Trailways announced the launch of its new Charter Sales Program, which will offer one-stop shopping for customers who wish to charter passenger transportation. The announcement, made at the 2013 Trailways Stockholders Meeting & Conference last month in San Diego, marks a new era for the history of the organization.
The Trailways Charter Program provides the customer with one point of contact in order to make trip planning easy and convenient. Headquarters staff will personally assist the customer in all aspects of planning their group charter or transport moves that includes quoting a price, scheduling the trip with a Trailways company near them, confirmation on the trip date, coordination with the Trailways local operations, and centralized billing.
“Customized, direct customer support is the goal of the new charter effort. We believe customer service and our brand recognition with the public set us apart,” Gale Ellsworth, Trailways’ President/CEO, said. “Many people remember the Trailways name from our scheduled routes, and that name still conveys trust and quality.”
A pre-launch test period from 2011 through 2012 was highly successful and this year (2013), the Charter Program was officially launched at Trailways’ 77th annual gathering. During the pre-launch, $1.1 million in gross revenue was generated in group charter — transport business for Trailways-affiliated transportation companies. The department, housed at Trailways’ corporate office, is now staffed by dedicated sales personnel as well as support staff.
“The goal of the program is to deliver more business opportunities to our Trailways companies,” Ellsworth said. The program was created by the Trailways board of directors in response to an ever-increasing demand for chartered buses for church, school, military, weddings, corporate meetings and union or political rallies and conventions.
The company created a charter quote page on its website www.trailways.com in conjunction with Relational Bus Systems (RBS).
It also promotes a service-oriented, toll-free contact number, 1-877-GoRedGo (467-3346). Approximately 20 to 25 group charter or transport move requests are received daily via website or by telephone.
Five U.S.-based bus companies founded Trailways in 1936; today the well-known, respected transport network has grown to nearly 80 Trailways-branded locations, offering scheduled route bus service, charters, tours, and other related travel services.
For more than six decades, Trailways’ core business revolved around point-to-point, scheduled route service. Today, even though the majority of the affiliated bus companies generate revenues through charter and tours, Trailways will continue offering its famously heralded, scheduled route services through its division of more than sixteen branded, scheduled route bus companies. However, the addition of a universal, Charter Sales Program, marks a new era in the evolution of the organization.
Over 250 people attended Trailways 77th annual gathering, which included bus company owner-operators from throughout the U.S. and Canada, industry leaders, government officials, affiliated partners, including the leading bus manufacturers.