Operations

How Gary Bauer Built a Company on Three Hours of Sleep

LCT Staff
Posted on May 23, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO — While most kids his age were sleeping late, Gary Bauer, founder of Bauer's Worldwide Transportation, was taking a decidedly different approach.

As a precocious high school student, his first job was window cleaning. Next he was operating his own landscaping company in Marin County during the day, and transporting his buddies at night in a Caddy he bought for $3,000.

"I would do landscaping from six in the morning to six at night and drive the Caddy from 7:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m." said Bauer, who grew up in Novato and now lives in Foster City. "I would get about three hours a sleep a night, six days a week."

Now, the man who aspired to be a financial investor owns a fleet of 135 luxury vehicles, including state-of-the-art business shuttles, stretch Navigators, and San Francisco Cable Cars, Bauer can afford to sleep a little more and he does, by his admission, he's getting "four hours of sleep a night."

Bauer's transportation service began with the aforementioned Cadillac and steadily grew exponentially. In 1994, Bauer moved his company from Marin County to 17th Street and Harrison in San Francisco, and in 2000, he relocated to Pier 27, where the business operates with 165 employees, including 110 trained chauffeurs who transport thousands of people daily.

Bauer's Worldwide Transportation has exclusive partnerships with major sports franchises in the Bay Area and an extensive program shuttling workers to the Google Inc. complex in Silicon Valley.

Along with continually expanding his transportation service, Bauer also created California Coach Sales, which customizes vehicles and pioneered models such as the stretch Navigator and Hummer.

His work ethic aside, Bauer's most impressive attribute may be his progressive environmental advocacy. Highlighting his company's "Corporate Green Initiative" is the fact that 85% of the miles his vehicles travel do so with alternative fuels, such as compressed natural gas, biodiesel, and propane. He is looking into other outlets such as hybrids and electric vehicles.

"We think it's very important to promote responsible environmental practices," Bauer said. "Ever since I started my landscaping business, I've always wanted to maintain a strong support for a healthy environment."

Along with using eco-friendly alternative fuels, Bauer has also created SaveIt, a charitable outlet that donates proceeds of the company's profits to help build and maintain parks and green spaces in various Bay Area communities.

"SaveIt is a way of giving back to the areas that use our services," Bauer said. "We know we’re in the position to create positive change, and we want to continue to do so."

Source: San Francisco Examiner

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