The shop team includes technicians Damian Damianos and Don Menegon, Shop Manager Cray Pulaski, Fleet Maintenance Supervisor Mark R. Egan, and Willie McInstosh, who oversees utility services.
Devoted shop focuses on safety, team effort
CommTrans/Matthews Bus Co.
McKees Rocks, Pa.
Paratransit company CommTrans and its sister fleet Matthews Bus Co. of McKees Rocks, Pa., maintain their fleets together in the same shop, serving the city of Pittsburgh and neighboring Sto-Rox School District in McKees Rocks.
The shop’s technicians and managers have school bus industry experience ranging from 15 to 36 years, and attend a variety of educational seminars regularly to stay updated on new maintenance training and equipment. Strict adherence to cleanliness and order are also very important to the team, something Mark R. Egan, fleet maintenance supervisor of CommTrans, explains was learned from a tough former boss, Bernie Vardzel, at Laidlaw.
“Due to our detailed inspection program, we hardly have road calls. If we do, they consist of flat tires,” Egan says. Cray Pulaski, shop manager for Matthews Bus Co., oversees the shop’s 100 school buses.
addition to Egan and Pulaski, the shop team includes two additional ASE- and Ricon Lift-certified technicians, and a staff member who focuses on utility services. The team also maintains a 100-percent inspection pass rate from the Pennsylvania State Police, all while keeping a great relationship with the companies’ drivers.
“Our greatest challenge is the amount of miles our paratransit vehicles put on, requiring them to be serviced more often. But we have a great staff that plugs away at getting everything done,” Egan says. “I think by us spending a little more money on things such as body work, higher quality parts and fluids, we reduce breakdowns and increase vehicle availability.”
The shop also focuses a great deal on safety measures, requiring all team members and drivers to wear uniforms with safety reflective stripes as well as attend monthly safety meetings.
“Everyone loves their job here and are very dedicated and never miss work,” Egan adds. “We have some buses here with over 350,000 miles, and they still have the original engines and transmissions.”
— JENNIFER WASHINGTON
Fleet: 100 school buses, 65 other vehicles
Total shop staff: 5
Number of bus bays: 5
Annual mileage: 2 million
Students transported daily: 1,200
Schools served: Over 45