West Point Trailways President Robert Brisman rejoins Trailways Board

Robert (Bob) Brisman, President of West Point Trailways, who served on Trailways’ Board more than a decade ago, has rejoined the Board with a major mission in mind — to serve and help further the brand with industry-leading technology that boosts revenue while appealing to new generations of riders.

“We get a lot of leads coming from Trailways,” he said. “In the age of apps and technology, customers expect immediate replies. They don’t want to speak to anyone, either. They just want the data, quickly.”

Brisman, the third generation to run West Point Trailways, Vails Gate, New York, is most interested in the organization’s two newest technology ventures, the Trailways.com website and fulfilling Trailways vision for its Busie cloud-based, trip-planning and charter booking future. He knows internal and systemwide technology are important to a company’s future.

About West Point Trailways

West Point Trailways story begins with Brisman’s industrious grandfather. Max Weiner was busy in the 1920s building bus bodies, parlor cars and transit vehicles before starting a bus service in 1947 for mason workers at expanding postwar construction sites in the West Point and Highland Falls, NY area.

Brisman’s father Jerome Brisman, who graduated from the United States Military Academy West Point in 1952 with a degree in engineering, worked as an engineer around the country for a decade before joining the business in 1962. At that time, the company’s school bus operations began taking off and many of those contracts won back then are still in place with West Point Trailways today.

Bob Brisman and his brother Jay now lead West Point Trailways. Brisman joined after earning a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Syracuse University and a career in finance working for firms in Manhattan and White Plains, New York. “When the insurance market spiked in 1987, I called my father asking if he had any interest in me coming to work for him,” recalls Brisman. “My father was happy to have me on board. We had a good father-and-son relationship. I like the risk and reward along with the diversity of our business.”

A fourth generation has joined the ranks. Brisman’s son Ethan is learning the ropes starting in office reception booking trips. “We’re not letting him drive, that’s not his talent,” jests his dad, who got his CDL when he was 30 years old to drive school bus routes.

Primarily a school bus company, West Point purchased its first motorcoach in 1993 from Chuck Toohy, MCI’s East Coast representative, who Brisman fondly recalls as having a John Wayne persona. They became a Trailways operator in June 2000.

Today, West Point has a fleet of 220 vehicles, including 16 motor coaches for school, charter and tour operations. They keep three coaches exclusively for its contract with the military academy. The company operates Blue Bird activity buses for its daily West Point Tours operations serving West Point’s campus and historical sites.

Describing himself as an escape artist by nature, Brisman is a big reader of novels. His two favorites are author’s Jonathan Franzen’s Crossroads and John Irving’s The World According to Garp. “They write about life experiences and enjoyable challenges,” said Brisman, who began playing guitar at the age of nine. He now owns four guitars including Fender electrics and likes to play in the style of Derek Trucks, a top guitarist whose music encompasses blues, rock, jazz and soul. Brisman jams with a group at a local school on Tuesdays. “Escape in the form of music keeps you in a good mood,” he reasons. When it comes to business life, these are his three philosophies: anything is possible; start each day as if it is your first and have a purpose to be of service.


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