Windy City Limousine & Bus CEO George Jacobs was certainly no stranger to chauffeured ground transportation when he decided to add motorcoaches to his Chicago-based fleet more than 10 years ago, but he was in the right place and the right time.
“In 2007, none of the limousine companies had motorcoaches,” he says. “We had to contract work from the local bus companies, but they usually closed at 5 p.m. during the week and weren’t open at all on the weekend. The customer service and professionalism were often lacking.”
But something even more important was also missing.
“The quality of their vehicles was lacking, too,” adds Kathy Kahne, president of Windy City. “We were providing minicoaches since day one, and our limousine, sedan, and SUV customers had grown accustomed to experiencing luxury service. Eventually they came to us and said, ‘Hey, if you can put 39 in a vehicle, why can’t you get motorcoaches and give us that same experience?’ We became confident that we could make it work.”
With the customer demand secured, notably through Windy City’s strong relationships with local DMCs, corporate clientele, and sports teams, Jacobs and his team set forth to bring coach work to the business, but with a difference.
“First and foremost, we’re a limousine company,” Jacobs says. “From the get-go, we wanted chauffeurs driving the coaches, not just bus drivers. We wanted them dressed neatly in a uniform with an understanding of luxury customer service. They represent the company and we’re proud of them.”
Having a groundbreaking strategy, an outstanding team, and existing clientele in place, it was imperative that Jacobs purchase the right vehicles for the company’s ambitious motorcoach business. Jacobs needed buses that were reliable, safe, and eye-catching, and fortunately, he notes that they weren’t far from his reach.