Company founder Henry Ferrone with his team of drivers, circa 1930
After a successful 110-year run, the venerable Ferrone family of coach operators announced the sale of a major portion of their business in late June, saying they will no longer be operating buses in Chicago, IL, but have retained The Chicago Sightseeing Company.
Aries Charter Transportation has taken over operations as the new owner of the business. Aries is a 27-year old business that Ralph Trevino launched with one bus running in the Chicagoland area, and has evolved into a successful company of over 70 vehicles. The new owners say they look forward to continuing the legacy of the Ferrone family.
“We are very happy to announce this news to the industry,” says Chris Ferrone. “We wish Aries Charter Transportation good luck and success with the newly acquired business.”
The Ferrone family business turned 110 at the time of its sale in June. Henry Ferrone ran the business until his passing in 1955. Having worked in the company since the mid-1940s, his sons, Don and Fran Ferrone then took the helm. Chris started with the company in 1976, and all three worked until the day they closed the doors for the final time.
“Our families have endured this journey as well,” says Ferrone. “Don’s wife, Kay, and my wife, Janet, have been alongside for the entire ride. Together, we have transported millions of passengers safely, reliably and with courtesy. We credit the dedication and hard work by everyone in the company as the backbone to our success.”
Ferrone says the business would have never survived were it not for the outstanding employees who worked for all the various family businesses over the years
“We had dozens of drivers with 10 to 15 years or more with us,” he says. “Many of our garage mechanics spent 15 to 20 years with the company, as well as three who joined us 35 years ago.”
Ferrone notes that Aries Charter Transportation has generously transitioned all the Ferrone employees into the new ownership structure
Further, the Ferrones extend thanks to their vendor partners for their support over the many decades.
“We have been an MCI customer for new coaches and parts since 1975,” he says. “We have been a Detroit Diesel and Allison customer even longer. Our local vendor partners have been critical in the day-to-day operation, and include Douglass Truck parts, Interstate Power Systems and Cassidy Tires, to name only a few.”
Speaking to the entire bus industry, the Ferrones insist this is not good bye.
“Rather, it is, See you soon,” says Ferrone. “Thank you all for a lifetime of friendships and lasting relationships in doing business together.”