Canadian Operator Evolves From Used To New MCIs

Posted on October 30, 2017

MCI notes building a successful motor coach business takes years of hard work and a constant eye on what the market wants. It also takes smart investment in equipment, which Jonathan Keith, founder of Optimum Ride, has practiced since the beginning. He has added a pristine used MCI model each year. But this year, he's bought a new 2018 MCI J4500.

It’s the first all-new coach the 17-year-old New Brunswick tour and charter company has ever owned, and Keith is marking the milestone. On Oct.10, Optimum Ride celebrated with clients, staff, and friends at an open house complete with food and fun.

“I’m a true bus man now – it’s a huge milestone for us to move up to this all-new coach,” said Keith in a MCI press release. The former builder always wanted to give motorcoach transportation a try. Today, with 35 full- and part-time employees and a 19-vehicle fleet including 16 MCI coaches, Keith took delivery of his newest J4500 from Guy Charron, MCI Vice President of Sales Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

The Sussex, NB-based operator began with a single MCI 1972 MC-5B that he bought in 2000. Today, the company’s operations serve the growing tourist destinations in the Canadian Maritimes. Optimum’s territory includes popular spots such as St. John, a port city that features the New Brunswick Museum and the historic St. John City Market's many food stalls. To the southwest is Reversing Falls, where rapids flow backwards at high tide.

“Right now, our clientele includes corporations, cruise tourists, universities, school groups, inbound tours, and athletic teams,” said Keith, who, with his background in construction, designed its headquarters and motorcoach maintenance facility.

Keith, who still drives and has taken the company as far west as Kansas City and Edmonton and all the way down to Florida, loves the passenger experience the most. “Meeting the people and driving are the most fun part of our business – it’s great to show them this part of our country,” he says. “There’s always one of our coaches somewhere. I know people are pretty astonished a bus company would grow in our little town, and to take them throughout the U.S. and Canada is very rewarding.”

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Source: MCI press release

Related Topics: Canadian Operators, charter and tour, MCI, Motor Coach Industries, motorcoach operators, motorcoaches, new vehicles, tourism

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