With departures and arrivals as punctual as clockwork the Red Arrow is the lifeline travelers rely on to carry them up and down the Canadian province of Alberta. Commuters of every ilk have integrated the luxury motorcoach service into their regional travel to and from Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton and Fort McMurray. The bonus is a ride more comfortable and convenient than any transportation service they have ever experienced. Passengers say they view the Red Arrow, a division of the Pacific Western Transportation group of companies, as their perfect solution — just as its founder and chairman Robert B. Colborne originally envisioned.
The motorcoach industry is peppered with proof that family-owned and operated businesses can take management transitions in stride. There may be differences in management styles and temperaments, advances in technology and the changing face of today’s economy to contend with, but with proper steps and a little planning, the process can strengthen both the company and the family.
Public and private coach operators across the country are vying for and receiving federal funding under the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), more commonly known as stimulus funding.
There is a lot of talk these days about shovel-ready projects. While it would be difficult to actually find a shovel on the production line of the Motor Coach Industries (MCI) factory in Pembina, ND, it is fair to say the nearly 250 workers at that facility are wrench-ready.
A standing joke at the headquarters of the Stagecoach Group, Perth, Scotland, is how the staff must be ready on Monday mornings to hear of some new project that co-founder and chief executive Brian Souter has dreamed up over the weekend. The man is always thinking of novel ideas to drive the company forward, and many of them have been very successful. Stagecoach is without doubt the most innovative bus operator in the United Kingdom.
Hiring and retaining highly qualified drivers is among an operator’s greatest challenges. With increased ridership and greater focus on public transportation, the pressure to find safe and responsible drivers becomes more crucial as bus operations experience further expansion, but it is not necessarily risky business.