ray was advised the systems should be fully functional by the end of 2018. There was a break-in attempt on the website and as a result, had to be shut down to address security concerns.
- Tolling / Fast ACT: A copy of the letter we sent to tolling authorities in New Jersey regarding the parity for private operators was shared with Ray.
- Seat Belt in School Buses: Resulting from recent incident in North Jersey, and the impact on member companies who conduct business with schools was discussed.
- Communication Between FMCSA and GNJMA:
- Chris Rotondo is the Director for the FMCSA in NJ. Ray suggested meeting with him and to have Chris attend Association meetings to get involved, and to provide time on the agenda FMCSA updates.
- Ray will send us content for our newsletters and other Member communications going forward. He expressed his interest in being engaged with our Association.
- We provided Ray with a 2018 Member Directory so he has our contact information for the Board (page 2) and all Association Members.
Our Membership appreciates the communication we have been receiving from the FMCSA, including Danielle Smith's guidance on ELD's at our past meetings and in a webinar held in May. Following Ray Martinez' meeting last week, there is no doubt FMCSA communication toward improving transportation safety will be continuous.
To get involved and to stay up-to-date, please be sure to get others from your organization registered to receive our Association communications and to attend Association meetings. October 11th is the next in-person meeting at Bally's in AC. Please click here for more information and to register.
For questions or comments, please contact:
Patricia A. Cowley
908-835-0935 x 105