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From Undocumented Camionetas (Mini-Vans) To Federally Regulated Motor Carriers: Hispanic Transportation In Dallas, Texas, and Beyond

Robert V. Kemper Department of Anthropology Southern Methodist University Julie Adkins Department of Anthropology Southern Methodist University Marco Flores Department of Anthropology Southern Methodist University and José Leonardo Santos Department of Anthropology Southern Methodist University

381 ISSN 0894-6019, © 2007 The Institute, Inc.

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ABSTRACT: Only recently have anthropologists and other social scientists begun to study the emerging Hispanic-oriented transportation industry in the United States. During the past 20 years, camionetas (15-passenger mini-vans) have largely been replaced by luxurious buses, and family firms have been forced to compete in an increasingly transnational marketplace with large American and Mexican corporations. In this article, we examine the Hispanic transportation system in the Dallas, Texas region, which serves as a major hub for travelers to and from central Mexico and destinations throughout the United States. More than 50 firms compete for customers in this rapidly changing marketplace. To date, these firms have gone through a process of "incorporation" driven by local, state, and federal regulators. As the industry continues to be more regulated and more competitive, we predict that the number of firms will decline as "consolidation" is forced on the entrepreneurs whose innovations were responsible for the creation of the Hispanic transportation system in Dallas and beyond.

Prologue 1987: Camionetas In the middle of the night, an unmarked camioneta (15-passenger mini-van) idles in front of a rental house in a West Dallas neighborhood. While a full load of passengers squeezes in, its small cargo trailer is packed with suitcases and cardboard boxes. Among the passengers is an undocumented migrant woman who, along with her two youngest children, must return to Tiquicheo, her home town in the tierra caliente of Michoacán, to take care of her ill mother. Leaving behind her husband and their older children, she waves a tearful adios as the camioneta and trailer depart on the long journey south to the Mexican border. Once across the Rio Grande, she and her children will board a Mexican bus line to continue their trip southward to Tiquicheo. Eventually, after several transfers among first- and second-class

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buses, they will arrive exhausted at her mother's home.1 1997-2002: Entrepreneurs and Their Troubles Late in the evening, crowds are lining up to board camionetas and buses at numerous locations in Oak Cliff, northwest Dallas, East Dallas, and suburban Garland, locations including abandoned gas stations, unused parking lots, and even residential driveways. The following morning, Anglo neighbors make phone calls to city code enforcement officials to complain once again (and more loudly) about noisy night-time arrivals and departures, strangers walking the streets at all hours, and alleged code violations. Even though few firms have business permits, adequate accident and liability insurance, and USDOT [U.S. Department of Transportation] licenses for their buses (none will be required for their camionetas for five more years), there is strong demand for their inexpensive transport services. The crisis comes to a head following August 2001, when one of the leading Hispanic transport company owners (suffering from severe depression in the face of continuing harassment by city code enforcers) shoots himself to death. As a consequence, more than 100 Hispanics involved in camioneta and bus enterprises travel to City Hall to confront the Mayor about selective code enforcement and racism.2 2007: Competition Between Firms Small and Large In the early evening, individuals and families are arriving at several bus stations along East

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Jefferson Avenue in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas. Here they can choose among a dozen companies that specialize in providing transportation for Mexican and U.S. citizens between the two nations, as well as to destinations throughout the United States. Some of the smaller firms share space in older, rather shabby-looking facilities; other, larger transnational companies (including those owned by such industry giants as Greyhound and Omnibuses de México) offer their passengers elegant new terminals. Computerized ticketing, assigned seating, and through travel to the final destination on the same bus make the experience much easier than it used to be. As they board their buses, passengers can see the USDOT registration number and similar registration numbers for travel within Mexico and for other states beyond Texas. Once on board, passengers can relax in the reclining seats, watch the latest Mexican movies on overhead video monitors, or use the restroom facilities at the back of the bus.3 Introduction During the past 20 years, what once was a small-scale, underground transportation system operated by a handful of risk-taking entrepreneurs has been transformed into a multimillion dollar industry serving tens of thousands of individuals and families in the United States and Mexico. The emergence of this Hispanic-oriented transportation system has taken place in the shadow of IRCA (the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986), in the wake of NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement that went into effect on January 1, 1994), and with very little attention from anthropologists and other social

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scientists.4 In this article, we examine the development of this new arena for competition in the North American transportation marketplace. We begin by considering the background for studying the Hispanic transportation system, before discussing the social scientific and journalistic literature with a view toward locating the present study in the intersection of studies of transportation, ethnicity, and entrepreneurship. Then, we lay out our multi-method approach, which includes examination of government-maintained motor carrier databases, analysis of newspaper articles and advertisements, assessment of census data, and field work among companies in the greater Dallas, Texas, metropolitan area. After providing case studies of several firms involved in the Hispanic transportation system in Dallas and beyond, we conclude with observations about the past, present, and future of this emerging segment of the North American transportation system. For decades, U.S. and Mexican bus systems operated separately and followed different sets of formal laws and informal cultural rules. In both countries, intercity and interstate bus industries operated as informal "partnerships" between private corporations (which owned and maintained the buses, leased the terminals, and hired drivers and other employees) and the state and federal agencies that provided funds to build and maintain highways, provided subsidies to bus companies serving provincial areas, and provided safety guidelines for motor buses providing intercity passenger service. Until the creation of NAFTA, making a trip from the U.S. to Mexico (or Mexico to the U.S.) required changing buses at the border (e.g., taking a Greyhound from Dallas to Laredo, clearing Mexican customs, and then trans-boarding onto a Mexico-based bus to continue one's journey into central Mexico). Once NAFTA came into existence, the "broken" transportation system between the U.S. and Mexico was transformed as entrepreneurs and their family firms began to offer better service for transporting passengers and goods from places

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like Dallas to central Mexican communities and from Dallas to other cities in the U.S. Since 1994, numerous transportation companies have been established by Hispanics in the west and southwest. These enterprises began by offering inexpensive transportation between U.S. cities and the interior of Mexico, a market that was not well served by traditional bus companies on either side of the U.S.-Mexico border. Daniel Gonzalez, a reporter for THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC, begins a story titled "Greyhound Losing Business to Latino Bus Lines" with a familiar tale:

Forget Greyhound. When it comes to traveling by bus, Latino immigrants like Arturo Lopez are far more likely to hop aboard lines with names like Crucero, Autobuses Americanos and Transportes Baldomero Corral. "I like it. It's fast," said Lopez, 53, of Sedona. The farm worker recently bought a ticket from Phoenix to El Paso aboard a Crucero USA bus. "Greyhound costs a lot and it takes a long time to get anywhere. These lines go direct." Best of all, Lopez added, "the driver speaks Spanish" (May 2, 2005, DESERET NEWS, Salt Lake City, UT).

In his article, Gonzalez adds that these bus lines are flourishing throughout the southwest and expanding to other areas of the nation where the Latino population is rapidly increasing. Although he provides no source for the figure, he claims that "Latino bus lines have grown into a $300 million industry nationwide," at the same time that Greyhound, the no. 1 passenger carrier, has suffered declining revenues and passenger loads. He concludes his article with another first-hand account:

Juan Coronel, a 29-year-old Phoenix apartment maintenance worker, recently bought a $50 ticket aboard Crucero USA for his 75-year-old mother, Celsa Avitia, to return to her home in Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, after a two-week visit to Phoenix. His mother speaks no English, but Coronel knew that if she had any problems during the 12-hour journey, she could communicate with the bus

Kemper et al.: HISPANIC TRANSPORTATION IN DALLAS driver. Coronel said his worries also were eased knowing his mother would not have to transfer to another bus line at the border, as passengers traveling on Greyhound must do. "This is a lot easier. It goes directly there," Coronel said, standing outside the Crucero terminal as his mother prepared to board the bus (May 2, 2005, DESERET NEWS, Salt Lake City, UT).

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Views of Hispanic Transportation During the 20 years since the passage of the IRCA legislation, immigration has been an important arena for both conservative and progressive political groups in the U.S. Concerns about the impact of "illegal aliens" on American life have stood in stark contrast to the perspective that the U.S. has long benefited from "undocumented workers" who have come to work in the U.S. from Mexico and other nations. Controversies about immigration soon focused on the emerging Hispanic transportation system. Originally developed to serve immigrants traveling back and forth between Mexico and the United States, the expansion of the Hispanic population into locations throughout the U.S has been met with flurries of critical reactions. The INS (now ICE) has taken an especially negative view of camioneta operations. In 1997, the same year that Hispanic entrepreneurs were undergoing troubles in Dallas, George Regan (Acting Associate Commissioner for Enforcement) testified before the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives:

Small transportation companies, operated by smugglers and known as camionetas, are springing up in Texas. These camionetas operate under federal transportation regulations as "common carriers" and, therefore, are not required to check the documentation or status of their passengers. Consequently, these smuggler-operated camioneta buses are able to transport illegal immigrants anywhere in the United States, with little or no fear of prosecution. Unlike legitimate bus companies, both small and large, smuggler-

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operated camionetas have no scheduled routes or stops and deliberately plan their trips to avoid detection. Smugglercontrolled camioneta operations are based primarily in the Houston and Dallas areas (Regan 1997).

The Internet offers numerous websites and blogs where strong opinions are expressed about the dangers of illegal, undocumented camionetas and buses, and their occupants. For example, Matt Maggio, publisher and editor of the Alamance Independent, offers this description on his website (http://www.alamanceind.com/newfol~4/immig_28.html):

"Camioneta" is the Mexican name for the vans that transport Mexican aliens into and around the U.S. - and it certainly appears that Burlington is now an airline-style hub for one major camioneta company as of Jan. 2000. Transportes Regiomontanos is a "Mexican van" service bringing Mexicans to Burlington and elsewhere in North Carolina; fare from Celaya, Mexico (their stop nearest Mexico City) to Burlington is $185. It keeps two of its vans (photos below) parked at the Colony Apartments off of Mebane St. when they are not on the road; both have Texas plates ­ and advertise service to places as varied as Chicago, Wisconsin, and Virginia. Their late-model vans ­ like many "Mexican van" services now ­ pull small trailers, thus leaving as much room as possible in the van for paying passengers instead of luggage; this is an indication of how many passengers they carry. The trailers prominently advertise Regiomontanos' toll-free U.S. number that is used to handle customer service out of Atlanta ­ nowhere near the border. The woman who answers the phone there knows what interstate exits they get off at in Burlington from memory; she says that in this county, their stop is at Flying J truck stop in Haw River. But Regiomontanos also operates an airline-like hub as of Dec. 4, 2000 at the My Ranchito 2 tienda on Hanover Rd. in Graham ­ transferring Mexicans from its camionetas to its intercity buses in the same way American Airlines gathers passengers at key airports from its "commuter" subsidiary American Eagle (Maggio 2000).

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Negative comments also abound in letters to the editor, op-ed pieces, and investigative reports in local newspapers. For example, two newspaper accounts of Houston-based camioneta services describe them as "a front for `coyotes'" (Hegstrom 2002) and as "conduits for illegal immigrants" (Borden 2005). According to the first article:

About 50 small van companies have opened operations across Houston in recent years, each offering their Spanishspeaking clientele a fleet of vans with daily departures to points all over the country. Yet while the companies operate in the open in Houston ­ most advertise in Spanish-language papers, many have offices and a few list themselves in the Yellow Pages ­ their operations have come under increased scrutiny in other parts of the country (3 March 2002, THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE).

According to the second account:

Camionetas are part of a loose-knit network of cottage industries profiting from immigrant smuggling. In Atlanta, they drop off passengers at unadvertised but well-known locations near Buford Highway, including a strip shopping center in Chamblee. A short walk away, police say, shady labor brokers and document sellers hawk what the immigrants need next: papers, a job, a place to sleep. . . . In September 2003, the FMCSA [Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration] imposed new regulations for camionetas. Companies now have to carry $1.5 million in liability insurance, keep driving logs and stay current on maintenance records. FMCSA spokesman Jim Lewis said the agency relies on state and local police to conduct roadside inspections during traffic stops, and regional FMCSA offices track repeat violators to close them down (21 August 2005, THE ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION).

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Overview of the Literature The growing importance of the Hispanic transportation system only recently has attracted the attention of social scientists. A few ethnographers considered the importance of transportation as a measure of economic development and urbanization in Mexico (e.g., Kemper and Foster 1975: 69); others examined the Mexican trucking industry (e.g., Alvarez and Collier 1994, 1997; Edmundson 1959; Jaquith 1974); and a few others reported on urban transport systems in other Latin American nations (cf. Uzzell 1987, for a case study of Lima, Peru). Nonetheless, no reports focusing on the Hispanic transportation system in the United States and its connections to the Mexican system were available until recently. David Ellis (affiliated with the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A & M University) carried out a small-scale research project on the safety of camionetas in the Texas border region. His findings are summarized in a one-page report in the in-house publication, THE TEXAS TRANSPORTATION RESEARCHER:

The lack of information regarding commercial van operations (commonly referred to in South Texas as camionetas) in Texas prompted the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to sponsor a study conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI). The study's objectives were to define the extent of border-area commercial van operations, determine the extent of safety problems associated with these operations and recommend strategies for communicating and enforcing the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations (FMCRs) that apply to camioneta operators. . . . [T]he researchers conducted voluntary surveys at inland United States Border Patrol checkpoints. The results of the 64 vans surveyed indicated that the possibility exists for serious safety problems with camioneta van operations. The researchers made the following observations: · high mileage on a majority of the vans · poor outside appearance

Kemper et al.: HISPANIC TRANSPORTATION IN DALLAS · luggage not secured inside the vehicle · seat belts not being worn or in good working order · driver's stated travel plans made for a potentially unsafe amount of time driving The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 was passed in an effort to improve safety on our roads by requiring the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to make its commercial vehicle safety regulations applicable to camionetas. Compliance became mandatory on July 13, 2001, and the researchers say the key to educating camioneta operators on FMCRs and to making current operations safer is to assure them the system will be fair and consistent. Ellis says he believes the study was successful in providing a good starting point for the federal government to enforce laws, in providing statistics, and in giving an overall view of the whole industry (Ellis 2001:10).

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Subsequently, with the help of a small grant from the University of California Transportation Center and UC MEXUS [University of California Institute for Mexican and the United States], Abel Valenzuela, Lisa Schweitzer, and Adriele Robles at UCLA conducted a pilot study of camionetas in southern California. Their work was an important influence in the design of our research in the Dallas region. They shared their questionnaires for surveying management and passengers, and we have adapted these to our circumstances. In the published version of their study, they observed:

Using interviews and ethnography, we analyze who patronizes camionetas in Southern California, and why. Patrons revealed why they use this service, including a discussion of their attitudes about the services, other transportation options, and access to employment. Finally, we conduct empirical tests to see whether these services are as exploitative of their riders as portrayed. Camionetas are primarily used by Mexican immigrants with varied socio-economic characteristics who want to travel interregionally and transnationally. Patrons praised camioneta service for timesaving, Spanish-speaking drivers, more flexible and "out-of-way" stops, the inclusion of Spanish

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music and television in the vehicle, and door-to-door service. Ethnographic evidence showed that the camionetas operating in Southern California were comfortable and safe (Valenzuela et al. 2005: 895).

The most recent study of Hispanic and other ethnic transportation behavior is a Master's Thesis in Civil Engineering by Gustavo Jimenez Vera (2007) (University of Texas at Arlington). Using the most recent National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) Add On for the State of Texas, he focused on local travel behavior of ethnic populations, with relatively little attention to long-distance and international travel. He reported that:

The data indicate that Foreign-Born Hispanics show different travel behavior and perceptions of the transportation system than U.S. born Hispanics. Moreover, "newcomer" Hispanic immigrants have different travel patterns than "settled" Hispanic immigrants. . . . Tracking and understanding the Hispanic and other minority cohorts and determining how foreign-born communities integrate into the American way of life is crucial for transportation planners and travel demand modelers, and this is of special importance to Texas' transportation professional. The findings in this study indicate that Texas may be facing a transportation-cultural change, due to the different travel behaviors and attitudes of burgeoning minority communities (Jimenez Vera 2007: 70-74).

These three studies (Ellis, Valenzuela et al., and Jimenez) all suggest that the Hispanic transportation system is growing in importance. Although the literature on Hispanic transportation is limited in scope, it does demonstrate that much more research is needed to understand how this particular form of ethnic entrepreneurship emerged over the past 20 years. By contrast, the literature on ethnic and immigrant entrepreneurship is vast (cf. Light and Bhachu 1993; Morawska 2004; and Zhou 2004). From early collections on entrepreneurs in their cultural contexts (Greenfield et al. 1979) to oral histories

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of Hispanic-American entrepreneurs in New Orleans (Owsley 1992) to comparative case studies of immigrant entrepreneurs in a dozen nations (Kloosterman and Rath 2003), anthropologists have developed a keen interest in the economic activities of populations desiring to retain their connections to their homelands. While we were preparing this article, two more important studies of ethnic entrepreneurs in the U.S. appeared. The first focuses on Latino entrepreneurs in Harrisonburg, Virginia (Zarrugh 2007), while the second examines the "agency of immigrant entrepreneurs" in the greater Dallas area (Brettell and Alstatt 2007). Zarrugh begins her study by observing that "relatively little attention has been paid to Latino entrepreneurship" (2007: 240), and then highlights the important shift from immigrants who labor for others to those who become owners of small firms, especially in non-metropolitan settings in the southern U.S. By contrast, Brettell and Alstatt (2007) begin their study by noting the familiar distinction between "cultural" and "structural" models of why immigrants turn to entrepreneurship in American society. Their study is intended to move beyond these models to emphasize "individual agency and decisionmaking" (Brettell and Alstatt 2007: 384) by focusing on both "ethnic" and "occupational" niches. The authors conclude that "self-employment clearly provides an important avenue for the social and economic incorporation of immigrants. What remains to be explored is its contribution to other forms of incorporation" (2007: 395). The present article links the literature on ethnic and immigrant entrepreneurship to the previously under-studied transportation system. In what follows, we illustrate how, during the past 20 years, Hispanics in the Dallas area have become "incorporated" into the highly regulated and increasingly binational transportation system emerging between the U.S. and Mexico in the post-IRCA and post-NAFTA era.

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Methods The "problem" of Hispanic transportation came to our attention in an unusual way. In the fall of 2004, the senior author (Kemper) was contacted by a court-appointed defense attorney with a request that he serve as an expert witness for a Mexican-origin male charged in the Federal Court in the District of Western Louisiana with transporting illegal aliens in violation of Title 8 USC § 1324 (a)(1)(ii). In preparation for serving in this role, Kemper learned that the company for which the man had worked was Enlaces Terrestres Star de Dallas. This legal case served as our point of entry to begin a pilot study of Hispanic passenger carriers in Dallas, with special attention to the smaller companies that operate camionetas. In December 2004, Kemper and Adkins visited the offices/ terminal of Enlaces Terrestres Star de Dallas on East Jefferson Blvd. and were able to confirm that the company offered passenger services with motorcoaches as well as with camionetas. Subsequently, a search through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) database revealed that, with its two buses and six 15-passenger vans, this company was the only FMCSA-registered Hispanic transportation company based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with camionetas to supplement their buses. Although our inquiry initially focused on the Enlaces firm, we soon documented the wide range of camioneta and bus companies targeting the region's Hispanic population. A survey of local Hispanic newspapers provided the initial information on these firms and their destinations in Mexico and in the United States. We built a database containing more than 50 firms and then visited them at their terminals throughout the region. We also gathered data in the FMCSA national database on all Hispanic-oriented motor carriers (including those listed under "buses" and under "mini-vans"), with special attention to those located in the State of Texas and in the Dallas-Fort Worth

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metropolitan area. For our purposes, all firms with Hispanic names were considered to serve the Hispanic population. An extensive Internet search for information on camionetas and Hispanic transportation yielded hundreds of items, but revealed only a handful of social science studies based on fieldwork or surveys. In early 2005, these findings were summarized and offered to the court on behalf of the defendant in the federal case in which Kemper served as an expert witness. After a defense appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans, the original guilty verdict was reversed and remanded in October 2006. The government did not attempt to retry the case, instead deporting the defendant to Mexico. Once the federal case had been resolved, we moved into a second phase of the pilot study. Kemper carried out a systematic field survey of the Hispanic transport firms at their several terminals throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In the spring of 2007, Flores administered a questionnaire to management representatives in more than 40 of these firms. Their responses were placed into a spreadsheet and later prepared for analysis using SPSS. Flores also prepared a map of all the firms and their terminals using the ESRI ArcView GIS program. In fall 2007, Santos began the third phase of the pilot study. He did further analysis of the SPSS database while beginning a survey among passengers at one of the larger Hispanic transportation firms. If this proves to be successful, the passenger survey will be expanded and serve as the basis for another article. In summary, this pilot study has been methodologically eclectic. We have gathered data (including questionnaires, interviews, and digital photographs) on more than 40 Dallas area firms oriented to the transportation needs of the Hispanic population. We have extracted comparative statistical information from the FMCSA database for the U.S., Texas, and the Dallas region. We also have examined journal articles, conference proceedings, newspapers, and Internet webpages/blogs. At

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present, we are beginning a survey of passengers who travel through terminals in the Dallas area. Bus Travel in Mexico To appreciate the development of the Hispanic-oriented transportation system in Dallas and beyond, we should begin with a consideration of the transportation system in Mexico, where intercity and intraurban passenger service is an important arena of commercial activity. Clients in Mexico have literally hundreds of choices, from luxurious buses to small vans and multi-passenger taxis. The nation's capital, Mexico City, has four separate bus terminals (north, east, south, and west). The terminal in Guadalajara, relocated in the late 1980s to the southeastern edge of the metropolis from its old location downtown, offers service by more than 40 different bus companies. Trips by some combination of buses, camionetas, and multi-passenger taxis are relatively inexpensive and offer good value to working-class as well as middle-class and elite travelers. In fact, with the spreading of privatized toll roads throughout the nation, it now can be less expensive (and much more relaxing) to take the bus rather than driving oneself and paying the gas and tolls. Large-scale companies (e.g., ETN [Enlaces Terrestres Nacionales], Grupo Flecha Amarilla, and Grupo ADO [Autobuses de Occidente]) focus on non-stop, city-to-city service. Their luxury buses (autobuses de primera clase de lujo), manufactured abroad by Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and other prestigious foreign companies, offer fully reclining seats, WCs, multiple Sony television monitors (to show videos of popular foreign and Mexican films), sandwiches and soft drinks, and on-board coffee and tea. The numerous second class firms (e.g., ADO's eponymous affiliate Autobuses de Occidente, S.A. de C.V.) are more flexible about their departure times and how they deal with passengers

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along their routes. Most drivers will pick up or let off a passenger anywhere along a route. Although a passenger would be wise to reserve a seat (on the Internet, by phone, or in person at the ticket counter) for a luxury bus, one can climb aboard a second-class bus, a shared-ride colectivo, or taxi and simply pay at the end of the trip, wherever one gets out. In small communities, colectivos and taxis, operated by local entrepreneurs, connect residents to nearby towns with terminals from which buses carry passengers to anywhere in the nation and beyond. The combination of buses (colloquially known as camiones, the same word as is used for trucks), mini-buses (known as camionetas, the same word as is used for light-weight, pick-up trucks), and jitney taxis (known as peseros, from the time when a ride of any length along the set route cost just one peso) provides excellent transportation options to the millions of Mexicans who lack their own cars or pick-up trucks. Traveling by Bus between Mexico and the U.S. The next step in appreciating the magnitude of the emerging Hispanic-oriented transportation system takes us beyond Mexico proper. In the 1980s, especially after the massive earthquake in Mexico City in 1985, population flows from the provinces shifted away from the national capital. Instead, hundreds of thousands of provincial residents looked northward to the opportunities available in the expanding U.S. economy. Soon, buses to the northern border became packed during peak travel periods, with some passengers forced to stand in the aisles for hundreds of miles. In August 1993, while Kemper was doing fieldwork among migrants from Tzintzuntzan, Michoacán, who were living in the Tacoma-Seattle area in Washington state, he had an opportunity to learn first-hand of the problems of international

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travel from Mexico to the U.S. In that case, a young couple in their twenties were traveling by bus from Tzintzuntzan to Tacoma in order to participate in a family wedding in a small town east of Seattle. The 1,000 mile trip across northern Mexico to El Paso was crowded but uneventful. Then, they boarded a Greyhound bus for the 1,700-mile leg to Seattle, via Salt Lake City. Somewhere in the Utah desert the bus broke down and the passengers were stranded for several hours until placed on another bus that continued their journey to Seattle. As a result of their half-day wait in the desert, the couple missed the late afternoon wedding. As the evening wore on, and still with no sign of them, Kemper was dispatched to drive to the downtown Seattle bus terminal in hopes that they had arrived. After some wait, their bus did arrive. Kemper gathered them and their suitcases into his rental car and headed back to the small town east of Seattle where the wedding reception was in full force. In the years since, Kemper has witnessed hundreds of young people from Tzintzuntzan and nearby communities go to the next town, where they board buses in large numbers to make the long trip to the frontier. With or without documents, they have managed to cross the border and continue their journeys to communities where waiting relatives and friends help them to find work in agriculture, in factories, in restaurants, and so on. Even among those without proper Mexican passports and U.S. visas, the trips usually have been successful. Although sometimes those with "good papers" go by plane, the cost is much higher than traveling by bus. In the period following the passage of NAFTA in 1994, transnational bus companies began to open offices in major cities and towns in central Mexico. For instance, Kemper observed that the Tornado Bus Company had an office in Morelia, the state capital of Michoacán, before he knew of its terminal in Dallas. Their buses used to pick up and deposit passengers at their offices located a block or so down the street from the old

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Morelia bus depot (central camionero). Now, Tornado has its ticket counter in the new main bus terminal, alongside other long-distance Mexican-owned carriers. This opening to the presence of transnational bus companies is one of the consequences of the increased privatization of Mexico's national transportation system. It also makes good sense given that their computers are able to cross-ticket passengers from a point of origin in central Mexico all the way to a point of destination in the U.S. and back again. The Issue of Transporting "Illegal Aliens" The controversies over the Hispanic-oriented transportation system in the United States are focused on the issue of transporting "illegal aliens." Since the passage of IRCA in 1986, and more especially since the events of September 11, 2001, U.S. government agents (working for what used to be called the Immigration and Naturalization Service [INS, but known informally as "La Migra"] but since has become the Immigration Control and Enforcement [ICE] agency within the Department of Homeland Security) have been targeting bus companies that serve the Hispanic population in an effort to hinder movement of illegal aliens who have made it past border checkpoints. They have made hundreds of arrests at terminals and at highway check points, from southern California and Arizona to Texas and Louisiana to Georgia. Other arrests have taken place when state troopers pull over a camioneta or a motor coach for a violation of speeding laws or for faulty equipment.5 Based on her observations in the State of Washington, Florangela Davila describes some practices for transporting undocumented persons who have managed to get beyond the border:

TOPPENISH, Yakima County -- Until recently, shoppers at Las Dos Victorias could purchase not only tamale

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steamers, piñatas and pan dulce but tickets for a Golden State Transportation bus as well. The bus company, popular with Latinos, picked up passengers here at the store's First Avenue parking lot, next to a tiny espresso stand, and ferried them south to Oregon, Los Angeles and across the border into Tijuana. "El Golden" buses cater to the growing Mexican population throughout the West, like the one here in Toppenish, a small agricultural outpost. Bus drivers speak Spanish. Latin music plays on board. Spanish-language movies, especially ones featuring Mexican comic Cantinflas, are screened. But Alfonso Sandoval said he'll no longer sell bus tickets at his Dos Victorias store. "I don't want to be involved in any problems," he said last week, shortly after federal authorities handed down criminal indictments against officers and employees of the bus company for their alleged role in an illegal-immigrant smuggling ring (December 26, 2001, THE SEATTLE TIMES).

This story refers to the largest immigrant-transporting case brought against a bus company to date. California-based Golden State Transportation was indicted in 2001 and later filed for bankruptcy. The company was fined $3 million, which included surrendering a not-yet opened downtown Phoenix bus terminal valued at $2.5 million. In its official press release (dated 19 May 2006), the Office of the United States Attorney, District of Arizona, provided two pages of details about the guilty pleas of the owners and managers of Golden State Transportation Company. Not mentioned in the press release is that, during the time of the court proceedings, Golden State Transportation was 51% controlled by another firm (SITA) that was, in turn, controlled by Greyhound.6 Thus, it is hardly surprising that, since 2002, Greyhound has required that its own employees and those at its subsidiary Autobuses Americanos not sell tickets to anyone who might be an illegal alien. According to a newspaper article by Leslie Bernstein and Norma de la Vega:

Kemper et al.: HISPANIC TRANSPORTATION IN DALLAS Greyhound said the internal policy is based on federal law and is meant to address immigrant smuggling, and was put in place for fear of legal consequences if the law is broken. But it also opens the door to racial profiling, say some national Latino advocacy organizations, which are hoping to persuade the company to reconsider its rules. Greyhound began warning employees specifically not to violate the law ­ or else face the consequences ­ as part of their training in 2002, after the 2001 indictment of a Los Angeles-based regional bus company that pleaded guilty to immigrant smuggling. "We want our employees to be in compliance with the law," [a Greyhound spokesman] said. "We want to follow the law, and we want to protect our employees." But fear of winding up in trouble has caused the company to set itself up for potential discrimination against law-abiding Latino passengers, critics say. A section of Greyhound's "Transportation of Illegal Aliens" guidelines that deals with how to identify an immigrant smuggler cautions employees to be on the lookout for people who use the Spanish word pollito ­ the diminutive form of pollo, or chicken, what smugglers call their clients ­ in addition to other terms. The guidelines are not meant to teach employees to single out individual passengers but smuggled groups, [a Greyhound spokesman] said. In addition to pointing out possible signs of a smuggler, the guidelines also contain language such as, "How do you recognize groups of illegal aliens?" Employees are advised to be on the lookout for large groups traveling together, that are led by a guide, that are traveling with little or no luggage or that are "moving in single file." Because smugglers are identified as "buying quantities of tickets for other passengers," employees are not allowed to sell to groups of six or more unless a group travel form is completed and approved. The document instructs employees not to engage in racial profiling and not to discriminate on the basis of race, national heritage or other characteristics (23 September 2005, SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, San Diego, CA).

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Safety Issues The very useful database established and maintained by the federal government for all motor carriers exists primarily to monitor their safety for traveling on the highways of the nation. Federal and state officials have been especially concerned about the poor safety records of passenger carriers who use the 15-passenger mini-buses/vans. In addition to the rules governing motor coaches, in early 2001 the FMCSA proposed new rules for passenger carriers using commercial mini-buses/vans in interstate commerce involving routes of 75 miles or greater distance from the point of departure. These rules, which became final as of 11 September 2003 (Federal Register, 12 August 2003, volume 68, number 155, pp. 47860-47875), included provisions that companies carry $1.5 million in liability insurance, keep up-to-date maintenance logs on vehicles, and monitor drivers' work time and mileage traveled. What is unusual about the new rules is that the FMCSA regulations refers explicitly to these commercial mini-vans by using the Spanish term "camionetas." The Camioneta and Bus Industry in Texas Before focusing on the Hispanic transportation firms in the Dallas region, we consider their broader context within the State of Texas. Not only does Texas share the longest border of any state with Mexico, the length of its state lines with New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana are longer than those of any other state with adjacent states. A national perspective on the Hispanic transportation system in Texas can be gained from an examination of the database (available at http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/) maintained by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation. According

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to FMCSA, 204 passenger carrier companies are based in the state of Texas. This number does not include companies based in other states with branch offices and terminals in Texas. Although the size of the Hispanic population in Texas (7.8 million of 22.5 million, or 34.6% of the state's population) is substantial by national standards (41.3 million of 293.7 million, or 14.1%), the role of Hispanic entrepreneurs in its passenger carrier industry is even more impressive. Table 1 shows that Hispanics control at least 96 of the 204 companies (47.1%). The breakdown of the three categories (mini-buses/vans only, a mix of mini-buses/vans with motorbuses, and motorbuses only) reveals an intriguing pattern. In the first category, 27 of 34 companies are controlled by Hispanics. In the mixed category, non-Hispanics control 21 of 22 companies. Finally, in the largest category (motorbuses only) non-Hispanics control 80 companies while Hispanics control 68 companies. These data suggest that non-Hispanic bus companies recently have added mini-buses/vans to their preexisting motor coach service, while Hispanic entrepreneurs started with the 15passenger mini-buses/vans, then shifted to the larger capacity motor coaches as their finances permitted. A more detailed breakdown of the pattern of ownership according to the number of vehicles in each category reveals that most companies, whatever the ethnicity of their owners, are small. According to the FMCSA database, the 204 passenger carrier companies based in Texas own 3,095 motorcoaches and 575 mini-buses/vans.7 The median number of motorcoaches per company is 3 and the median number of mini-buses/vans is 11.5. The range for motorcoaches is from 0 to 1,550, and for mini-buses/vans from 0 to 275. The outlier for motorcoaches is Greyhound, reported by the FMCSA to have 1,550 units registered in Texas, while the outlier for mini-buses/vans is AAA Limo, based in Texarkana, with 275 vehicles. Both Greyhound and AAA Limo are controlled by non-Hispanic owners.

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Source: Analysis of data in FMCSA database of passenger carriers, available at: http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/Passenger/search_results. asp?Zipcode=&State=TX&VehicleType=ALL&keyword=&Submit=Find+Carriers; (accessed 9 November 2007).

_______________________________________________________________ TABLE 1. Passenger Carriers Based in Texas ________________________________________________________________ Ownership Mini-Buses Mini-Buses Motor Totals & Vans Vans Coaches & Motor Coaches ________________________________________________________________ Non-Hispanic 7 21 80 108 Hispanic 27 1 68 96 Total 34 22 148 204 ________________________________________________________________

On a geographic basis, the 204 companies are located primarily in large urban areas. The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is home to the greatest concentration of companies, with 57 companies divided into 31 non-Hispanic and 26 Hispanic operators. Next comes the Houston metropolitan area, with 53 companies divided into 23 non-Hispanic and 30 Hispanic operators. El Paso with 18 (all Hispanic) and San Antonio with 16 (10 non-Hispanic and 6 Hispanic) companies trail behind. All other Texas cities combined have a total of 60 registered passenger carriers, divided into 44 non-Hispanic and 14 Hispanic companies. In effect, the four largest urban markets are served in far greater numbers by Hispanic companies (80) than by non-Hispanic companies (64). Despite its strength in numbers, the Hispanic transportation system is little known by the non-Hispanic public.8

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Growth of the Hispanic Population and the Hispanic Transport System in Dallas The Hispanic population, most of which comes from Mexico, has grown rapidly during the past 25 years in many regions of the U.S., and especially in urban areas such as Dallas.9 In the 2000 census, about 30% of the Dallas County population self-identified as "Hispanic," a total of more than 662,000 persons. By 1 July 2004, the Census Bureau estimated that the Hispanic population had increased to 35% (808,576 of a total county population of 2,294,706). The Dallas Independent School District has a Hispanic majority for the first time in its history, with numerous schools reporting more than 90% Hispanic enrollment. In many parts of Dallas, it is possible to do virtually all of one's daily business in Spanish rather than in English. Among the 34 firms for which we have good historical data (based on responses to our spring 2007 management survey), we found that none had officially existed before the 1986 IRCA legislation. In the period from 1986 to 1989, seven firms were established. In the 1990-1994 period, another four began to offer service. From 1995 through 1999, an additional nine firms entered the marketplace. Since the year 2000, fourteen more have been created. During the same period, some companies failed to gain sufficient market share to remain in existence. The net effect is that about the same number (around 50) of Hispanic transportation firms exists now as a decade ago. Current Demand for Hispanic-Oriented Transportation Services in Dallas In December 2003, the Spanish-language newspaper AL DÍA, published by the DALLAS MORNING NEWS, ran a major story on the Hispanic transport companies (González 2003). A year later, in December 2004, we found that the sev-

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____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ TABLE 2. Characteristics of ZIP Codes with Hispanic Camioneta and Bus Services Available in the Dallas Area ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ZIP City Points of Hispanic Total Total Median Median CTLMSG Code Service Population in Population* Households* Household Household the ZIP Code* (no.) (no.) Income* Value* (%) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 75203 Dallas 21 64.4 21,039 6,243 $26,243 $57,104 Global Roots 75229 Dallas 20 38.3 32,586 11,559 $77,602 $209,454 High Society 75223 Dallas 11 70.0 15,927 4,523 $36,190 $69,949 Family Portrait 75211 Dallas 6 81.6 74,246 19,861 $40,675 $73,631 Global Roots 75208 Dallas 5 77.4 35,936 10,882 $43,213 $93,541 Global Roots 75226 Dallas 5 61.3 2,834 1,082 $51,020 $33,333 Global Roots 75220 Dallas 4 81.5 53,962 14,967 $41,712 $127,824 Global Roots 75041 Garland 3 47.4 31,851 10,557 $48,497 $94,863 Global Roots 75217 Dallas 3 55.2 72,386 19,962 $38,964 $65,208 Global Roots 75240 Dallas 3 61.7 30,395 10,644 $48,247 $171,056 Global Roots 75074 Plano 2 32.0 43,757 15,489 $68,204 $144,451 High Society 75235 Dallas 2 72.4 20,018 6,271 $39,740 $85,250 Global Roots 75040 Garland 1 37.5 56,495 17,016 $63,859 $104,272 Family Portrait 75042 Garland 1 44.2 39,082 12,075 $50,478 $97,727 Global Roots 75051 Grand Prairie 1 54.4 32,472 10,374 $43,306 $78,359 Global Roots 75060 Irving 1 47.0 46,198 15,006 $54,059 $101,783 Global Roots 75061 Irving 1 53.9 54,382 18,677 $47,418 $110,278 Global Roots 75150 Mesquite 1 22.0 57,243 21,492 $59,841 $107,385 Family Portrait 75227 Dallas 1 49.8 55,451 16,769 $40,802 $83,768 Global Roots 75228 Dallas 1 39.4 69,210 24,760 $42,064 $95,695 Global Roots 75233 Dallas 1 55.3 17,236 5,003 $43,807 $102,765 Global Roots 75234 Dallas 1 46.6 27,670 9,541 $62,577 $120,807 Senior Styles 75247 Dallas 1 20.3 281 22 $17,550 $48,333 Metropolis ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ NOTE: Points of Service include terminals, stations, ticket sales, pickup locations. *2007 estimates. CCTLMSG is "Community Tapestry Life Mode Summary Group" (2007).

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eral weekly Spanish-language newspapers distributed for free in Oak Cliff carried advertisements and listings for nearly 50 different Hispanic transport companies but no advertisements for non-Hispanic passenger carriers. One of the remarkable features of the Hispanic transportation system in the Dallas area is its lack of centralization. Whereas the dominant bus company (Greyhound) offers a single, 24-hour/day terminal in downtown Dallas, complemented by distant suburban stations open on a parttime basis, the Hispanic transportation firms are scattered among more than 20 ZIP codes in the Dallas area. Our research yielded a list of 96 locales where camioneta and bus services are provided. Some companies operated out of a single locale, some had ticket counters in as many as seven locales throughout the Dallas area, while some locales merely sell tickets and take in cargo. Others are full-fledged terminals serving a single company or multiple firms. In many cases, companies will send camionetas to local ticket offices to pick up passengers and then take them to their main terminals where they can board large passenger buses for long-haul domestic or international trips. With few exceptions (for large, highly segmented ZIP codes and for very small ZIP codes), these points of service are concentrated in ZIP codes with high concentrations of Hispanics. Three ZIP codes (75203 in Oak Cliff [21 locales], 75229 in Northwest Dallas [20], and 75223 in East Dallas [11]) have more than half the terminals and ticket-selling locales in the Dallas area. Their similarities and differences are instructive: the Oak Cliff and East Dallas communities are 61% and 64% Hispanic, respectively. By contrast, the highly segmented ZIP code 75229 is only 33% Hispanic, although it is surrounded by other ZIP codes in northwest Dallas with much higher Hispanic proportions. What is unique about the concentration of Hispanic transportation firms in 75229 is that most operate out of a large "terminal" and an adjacent parking lot located at the back of a large shopping "bazaar" owned by local Korean-

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American entrepreneurs, who control most of the commerce and warehouse/distribution enterprises in this sector of Dallas. The Koreans do not travel on the Hispanic camionetas and buses, but they do profit from the rents collected from these firms. The remaining 20 ZIP codes with Hispanic camioneta and bus terminals are spread throughout the urban area, almost always in areas with a high percentage of Hispanic residents. Several key features of these ZIP codes are presented in Table 2. Compared with other ZIP codes in the Dallas area, most of the neighborhoods with Hispanic-oriented transportation services have relatively low household incomes and relatively low house values. The most common "LifeMode Summary Group"10 is labeled "Global Roots," described in these words:

Global Roots residents are culturally and racially diverse. Half of these households have immigrated to the United States within the last 10 years. Household types range from married couples with children to single parents and singles who live alone. They tend to rent apartments in multiunit dwellings. Because households with children dominate, spending for baby goods, children's apparel and toys is higher. They are less likely to have home PCs but probably use cellphones. They travel outside the United States to maintain ties with friends and relatives (quoted in a story by Cheryl Hall, Dallas Morning News, May 26, 2007; emphasis added).

What is remarkable about these ZIP codes is how many fall into the "Global Roots" segment. In the six-county region encompassed by Dallas, Denton, Collin, Kaufman, Rockwall, and Tarrant counties, there are only 28 ZIP codes in the Global Roots segment. Sixteen of these 28 ZIP codes also are included in the set of ZIP codes where Hispanic transportation services are offered in the Dallas area. This is a case of ethnic entrepreneurs recognizing and taking advantage of a good match between the services they provide and the communities needing their services.

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Destinations Offered to Passengers One of the most important demands of community members is providing a comprehensive set of destinations. The survey demonstrates that the transportation companies do offer their passengers a wide range of destinations, large and small, nearby and distant, in the U.S. and in Mexico. Taken together, the 38 firms that responded to the survey provide a total of 175 destinations beyond Dallas, with 93 (53.1%) in Mexico and 82 (46.9%) in the United States. The most popular destinations in Mexico are located in the states of Durango, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, Michoacán, Chihuahua, Querétaro, Guerrero, Tamulipas, Coahuila, Jalisco, and Aguascalientes. From Dallas, direct service is provided to large cities and small towns in each of these dozen states. In a few cases, a relatively small community with a large number of its residents living in the Dallas region can support its own bus line. For instance, the small town of Ocampo in the state of Guanajuato has a bus line operated by members of its immigrant community in Dallas. Within the United States, these transportation firms travel both to destinations within Texas and beyond Texas to 19 other states, including Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Illinois, Oklahoma, Georgia, Kansas, North Carolina, Arkansas, California, and Florida. Considerable diversity is present in the number of destinations served by the Hispanic transportation companies, with one firm having 22 U.S. destinations, another having 32 destinations in Mexico, and one having a total of 38 destinations. At the other extreme, we found that nine firms only have a single U.S. destination, two have a single Mexican destination, and five have only one destination, whether U.S. or Mexican. Most surprising is that half of the 38 firms in the survey do not have a single destination in Mexico. Instead, they focus on destinations in the growing U.S. travel market.

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Given the range of destinations from Dallas to Mexico and within the U.S., it is clear that Dallas acts as a "hub" for Hispanic camioneta and bus transportation, in much the same way that the nearby Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is a "hub" for American Airlines and other carriers. In addition, some firms based in other cities in the U.S. and in Mexico also maintain terminals in Dallas. Of the 38 firms for which we have reliable data, 25 (66%) have their headquarters in Dallas. Among the other third, their "home" terminals include Houston (3), Austin (1), Brownsville (1), El Paso (1), and Fort Worth (1) in Texas; Arkansas (1); Chicago (2); and Monterrey (2) in Mexico. Case Studies of Hispanic Transport Companies in Oak Cliff The greatest number and highest concentration of Hispanic transportation firms is to be found in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, just to the south of the Trinity River that cuts through the city from northwest to southeast. Driving along Jefferson Blvd. and Davis St., the two major east-west streets in Oak Cliff, one can see hundreds of Hispanic businesses in what used to be an exclusively Anglo business district. Among these Hispanic businesses, more than a dozen Hispanic transport firms offer camioneta and bus services to and from multiple destinations in the interior of Mexico as well as service to dozens of destinations across the U.S. In the remainder of this section, we examine several different types of companies, ranging from large transnationals to small family-run firms. Enlaces Terrestres Star de Dallas Enlaces Terrestres Star de Dallas, located on East Jefferson, offers passenger services with motorcoaches as well as with

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camionetas. In fact, with two buses and six 15-passenger vans, this company is the only FMCSA-registered Hispanic transportation company based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with camionetas to supplement their buses. The company operates in a manner similar to that of other small bus companies in Mexico and in Dallas. First, it shares a terminal location at 620 E. Jefferson with several other small camioneta and bus companies. Second, it has an impressive list of U.S. destinations for its camionetas, including Atlanta, Florida, New York, Maryland, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Indiana, Boston, North and South Carolina , Virginia, Arkansas, Chicago, Michigan, Kentucky, and Ohio. For its long-haul trips to the interior of Mexico, Enlaces uses buses. In either case, passengers can make reservations for future trips, or pay in advance to receive a discount. The newspaper ads for Enlaces Terrestres Star de Dallas suggest that this is a versatile and adaptable company. One quarterpage advertisement appearing on p. 19 in the DeGala section of EL HERALDO features a full-sized bus, not a van. On the other hand, on p. 3 of EL EXTRA, the company has a smaller ad featuring a camioneta. Unlike the first ad, this one notes that a client "can pay here or upon arrival at the destination." From High Hopes to Chapter 11: El Conejo Bus Lines The success of companies such as Americanos and TURIMEX is offset by the problems faced by some of their competitors in the Hispanic transportation business. The El Conejo Bus Lines began in the early 1990s with three leased 15-passenger vans and a "terminal" located in a strip mall in the Hispanic section of West Dallas. Being an early entrant into the marketplace for inexpensive travel to and from Mexico helped El Conejo to increase its sales and improve its fleet. After a few years, the company was using luxury-class buses with on-board TV moni-

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tors for showing videos, and handing out soft drinks and snack foods to its delighted passengers. By 1997, El Conejo had some 250 employees, and a bus fleet of more than 30 51-passenger buses, with plans to lease/purchase nearly 40 more. In those days, the president of El Conejo predicted that: "In five years, El Conejo is going to be the biggest bus company in Mexico and the U.S." (quoted in Allen 1997b). Unfortunately, in 2002, El Conejo filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy rules. The lingering impact of the events of September 11, 2001 took its toll on El Conejo and many other companies in the American travel industry. With routes from Dallas south into Mexico and north to Kansas City, Chicago, and other cities, El Conejo was carrying about 150,000 passengers a year and had revenues of $13 million in 2001. By 2004, El Conejo had moved its terminal from West Dallas south into Oak Cliff , but business was still difficult. As a result, El Conejo Bus Lines, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for a second time, hoping to sell its few remaining assets to its Mexican partner, an unrelated company with virtually the same name, Autobuses El Conejo, Inc. (Allen 2002, 2004). In early 2006, the financial woes suffered by El Conejo gave way to tragedy (Estrada 2006b). One of its buses, on its way from Kansas City to Dallas, skidded off Interstate 35 about 80 miles south of Oklahoma City. A 28-year-old woman and an 8-year-old boy died in the crash, attributed by state troopers to an ice storm and driver error. It was the third accident for the company in less than a year, which reflects its continuing poor overall safety record, as measured by the FMCSA. By mid-2006, the Oak Cliff office/terminal had been closed and operations relocated to at the Fiesta Bazaar shopping plaza in southwest Oak Cliff. El Conejo is still in business, but no longer is the "rabbit" being chased by the "greyhound" (and its Americanos subsidiary). Now, it has become a Mexican "rabbit" running to keep ahead of a wide range of competitors.

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A Transnational Company with Non-Hispanic Roots: Americanos USA, LLC Americanos U.S.A., L.L.C. is the largest company dedicated to serving the Hispanic travel market. With its principal corporate offices located in Albuquerque, NM, Dallas is just one of many cities with terminals. In its far-flung system, the company has 107 motorcoaches and 6 camionetas available to meet the needs of its more than 200,000 passengers per year. Americanos is owned by Dallas-based SITA (Sistema Internacional de Transporte de Autobuses, Inc.), which in turn is owned by Greyhound and Mexican partners. Greyhound, in turn, is controlled by Laidlaw International, the nation's largest maker of school buses. On October 1, 2007, Laidlaw International was acquired in a $2.8 billion deal by FirstGroup, Britain's largest bus company. As a result, what was a North American transnational transportation firm has become a trans-Atlantic enterprise. In December 2004, we visited one of the Americanos Oak Cliff bus terminals (since torn down, with a new school building rising on the site). In its run-down, warehouse-like setting, the now-defunct terminal was similar to other terminals shared by Hispanic transport companies in the neighborhood of East Jefferson Blvd. These spaces also were similar to bus terminals in mid-sized Mexican cities, especially as all transactions were carried out completely in Spanish. We saw no non-Hispanics or any English-language signs in either place, with one exception. A large (2' x 3') English-language poster on the wall in the reception area clearly was intended for employees, not clients. It gave a long series of specific instructions about how to deal (and not deal) with "illegal aliens." When the Dallas Independent School District purchased this and several adjacent properties for new school construction, Americanos moved its office to the Westmoreland Plaza in west Oak Cliff, where it now maintains an outdoor passenger terminal and parks its buses in the southern section of the

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shopping center parking lot. From this location, the company provides passenger service within the U.S. to cities in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, California, and Tennessee. Befitting its transnational ownership (by SITA and Greyhound), Americanos also offers service to cities and towns in the Mexican states of Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacán, Nuevo León, Querétaro, San Luís Potosí, Zacatecas, and the Distrito Federal. A Transnational Company with Hispanic Roots: TURIMEX TURIMEX, a transnational company (controlled by Grupo SENDA, based in Monterrey) has terminals in five Texas cities (Houston, San Antonio, Laredo, McAllen, and now Dallas), as well as agencies in smaller towns such as Waco, Austin, San Marcos, and others. Its first-class service to and from Mexico began in 2003, but was upgraded with the inauguration of a new terminal on East Jefferson in Oak Cliff in December 2004. At the grand opening of the new TURIMEX terminal, State Representative Roberto Alonzo presented a Texas state flag to members of the Rangel family, which has fought hard for some 20 years to enhance bus service for members of the local Hispanic community. TURIMEX has taken a large share of the market for travel to and from the interior of Mexico, largely at the expense of its competitor, Autobuses Americanos USA. Hispanic consumers in Dallas and in other markets are benefiting from this battle between two well-financed, transnationally controlled companies. This provides a good example of post-NAFTA economic transformations in North America, with Dallas at the center of the competition.

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Conclusion Contrary to numerous critical newspaper articles and government opinions, Hispanic passenger carriers are providing much-needed services to their Spanish-speaking clients in the Dallas urban area and along their routes to and from Mexico and within the U.S. They are not like the underground operators (known as "coyotes") who charge several thousand dollars to smuggle persons across the border in semi-trailers and then abandon them to die at a roadside stop. On the contrary, the 50 or so Hispanic camioneta and bus enterprises doing business in the Dallas metropolitan area appear to be legitimate businesses started by individuals who have invested their own capital and are seeking to follow the American dream. In response to competitive pressures and, perhaps, due to the criminal cases being brought by the Department of Justice against certain drivers, managers, and owners of these firms, the number of small bus companies is declining. In addition, it appears that a number of these firms have converted their fleets from camionetas to camiones, that is, from 15-passenger mini-buses/vans to 45+ passenger motorcoaches. This is a business in evolution, as evidenced by the increasing role played by transnational firms with strong Mexican links. In Dallas we see a long-term process of "incorporation" taking place in this industry. This shift from the largely "undocumented" camionetas to federally registered buses (with a concomitant decline in the number of 15-passenger mini-vans) represents yet another instance of what Max Weber famously called the "routinization of charisma." Successful entrepreneurs are innovative and often are charismatic. In the process of building "legitimate" entities constrained by local zoning ordinances, subject to state franchise tax laws, and regulated by federal transport and motor carrier safety codes, the entrepreneurs behind the Hispanic transportation firms in the Dallas have been compelled to minimize risk-taking and lay aside their charisma. In its

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place they face the routines of daily schedules and corporate paperwork. In such an environment, we can expect significant consolidation in the Hispanic transport sector, as the more successful firms gain market share by buying up or putting out of business their less able competitors. Like many ethnic immigrant enterprises, the Hispanic transport business is little known and poorly understood among members of the established White and Black communities. Hispanic van and bus companies like Enlaces Terrestres Star de Dallas may not operate at the same scale (and with all of the bureaucratic paperwork and expensive computer systems) as larger firms like Autobuses Americanos USA (much less Greyhound), but they do provide a much-needed service for working-class persons and families. The continuing financial woes of El Conejo (and its eventual sale to a Mexican bus company), and the federal charges brought against a camioneta driver, demonstrate that Hispanic entrepreneurs are not exempt from the problems growing out of transnational political and economic issues. On the one hand, many are concerned about staying in business in the face of growing competition, increased regulation, and the constant threat of raids by immigration officials or vehicle stops by state troopers. On the other, some are willing to take risks in new ventures, including the entrance of yet another Mexican bus company into the Dallas (and Texas) marketplace. Recently, the well-established Mexican company Omnibus Mexicanos entered this already overcrowded market. The new company plans to have daily departures from Dallas to cities in both the U.S. and Mexico. To launch their program in Dallas, Omnibus Mexicanos will acquire 12 new buses to join their existing fleet of 75 units. Hispanic consumers want good, reliable, and inexpensive transportation services. The owners, managers, and employees of the diverse Hispanic transportation firms in the Dallas region, in Texas, and across the nation, are looking for ways to

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sustain their well-established "bus culture" in the face of strong external pressures. From fights about local zoning regulations to battles over the nation's immigration policies, the leaders in the Hispanic transportation system find themselves caught in the middle as they calculate the potential for this developing service industry. In another ten years, we will be able to look back on the situations that prevailed in 1987, 1997, and 2007 and see the effects of the ongoing incorporation and consolidation of Hispanic transportation firms into the mainstream of North American life.

NOTES 1 This vignette is a text summary of a scene (likely the first documented instance of the camioneta system in the Dallas area) in "The Other Side of the Border," written by Sylvia Komatsu and directed by Ginny Martin for KERA-TV, the PBS affiliate in Dallas. The senior author (Kemper) served as the Technical Consultant for this 1987 program, broadcast nationwide in the wake of the 1986 IRCA legislation. This summary of events is adapted from a steady stream of articles published about the Hispanic camioneta and bus companies in local Dallas newspapers and journals (e.g., Allen 1997a, 1997b; Celeste 2001; Korosec 2001; Schutze 2002; Williams 2002). This summary is based on our direct observations as well as accounts and advertisements in the growing Spanish-language print media (e.g., Colmenero 2004; Estrada 2006a). A thorough search of available databases and a query among the networks of anthropologists and other social scientists working on Mexican-American urban issues generated only two scholars who have published on the Mexican-American transportation system. David Ellis, affiliated with the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A & M University, published a brief note on "Improving Camioneta Van Service in Texas" (2001), and Abel Valenzuela and his colleagues at UCLA authored an article on "Camionetas: Informal Travel among Immigrants" (2005). In contrast, journalists and bloggers often examine Mexican-American transportation issues, especially as these are related to immigration reform.

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In several cases, including ones filed in California, Louisiana, Ohio, and Rhode Island, camioneta drivers have been arrested, placed on trial in federal court, and found guilty of transporting illegal aliens, a violation of Title 8 USC § 1324 (a)(1)(A), which defines several distinct offenses related to aliens. Subsection 1324(a)(1)(ii) prohibits domestic transportation of unauthorized aliens. The basic statutory maximum penalty for violating 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(ii) is 5 years, unless the offense was committed for commercial advantage or private financial gain, in which case the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years. Typically, drivers are charged with an offense for each illegal immigrant found in the camioneta, although these may be served concurrently. A filing with the Surface Transportation Board (Docket No. MCF-20991, Service date, September 20, 2002) contains the following supplementary information: "Greyhound, an indirect subsidiary of Laidlaw, holds nationwide, motor passenger carrier operating authority under Docket No. MC-1515. Through its non-carrier subsidiary, SITA, Greyhound controls Americanos U.S.A., L.L.C. (MC-309813), operating between Mexican border crossings at points in TX, on the one hand, and, on the other, Albuquerque, NM, Denver, CO, Dallas and Houston, TX, and Chicago, IL, and between other points in the southwestern United States; Autobuses Amigos, L.L.C. (MC-34062), operating between Mexican border crossing points at Brownsville and Houston, TX, and points in the southeastern United States; and Gonzalez, Inc., d/b/a/ Golden State Transportation (MC-173837), operating in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Nevada." In a separate bankruptcy case, involving Laidlaw, Inc., the predecessor to Laidlaw International, one finds on p. 23, under Item 3, Legal Proceedings, General Litigation and Other Disputes, the declaration that: "We are the sole shareholder of Greyhound Lines, Inc., which in turn is the sole shareholder of Sistemas Internacional de Transporte de Autobuses, Inc., or SITA. SITA owns 51% of Gonzalez, Inc., d/b/a Golden State Transportation. On November 28, 2001, Golden State and numerous individual employees, including its senior management, were indicted by a federal grand jury for felony criminal offenses for allegedly transporting and harboring illegal aliens. The indictment also seeks forfeiture to the government of all the property of Golden State, which involves Golden State, SITA and Greyhound Lines since they are claimants to the property. The defendants have been arraigned on the indictment and entered pleas of not guilty. Trial dates have been set as to certain defendants. None of Greyhound, SITA or Laidlaw

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International have been charged with any crime. The government filed a civil forfeiture action against certain Golden State assets based on allegations similar to those described in the indictment of Golden State. Neither SITA, Greyhound nor we are a defendant in the forfeiture action; however, Greyhound and SITA are claimants to the property. Golden State has entered into a settlement agreement with the government regarding the criminal and civil forfeiture cases brought by the government. On September 19, 2003, SITA and Greyhound also entered stipulations with the government to settle SITA and Greyhound's claims to the subject property of the forfeiture action. Pursuant to these stipulations, Greyhound and SITA agreed to forfeit certain property and cooperate in the government's ongoing criminal investigations. In return, the government dropped its forfeiture allegations against the remaining property originally sought for forfeiture and agreed not to pursue criminal charges against SITA, Greyhound and their employees arising out of the events described in the criminal indictment. The bankruptcy court overseeing the Golden State bankruptcy approved the settlement on November 6, 2003." (Available on the Internet at http://sec. edgar-online.com/2003/12/01/0000950137-03-006179/Section4. asp; last accessed on 9 November 2007.) For example, Autobuses Americanos (created in 2001 by SITA, a U.S.-Mexican consortium in which Greyhound is the U.S. partner) has 107 buses and 6 mini-vans, many of which travel into Mexico through Texas, including stops at terminals in Dallas and several other cities. But since Americanos is registered in the FMCSA data base as having its home in Albuquerque, NM, it is not included among the Texas-based companies. In recent years, a growing number of Anglo retirees and tourists have been taking buses operated by Hispanic companies from cities in the U.S. Southwest to the interior of Mexico (e.g., San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, and Morelia). Internet blogs often post discussions of how to travel to and from Mexico. (See, for example, http://forum.virtualtourist.com/discussion-122981-1-1-Travel1-928629-San_Miguel_de_Allende-discussion.html; accessed 7 November 2007.) The importance of this market has not been lost on Dallas-based Greyhound. As one of its recent 10-K Forms states: "Competition by U.S.-based bus and van operators for the market represented by Spanish speaking customers in the U.S. is growing" (Form 10K, for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2004, Greyhound Lines, Inc). In recent years, Greyhound has chosen to compete with these

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Hispanic entrepreneurs by constructing a new terminal in southern Oak Cliff, by creating the Autobuses Americanos USA bus company (also based in Dallas) and by making cross-national agreements with bus companies in Mexico (especially with SITA). The LifeMode Summary Groups make up the Community Tapestry segmentation System developed by ESRI, a major provider of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software and data bases. ESRI divides communities into a maximum of 12 Summary Groups: High Society; Upscale Avenues; Metropolis; Solo Acts; Senior Styles; Scholars and Patriots; High Hopes; Global Roots; Family Portrait; Traditional Living; Factories and Farms; and American Quilt. REFERENCES CITED

Allen, Margaret (1997a). Mexico Shuttles Troubling Oak Cliff. Dallas Business Journal, December 12, 1997. (http://dallas.bizjournals.com/ dallas/stories/1997/12/15/story4.html; accessed 8 November 2007). Allen, Margaret (1997b). Bus Line Courts Mexican Riders. Dallas Business Journal, November 21, 1997. (http://dallas.bizjournals.com/ dallas/stories/1997/11/24/story3.html; accessed 8 November 2007). Allen, Margaret (2002). El Conejo Hits the Brakes. Dallas Business Journal, April 5, 2002 (http://dallas.bizjournals.com/dallas/stories/2002/04/08/story1.html; accessed 8 November 2007). Allen, Margaret (2004). El Conejo Proposed Sale to Mexican Partner. Dallas Business Journal, December 17, 2004 (http://dallas.bizjournals. com/dallas/stories/2004/12/20/story7.html; accessed 8 November 2007). Alvarez, Robert R., and George A. Collier (1994). The Long Haul in Mexican Trucking: Traversing the Borderlands of the North and the South. American Ethnologist 21(3): 606-627. Alvarez, Robert R., and George A. Collier (1997). La Larga Tirada de los Transportista Mexicanos: Cruzando las Zonas Fronterizas del Norte y del Sur. Serie Memoria de los Lugares No. 2. Tuxtla Gutiiérrez, Chiapas: Universidad de Ciencias y Artes del Estado de Chiapas y Centro de Estudios Superiores de México y Centroamérica. Bernstein, Leslie, and Norma de la Vega (2005). Bus Company Policy Irks Latino Groups Ticket Sellers Told to Deny Service to Apparent Illegals. San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 September 2005. (http://www.

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