Operations

Gateway Global Gains On The Future

Martin Romjue
Posted on July 15, 2015
Executive team: Gateway Global founder Sam Amato (center) started Gateway Limousine in 1979 and now has daughter, Gina Amato-Bonelli, and son, Joel Amato, in key roles securing the company’s future as a ground transportation provider in an area that births the most advanced technology in the world.
Executive team: Gateway Global founder Sam Amato (center) started Gateway Limousine in 1979 and now has daughter, Gina Amato-Bonelli, and son, Joel Amato, in key roles securing the company’s future as a ground transportation provider in an area that births the most advanced technology in the world.

Executive team: Gateway Global founder Sam Amato (center) started Gateway Limousine in 1979 and now has daughter, Gina Amato-Bonelli, and son, Joel Amato, in key roles securing the company’s future as a ground transportation provider in an area that births the most advanced technology in the world.

Executive team: Gateway Global founder Sam Amato (center) started Gateway Limousine in 1979 and now has daughter, Gina Amato-Bonelli, and son, Joel Amato, in key roles securing the company’s future as a ground transportation provider in an area that births the most advanced technology in the world.
Executive team: Gateway Global founder Sam Amato (center) started Gateway Limousine in 1979 and now has daughter, Gina Amato-Bonelli, and son, Joel Amato, in key roles securing the company’s future as a ground transportation provider in an area that births the most advanced technology in the world.

SAN FRANCISCO — When operator Sam Amato picked Gateway for his limousine company name in 1979, he chose to play on the Golden Gate Bridge’s symbolic and literal gateway to “growth, hard times and success,” as he puts it.
 
1979 marked some significant gateways to the future, such as the invention of the first computer spreadsheet program and emoticons. The year before, Apple launched a project to design a personal computer with a graphical user interface.

In 2015, the Gateway Global Transportation name sounds more advanced than ever, given its proximity to the San Francisco International Airport; along the main route between downtown San Francisco and Silicon Valley; and adjacent to the San Mateo Bridge, a straight shot to the near East Bay and the further Livermore Valley suburbs.

“I could not have picked a better name for what we do,” Amato says.

Gateway now denotes far more than a bridge or major airport, as the San Francisco-Silicon Valley explodes with transportation demands from social media and technology companies. Long gone are the days when Amato went door to door in downtown San Francisco with stretch limousines looking for corporate business.

To keep pace with the most technologically and culturally progressive metro region in the U.S., Gateway is adjusting its operations to match the shifting demands and dynamics of the ground transportation market.

Bus Business
Gateway’s events, groups and shuttle business has grown quickly the last few years, with most business coming from traditional chauffeured services as well as group transportation related to road shows, corporate events and leisure events. A growing portion comes from airport-, hotel-, and employee-related shuttles.

“We’re tired of all the Uber talk,” says Joel Amato, Gateway’s vice president of operations and the son of owner and founder Sam Amato. “We’re making the adjustments to succeed amid changing demographics and clients. Providing high-end service with more hand-holding can retain clients.”

The Amatos emphasize the logistics of managing total transportation moves and commuter and shuttle services, in addition to the traditional limousine model of separate point-to-point trips.

As the world’s technology hub, the San Francisco Bay Area has seen a historic surge in wealth and skyrocketing costs of living. Major firms such as Google, Apple and Facebook require added bus and motorcoach services, with some companies opting to create transportation divisions because they can’t find enough outside supply to meet their demands.

“If only the builders could make buses faster,” Joel says. “We can’t get equipment fast enough.”

Meet the perfect looking chauffeur — and he never talks back. Gateway Global has an extensive chauffeur training program and levels of status. Its training rooms also bear customer notes complimenting chauffeurs on outstanding service.
Meet the perfect looking chauffeur — and he never talks back. Gateway Global has an extensive chauffeur training program and levels of status. Its training rooms also bear customer notes complimenting chauffeurs on outstanding service.

FASTFACTS: Gateway Global Transportation

Location: Burlingame, Calif.
Service region: San Francisco Bay Area
Additional operations: Los Angeles, San Jose
Founded: 1979
Owners/executives: Sam Amato, President and founder; Joel Amato, vice president of operations; Gina Amato-Bonelli, finance administrator.
Fleet vehicles: 80-plus vehicles
Employees: 110 chauffeurs; 30 staff
Corporate/retail markets: 90% corporate / 10% retail
Buses/shuttles: 65-70%; 30-35%; chauffeured vehicles
Client sample: SFO area hotels, airlines; Silicon Valley technology companies; sports teams; investment banking and road shows.
Websites: www.gatewayglobalsf.com; www.gatewayshuttles.com

Fleets
To accommodate diverse chauffeured vehicle preferences, the Amatos use Lincoln MKT Town Cars, Cadillac XTS sedans, Mercedes-Benz sedans, and a mix of Chevrolet Suburban and Cadillac Escalade SUVs, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans, and mini-buses. Gateway now gets more demand for SUVs than sedans.

Caroline Cua, vice president of client experience at Gateway, ensures clients get quality service across all areas of the chauffeured transportation experience.
Caroline Cua, vice president of client experience at Gateway, ensures clients get quality service across all areas of the chauffeured transportation experience.

Related Topics: business growth, business travel, California operators, fleet management, Gateway Global, Joel Amato, operator profiles, Sam Amato, San Francisco operators

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