It has been a busy year for Penn.-based Bieber Tourways.
While acquiring two bus companies, adding new coaches to its VIP Service and six buses to its New York City run, changing its maintenance, implementing “green” practices and starting a new limousine service last August, they have continued to offer their everyday services and increase business.
“We now do 24 runs daily to New York City, five to Philadelphia and two to Atlantic City for gambling excursions. We also offer VIP services, for which we have two different vehicles, 16-passenger executive day coaches and a 42-passenger high-end day coach,” says Steve Haddad, president and CEO, about Bieber’s variety of services. “We also offer chauffeured limo service, with full complement of vehicles, including sedans, stretches, SUV and limo buses.”
Bieber’s VIP service provides luxury features, such as oversized leather seating with cherry wood individual table cabinets, full-size beverage refrigerator and galley, 110-volt outlets and satellite radio/TV.
Haddad stresses that from strategy to services offered, diversification drives the business. “We handle one- to multi-bus moves. We are a one-call, one-stop service and all of our vehicles are equipped with Wi-Fi and DVD capabilities,” he explains.
Bieber is also diverse in its marketing strategies. The operation recently started an ad campaign on cable and local news, redesigned its website and will be one of the main sponsors of an upcoming trade show at Lehigh University. It also parks its coaches at a mall during holiday season with advertisements for local businesses on the back.
In addition to putting all drivers through safety training, Bieber uses a GPS system that tracks motorcoaches and monitors engine performance and speed. It has also introduced SmarTire and DriveCam systems into its coaches and reviews the information received from those solutions daily. The safety director will bring in a driver if there is an issue caught on DriveCam, and as a result, Haddad says they are driving more defensively.
All of these maintenance changes have been implemented in the last year-and-half and have made “a remarkable difference in vehicle performance,” says Haddad.
In 2002, Bieber hired a new director of maintenance with a technical background that could track and monitor performance more closely, which decreased instances of break-downs significantly.
In upgrading their fleet with new engine technology, Bieber is also maintaining its “green” practices. The operation has been using its transit vehicles for the past two years, while working with Lehigh University on developing a hydrogen-hybrid vehicle. Additionally, the operation runs a local shuttle program for Lehigh and would like to introduce a CNG hydrogen-hybrid vehicle that can be Beta-tested at the university.
Bieber also recycles paper, motor oil and tires.
Haddad says that as technology has increased, Bieber has been able to do more with less, while bringing in more computers, servers and networks. “It has allowed us to have fewer personnel in the office,” he explains. “We have also been able to hire an HR person, a sales manager, a driver supervisor and more drivers. We’re constantly hiring drivers.”
Fleet mix: Krystal, MCI, Prevost
Employees: 132 full time, 64 part time
Service area: Southeastern Pennsylvania, mainly to Philadelphia, New York City and Atlantic City, charter and retail all over the U.S.
Services offered: Basic charter, retail tour, conventions, athletic teams, regularly scheduled line service and full-service travel agency
Year started: 1946
Average annual mileage: More than 4 million
President: Steve Haddad