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Not all Buses are the Same

Not all Buses are the Same

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Photo by Rebecca Lippiatt

When we think of travelling across Western Canada, travel by airplane or car comes to mind. There is, however, another option – a more comfortable, affordable, incredibly safe and efficient option that delivers you to all the major cities in Alberta and Ontario. That option is Red Arrow.

“In 1979, R.B. Colborne – Founder of Pacific Western Transportation (PWT) – had a dream to create a unique travel experience, unparalleled to anything elsewhere in the industry,” says Steven Tulloch, Director, Marketing & Business Development at Red Arrow. “Colborne went on to pioneer a bus service with business style and single row seating, complimentary snacks and refreshments. He created the first commercial coaches to have seatbelts and pay-per-use cellular phones. At one time the coaches included a business centre, complete with a fax machine and printer.”

The technology for business guests has been updated on the coaches and the outstanding service remains consistently reliable. Red Arrow coaches are equipped with complementary WiFi and power outlets. Whether each guest is travelling for work or pleasure, they can remain connected to their business or loved ones. Other amenities include onboard movies, spacious leg room, washroom facilities, reclining leather seats, fold down trays and complimentary refreshments. Red Arrow is also wheelchair accessible the operators are happy to assist those with mobility challenges.

“Red Arrow is known for its business-class style of seating, like one would typically find onboard an airline,” Tulloch says. “We have both single and double row seating configurations, giving passengers ample personal space and a feeling of luxury. Guests are often surprised at how luxurious our coaches are when they get on board and see our difference. The investment into maintaining our vehicles to provide safe and reliable transportation is very evident.”

That feeling of luxury was further expanded in 2011 when Red Arrow debuted Ebus. As the luxury sibling brand to Red Arrow, Ebus is owned by the Pacific Western Group of Companies, an Alberta-based transportation company. Its network of scheduled routes ensures reliable transportation across Alberta and British Columbia. Not only is Ebus a luxury option, it is also environmentally friendly thanks to reduced emissions, paperless booking, excellent mileage and a low carbon footprint.

Red Arrow and its sister company Ebus knows guests have options when it comes to travel, so the brands go above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction.

“With only 36 seats – standard motorcoaches come with 56 seats – each passenger benefits from lots of legroom, as well as the option to have a seat of one’s own. A washroom is located in the rear for convenience, along with a galley offering complimentary beverages and snacks. Superior WiFi is offered too, as are footrests and three-point belts on all seats,” Tulloch explains the Red Arrow difference. “Additionally, safety – on all fronts – is a core value that we embrace daily.”

Red Arrow’s safety value has two branches: Safely Clean, a program dedicated to enhanced coach cleaning, sanitation and proactive measures for guests and staff and Safely Home, a deep conviction and ultimate promise Red Arrow has made to its team, to its clients and to the communities in which it operates.

The coach line has not only been innovative and proactive in transportation and safety, the drivers know how to think on their feet. Tulloch shares, “One very memorable moment was when one of our operators helped deliver a baby while waiting for EMS to arrive! The baby’s middle name is Arrow and has a lifetime of free travel with us.”

Red Arrow is also very community minded, offering assistance when charities reach out, providing trips for use or for fundraising auctions.

The customer and community service have not gone unnoticed. Red Arrow was thrilled to receive recognition from then-Prime Minister, Stephen Harper when the coach line celebrated its 30th anniversary.

“On behalf of Red Arrow, a big thank you goes out to the entire team, some of whom have been with the company for decades,” says Tulloch. “All have all been instrumental in what Red Arrow has accomplished since inception in addition to, more recently, the return of the business to its past levels of success following the crippling pandemic. PWT leadership is proud of what all our employees contribute to Red Arrow’s success, from the customer-focused drivers to the technicians that ensure mechanical bus safety, to our operations and sales management teams.”

What’s next for the business? Tulloch is happy to share, “We recently opened our new Passenger Experience Centre in Calgary, which is unlike any other bus ticketing station. It features a more contemporary design complimented by earthy tones such as a moss wall and barn wood walls. The plan is to replicate this to our other bus stations. New motorcoaches are coming later in 2024 and 2025 will feature enhanced seating technology, increasing the overall onboard experience. Also, in 2024 Red Arrow becomes cashless, allowing a quicker and safer way to travel. With operations continuing in Alberta and Ontario, Red Arrow looks to expand into more provinces and geographical regions.”

He concludes, “Traffic congestion, harsh driving conditions, escalating gas prices, delayed flights… sounds familiar? Your time is valuable; work needs to get done. Be productive! Be smart! Don’t drive – be driven. Enjoy the luxuries of traveling business class with ample legroom, single seats, complimentary refreshments, complimentary WiFi, and a private washroom. Remember that not all coaches are the same. Red Arrow is recognized as Western Canada’s premium public luxury transportation solution. It is an enormous privilege to be part of a team that is helping shape the future of one of Alberta’s oldest and most recognizable passenger transport operations, to continue the legacy of R.B. Colborne and to be able to play a role in making this service even better for our customers. Welcome aboard Red Arrow.”

Learn more online at redarrow.ca. The brand is also active on Facebook (Red Arrow Motorcoach), Instagram (@redarrowebus) and LinkedIn (Red Arrow + Ebus).

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