Putting on an event often requires dealing with many types of vendors from various specialized trades. The display units, equipment, and merchandise needed for the smooth operation of your event may require special event transportation management on account of their size, shape and value.Additionally, some or all of these items may need to be stored on their respective delivery trucks, depending on how they might be affected by inclement weather, or for lack of other storage space. Conveniently, there are companies which provide specialized and insured delivery service for fragile, sensitive or valuable items.However, these types of transportation systems are usually more expensive, due to the risk of liability and effort involved in their successful delivery.One particular tool which might prove useful to your event transportation needs is the GPS vehicle tracking system. It can provide you with real time vehicle tracking and fleet management, with both mapping and reporting.Vehicle tracking reports include valuable information, including vehicle speeds and headings. A GPS tracking system can locate a vehicle from any computer or device with internet access, anytime, anywhere. Such a tool can prevent your transportation company from assessing any unjustifiable charges, and provide you with the peace of mind that comes from the ability to oversee the transport of guest passengers and goods.To own such devices would easily cost you $300-$600 per unit, plus $35-$60 per month for the service. Additionally, you could be obligated to a contract of 6 months or longer. Despite this, it might be well worth it for the peace of mind such a service can provide you.Airport Shuttle TransportationDo you need to look to outside vendors to meet changing demands? Assess your transportation needs and determine who really needs a ride. Determine how often you need your shuttle service to run. Inquire whether the hotel can adjust their shuttle service to accommodate you. Between the hotel courtesy shuttles, the competitively priced national chains, and the local shuttle services, you should be covered.Hotel TransportationIf you have a sudden increase or decrease in participation or attendance, seamless communication with the hotels and vendors could prevent you from wasting money on more shuttles than are necessary, or spare you the embarrassment of inadequate service for your guests.Group TransportationGroup transportation can get real tricky and time consuming with permits and large crowds. Be sure to finalize all your arrangements well in advance, and keep copies of your permits handy, so your attendees don’t hit speed bumps on the road to your event.If you need to transport your guests around town, have fun and be creative. Look for unique transportation options in your area. For example, in England a double decker bus, in the Bahamas, a glass bottom boat.Carting your guests by horse and carriage from the venue to dinner, or a 15 minute ride by yacht to a lively night spot, might be fun ways for your guests to relax before a long day of meetings.Transportation CompaniesExperienced and professional companies have broken down transportion management into five basic components:1) needs analysis2) technical planning3) dispatch4) execution5) post operationsIf you’re using one of the many turn-key companies out there, then this is one module of your project you won’t need to worry about. They will probably even include a meet and greet party with refreshments.If this project is your baby, don’t worry. Whether it’s a car, van, or bus service you’re dealing with, rental companies have personnel to assist you with your reservations and transportation needs.Ground TransportationAirports provide extensive networks of taxicabs, car rentals, shuttle buses, trains, vans and limousines. All of these solutions can provide safe, courteous and efficient transport for passengers and freight. Additionally, there are wheelchair accessible transportation options to and from local public facilities.Although airport ground transportation representatives may not be able to recommend specific services to you, they are there to provide you with transportation options, and put you in touch with them.They can also inform you when your ride has arrived. This built-in support system should lighten the burden of analysis and planning somewhat, and prevent a lot of headaches.Event Transportation ProblemsAlthough it may be impossible to predict every outcome of your operation, there are a few common things which could go wrong. These might be service delays, overcharges, vehicle condition complaints, and complaints about non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.Providing your guests with maps, names, and phone numbers of staff members to assist them might help to minimize such occurrences, and insure things run smoothly. Remember to check on your flight arrival times, as they are prone to change, and be sure that your ground transports are on time and clearly visible, so that your attendees can easily spot them.Private TransportationWhen you need to transport your staff to and from locations, sometimes hotel shuttle schedules are insufficient. The earlier you contact transportation providers, the better they can assist you in meeting your needs. Plan well in advance to insure the best availability, and remember to stay within your alloted budget.Limo TransportationWill there be limousines at your event? If so, you will need to determine how many you will need to supply, and how many of your VIP’s will be arriving in their own. Make sure that your limos arrive spotless and on time, and have your drivers’ cell phone numbers handy. Consider how ostentatious you should be with the limos. If the company just underwent a large downsizing, it might be more prudent to park the limos out of sight.Executive TransportationTo cater to top executives and provide them with comfortable and reliable transportation, you will first need to determine their needs: how many are traveling, where and when, etc. Will they be arriving hungry or jet-lagged? Will they be looking for entertainment? Is video conferencing available if necessary?Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails or other appropriate catering should be on time and in place before their arrival. When developing your budget, try to anticipate the special amenities your executives will be expecting. This will help insure that they arrive in a good mood and can hit the ground running.Event transportation management requires meticulous planning and preparation well in advance. It also demands constant periodic updating to stay in step with evolving changes. Good record keeping is a must.Here’s one tip which could potentially save you thousands:Arrange a central meeting point for your attendees, possibly at an airport hotel. Provide a small reception while you await the arrival of other attendees, and then transport everyone in a hired coach simultaneously. This is a prudent tactic for any transportation manager.That’s a wrap!
For more than 50 years the U.S. has followed a motor vehicle centric transportation policy which supported dramatic U.S. economic and population growth. Alternate forms of transportation including walking, biking, rail transit and public transit have been overlooked, even neglected in the auto era during which the overriding transportation planning philosophy has been to improve the speed of moving goods, services and people by expanding roads, highways and parking facilities. Transportation planning has proceeded without regard to health or the environment or the integrity and vitality of our communities.Early in the 21st century, the threat to national security and the implications of global climate change plus the rising cost of a fossil fuel dependent transportation system and ever increasing traffic congestion began to suggest reevaluation and reform of our national transportation policy. There’s good reason to restructure transportation priorities to support a sustainable transportation system which provides access to people, places, goods, and services in an environmentally responsible, socially acceptable, and economically viable manner.The Environment
Transportation accounts for approximately 40% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Motor vehicles generate more than 2/3rds of the carbon monoxide, 1/3rd of the nitrogen oxides and 1/4 of the hydrocarbons released into the atmosphere.
o Runoff of road salt, dirt and dust, fertilizers, pesticides, antifreeze, engine oil, debris and litter from roads, bridges and parking lots find their way into aquifers, lakes, rivers, streams and oceans.
o Road construction alters and destroys wildlife habitat.
o More than 1 million animals are killed on the nation’s highways every day.The Economy
To be competitive globally and to support a vibrant national economy, U.S. transportation systems must provide fast, reliable and flexible access that improves productivity and profitability and reduces costs.
o Business prosperity is at risk when goods and services are not available in a timely manner and when worker productivity is impacted by delays and stress resulting from congestion.
o Each year, U.S. businesses indirectly pay billions of dollars in employee “congestion tolls” comprised of absenteeism, parking expenses, medical care, employee benefits, turnover, and lowered productivity. Employer real estate costs are elevated in order to provide employee parking facilities.
o Ten years ago the average American spent 443 hours behind the wheel of a car, or 55 eight-hour workdays. The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) estimated that in 1999 the total congestion “bill” came to $78 billion, the value of 4.5 billion hours of delay and 6.8 billion gallons of excess fuel consumed.
o Paving open space and converting farmland to commercial and residential development reduces our capacity to produce food products, decreasing food availability and increasing food prices throughout the world.
o Highly skilled employees seek workplaces located in areas with a high quality of life, with several transportation options and affordable housing nearby. Businesses that can’t offer this high quality have greater difficulty in recruiting workers than those that do.
o Reliability and speed of delivery of goods and services is essential to business success. Businesses are hurt by disinvestment in existing metropolitan areas. Public funds are often dedicated to create infrastructure in the next “new” suburb, benefiting businesses that relocate but not those who stay in place. Businesses located “downtown” or in “old” suburban areas often experience streets and roads in disrepair and congestion- impediments to access by suppliers and customers alike.
o According to the Texas Transportation Institute, Americans are experiencing longer delays, longer periods of congestion, and the spread of congestion across more and more of the nation’s roadways. They suggest that traffic congestion will continue to worsen as the number of vehicle miles traveled continues to grow.
o Cars and trucks accounted for 43 percent of all petroleum products consumed in the U.S. in 2000 (EIA. Energy Outlook 2002).
o Oil consumption is an important contributor to the U.S. trade deficit. In 2007 the U.S. spent $330 billion on imported oil and petroleum products. Dependence on imported oil affects U.S. foreign policy.Health, Safety and Security
Vehicle centric transportation systems take an increasing toll on health each year, affecting drivers and non-drivers alike. Children, seniors and individuals with respiratory problems are particularly affected.
o U.S. transportation systems maximize exposure to vehicle traffic, air and water pollution while discouraging the exercise which results from walking and biking.
o Other health hazards attributable in part to transportation include obesity and asthma. Remove the personal vehicle and rates of obesity and asthma decline.
o Over 70,000 fatalities each year are attributed to pollution.
o Over 40,000 Americans are killed every year in highway accidents, the leading cause of death among people under 35.
o Transportation funding is typically spent to increase traffic capacity and speed, not to improve safety.
o Although less than 6% of all trips are made on foot or bicycle, approximately 13% of traffic fatalities are pedestrians or cyclists.
o Less than 1% of federal transportation funds are used for walking or biking.
o Transportation accounts for 2/3 of U.S. oil consumption with nearly 50% attributed to motor vehicles. Oil imports represent approximately 60% of U.S. oil consumption; much of it from volatile sources. Current policy seems to indicate that there’s little choice but to defend our “right” to imported oil supplies.Equity and Livability
The average family spends 18% of income on transportation, 94% of which is for buying, maintaining and operating cars. Vehicle centric transportation systems discriminate against youths, seniors, the handicapped, low income individuals and those who don’t drive, together comprising 1/3rd of U.S. population.
o Scarcity of affordable housing near employment centers causes vehicle dependability and long commutes for low income individuals
o Freeways dissect and divide many medium and large American cities, overwhelmingly at the expense of low income and minority neighborhoods.
o Often, low income communities are underfunded for street maintenance and public transit while investments often find their way to affluent suburban communities
o Communities located adjacent to highways, typically lower income and minorities, have high rates of air pollution and consequentially lung cancer and asthma
o Women typically compensate for inadequate public transit, making two-thirds of all “family taxi” trips.
o More than 1/3rd of all rural residents are dependent on public transit while 25 percent of rural communities have infrequent public transit service.
o Two-thirds of all new jobs are in the suburbs while three-quarters of welfare recipients live in central cities or rural areas.Energy
Transportation uses more than 20% of the world’s energy, a rate which continues to rise.
o Motor vehicles in the U.S. account for 43% of petroleum product use.
o Within 20 years, the number of cars in the world will double to more than one billion. Corresponding energy use will double.
o Crude oil and natural gas account for 60% of the world’s energy supply
o The U.S reached maximum crude oil production in 1970. Many experts have suggested that world crude oil production has already peaked.
o New oil discoveries will not significantly affect world energy supply. Experts estimate that a new Prudhoe Bay sized discovery would represent a six month supply; a new North Sea find would represent a three years supply.
o Crude oil prices have increased significantly, increasing costs for industry, government and consumers alike.Transportation Policy for the New Century
The objective of a new transportation policy is to reduce the need for travel while increasing transportation capacity and options. Congestion must be considered within the context of economic, environmental and social goals. Remedies must support the broad range of transportation issues. Programs must work towards encouraging economic growth and competitiveness, cleaner air and water, access to jobs and services for non-drivers including seniors, the poor, the disabled and minorities, reducing traffic-related fatalities and injuries, promoting health, safety and security, reducing fossil fuel use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.Conclusion
Business and industry, residents and tourists, the economy and the environment, all pay an increasingly higher price each year for congestion and a motor vehicle centric transportation policy. Long commutes, delays, lost opportunities, increased costs, increased illness, accidents and fatalities, reduced competitiveness, air and water pollution, stress and frustration, inadequate transportation options and much more all result from following our 20th century transportation policy which is focused on moving goods, services and people as rapidly as possible. 21st century transportation systems must serve the needs of the entire U.S. population for centuries to come while supporting our competitive position in world markets.