Recent news articles.
New press releases about us. Also, current magazine articles relating to the MotorCoach industry.
Customer Spotlight 2017: Blue Lakes Charters & Tours and ABC Companies
Since Stanley Cupp acquired his first school bus in the mid-1950’s, the Cupp family’s appetite for the transportation business has grown steadily. Over three generations, Blue Lakes Charters and Tours has expanded through mergers and acquisitions to become one of the largest privately owned bus companies in the Midwest today!
With headquarters in Clio, Michigan, Blue Lakes offers full-service transportation options with departures from the entire lower Michigan region and Northern Ohio to any destination throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company specializes in group travel operations for schools and universities, professional sports teams, corporate groups, senior groups and leisure travelers.
Blue Lakes offers a wide variety of service including customized charters and tours, shuttle and express service, as well as tour packages to regional attractions. Passengers can expect a high-end travel experience with Blue Lakes thanks to a newer-model fleet that integrates the very latest technologies, comfort and safety features.
Recent additions to the fleet include four 2016 Van Hool 56-passenger models, as well as four new Van Hool CX35’s - 40-passenger mid-size coach models. As the first in their market to run the CX35, Blue Lakes President, Mr. Dave Cupp, says they have already seen savings and reduced cost as a direct result of the smaller vehicle. “The CX35 has the look, feel and rideability of larger over-the-road coaches. Our customers just love them and we’ve seen a real spike in booking requests for the coach,” added Randy Cupp, Vice President. Dave Cupp also cites parts interchangeability and driver familiarity with operating the unit as major benefits to ownership.
(c)Click here to see full article by ABC Companies
Saginaw students in nation's capitol, touring Smithsonian and Howard University
SAGINAW, MI — Darquese Doster is looking forward to his day on Wednesday, June 17, a day unlike any other the Saginaw High School 10th grader has experienced.
Doster is one of 125 students from the Saginaw School District touring the nation's capitol this week as part of a program geared toward academic success of male students in grades 6-12.
Activities planned for the day include a trip to the Smithsonian Institution, Martin Luther King Jr. monument and Jefferson and Lincoln monuments.
The students, chaperons and parents from the Saginaw School District checked into their rooms Tuesday night in preparation for the tour on Wednesday of Washington, D.C.
Doster said he's excited to see the campus of Howard University and to visit the White House.
Though it's unlikely the group will meet President Barack Obama, students will have a photo shoot and meet-and-greet with U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, on Capitol Hill.
The trip comes as part of a program called Centric, which prepares students for college and academic success.
The Saginaw School District was awarded a 1-year, $2.4 million grant to fund the project that focuses on black male students, although not all students in the program are black. Data shows black males are Michigan's persistently lowest achieving student group, according to the Michigan Department of Education.
In Washington, officials from the Centric program will meet with administrators for the president's My Brother's Keeper initiative to discuss continuing the program.
Joseph Kopka traveled to the Washington area a few months ago with his 8th grade class at Saginaw Arts and Science Academy.
Kopka said he is looking forward Wednesday to visiting the Smithsonian.
"I like the space exploration they do," Kopka said. "They have a moon-lander and a flight simulator."
Three buses left the Saginaw Arts and Science Academy at 7 a.m. on Tuesday to travel east and the group is expected to return Thursday.
(c)Click here to see full article on MLIVE.COM
125 Saginaw students on their way to Washington, D.C.
SAGINAW, MI — More than 100 students from the Saginaw School District are headed to the nation's capitol as part of a program aimed at helping them achieve academic success.
Three buses with 125 students left the Saginaw Arts and Science Academy at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, June 16.
The students participated in a program called Centric during part of the previous school year, preparing for college and visited several college campuses, according to Program Manager Terry Pruitt.
The district was awarded a 1-year, $2.4 million grant to assist in addressing the academic success of male students in grades 6-12, with a focus on male black students. Data shows that group is Michigan's persistently lowest achieving student group, according to the Michigan Department of Education.
"The mission of the grant was to improve the academic success of our students," Pruitt said.
While in Washington, D.C., the students will visit the Smithsonian Institution, Martin Luther King Jr. monument and Jefferson and Lincoln monuments. U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, will also have a photo shoot and meet-and-greet with students.
Officials from the Centric program will also meet with administrators for President Barack Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative.
"We will talk about our experience here in Saginaw and see if we can look at sustainability," Pruitt said.
Students are expected to return to Saginaw on Thursday.
(c)Click here to see full article on MLIVE.COM
2015 Innovative Operators..
Blue Lakes Charters and Tours, headquartered in Clio, Mich., is a third generation family-owned and -operated bus company serving Michigan and northern Ohio and is the largest privately-owned charter bus company in Michigan. According to Dave Cupp, president, the company’s bread and butter is charter bus trips for a number of various organizations, but is also able to offer package tour deals and custom bus wraps for client advertising.
Additionally, Blue Lakes has dedicated line-run services to hotspots and 25 to 30 cities throughout Michigan and northern Ohio. The company has also secured a contract with Walmart to offer free line-runs to Walmart’s patrons six days a week.
Since the company began in 1989, Cupp explains Blue Lakes has been dedicated to customer service.
“If you don’t give customers what they are looking for, they aren’t going to be a repeat customer. That’s where we focus a lot of our energy,” he says.
According to Cupp, success can be attributed to offering value-added service, being family-owned, taking care of employees, embracing technological changes, and the continual update of its fleet — with the addition of four new midsized buses and eight new buses, a mix of Van Hools and Ameritrans, being delivered over the next three months.
Value-added service is a driving force in the company’s customer service, particularly in regards to customers who make use of Blue Lakes’ bus wraps to advertise their companies, such as Walmart or the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. Rather than charging clients an extra fee on top of the cost of the wrap, Blue Lakes covers the cost of installation.
“If that advertising is successful, those customers are going to keep booking buses with us. It’s another reason companies deal with us,” Cupp explains.
Mixing business and family can be tricky to navigate, Cupp says, but being family-owned has provided Blue Lakes a leg-up in the bus business. There is someone involved in every element, dealing with different facets — from maintenance to safety to sales to dispatch. “Family involvement really helps us have our thumb on the industry,” Cupp says.
Though being in a seasonal industry and having locations outside of the large metropolitan areas can be a challenge to retain staff, Cupp says the company has found a niche with people who already have jobs with odd schedules, such as firemen, who drive in their off-time.
All employees get a newsletter every two weeks with their paychecks about what is new in the industry so they can stay current. They also receive educational bulletins and attend semi-annual safety meetings to learn how best to deal with customers and remain safe. Seeing drivers on a day-to-day basis also allows for an open communication between employees and management, Cupp says. Taking care of the company’s employees, training them well and making sure they are professionally uniformed is what keeps customers coming back.
Since Blue Lakes has nine locations, remote access to company information is vital. Almost 10 years ago, the company switched from paper dispatching to the Internet-based software Motorcoach Manager, which has helped the sales and dispatch departments become more streamlined and efficient.
Since each location handles its own dispatch, and the main office handles the bulk of sales, driver routes and scheduling can get confusing. But since adding the software, the Internet access has allowed employees to view bus availability, work remotely, and assign bus routes and drivers accordingly.
Internet-based phones also allow for employees to not only work remotely, but also the potential to live remotely. This asset enabled a valued employee of Cupp’s to relocate to Florida while remaining a member of the team.
(c)Click here to see full article on METRO MAGAZINE..