Let ABA Help You to Take Your Business to the Next Level
Did you know that consumers are more likely to spend their money with companies that belong to professional or industry associations? Consumers trust companies and believe they have a better reputation when they belong to an industry organization, like the American Bus Association (ABA).
Membership in ABA is much more than just a logo on your website or company stationery. ABA offers its members the tools they need to take their business to the next level, whether through educational opportunities, networking events, crisis communication assistance, regulatory and legislative monitoring or industry data and scholarship assistance – ABA is your one-stop shop for your business needs.
Educational Opportunities Abound
ABA realizes that your and your employees’ time is precious, but education is important to you. With its members in mind, ABA has created a number of educational opportunities for members that can be pursued in-person or virtually throughout the year.
ABA’s Annual Meeting & Marketplace Education
During ABA’s Annual Meeting & Marketplace in Charlotte, North Carolina, from January 26-30, 2018, ABA offers more than 50 quality seminars conducted by top-rated national speakers and industry experts. Educational sessions fall within three tracks:
- Professional Development: Helps you to develop specialized and unique skills to assist you in your personal career growth.
- Technology: Helps you to improve your technological skills in the ever-changing, fast-paced business environment. Training sessions focus on software, emerging online tools such as social media and advanced uses for common computer-based technologies.
- Sales and Marketing: Delivers unique and innovative approaches to the science of selling. You will be introduced to new niche markets, focus on successful cutting-edge case studies, and how to take the next step in putting your business over the top.
Also during the event, attendees pressed for time can get a quick dose of education at ABA’s Education Bites. These short information sessions on the Marketplace floor last between 14 and 30 minutes.
Missed a session at Marketplace that you wanted to attend, or want to hear more from our Marketplace speakers? You are in luck. Most of ABA’s Annual Meeting & Marketplace speakers also participate in ABA webinars throughout the year. ABA offers a number of webinars each month geared toward your business needs. Each webinar can be done at your desk and last an hour. And if there is a webinar you missed or want to hear again as a refresh, you can find all past webinars on ABA’s website. Webinars are truly a great resource to continue professional development without having to leave your office.
Did you know that ABA offers several councils for its members (and non-members) to join? ABA councils provide added value to your membership, as they are a perfect avenue for you to meet people in the industry who also want to network and grow in their business community.
- Bus Industry Safety Council (BISC): The mission of the BISC is to continually raise the level of safety in the intercity bus and motorcoach industry through collaborative efforts of professionals in a workshop and educational environment.
- Bus Maintenance & Repair Council (BusMARC): The BusMARC addresses the need for continuing maintenance education and compliance training and provides a new venue for equipment, parts and service providers to interact with the bus industry.
- Entertainer Motorcoach Council (EMC): The mission and purpose of the EMC is to inspire a level of confidence in the safety, reliability, and quality of service for the operations of entertainer coaches employed on a charter or lease basis; actively promote the high-quality services of EMC members; and more.
- Hispanic Motorcoach Council (HMC): The HMC promotes the continued growth, fellowship and development of the Hispanic business community in the motorcoach industry. It serves as a resource center and forum to promote safe motorcoach operations, encourage interaction among operators and transportation planners, and advocate for Hispanic and minority-owned businesses.
- Women in Buses Council (WIB): The mission of the WIB Council is to recognize and advance the role of women in the motorcoach industry through networking, education and mentoring programs.
Each council provides its own educational tracks and meetings that are customized to the council’s needs and membership.
ABA Entry-Level Driver Training
In December 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration set out a final rule for new training standards for individuals applying for a CDL license. By February 2020, all new driver entrants must take both theory (knowledge) and behind-the-wheel segments.
For the theory training, instruction must include all applicable elements, and driver trainees must receive an overall score of at least 80 percent to pass. Good news for members – ABA, with support from North American premium coach manufacturer Prevost, is helping you with the challenges of training qualified drivers, by offering courses relevant for new and experienced drivers.
The new ABA Driver Training program offers a variety of courses developed by safety experts from the leading manufacturers and motorcoach companies in the industry. These safety leaders created and vetted the ABA Driver Training courses and have incorporated best practices from across the country. By completing these courses, your driver will possess the knowledge, theories and hands-on skills required to take his/her CDL test.
Drivers can access ABA’s courses from any computer with internet access, take courses and arrive at their facilities ready for their driving test.
ABA’s Driver Training courses offer a variety of services and programs to fit individual needs:
- Class B Vehicle Basic Operation
- Advanced Operating Practices
- Pre- and Post-Trip Inspection
- Non-Vehicle Activities
- Passenger Endorsement
Networking Helps Businesses Grow
Among the most praised benefits of belonging to ABA are the networking opportunities ABA offers its members throughout the year. In addition to council meetings, every January, ABA welcomes the travel and tourism community to the first conference of the year—the industry’s premier business event—ABA’s Annual Meeting & Marketplace.
ABA’s Annual Meeting gives operators the opportunity to hear about the state of the association and elect its board of directors. And with legendary networking and social events, attendees turn conversations from the conference floor into long-term business relationships. Couple this with leading education seminars and the industry’s largest exhibit hall, and ABA is really unmatched as the best industry event each year. More than a meeting, ABA is a valuable investment that pays for itself many times over, and a can’t-miss annual reunion with colleagues and friends, old and new.
You Need a Voice in Washington, DC
While you are busy providing safe and reliable transportation to your customers, ABA’s Government Affairs & Policy team is in Washington, DC, talking to legislators and regulators about our industry and your needs. ABA’s team pursues opportunities by closely monitoring key legislative and regulatory developments, safeguards the rights of motorcoach operators, protects members from inequitable business regulation, and keeps members informed.
ABA works with members throughout the year to comment on regulations as well as meet with their Congressional representatives. ABA’s Capitol Hill Fly-in bring member to “The Hill” annually to discuss with legislators and their staff about how current laws are affecting their business. This important event occurs in early May.
On the regulatory side of the industry, ABA’s team relieves its operator members of costly and time-consuming paperwork by completing their regulatory compliance forms for them.
Finally, as a free service to ABA members, ABA’s crisis communications team is available at any time, day or night, to handle the media relations in the event of an accident or other serious incident involving your company. ABA enables you to focus on responding to those directly affected by the event, your employees, first responders and authorities.
For more than 90 years, ABA has been the largest and most respected voice in the industry. Membership in ABA allows you to drive your company in the right direction, with a team of professionals ready to help you at any time.
ABA’s Annual Meeting & Marketplace 2018 will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina from January 26-30. Visit online at buses.org to register and to learn more about the many benefits of a membership in ABA.