Trailways Makes New History in City of Love
PRESS RELEASE-May 7, 2013
Fairfax, VA - The City of Brotherly Love already has plenty of famous political and business names under its historical belt. Brand Trailways is now debuting with Philadelphia-based David Thomas Trailways adding to the city's business heritage. David Thomas Trailways President, David Benedict, launched his tour and motorcoach businesses in the early 90s, running motorcoach charters to Atlantic City casinos. Today, David Thomas Trailways operates a fleet of 24 vehicles-full-sized coaches to 14-passenger shuttle buses. (Read more)
Lock Media Buys Trailways Voyager GPS Tracking System
Manassas, VA (April 22, 2013) - Trailways' Voyager GPS Tracking System has been acquired by its original software developer, Lock Media. The software specialist has become a motorcoach industry leader with its comprehensive Ticket Manager Pro 3.0 suite of tools that allows companies to manage all aspects of their operations. Lock Media has big plans to take Voyager to the next level. Until earlier this month, when it was sold outright to Lock Media, the Voyager GPS Tacking System was proprietary to Trailways and used only on it network of buses. The software was managed and hosted by Lock Media since its inception in 2004. This acquisition means that for the first time since 2004, this product will be available commercially. "We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Trailways. The investments and improvements we plan to make to Voyager will not only benefit Trailways stockholders, but now, other bus companies - including the small independent ones - will be able to profit as well," Lock said.
Trailways Voyager GPS Users- All Trailways Stockholders are still required to complete the GPS System Update form requests (GPS Mandates) no later than May 31, 2013.
ABA: Why Wait on a Delayed Airplane? Get there by Motorcoach
April 25, 2013 – Trailways supports the effort by the American Bus Association to promote reliable travel by motorcoach to travelers frustrated with delayed flights. Read More
Trailways Appoints Hanley as Safety Compliance Director
April 2, 2013: Fairfax, VA-Trailways Transportation System (Trailways) has
appointed, veteran federal motorcoach safety expert, Philip (Phil) J.
Hanley, Jr., as its new Safety Compliance Director in support of the
organization's network of motorcoach companies. Hanley will assist Trailways
affiliated bus companies with navigating complex local, state, and federal
safety issues related to motorcoach passenger transportation.
Trailways Announces “Special Recognition” Awards for 2012
April 1, 2013 – Fairfax, VA - Every year Trailways recognizes Stockholder companies and individuals who exemplify outstanding work and dedication. The 2012 recipients were announced during the Trailways Awards Luncheon on March 5, 2013 during the Annual Trailways Stockholders Meeting & Conference in San Diego. Approximately 250 people attended the Trailways 77th annual gathering, which included bus company owner-operators from throughout the U.S. and Canada, industry leaders, government officials, affiliated partners, including the leading bus manufacturers. Read the list of winners and see all the photographs.
Trailways Launches Charter Program
March 22, 2013 - Fairfax, VA– At the 2013 Trailways Stockholders Meeting & Conference held last month in San Diego, CA, the corporation officially launched a Trailways Charter Sales Program, marking a new era in the history of the organization.
The new Trailways Charter Program offers one-stop shopping for customers who wish to charter passenger transportation. The customer has one point of contact in order to make trip planning easy and convenient.
A pre-launch test period from 2011 through 2012 was highly successful and this year (2013), the Charter Program was officially launched at Trailways' 77th annual gathering. During the pre-launch, $1.1 million in gross revenue was generated in group charter - transport business for Trailways-affiliated transportation companies. The department, housed at Trailways' corporate office, is now staffed by dedicated sales personnel as well as support staff.
Headquarters staff will personally assist the customer in all aspects of planning their group charter or transport moves that includes quoting a price, scheduling the trip with a Trailways company near them, confirmation on the trip date, coordination with the Trailways local operations, and centralized billing.
Trailways Announces Estate Planning Program with Ferguson Financial Group
February 19, 2013 - Fairfax, VA - Strategic planning for the future of your company's operational wealth and well-being is very important. To help you, the Trailways corporate office and Ferguson Financial Group (FFG), a Preferred Affiliate, announce a new Trailways Financial Plan for all Trailways bus company owners.
Estate planning and business planning is a specialty of the firm. The company current manages several charter bus company accounts and other types of transportation companies, such as trucking.
Wayne L. Rector, a top financial adviser at FFG, who has been with the company for 10 years, said, "Everyone needs estate planning and most people have not done enough. We're different than an accountant or a lawyer. We're like a team quarterback. Our role is to help guide and strategize together with the owners. We specialize in family owned businesses. The biggest challenges are a willingness on the part of owners to sit down and talk, as well as trusting a financial planner. Small family companies have the biggest challenge to planning for the next generation. Talking about the future of their business can be emotional."
This special Trailways Financial Plan is offered to Trailways Stockholders at a special reduced fee. The rate includes one year of Estate Counseling as well as the full Comprehensive Plan. Plan now for what lies ahead.
Founded in 1993, Ferguson Financial Group, based in St. Louis, Missouri, has agents who are collectively licensed to sell insurance through New York Life Insurance Company; collectively offer securities products and services through NYLIFE Securities LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC, a licensed insurance agency, and are also separately registered as investment adviser representatives under Eagle Strategies LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser.
For a copy of the Overview and Circle of Services, please contact FFG about the Trailways Financial Plan:
For more information on the Trailways Financial Plan, please call or email:
Travel Industry Leaders, Trailways and HotelPlanner.com, Form Partnership
Helpful Online Tool for Bus Charter & Tour Planners
January 7, 2013 – Fairfax, VA - Trailways Transportation System announces a new partnership with HotelPlanner.com, the leader in the online hotel group sales market. Trailways has directly integrated HotelPlanner.com's booking technology into their website (www.trailways.com) so it will be easily accessible to all clients with a need for individual or group travel, such as bus charter and tour planners. The new tool provides and an easy, one-stop way for bus charter customers visiting Trailways' website to also check hotel rates and availability and reserve hotel rooms for their groups anywhere in the world through Hotelplanner.com. There are no service fees to book through HotelPlanner.com. The program had a soft launch in December 2012. Read the Press Release.
Trailways Operators: You may add the same hotel group reservations tool to your website and earn a rebate on hotel bookings from your site. To schedule an overview, please contact:
Suzy Wills, Corporate Accounts Director
777 S. Flagler Dr., Suite 800,West Tower West Palm Beach, FL 33401
800-760-7718 ext. 737
View the Powerpoint for Trailways Operators from December 2012.
Kobussen Trailways' Mechanic Wins Maintenance Award
Meyerhofer, right, wins UMA's 2013 Mechanic of the Year Award, presented by Steve Hartman, left, a CBS News correspondent and event emcee.
February 4, 2013 - Fairfax, VA - It's always nice to have a great mechanic in the family! Dave Meyerhofer of Kobussen Trailways in Wisconsin won the 2013 United Motorcoach Association Maintenance Competition Award last month. Dave credited his skills to many years spent working on motorcoaches, school buses and his dad's tractors back in his youth.
"Dave is a great mechanic and Kobussen would not be where we are today without him," said Joe Kobussen President of Kobussen Trailways in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. The competition comprised a written test and a diagnostic test on a real bus at the Escot Bus Line facility in Orlando.
Trailways Corp., National Interstate Insurance Announce Partnership
New Program for Bus Operators will Enhance Risk & Claims Management
January 29, 2013 – Fairfax, VA - Trailways Corporation is pleased to announce a new partnership with National Interstate Insurance. Gale Ellsworth, Trailways' CEO and President, said "We look forward to strengthening our relationship with your company and helping to enhance its risk and claims management programs,". (Read the Press Release and Welcome Letter) from Safety Claims and Litigations Services (SCLS).
SCLS is the National Interstate affiliate responsible for the enhanced risk management benefits offered in this program. The benefits of the program include:
- Preferred Underwriting Status for all Trailways Operator submissions
- Enhanced claims management including
- On Liability Deductible Claims - Communication of any reserve change or payment of $10k or more
- Reserve change notification – if any reserve is increased by $10k or more
- Payment notification – of any payment of $5k or more
- IA Notification - notice of anticipation of use of Independent Adjuster
- Hot Claims – the ability to be consulted on any claim, regardless of dollar amount
- Subrogation referral – for claims not covered by NIIC
- Claims file review – by insured’s request - either in person at NIIC offices or via teleconference
- Enhanced Risk Management
- SCLS website offerings
- AER customer loyalty program
- On site safety review and consultation for accounts over $40k annual premium
- Phone analysis and consultation for accounts under $40k annual premium
- Safety workshop/training session at annual Trailways meeting for all Trailways Operators
- Continued sponsorship/co-sponsorship at Conferences
"Trailways operators are asked to please remind their company's insurance broker about the special benefits for quoting National Interstate," Ellsworth said. The contact for Stockholder follow up is
Michelle A. Silvestro
AVP, National Marketing Manager - National Interstate
3250 Interstate Dr., Richfield, Ohio 44286
800-929-1500 x1213/ Cell: 440-821-1961
Trailways Board Seats New Member
Fairfax, VA—November 1, 2012 - The Trailways Transportation System’s (Trailways) Board of Directors has elected Marcia Milton, founder, President and CEO of First Priority Trailways, which is based in District Heights, Maryland. Milton is the mid-term (2012-2015) replacement who will represent the organization’s Northeast Region.
“We are delighted to welcome Marcia to the Trailways Board,” said Anthony (Tony) Fiorini, Trailways’ Chairman, owner of Silver State Trailways of CA/NV. “She is the quintessential entrepreneur who has built her company without the benefit of a multi-generation industry legacy. Marcia brings a fresh perspective to our network’s leadership vision and expansion efforts; we look forward to having her valuable input as we continue to strengthen and grow our organization, which remains at the forefront of the motorcoach industry for more than 77 years of operation.”
Milton founded First Priority Trailways in 1999 with one full-size motorcoach. She had been director of a school-to-work program in the nation’s capital where she organized college and school trips for students. Following some industry research and familiarization, she launched her new company with general interest in providing consumer trips to New York City shopping and Broadway show programs.
“I became very interested in doing these kinds of trips and decided to attend a national bus association conference to learn more about the business and the industry,” said Milton. “Soon after that, I decided to buy my first coach and market to a more sophisticated (upmarket) consumer. I made certain that my coach interior was different and unique, using bright colors and galleys similar to those on airplanes. It was quite successful and we grew from there.”
Trailways Offers Its Bus Operators First-Time National Health Insurance Program
Fairfax, VA – October 23, 2012 - Trailways announced today that its partner Bridgeport Benefits has established a health insurance program through Aetna Insurance. It is the first national health insurance program Trailways has offered since its founding in 1936.
Aetna is a leader among the major insurance carriers and now offers the Trailways network (US- based Stockholders) a preferred employee health coverage program.
Trailways’ President/CEO Gale Ellsworth said, "In Trailways' 77-year-history, this is the first insurance program that has been offered to the Trailways network which can significantly benefit nearly all of its affiliated bus companies."
The program is designed to increase our purchasing power, help control our health care costs, and streamline administrative processes.
Wayne Blasman, President of Bridgeport, based in the Los Angeles area, said, "The overall goal of consolidating coverage is to stabilize trend increases, have greater access to claims data, and give employees more choice when purchasing coverage."
It will provide significant savings and is a diverse and flexible program including national PPO and HMO plans and ancillary coverage options (dental, vision, life). It also provides a Trailways Benefits Hotline, paperless enrollment and a dedicated customer service team.
Trailways Asks DOT to Extend Accessibility Deadline for Demand Responsive Buses
October 16, 2012 – Fairfax, VA - The Trailways Corporation has asked the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for an extension of the October 29, 2012 deadline for 100% accessibility of the OTR buses used for Demand Responsive Requests. The request asked for an extension until December 2015 and was sent via letter to DOT Secretary Ray LaHood. The request is prompted by the August 6, 2012 letter of the DOT’s General Counsel which interprets the 100% fixed route fleet accessibility rule to include “any extra sections of service at heavy traffic times.” Trailways’ scheduled-service carriers were treating extra sections as demand responsive and thus not part of the fixed route fleet. However, the DOT General Counsel has concluded otherwise and the industry is bound by that ruling.
Still Relevant: Trailways Announces New Program with Yellow Pages
Fairfax, VA - October 16, 2012 -The Trailways Corporation and New Dimension M&R (NDM&R) announced today a new partnership for national Yellow Page print and internet advertising. At a time when many are claiming that Yellow Pages are dying, the data show just the opposite: that response to Yellow Pages ads grew in 2010 at double-digit rates. Yellow Page advertising has not lost its usefulness or relevance to consumers and businesses.
The partnership will bring lower costs and more services to Trailways companies for their national Yellow Page Print and Yellow Page Internet advertising. The program has five advantages to Trailways bus operator companies.
New Dimension M&R Will:
1. Change your current advertising program into a dynamic, cost effective, call-generating program;
2. Offers all Stockholders a 3% to 5% discount on any and all of their yellow page/telephone directory advertising, including internet listings;
3. Provide a complimentary pricing analysis, upon request, to any interested Stockholders to illustrate potential cost-savings;
4. Enable you to work with one designated ad rep for any directory you place advertising in: AT&T, Verizon, Yellow Book, or other local telephone directories, including your Yellow Page Internet ads.
5. NDM&R can provide Trailways operators with a free analysis of your print and internet yellow page advertising. The contact is Mark Flanagan, New Dimension M&R 1-800-315-3057 ext. 12.
The new program was announced on Oct. 4 and it was also reviewed on a national webinar with Trailways operators. Yellow Page advertising still performs well. Calls to Yellow Page advertisers have increased for the third year in a row. According to a 2011 metered advertising study by CRM Associates, an independent research firm, calls to Yellow Page print advertisers in the Bus Charter and Rental category, based on 133 different bus advertisements nationally, increased 17.3 percent (11 percent to Internet Yellow Page bus advertisers). Trailways and NDM&R recommend it as part of a balanced advertising program.
To read the overview Presentation to Trailways operators by NDM&R, click here.
Gentry Trailways Testifies in Congress: CSA Hurts Good Carriers
Fairfax, VA - September 14, 2012 – Bill Gentry of Gentry Trailways in Tennessee testified yesterday (9/13/2012) at a Congressional hearing by the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, led by Chairman, U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN). At the hearing, Evaluating the Effectiveness of DOT's Truck and Bus Safety Program, Bill was the only witness representing the motorcoach and school bus industry.
Congressman Duncan said the Compliance, Safety and Accountability program (CSA) was designed to maximize the Agency’s resources by compiling carrier violations, however, bus and truck companies have raised concerns related to CSA’s methodology, specifically in the Safety Measurement System (SMS).
Seven witnesses were invited. From left, Anne E. Ferro, FMCSA; Steve Owings, Road Safe America; David Palmer, Texas Dept. of Public Safety; Scott A. Mugno, FedEx Ground; Ruby McBride, Colonial Freight Systems, Inc.; Bruce Johnson, C.H. Robinson; and William (Bill) Gentry, Gentry Trailways, TN.
- Watch the webcast, click here. (Note – Bill spoke 6th, followed by Q&A).
- Read Bill Gentry’s testimony summary, click here.
- Read the testimony by Anne Ferro, Administrator, FMCSA, click here.
- Read Chairman Duncan’s press release.
- Watch the CBS Sunday News story (9/2/2012) click here.
Ken Presley, VP-UMA, said, “Congress emphasized Bill’s testimony by highlighting the value of a Government Accountability Office actuarial study of the true causes of crashes and the correlation with CSA, the crash accountability issue, and the controversy of passenger carriers being penalized for poor performing drivers they no longer employ.” He expressed thanks that Bill could lend his time and talent to represent the mutual interests of UMA and
ABA before Congress.
Trailways Makes Return to Selma
August 24, 2012 – Fairfax, VA - (Reprinted with permission from the Selma Times Journal.)
By Robert Hudson
From now on, Capital Trailways of Alabama buses won’t just be passing through Selma, as it’ll now call the city home. Trailways will now have departures from Selma, as a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially welcomed the business back last month (July 2012) at its location on Broad Street. Trailways is making its return, after leaving from Selma years ago. Mark Szyperski with Trailways said the service will fill many needs of the community. “The general public — and we’ve noticed this at Trailways throughout the United States — are coming back to buses because of the cost of fuel.”
COASTAL GEORGIA TRAILWAYS Expands Peach State Reach
Fairfax, VA –Trailways Transportation System (Trailways): Coastal Georgia Trailways, based in
Brunswick, is Team Trailways’ newest stockholder company in the peach state and the company joins
Georgia-based Capital Trailways of Georgia (Columbus) and Samson Trailways (Atlanta) in delivering
Trailways’ legendary transportation services to the Southeastern region.
COASTAL Trailways Board Seats Three New Members
Trailways Board Seats Three
Fairfax, VA - March 14, 2012 – The Trailways Board of Directors seated three
new members at its 76th Annual Stockholders Conference & Meeting in Bonita
Springs, Florida late last month. The new board members are: Shawn Geary,
president/owner of McCoy Trailways in Kingston, Ontario; Scott A. Riccio,
president/owner and founder of NorthEast Trailways in Lewiston, ME and Jonathan
T. Berzas, president/ceo of Fullington Trailways in Clearfield, PA.
HISTORY OF TRAILWAYS
Trailways is North America's oldest independent group of privately owned motorcoach companies, operating over 2,500 luxury-styled motorcoaches, serving more than 1,000+ destinations throughout North America and parts of Europe and safely carrying more than 16 million passengers annually.
The distinctive red Trailways lettering is a familiar sight on city streets, roads, and highways. This well-respected brand represents a proud heritage of passenger transportation in existence for almost eighty years.
Horse-drawn stagecoaches were undoubtedly the forerunners of today's motorcoach industry, but it was not until after World War I, and the introduction of motorbuses, that the Trailways motorcoach network began to formulate. In the beginning, the Trailways system of motorized vehicles was operated by a few independent or privately owned transportation companies each operating with a different company name. Then, in 1936, 15 companies banded together as a singularly brand providing ed, far-reaching system of cross-country passenger bus service under the Trailways brand. Soon it became a highly recognizable national brand, recognizable by its distinctive 'crimson and cream' livery for all vehicles.
Trailways played an important role in the development of America through the late 20th century, providing bus service to towns and parts of rural America that had little or no other means of public transportation. However, with the introduction of U.S. bus deregulation in the mid-80s, Trailways began to face strong competition from smaller independent charter & tour motorcoach operators flooding the travel market. Additionally, other more expedient travel modes of transport, such as regional airlines and Americans' love of the automobile, began to shift the balance of Trailways' once dominant market-share status.
By the mid-90's, with scheduled route (intercity) motorcoach service rapidly diminishing, Trailways' strategy evolved to welcome aboard the once competitive independent charter and tour motorcoach operators. Once again, Trailways was on the road to expanding and rebuilding its network and services, and growing its network of independent bus operator-members.
As Trailways entered the 21st century, technology has played an increasingly important role in passenger transport. Over the past two decades improvements to ticketing technology, booking procedures, call center access, GPS service, and the Internet have all played an important part in Trailways' growth and success.
Over the last 75 years, Trailways has grown and evolved and remains a well-regarded brand today.
To learn more bus history, visit the Museum of Bus Transportation, Hershey, PA