Peter Pan Bus Lines, which will celebrate its 80th anniversary in April 2013, has come a long way since Peter Carmine Picknelly started providing service from Northampton to Boston using just four 1933 Buick Jitney buses.
Now, the operator provides charter bus rental, college and corporate shuttles, transit to sporting events and more. Its new express service allows passengers to travel non-stop between destinations.
“With Peter Pan Express, you can reach your destination by traveling from point A to point B without any stops in between on most routes, and with only one rest stop on longer routes,” says Kimberly Bolduc, marketing manager for Peter Pan Bus. “There is capacity management and reserved seating.”
To promote the service, Bolduc says, Peter Pan has launched advertising on various travel sites and behavioral searches, college print ads, terminal signage and during grassroots events, as well as on radio stations and billboards. They also promote the service through email blasts and on their website.
During Thanksgiving, the operator targeted Boston college and university students — who can take Peter Pan’s campus shuttle to parking, housing, sports facilities, events, or local businesses and attractions in the areas surrounding campus — by putting out a print ad that offered a free sandwich at Cheese Boy when students purchased a side or drink and had a Peter Pan bus ticket.
“Boston is full of college students, which make up a large number of our ridership in the Boston market, so this particular promotion was around students only,” Bolduc explains. “We wanted to give them a nice perk and added value for riding with Peter Pan.”
The marketing campaign received some attention on the social media site Twitter, she adds.
Among its many services, Peter Pan runs Coach Builders, a full service bus, truck and trailer facility.
“Peter Pan’s Coach Builder business has over 30 years in refurbishing, maintenance, repair and graphics applications for Peter Pan’s fleet as well as private intercity and public regional transit organizations,” Bolduc says.
Customers can commission vehicle decals and full wraps, repair or restoration, and a bevy of other services performed by the operator’s highly trained team of specialists.
The operator also demonstrates a commitment to its customers by providing its drivers with a minimum of six weeks of training, which includes customer service training. The drivers undergo daily and weekly evaluations for the duration of the program, which also covers American with Disabilities Act training, emergency evacuation and counter-terrorism techniques, and defensive driving.
To be able to offer the best quality service to its customers, Peter Pan Bus Lines purchased new MCI J4500s “to add to its modern fleet of buses to assure that its passengers will be among the first on the block to enjoy the model’s cutting-edge good looks, legroom and a smoother ride,” Bolduc explains.
The new coaches have clean-diesel engine technology to help reduce emissions and burn less fuel. They are also equipped with free Wi-Fi, large seats with expansive legroom and power outlets for passenger use.
MCI has added a SmartWave integrated tire-pressure monitoring system with new, always-on sensors and an Amerex fire-suppression system and engine compartment fire detection to the new model. The J4500s are also equipped with a Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 210 load-compliant seat track and mounting system with infinite adjustability.
“We’re very impressed with the new bus model,” said Peter Pan Bus Lines CEO/Chairman Peter A. Picknelly. “MCI, leading manufacturer of intercity coaches, has taken what is already a terrific vehicle and modernized it further. We are very pleased to be the first recipient and feel it will further enhance our passengers’ overall travel experience.”