Arrow Stage Lines commits to excellence in its operations and fleet
As a fourth-generation family-owned motorcoach company, Arrow Stage Lines has maintained a history of excellence and a loyal customer base. Based in Nebraska with additional locations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada, Arrow was founded in 1928 by Carl Busskohl to delivery bread and mail, eventually evoling into a passenger transportation business.
Today, Carl’s grandson Steve Busskohl serves as president and CEO of Arrow Stage Lines; his sons Luke and Alex represent the fourth generation of Busskohl’s on Arrow’s leadership team. They preside over a staff of 650 employees and 250 motorcoaches.
“Arrow Stage Lines sets itself apart by focusing on three key initiatives: safety, maintenance, and our on-time promise,” said Luke Busskohl, chief operating officer (COO) of Arrow Stage Lines. He joined the company in 2000 and became COO in 2013. “We guarantee we will be on time for pickups, or else we’ll make it right with the customer, whatever that situation may be,” he said.
Busskohl added that Arrow being a data-driven company ensures the highest level of service in safety and maintenance.
“We are a statistically-oriented company,” he said. “I can tell our customers, for a fact, that they can charter over 130 different trips with us and never have a breakdown – that’s our average. Our safety record is better than 95 percent of all other carriers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.”
Busskohl said that family values are at the core of the company’s success. The company implements what it calls a cultural agreement, engaging team members throughout the organization to engage with the company’s mission. He said that “servant leadership” is a major part of being a team member at Arrow.
“We measure servant leadership by how much we look out for one another, and how much we each contribute to each other’s success,” he said. “It’s not about me or my coworkers as individuals, it’s about the entire company and how we all make it succeed. It’s a mindset we try to instill in each member of our team.
Busskohl said that while Arrow strives to be considered world-class, that does not necessarily mean being the largest motorcoach company. More than anything, he said, “world-class” means friendly, on-time service, and defect-free safety and maintenance.
The growth and success Arrow Stage Lines has enjoyed also allows the company to focus on other causes and initiatives. One such partnership is with the Charity Water organization, which builds wells in areas without drinkable water. Arrow donated a dollar for each charter it conducted in the year. contributing to new wells in Africa and South America.
This year, the company shifted its focus toward ending sex trafficking and partnered with Buses On The Lookout to provide mandatory awareness training for its drivers.
Arrow Stage Lines also won the United Motorcoach Association (UMA) 2019 Motorcoach Environmental Leadership Award for its focus on anti-idling initiatives and requiring all its drivers to maintain an eRating certification from the University of Vermont’s Certification for Sustainable Transportation.
A commitment to excellent vehicles
Within its larger nationwide fleet, Arrow Stage Lines operates a robust fleet of 39 Setra motorcoaches by Daimler. The relationship with Daimler goes back to when Luke’s grandfather Doyle purchased the company’s first Setra S215HDH in 1986, adding many more of these models in the following years. In 1994, Doyle purchased the S217HDH, and at one time the fleet had over 70 S215HDH & S217HDH models by Setra. Steve Busskohl then purchased 20 S 417 models in December 2003.
“The 217 was, in our opinion, a revolutionary product for Arrow Stage Lines,” Busskohl said. “It was a European bus that helped us stand out, and really helped grow our business. We’ve had a good relationship with Daimler ever since.”
Busskohl said that today’s Arrow operators love the Setra S 417, praising its spacious drivers’ area and superior handling. The company recently purchased five new Setra S 417 models from Daimler and REV Coach.
“We invest a lot into our vehicle, and I consider Arrow Stage Lines’ to be the nation’s best-looking fleet,” Busskohl said. “We do that by paying for high-quality vehicles which we keep running, and investing in new equipment and motorcoaches to keep the fleet fresh.”