Trailways of New York Vice President Jack Barker retires

Trailways of New York announced recently that Vice President & General Manager of the New York Trailways brand Jack Barker is retiring from the company in the coming weeks.

“Jack Barker has served this company with pride and dedication for more than 25 years since he was named Vice President in 1994,” Trailways of New York CEO Eugene J. Berardi, Jr. said. “He has worked tirelessly over this period for all of our customers and employees in the best long-term interest of Trailways of New York. His decision, and this announcement, reflect Jacks commitment and his belief that the industry now needs new data and analytics driven leaders to best position the Company for success.”

“Jack has always been obsessed with buses. When he was in Kindergarten, the teacher couldn’t get [Jack’s] attention if it was time for the bus to go by. He was too busy seeing if the bus was on time. [Jack’s] mom stopped meeting the Valley Bus Lines bus at the end of their street because Jack would stay onboard and just wave at her as he rode by. Jack couldn’t even take piano lessons because rather than sit on the stool, he pretended the seat was a steering wheel, pointing his imaginary bus down one road, and then another,” Barker’s wife, Jane Barker said.

In 1953, at the age of 15 Jack got a job working for Valley Bus Lines as a bus washer. That wasn’t enough. Using a bus pass that he borrowed from his sister-in-law, Jack rode the city bus everywhere on weekends, memorizing routes and timetables. At long last, in 1957 at just 19, Jack became a driver for Valley Bus Lines. The company that he’d loved since he was a boy.

In December 1961, Jack was drafted into the United States Army and for a time was stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado where he served our country and drove for Continental Trailways. It was at Fort Carson that he met Jane. They were married in 1964.

After leaving the Army and returning home to Rochester, Jack became a dispatcher and driver at Empire Trailways where he was a dispatcher six days a week—and a driver—taking a monthly charter to Nashville, Tennessee where he developed a love for country music. Promoted to Vice-President of Empire Trailways in 1989, Jack served there until Empire Trailways was acquired by family-owned Adirondack Trailways in 1994 and re-branded as New York Trailways. Following the acquisition Jack stayed on with Trailways of New York as Vice President. He called the shots there for the next 25 years.

Over the years Jack has witnessed history first-hand. From advancements and innovations with technology such as GPS monitoring and the introduction of electric buses, Jack has been there. Jack saw racial segregation on buses and eventually saw its glorious end. Jack saw the landmark deregulation of the bus industry by President Reagan in 1982. Jack saw the rise of e-ticketing––drivers just scanning a barcode on a passenger’s cell phone. Simply stated, you could make an argument that few Americans have as much knowledge about this industry as Jack Barker. I challenge you to try and find one.

2 Responses to “Trailways of New York Vice President Jack Barker retires”

  1. Jack is truly a dedicated member of the intercity bus industry. I would in no way compare my history to that of Jack Barker. I started riding intercity buses in the early 1940s as our family did not own a family car. I too was drafted into the military in 1966 so,my employment in the intercity bus industry did not start until 1971. Jack is a good friend and I have appreciated his dedication to the indusrty since the day I first met him when he was an employee of Empire Trailways. Good luck Jack, Thank you for all the help you have given me for many years.

    Gordon Cooper (Barons Bus Lines Cleveland, Ohio).

  2. This article captures my dad’s love of the bus industry and as his daughter, I was always beyond proud of my dad. But, I think it’s important to point out that although he was a gift to the bus industry, he was an even greater gift to his family. I can’t imagine having a better father and he showed his pride on his children daily. I love you, dad!