Service And Fleet Additions Help Academy Bus Focus On The Future

By Harrell Kerkhoff, Busline Magazine Editor

Headquartered in Hoboken, NJ, Academy Bus has been serving the East Coast for decades. The company recently took delivery of 10 TEMSA TS45 motorcoaches, adding to its large fleet. (Photo courtesy of TEMSA)

With historical roots that date to the early 1930s and incorporated in the late 1960s, Academy Bus today is the largest privately owned and operated ground transportation business in the United States, according to the company. Headquartered in Hoboken, NJ, Academy Bus has been serving the East Coast for many decades.

“Since 1968, we have established a reputation for providing top-quality customer service and a large, diverse, and well-maintained fleet of newer vehicles. Our goal has always been to set the standard for ground transportation,” Academy Bus President and CEO Francis Tedesco said. “We operate charter, commuter, inter-city, and contract services out of 20-plus facilities along the East Coast — stretching from Boston to Miami. We recently added service in Richmond and Norfolk, VA. Our commuter buses run between New Jersey and Manhattan, and between Virginia and Maryland to Washington, D.C., plus service to downtown Baltimore, MD.”

Tedesco added the company can transport a wide variety of group sizes, from 20 to 20,000, due to its fleet of over 1,100 buses. Trips often involve sightseeing tours, convention work, corporate transfers, transportation for sports teams, and travel to parades and major sporting events as well as private charters.

The late Frank A. Tedesco combined his knowledge, passion, and energy for transportation to create Academy Bus. That same knowledge, passion and energy began with his father, Pasquale Tedesco, who originally operated a bus service in Bayonne, NJ, starting in the 1930s.

Frank Tedesco incorporated the company in 1968 while also located in Bayonne and grew it into a viable and competitive transportation business. Today, his sons, Francis and Mark Tedesco, manage the group of Academy companies, which includes 2,000-plus employees, of which 1,500 are drivers. The yearly average of miles driven is 20 million.

In 2014, Academy acquired Go Buses, which currently operates inter-city service between Boston, New York City (Midtown Manhattan) and Washington, D.C., with numerous stops in between.

Academy Takes Delivery Of New Coaches

A partnership continues to strengthen between Academy Bus and bus/motorcoach manufacturer TEMSA. It was recently announced that Academy has taken delivery of 10 TEMSA TS45 45-foot coaches.

“We are excited to continue our long-standing relationship with TEMSA, and welcome these coaches to our Washington, D.C. area of operation. The TEMSA TS45 marks the first full-size coach we have operated from the manufacturer, after having utilized TEMSA’s 38-passenger model (the TS35) for over a decade. Our staff and drivers look forward to operating these new coaches and welcoming our customers on board,” Academy Bus Vice President David Lehmkuhl said. “TEMSA earlier provided Academy a demo version of the TS45 that we operated for over a year. Feedback from drivers and customers was excellent, which led to the order of the 10 coaches. These vehicles also fulfill an ADA equipment need involving our Maryland Transportation Authority contract service, plus are a viable option for charter customers.”

For the past 10 years, Academy Bus has partnered with TEMSA by operating the smaller TS35 (35-foot) coach in most of Academy’s markets.

“During that span of time the TS35 has been a key factor in helping us attract a growing number of mid-size groups to our client base. The opportunity for these groups of up to 38 passengers to experience standard motorcoach amenities, and most importantly a smooth ride by being transported in a TS35, has positively impacted our overall business,” Lehmkuhl said. “We have maintained a positive working relationship with TEMSA over the years, and we monitored the development of the TS45 prior to making the order. TEMSA’s support system has also met the expectations of our staff and maintenance teams for more than a decade. Adding a new coach from TEMSA to our fleet has been seamless. TEMSA has done quite well supporting their products and we look forward to putting our new TS45 coaches to work.

“My responsibility at Academy Bus is to find the most cost-effective vehicles that also feature quality maintenance and performance attributes. I have found the TS45 to be very competitive with the other products we presently have in our fleet.”

He added the initial price of a vehicle is important to consider when making large purchases.

“However, we operate our buses for 12 to 15 years, so life cycle costs are also very important. From what we’re seeing, TEMSA vehicles are very competitive in that regard, involving good long-term cost of operation and fuel efficiency numbers — mile after mile,” Lehmkuhl said. “It helps that these vehicles have the proper aerodynamics and quality of construction in place.

“Communication between Academy Bus and TEMSA has always been excellent. Personally, I have visited the TEMSA factory in Turkey several times and have known members of the company’s U.S. sales force for many years. That has helped keep the lines of communications open. At Academy Bus, we look forward to continued progress well into the future involving our working relationship with TEMSA.”


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