Trailways expands with Miss., Pa.-based operations

Posted on January 9, 2015

Mlaker Trailways
Mlaker Trailways

Team Trailways expands again with the addition of Bus Supply Charters Inc. (BSCI), DBA, Mississippi Trailways and Pennsylvania-based Mlaker Trailways.

With the addition of Mississippi Trailways, the bus network is also closing an important service link along America's third coast, as companies in all states along the Gulf now fly Trailways’ famous logo.

"Mississippi Trailways' decision to ride with us means we have important team links in Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida," said Trailways president/CEO Gale Ellsworth. "Our network is now fully connected along the Gulf coast, and this strengthens its fabric, as we cooperate to build business opportunities and back one another with road services when needed."

RELATED: Trailways' CEO Ellsworth to retire

Keith Sanders, president of Mississippi Trailways, said he looks forward to working with fellow Team Trailways companies. "We know the brand will help us generate business through its network, especially in slower winter months," he predicted.

Sanders said his company is based in two small-towns, Madison and McComb, Miss., but the locations are strategic because they’re about a 100 miles from both Baton Rouge and New Orleans and not far for Jackson, Miss. "We're even closer to Jackson," he explained, "and we do most of our business in those three cities." New Orleans convention business is one market they would like to expand, he said.

Sanders' business partner and wife Karen Sanders serves on the American Bus Association Board of Directors and both manage their company fleet that consists of 15 full-sized motorcoaches.

The couple launched transportation services in 1986 with one bus and a jazz band road touring contract from Preservation Hall in New Orleans. Since those days, the company has acquired two new coaches a year, and seen its tour and travel business grow along with the fleet, mostly with church and school groups. Clients go to destinations like Branson, Mo., San Antonio, or occasionally longer haul trips east and west. Military troop transport has also been in their charter business repertoire.

For Pennsylvania-based Mlaker Trailways, three generations of family management and 30 years' experience are behind its ownership and operations.

"My grandfather began our company and now my father and I run it," said Matt Mlaker, VP. "We began by running school buses, which we continue, but in recent years, we've added a lot of charter and tours business."

The company fleet now includes 40 school buses and 17 other full-sized passenger coaches and trolleys for weddings and other private event use, he said.

Mlaker predicted his company's new Trailways affiliation will be a fast track towards rapid business growth for the company in 2015 and beyond because of the brand's nearly 80-year legacy for service and reliability. Other benefits he expects include discounts on equipment, supplies, fuel, and administrative services. Another perk sighted by Mlaker is the wide-reaching benefit the Trailways' network. "Our safety standards and business culture fit very well with the brand," said Mlaker. "We know that being a member of the team will give us the cache the organization is known for in the industry and by the traveling public.  And, we look forward to adding our experience in this part of the country to the team's business expertise."

Like all Team Trailways members, Mlaker Trailways holds the United States Department of Defense (USDOD) and the Transportation Safety Exchange (TSX) Safety Certifications.

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