Operations

Operator Grows With Women In Buses Council Help

Lexi Tucker
Posted on October 9, 2019
(L to R) Arthur and Tracy Showman, co-owner of Quest Coach and Quest Transit

(L to R) Arthur and Tracy Showman, co-owner of Quest Coach and Quest Transit

SCOTTDALE, Pa. — Tracy Showman, co-owner of Quest Coach and Quest Transit, started in the transportation industry through her husband Arthur. He had worked with buses since he was 12 years old, and once they got married, it opened a new world to Tracy.

Now, the motorcoach and school bus company has grown through the education and connections she’s made through the American Bus Association’s Women in Buses Council.

A New Beginning

Tracy was a paralegal for a law firm for 20 years. After she and Arthur got married, he talked about opening his own business. When the opportunity arose 15 years ago, he bought Groomes Tours/Groomes Transit, now known as Quest Coach/Quest Transit.

His father worked for the company, and Arthur accompanied him to help wash school buses while he was in high school.  He started working for the company full-time in 1981. “It was his dream to buy the company, and I married into it,” she explains.

Since joining the industry, she has grown to love helping clients because of her passion for traveling. The company does group tours, and Tracy enjoys taking people different places and letting them experience events they might not be able to if not for motorcoaches.

“We have a lot of older travelers who don’t want to drive, and we like to take and show them what’s out there,” she says. She also enjoys getting to meet others in the motorcoach industry and work with them. In addition to motorcoaches, the business runs school buses, which she states can be more challenging. “We are all buses, but two different businesses.”

Since purchasing the company, they’ve grown from four motorcoaches to 10, and have since downsized to nine with a plan to purchase two more within the year. They run 40-passenger Temsa and 56-passenger Prevost buses. “Arthur did his research. Both have good support behind their product, and are well-built, comfortable, and look great. We get lots of complements.”

Helping Others Succeed

Tracy has been a member of the Women in Buses Council for five years. Being in a male dominated industry, she enjoys the comradery she shares with other women in her field.

“It’s nice to be able to speak to another woman and get a different perspective. Everyone’s very approachable, and it’s nice to have this kind of forum,” she says.

Group members share more in common than being female, however. Some have children and/or work in a small, family-owned business, so there are numerous topics for members to converse about. “We are all on the same page trying to make it day by day.” Tracy notes when she wanted to revise a motorcoach contract, she brought it up at a Women in Buses meeting and other women were quick to send her some of their examples.

Next Steps

It’s not easy getting into the bus business, Tracy says. But if you align with supportive people and aren’t afraid to ask for help, you’ll find plenty of it. “We are all in this together and need to help each other out.”

She cites the recent awarding of a multi-year school transportation contract as an example of the success the company has achieved in the last 15 years. “Staying in demand means we are doing a good job. We certainly get more compliments than complaints.”

Related Topics: American Bus Association, buses, customer service, eNews Exclusive, family businesses, motorcoach operators, motorcoaches, school transportation, women in the industry

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
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