Trailways opts for sunny Orlando and co-locates its annual convention with UMA EXPO 2023

Get your summer attire ready to pack when you and your teams travel to Orlando, Florida, for the Trailways Annual Conference Jan. 9-11, 2023, followed by United Motorcoach Associations (UMA) Motorcoach EXPO Jan. 11-14. Our host hotel is the Rosen Centre, the closest lodging to the Orlando Convention Center. Hotel registration is open and you may book room(s) using our site at TrailwaysConference.com or UMA’s lodging link.

 The Trailways meeting will be held two days ahead of UMA EXPO’s start, giving Trailways owner/operators and affiliates a chance to save time and money by attending both conferences. Be sure to book hotel reservations congruently.

Please determine your travel plans and arrival based on the 2023 meeting schedule highlights outlined below. Trailways has a fantastic and meaningful program planned in Orlando and events are open to all registrants unless otherwise noted. 

Monday, Jan. 9: The conference kicks off with the executive and board-member only meeting and a welcome reception for all attendees from 4 to 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 10: Our “Wear Red Day” begins with a general breakfast session, followed by exhibitor introductions and the annual Spirit Awards luncheon. The member and vendor dinner features a costume-party theme.

Wednesday, Jan. 11:  We’ll close with breakfast, a keynote speaker, our roll-call annual operator membership meeting and Info-Motion sessions with vendor affiliates, followed by our Safety Awards luncheon.

Trailways registration will open soon and more details will follow. For questions and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Sabina Dhami at Sabina@trailways.com.

For more information or to register for the 2023 UMA Motorcoach EXPO in Orlando Jan. 11-14, click here.



Trailways Teamwork Aces Golf Tournament Shuttle Service

Trailways’ Dean Transportation and Fullington Tours flawlessly
transport fans to the prestigious Detroit PGA golf tournament

While professional golfer Tony Finau dominated the field to win the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club July 28-31, two members of Trailways, Dean Transportation and Fullington Tours, conquered the logistics of shuttling more than 70,000 fans, volunteers, caddies and players’ families to the PGA Tour event.

Dean Transportation, the largest bus operator in Michigan and a member of the Trailways team, has been the preferred transportation provider for the tournament since 2019 and will continue in that role for another four years.

Trailways is a nationwide network of independently owned charter bus companies that prioritize service, comfort, professionalism and reliability. When Dean needed more vehicles and staff for the Rocket Mortgage Classic in 2021 and 2022, the company turned to Fullington Trailways, a fellow member operator based in Clearfield, Pennsylvania.

“It’s reassuring to know that when you’re managing a large event and all the logistics that go into it, you can count on a fellow Trailways partner to execute at a high level,” said Sarah Ring, Dean’s General Manager. “We’ve worked with Excursions and Kobussen Trailways for this same event in the past, and with Fullington for the last two years. Their staff really knows what they’re doing and their drivers are the utmost professionals at what they do. We know we can count on our Trailways partners to provide the outstanding service associated with our brand.”

This year’s tournament required 50 vehicles along with a mechanic and two ground-staff employees.  The ground staff helped direct guests to the proper shuttle areas, assisted with loading and unloading of passengers, managed the bus flow and helped with other duties to support the effort, Ring said.

“We enjoy doing this event because Rocket Mortgage always wants to provide a great customer experience for their guests and that’s what we do best,” she said.  

To assure a flawless flow of pickup and drop off for passengers, Dean starts planning for the Rocket Mortgage Classic six months ahead with meetings, site visits and dry runs to determine routes, loop times and how to avoid any construction or traffic congestion problems during the event.

To learn how a Trailways operator can help you ace a tournament or move a large crowd, check out its free online directory. To become a Trailways member, contact Sabina Dhami, Trailways director of accounting and office management, at sabina@trailways.com.



Trailways Rolls Out Online Customer Service Training for Drivers

Five Course Modules Teach Drivers How To Create A Great Customer Experience

To further its quality-care brand image with current and prospective members passengers, Trailways has launched a new online customer service training program specifically for drivers. The five-course program is designed to help drivers deliver a superior customer service and safety experience. Modeled on the comprehensive training Disney offers its cast members, Trailways’ new program incorporates key elements of Disney Magic and success at achieving a high rate of returning customers.

The courses also standardize Trailways’ customer service procedures assuring each passenger traveling with a Trailways operator will be treated in the same manner everywhere and at all times. The new online LMS (Learning Management System) five course series is available exclusively to Trailways members.

“This training advances Trailways very own style of quality service,” said Amy Brooks, incoming Board Chair, discussing how the LMS program got its start. “In 2018, we sought out Alliance Safety Council and a consultant from Disney, who is an expert in the renowned philosophies practiced at Disney theme parks, asking for their assistance to develop a comprehensive customer servicing training program for Trailways drivers.  At the same time one of our OEM partners, MCI, agreed to sponsor the development costs, helping to bring this training to all our members today.”

Trailways welcomed Joelle McGehee, Vice President of Customer Success with the Alliance Safety Council, to the annual meeting, where she discussed the purpose of Trailways LMS, its ease of use, and the five customer service modules created exclusively for Trailways:

  • Course 1 Brand Recognition: Outlines how Trailways endeavors to make every interaction with our customers polite, pleasant, and stress-free, while explaining its longtime history, core brand values and company identity.
  • Course 2 Conflict Resolution: Identifies the five main styles of conflict resolution and teaches drivers how to use basic communication tools, from agreement framing to open questions, along with anger and stress management techniques to resolve conflicts.
  • Course 3 Customer Experience Interaction: Explains to drivers how they are the face of Trailways and how they should strive to the best version of themselves while on duty.
  • Course 4 Driver and Passenger Safety: Covers commercial driver’s license rules, CDL drug and alcohol testing, hours of service, driver fatigue, fitness for duty, distracted driving and crisis solutions.
  • Course 5 Vehicle Safety:  Provides instructions on pre- and post-trip interior and exterior inspections, vehicle maintenance, safe operating procedures, fire safety, and emergency evacuations.  

“These courses offer a cost-effective way to give drivers and new employees tools to provide a better level of service to each customer interaction,” said McGehee.  Please click here for Alliance’s presentation on how to use the system and instructions for drivers to access the courses. Trailways members also have access to five new Entry Level Driver Training courses added to the LMS site.

At this time, Trailways is extending discounted pricing of 50% off the Customer Service modules during 2022 to encourage members to get all their drivers through the program. Each course will be $7.50 individually or choose the 5-course bundle for $30. You can access the Driver Training Module by clicking on the portal bar or the Training link found at TeamTrailways.com.



Trailways “moving forward” on 85th anniversary

Fairfax, VA – February 4, 2021 – When five independently owned motorcoach companies became the founders of the National Trailways Bus System in Chicago on February 5, 1936, they were looking ahead at a changing transportation industry in which they could thrive through teamwork rather than struggling individually during a Great Depression.
With that same attitude of teamwork, fierce independence and focus on the future, today’s Trailways Transportation System, Inc., has selected the theme “This Is Moving Forward” for its 85th Annual Meeting and Conference on February 17.
Instead of gathering in Palm Springs, CA, as originally planned, representatives of member companies will meet virtually, eager to put behind them the Great Pandemic that has hit especially hard the travel and transportation industries that Trailways serves. The pandemic-driven reduction in travel for sightseeing, vacations, entertainment and other pleasure trips has slashed ridership for some members as much as 90 percent.
As in earlier times of national crisis, Trailways operators have moved to meet the challenge. They’ve been transporting essential workers, military personnel and those schoolchildren still learning in classrooms. They’ve brought relief and reinforcements to the sites of natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires. They’ve made charter trips for sports teams still playing with pandemic precautions.
“This is one of the most critical times in Trailways history; and Trailways has taken a bold step to innovate, to prepare for the rebound and to support our members during this difficult time,” said Patrick Dean, Trailways Chairman of the Board and Vice President of Dean Trailways in Lansing, MI. “Our vision is that with a challenge like this, there is an opportunity. We’ve used this time to provide better service for our customers and to be there when they’re ready to come back to travel. We’ll greet them with a smile and great service and tell them how much we appreciate their loyalty to Trailways.”
“We’ve invested a lot of resources during this current pandemic to meet our customers where they’re at now, which is online,” Dean explained. On June 27, 2019, Trailways established a wholly owned subsidiary, Trailways Ticketing & Marketing, LLC, which is doing business as Trailways.com. This Web platform lets customers purchase tickets online, request quotes for charter trips and bus rentals, and purchase trip packages to featured destinations. It has additional consumer-oriented features, including a “Driven Rewards” loyalty program for frequent Trailways travelers. During the coronavirus pandemic, Trailways began offering touch free boarding nationwide with its new mobile boarding “ticket delivery option.”
Spearheading formation of the new subsidiary are these member companies that offer both scheduled-route and charter-and-tour transportation: Adirondack, Pine Hill and New York Trailways of Hurley, NY; Burlington Trailways of West Burlington, IA; Fullington Trailways of Clearfield, PA; and Martz Trailways of Wilkes-Barre, PA, and Richmond, VA.

“The rejuvenated Web site and all the functionality are really an industry-leading sales platform that’s second to none that will be for the benefit of all Trailways members,” said Scott Martz Henry, a board member of the Trailways system, President of Martz Trailways and great-great-grandson of Frank Martz, Sr., one of Trailways’ founders. “It does a better job of getting the Trailways name out there.”
Dean elaborated, “Through Trailways Ticketing & Marketing, we’re doing more digital marketing and e-mail communications and social media campaigns and search engine marketing to put the Trailways brand in front of customers more often.”
The Trailways brand has become legendary over its 85-year history. It was Trailways that introduced “thru-service” by changing drivers rather than coaches when passing from one Trailways member territory to another on long-distance routes so that passengers could enjoy the “easiest travel on earth.” The National Trailways Travel Bureau, launched in 1942, secured one of the first tour broker permits issued by the Interstate Commerce Commission.
After Trailways invited passengers to “see America at scenery level” in the 1950s, Continental Trailways in the next two decades offered innovative, “five-star luxury services” with uniformed hostesses serving food and beverages from galleys in observation lounges aboard the famous Golden Eagle motorcoaches, specially designed for long-distance travel comfort.
Trailways later became one of the earliest adopters of global positioning system (GPS) devices as a safety feature on its member company vehicles.
Burlington Transportation Company and the Frank Martz Coach Company were two of the original members that founded the Trailways system in 1936. The others were Missouri Pacific Stages, Santa Fe Trails Transportation Company and Safeway Lines, Inc. Three of the founders – Burlington, Missouri Pacific Stages and Santa Fe Trails — were affiliated with railroads and served routes in Western states. The other two, Martz and Safeway, had Eastern routes. All five were independent, scheduled-route motorcoach operators who banded together primarily to compete with industry consolidators, especially Greyhound.
The competition between Trailways and Greyhound is not quite so fierce today as they share some terminals and routes. “We’ve had a schedule and pooling agreement with Greyhound for more than 50 years. A certain number of our drivers and buses participate in Greyhound scheduled runs,” said Suzanne S. Thornburg, president and chief executive officer of Capital Trailways and Colonial Trailways. Capital Trailways, with locations in Montgomery and Madison (Huntsville), AL, and Columbus, GA, and Colonial Trailways, based in Mobile, AL, joined Trailways soon after the five original founders and are in their fifth generation of family ownership.
A major benefit of Trailways membership, Thornburg said, “is just having a great understanding of the power of networking. In our industry it is so important to build camaraderie, and Trailways allows us a way to do that. Everything is about technology now. I think Trailways has done a good job as far as improving software systems and referral platforms, just the sense of
community and providing a network for us all to come together and learn from one another. There’s a good online referral system, and we do receive leads from that system.”
Another advantage, Thornburg added, is being able to rely on fellow Trailways members in times of need. “A few other members have assisted us along the way with maintenance when we’re on the other side of the country,” she said. “We’ve reciprocated with them when they’re in the Alabama market and need a tire changed or an electrical problem dealt with. That’s a part of being in the network, for sure.”
Since Trailways opened its membership in 1997 to independently owned charter-and-tour companies without scheduled routes, the majority of Trailways transportation members now offer charters and tours exclusively across the continental U.S., plus Canada and parts of Europe. They are required to meet the same high standards as the scheduled-route members.
What are those standards? “The main thing that keeps it all going is safe, reliable, courteous service,” said Ronald R. Moore, a past chairman of the Trailways system, current board member at-large and President of Burlington Trailways. “We’re all one. We work together.”
Today’s Trailways welcomes members in all modes of transportation: air, rail, ground and sea. It also has associate members, called affiliated partners, that offer products, programs and services to transportation members. It has affiliate members that work to preserve, aid and advance the transportation industry as well as industry members that have a vested interest in travel and transportation. Among these membership categories are firms such as coach manufacturers, parts and technology suppliers, travel brokers, insurance and personnel agencies, cruise lines, hotels and resorts, and destination venues.
“The COVID-19 impacts them just as much as it does the member companies that are operators,” said Patrick Dean. “Trailways continues to support the efforts of the American Bus Association and the United Motorcoach Association, who are the leaders in advocacy for the industry. We’ve advocated for the federal government to recognize what a critical infrastructure service we provide.”
During the pandemic, Henry of Martz Trailways explained, “we’ve doubled down on our commitment to customers and are doing everything we can to make sure that we abide by industry-leading safety standards, with cleaning and disinfecting procedures for onboarding and off boarding and overall maintenance. Bus travel remains one of the safest forms of transportation. Particularly during COVID-19, with disinfecting procedures and air flow throughout the coach, it’s very safe.”
Trailways has adapted to the industry and broader economy to support member companies. “We’ve made a reduction in dues but not a reduction in the storied Trailways brand,” Dean said. “We’ve been proactive, not reactive. When demand comes, we’ll be ready when the pandemic subsides.”
At 85 years young, Trailways continues to survive by being not only in the transportation business but also in the transformation business. It keeps embracing change to address emerging
customer needs and wants. “Trailways carriers have always been committed to their customers and employees and making sure we’re connecting people to their destinations, wherever they may be going,” Dean said. “A lot of times, people are going on exciting trips or travel, and we get to be a small part of that. We’re making sure that we honor quality and safety and service.”
Those were the goals of the Trailways founders in 1936. That’s what hasn’t changed in 85 years.



Casino Trips are Great for Winter

January 2020 Trailways Traveler E News for Bus Group Planners




New Trailways Affiliated Partner: “Busie” Joins

Instant Charter Quote & Yield Management System

Fairfax, Va – Nov. 14, 2019 New Affiliated Partner, Busie, has joined the Trailways bus network organization. Busie is a cloud-based platform that empowers your charter sales team. It is a web-based yield management system built for the modern charter company. They are planning to work with Trailways Corp. to create an API with its charter lead system as an opt-in service for operator-members to provide instant quoting and seamless real-time response to customers. They have also worked with individual Trailways companies and will be doing a pilot project to share results at the 2020 Trailways Annual Meeting in March in Orlando. The Busie technology helps bus operators capture more business and compete more strongly in the highly competitive charter bus market. The technology works by streamlining their quoting and booking process to reach customers instantly. In turn, this helps lead to higher customer satisfaction and enables bus charter sales personnel to focus on increasing revenue. All aspects of charter quoting can be handled in the Busie Operator Quote portal where the operator controls its charter quote rates. Contact: Busie 43 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10010 Telephone: (443) 452-9398 Company Email: partners@getbusie.com | Website www.getbusie.com Louis Bookoff Louis@getbusie.com and Josh Bain josh@getbusie.com



Branson Group Trip Itinerary Suggestion

Branson Tour Group Itinerary

Advance planning for
Transportation with Huskey Trailways

Group contact Kristina Middaugh at
middaughkristina@gmail.com. www.Huskeybus.com

Or a Trailways company in your


Arrive at Stone Castle Hotel –
3050 Green Mtn Dr Branson, MO– Contact group sales in advance – Sharon Gray

Shorty Smalls for seated dinner –
Advance bus group reservations, contact Tara Camren 417-337-9539, Tara@shortysmalls.com

Rick Thomas Illusionist Show at the Andy Williams Theater

Check the calendar for when he performs in Branson: http://rickthomas.com/rick-thomas-calendar.html. Thomas Productions, Inc. rick@rickthomas.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/rickthomasmagic

Tuesday –

Breakfast at Hotel (buffet included in room rate)

Go to The
Titanic Museum & Gift Shop

Group contact – Ruthann Crust (417) 335 – 3762 or 800-381-7670 ruthann.crust@TitanicAttraction.com

Godfathers Pizza
& Chicken Buffet for Lunch –
Godfather’s serves several
different options of “dessert pizza”.  Now that is heavenly!

Shopping stop in vicinity

Legends in
Concert – World’s Greatest Live Tribute Show
 – Patti Ferrulli | Groups Sales
 Dick Clark’s American
Bandstand Theater 1600 W. Hwy.
  Branson, MO  65616
(P) 417-339-3003 ext.3016

Dinner Buffet at Big D’s BBQ – (There is no
private room, so be sure to make reservations at 417-849-0921.)

The Haygoods Show & Gift Shop at the Clay Cooper Theater  – Office 417 339-4663 MarieHaygood@TheHaygoods.com

Wednesday –

Hot Rods & High
Show (Clay Cooper Theater)

Contact Pat Veach, Director of Sales & Marketing -Clay Cooper
Theatre 888-222-8910 | 417-337-7123 Website: https://traveloffice.org/branson/clay-cooper-theatre/ 

Ferris Wheel / The
Track Family Fun Park

Group contact – Heather Hilton heather@bransontracks.com
417-334-1612 Website www.bransontracks.com

Dolly Parton’s
Stampede & Carriage Room – free preshow entertainment

Dolly Parton’s
Stampede in the Arena with seated dinner

Note: It’s marking its 25th anniversary in Branson. To celebrate,
they want your memories.

Visitors can share their experiences and help create “25 years of
memories” through their “make a heart connection” program. Book ahead for 15 or
more guests.  They can give special all-inclusive rates for groups.

Group contact – Vicki Jones vickij@gcipf.com (Any
one less than 15 calls the box office directly, please). Website www.dpstampede.com

Clay Cooper’s Country Express at the
Clay Cooper Theater

Pat Veach – Director of Sales & Marketing – Clay Cooper
Theatre – Branson, MO

888-222-8910 | 417-337-7123 Clay Cooper’s Country Express Promo…

Thursday – Breakfast at Hotel / Depart


It is recommended that you request
in advance that a cast member may be able greet your group on board at the
venues.  Also, tell your theater your
group name, any anniversaries or birthdays.

Many of the venues film their live
shows and make the DVD available to purchase on site.

Also, it is recommended to use a
receptive operator in Branson to do all the advance work for you, to
pre-purchase theater & show tickets, pre-pay and reserve restaurants. The
negotiate wholesale prices for you that are $5 to $10 less than booking direct,
plus you don’t have to do any of the work. They are a lifesaver! They coordinate
with your bus company/driver and help you with logistics while there. They work
on a non-commission basis.  They do not
mark up the tour price for their service. 
They require a deposit 60 days in advance and invoice for the balance
due after the trip. Contact Toya or Jennifer Fisher at Branson Ticket &
Travel (800) 432-4202.

Other additional Trailways
recommendations in Branson: the Sight & Sound Theater, the  IMAX Theater, and The Dutton Family Theater.



DPV Transportation joins Trailways as new network member

Press Release

Trailways Transportation System, Inc., has announced that DPV Transportation near Boston, Mass., has joined the brand as a new member of its network of transportation providers.

At DPV Transportation Worldwide, DPV Trailways, distinguishes itself by focusing more on client satisfaction and less on number of trips per day. It wants to be sure that its customers truly get what they paid for: Service.

PV Trailways is committed to providing its customers with world-class service unparalleled in luxury ground transportation services. As specialists in corporate travel, financial roadshows and corporate events, its chauffeurs and coach drivers provide courteous, reliable, professional, and on time service. The company takes pride in offering customers the highest level of corporate sedan, executive limousine, van and motor coaches in more than 500 destinations worldwide. Address: 383 Second Street, Everett, MA 02149 Charter Sales: Brenda Columbus brenda@dpvtransportation.com 857.317.8606 /or 1-877.378.4445 Website: www.dpvtransportation.com



New Partner joins Trailways: Nations Equipment Finance

Fairfax, VA – October 28, 2019 – Nations Equipment Finance of Connecticut has joined Trailways as an Affiliated Partner.

Nations Equipment Finance (NEF) is one of the largest non-bank equipment finance companies in the US and Canada. NEF is owned by Solar Capital (NASDAQ: SLRC, SUNS), a $7B publicly traded company. NEF understands the needs of bus businesses.  It provides aggressive balloons on bus purchasing, refinance existing debt to lower payments/extract equity or assist in buying/selling companies.

Address: 501 Merritt Seven, Norwalk, CT 06851 Main Telephone: 203-229-2252

Website: www.nationsequipmentfinance.com Primary contact – Liam Austin- McClellan – VP – LMcClellan@nationsEF.com (413)-362-2259 Mobile



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