Management & Operations

Rhode Island operator returns to coach industry after lengthy sabbatical

Posted on January 1, 2006

On Dec. 1, 2005, Archway Bus Transportation Inc. opened its doors for business, offering first-class tour and charter services to the New England region. Owner and President Stephen Archambault, a 25-year veteran of the bus industry, was happy to take on the demands of operating a bus service, after his old company was bought by Coach USA in the late 1990s. “I still just have a love for the industry, for the business,” he said. Archway, primarily a charter motorcoach company, was established after Archambault saw a rise in the need for high-quality tour and charter services within the transportation industry. Hearing that Peter Pan Bus Lines was closing its Pawtuxet Valley, R.I., operation — of which Archambault’s old business was a predecessor — Archambault felt the timing was ideal for him to take over that location and open a small charter operation. “I went out and purchased three brand-new 2006 MCI deluxe motorcoaches and opened up in the same facility that Pawtuxet Valley operated in for 25 years,” he said. Archway takes up only half of the 25,000-square-foot facility, leaving enough space for three full-time drivers, two part-time drivers, Archambault, his administrative assistant Helen Hunsu and a part-time worker who cleans the vehicles and performs minor repairs. Archambault took advantage of his industry experience and connections to create a strong pool of employees, and also to enhance his company’s aggressive advertising campaign. “Initially, I did a mailing to about 50% of my older customers whom I knew would still be interested in our services,” he said. He added that he made personal phone calls and visits to some of his larger clients to boost business. While Archambault plans to grow his business in the coming years, he noted that he doesn’t want to grow more than the market demands. “I don’t plan on growing leaps and bounds, but over the next several years, I would like to expand and get up to maybe five to seven buses,” he said.

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