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scheduled by other committees with jurisdiction over the hill, will disspell such notions and help us learn what, if anything, is broke and needs fixing.
Speaking for myself, I have been visited by various concerned groups
who have the responsibility to provide transportation throughout the
country, including for the disabled. During our subcommittee hearing on the
20th, we heard concerns expressed that certain provisions contained in the Senate bill would, if enacted, threaten the availability of adeqaute rural
bus service between cities.
We have heard that the cost of fitting buses with chair lifts and
restrooms will cause great financial hardship, particularly on the private
intercity bus system.
We have heard that the definitions of terms are not adequate enough
to assure transportation providers that they can rest comfortably in the
knowledge that "undue financial hardship" means just that, and will be
recognized for what it is. Some have said that "demand responsive" has not
been defined at all.
Others claim that we are asking far more of bus and train service
providers than we are now, or ever have, demanded of the airlines. And they
The respected and widely-read Wall Street Journal printed an editorial
about the contents of the ADA bill that was rife with inaccuracies. The
National Federation of Independent Businesses also made statements that
were, I am certain misleading only because the bill is complex and
comprehensive and therefore subject to misinterpretation and misstatemer:t by
well-meaning people such as the Membership in the NFIB.
Those are just a sampling of the claims and charges of unfairness I
have heard described to me. Yet every person who met with me began and
ended their remarks with assurances that "we support the bill."
I believe they do. Raising questions and making inquiries that are intended to bring everyone to a better understanding of what is expected of transportation services is part of the normal legislative process. I know
that I have had some concerns of my own with regard to the transportation
I associate myself with the questions raised by my colleagues
during the hearing on the 20th, and will do so yet again today I am sure.
And those problems that have been outlined are, for the most part, directed at learning what the impact will be on all transportation providers whether
they are intercity rural lines, privately owned and operated, or large urban
mass transit areas partly supported by public subsidies.
But lest my last remarks be misconstrued, let me say again that I
intend to work with my colleagues on this Committee, and on the Education
and Labor Committee, to get this legislation passed. That in no way means
that I think this bill is perfect, and where there is room to make it even
better, I want to be involved also.
Mr. Chairman I have questions of two of the witnesses, Mr. Picknelly
and Mr. Henry.
Mr. MINETA. I would like to call forward at this time a panel consisting of our very fine colleague from Pennsylvania, a Member of the Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee as well as Post Office and Civil Service Committee. I would like to call forward a panel made up of Mr. Frank M. Henry, Chairman of the Board, American Bus Association and President, Martz Trailways, WilkesBarre, Pennsylvania; Mr. C.D. Busskohl, Director, United Bus Owners of America, Washington, DC, and President, Arrow State Lines, Inc., Sioux City, Iowa; Mr. Dan Dipert, President, National Tour Association, Inc, Alexandria, Virginia, and Owner and President, Dan Dipert's Travel Service, Inc., Arlington, Texas; Mr. Peter L. Picknelly, Sr., Chairman of the Board, Peter Pan Bus Lines, Springfield, Massachusetts; and Mr. Fred G. Currey, Chairman and CEO, Greyhound Lines, Inc., Dallas, Texas.
Congressman Kanjorski is a very active and fine Member of our Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee as well as Post Office Civil Service. I would like you to go ahead and introduce your fine guest. TESTIMONY OF HON, PAUL E. KANJORSKI, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM PENNSYLVANIA Mr. KANJORSKI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
This is unusual for a Member of Congress to come down and introduce a friend and constituent particularly when that friend and constituent happens to be of another party. I wanted to make it a point today because Frank Henry represents the essence of the free enterprise system and the success of that system not only in Pennsylvania but nationally.
His credits are so long that I won't burden this committee with them. Suffice it to say that he is president of many companies but that is not his call to fame. His real call to fame in Pennsylvania, particularly northeastern Pennsylvania, is his participation on so many charitable organizations and trusteeships one of which I share, Board of Trustees on Wilkes-Barre College. He is a free enterprise individual who also has sympathy and common sense of what this nation needs.
I recommend him to the committee today and ask the committee to pay great heed to his statement, not that I endorse it nor anticipate what it will be, but I know what he says will come from his heart and will be rationed and reasoned and will represent the best thinking for the industry and a good part of the traveling public of this country.
With that, I am very pleased to introduce to the committee Frank M. Henry, one of the leading citizens of Pennsylvania.
Mr. MINETA. Thank you. Let me yield to my fine colleague, Mr. Shuster, in Pennsylvania.
Mr. SHUSTER. I want to join in welcoming my fellow Pennsylvanian and the entire panel.
Mr. MINETA. Mr. Henry, your statement will be made a part of the record. You may proceed in your own fashion.
TESTIMONY OF FRANK M. HENRY, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD,
AMERICAN BUS ASSOCIATION AND PRESIDENT, MARTZ TRAILWAYS, WILKES-BARRE, PA; C.D. BUSSKOHL, DIRECTOR, UNITED BUS OWNERS OF AMERICA, WASHINGTON, DC, AND PRESIDENT, ARROW STATE LINES, INC., SIOUX CITY, IA; DAN DIPERT, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL TOUR ASSOCIATION, INC., ALEXANDRIA, VA, AND OWNER AND PRESIDENT, DAN DIPERT'S TRAVEL SERVICE, INC., ARLINGTON, TX; PETER L. PICKNELLY, SR., CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, PETER PAN BUS LINES, SPRINGFIELD, MA; AND FRED G. CURREY, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, GREYHOUND LINES, INC., DALLAS, TX
Mr. HENRY. Thank you very much. Thank you, Congressman Kanjorski. For the record my name is Frank Henry, President of the Frank Martz Motor Coach Company in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and I am Chairman of the American Bus Association repre senting approximately 700 bus companies in the United States, made up of small companies of two to three buses to the huge bus operations of Greyhound. A few members of ABA provide only scheduled, regular-route service; several hundred members, like three of my own companies, provide both regular-route service and tour services; and the remaining 500 or so members are engaged exclusively in charter and tour operations.
My companies, Frank Martz Coach Company in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Gray Line of Washington, DC, and Gulf Coast Gray Line in St. Petersburg, Florida rely heavily on scheduled service and tour operations. Any service that depends on individual fares, such as regular route and special operations tours, price their trips so that they are divided among the number of seats available on the bus. The costs are based on the seats available and therefore we divide the cost of service by the seats available to come up with what would be the pricing to the customers.
This is true also in our tour service. It is obvious that when we lose these seats, we increase quite dramatically the prices of these services and in some cases we would lose enough seats that we would probably have to diminish or do without that service in certain areas.
All members of the bus association and all of us in the industry feel very strongly that our services are provided for all Americans. • We feel very strongly the handicapped should have equal access and should be part of America as they are in other areas.
We want that and we welcome that. Our concern is not what we would like to see but how we would like to see it happen. There have been, as you know, some trials where they have tried various types of lift and lift operations and uses of that have been watched closely. We as an industry feel that with the present state of the bus industry and with the costs that appear to be included with this new type of operation, that with the estimated cost of $10,000 to $35,000 per unit to install these lifts on a bus, that if every bus had to be installed, we are talking approximately $20 million per year. This is based on a bus staying in a fleet 10 years and being replaced at 10 percent of the fleet per year.
This could be as a low of $20 million a year up to a high of $70 million. At this time we don't know the exact amount we will be
lose these andably ha
faced with on the capital cost of conversion. When you take this figure, although in some areas this may seem like a small amount, $20 to $70 million but our entire industry, net operating profit for the last five years average was only about $40 million. So you can see it becomes economically unfeasible on a capital outlay alone.
The operating costs of this equipment when put in place is still an issue that has to be decided. It is estimated that the maintenance of this equipment could run from a minimum of $1000 to $2000 per bus. Add this to the capital cost and multiply it by 20,000 buses in our industry and you can see what we as a very small industry are faced with to continue in operation.
As you know, the accessibility has played a large part in other industries. These other industries have been given the mandate to provide the service. But the difference in our particular situation is that we have been told to provide the service, we have even been told how to provide that service. We are asking that we should invest and see how this should be provided.
However, as the bill was presented, there will be a study period but it is mandated that at the end of that study period wheelchair lifts will be installed. This does not indicate to us that it is a free study because the results seem to be concluded before the study has begun.
Our industry wants a solution to this problem. There are other solutions to the problem other than providing each bus with a lift. We run, as I said, scheduled service. Part of the problem with scheduled service is for the general public to rely on that service they want it to be on time, clean and efficient.
Taking it one step further, if we are to make equal accessibility, which we would like to, that would mean equal accessibility to the entire bus including equal accessibility to the restrooms. Then we are into an operating problem here because I don't believe technology has gotten to that point.
We could be losing 15 or 20 percent of the seats on that bus depending on what technology produces. Technology has not caught up with the intent of what we would like to do. There are solutions which have taken place in other states. I know in Massachusetts where there are a certain number of buses that are provided rather than having every bus provided. We can look for that solution. For us as an industry to take on the massive capital outlays that are necessary would be impossible.
In order for us to do this job, if it is to be as presented, it would have to be, I am afraid, a very large subsidization program let alone the operating subsidization to carry out what is mandated. We are open to suggestions. We are here because we want to see what suggestions can come out of it. We want the equal access.
On our own lines we have carried handicapped whenever asked to do so. I appreciate the opportunity to be here. I know the other panel members will speak likewise. At the end of the discussions of any members, we will be open to questions.
Mr. MINETA. Thank you, Mr. Henry.
Mr. BUSSKOHL. My name is Chuck Busskohl with Arrow Stage Lines and a director of the United Bus Owners of America. I ask