Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 13

FAST LANE | OPERATOR PROFILE | Behind the scenes of the most successful operators

Custom Fit
Capitol Bus Lines evolves, adapts, and forges ahead

PHOTO COURTESY OF CAPITOL BUS LINES.

C

apitol Bus Lines began in
1981 when Buddy Young
and a partner purchased two
used school activity buses to
help a local church that was looking for
someone to transport its groups. Over the
next few years, they added several used
motorcoaches and, ultimately, a brand
new motorcoach. Before long, Buddy, a
fighter pilot for the South Carolina Air
National Guard (he flew A-7 and F-16 jets
and served in the Gulf War) and his wife,
Mary, a registered nurse, found themselves running a successful, family-owned
motorcoach and tour company.
Today, the South Carolina-based
company operates 11 motorcoaches and
specializes in group charters, custom
tours, and student travel. "We have always
known we have a good product, and we
pride ourselves on reliability, our custom
tour offerings, and excellent customer
service," says Mary. "But meeting today's
challenges of technology, internet pricing,
and driver recruitment has made us
improve by finding ways to be nimble and
adapt to an ever-changing market."
"Our customers mean the world to us,"
she continues. "We have many repeat
customers-and that is the ultimate
compliment. Loyalty from our employees
and customers alike has helped us thrive
in the industry. We are blessed to be here
celebrating 38 years in business in 2019. To
remain viable in the motorcoach industry
as a family-owned business for nearly four
decades takes a tremendous amount of
work and a lot of luck!"
Capitol Bus Lines has always provided
charter services, but in the late 1980s, it
added tour planning services to its line of
business. With this addition, the company
was able to provide customers with a
turnkey solution for group travel. "We have
a great group of full-time tour consultants
in our office who help our customers with
every detail of their trip," says Mary. "Each
of our tours is custom-planned for the
unique needs of our groups. We work hard

PROSPECTUS
Operator:
Capitol Bus Lines (Capitol Tours)
U.S. Location:
West Columbia, S.C.
Services:
Motorcoach charter and tours
Website:
www.capitol-tours.com
Phone:
(803) 794-9661

to set ourselves apart in the level of service
we provide-a group travel boutique of
sorts specializing in motorcoach travel."
The flexibility of motorcoaches
allows Capitol to serve a wide variety of
customers. Providing schools, churches,
and families a way to travel together
and enjoy the camaraderie, Capitol has
thrived in planning these tailored adventures. Reflecting on the bigger picture,
Mary says, "There are so many of our
tours that give students opportunities
they may not otherwise have. We have
been fortunate to give students many
'firsts' in their lives. The first time to see
the ocean, first time to leave the state,
first time being away from home, and the
list goes on and on. That is what keeps
us motivated. We are in the memories
business, and we are proud to have made
an impact on so many people."
Capitol Bus Lines offers a Travel Club,
which is a popular service with customers,
many of whom have been going on its tours
for nearly 30 years and are "like family."
How does it work? The tour staff plans a
customized tour for which anyone can sign
up. Interested customers receive a detailed
itinerary, sign up, and pay-and off they go.
"Our Travel Club customers have come to
expect the quality of service on which we
have built our reputation," says Mary. "It's
a great way to meet new people and experience the country. For some of our seasoned
travelers, they are looking for a way to get

out and not travel alone. We are able to
give them the option to sit back, relax, and
enjoy traveling as part of a group."
Capitol Bus Lines and its owners are
no strangers to unique and noteworthy
services-and being recognized for them.
It was the first motorcoach company in
South Carolina to implement electronic
logs in 2014. It maintains the highest
safety ranking awarded by the Federal
Motor Carrier Safety Administration
and is Americans with Disabilities Actcompliant with lift-equipped coaches
available. It was voted Operator of the
Year by the Motorcoach Association
of South Carolina four years in a row,
and in 2014, Mary was awarded ABA's
first Women in Buses Award, which
recognizes the role of women in the
motorcoach industry. Additionally,
Buddy has served on the ABA Board of
Directors since 2002, served as the ABA
Marketplace Chairman in 2013, and is
the current chairman of both the Ethics
and Strategic Safety committees.
For Buddy and Mary, who met in high
school and will celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary this fall, their journey is
still evolving. "If someone had told us all
those years ago that we were going to get
into the bus business, we wouldn't have
believed them," Mary chuckles. "But we
are always looking for ways to improve
and are excited about the direction we
are going." -Pamela Brossman
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2019

\ DESTINATIONS 13


http://www.capitol-tours.com

Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019

13 Architectural Gems
Living Life to the Fullest
Going Green
Marketing 101
Custom Fit
How to Have a Successful Marketplace
ABA Foundation Live & Silent Auction
ABA Gives Back
2020 Marketplace Offers Top-Notch Education
The Drive to New Technology
Tour Stop: New Year’s Eve Destinations
City Guide
STARRY STARRY NIGHT
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
Receptive Operators
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Cover1
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Cover2
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 1
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 2
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 3
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 4
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 5
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 6
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 13 Architectural Gems
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Living Life to the Fullest
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 9
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Going Green
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 11
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Marketing 101
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Custom Fit
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - How to Have a Successful Marketplace
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 15
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - ABA Gives Back
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 17
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 2020 Marketplace Offers Top-Notch Education
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 19
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 20
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 21
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - The Drive to New Technology
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 23
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 24
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 25
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Tour Stop: New Year’s Eve Destinations
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 27
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 28
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 29
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - City Guide
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 31
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 32
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 33
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 34
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 35
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 36
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 37
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 38
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 39
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 40
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 41
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 42
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 43
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 44
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 45
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 46
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 47
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 48
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 49
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 50
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 51
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 52
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 53
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 54
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 55
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - STARRY STARRY NIGHT
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 57
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 58
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 59
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 60
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 61
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 62
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 63
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 64
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 66
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 67
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 68
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - Receptive Operators
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 70
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 71
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 72
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 73
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 74
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 75
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 76
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 77
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 78
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 79
Destinations Magazine – November/December 2019 - 80
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