The Home Page Network

News and Information Impacting Our Region
 

Channels

 
Rotary

Rotary

 
Rotary Conference

Rotary Conference

 
Laurel Health Centers

Laurel Health Centers

 
Penn Oak Realty

Penn Oak Realty

 
Bank On It

Bank On It

 
Dunhams Corner

Dunhams Corner

 
Questioning Life

Questioning Life

 
Karschners Insurance

Karschners Insurance

 
Ag Happenings

Ag Happenings

 
Back to Basics

Back to Basics

 
Hornet Happenings

Hornet Happenings

 
Live From The Hive

Live From The Hive

 
Momday Monday

Momday Monday

 
Pennsylvania Politics

Pennsylvania Politics

 
The Briefing

The Briefing

 
Weekly Highlights

Weekly Highlights

 
Wellsboro Chamber

Wellsboro Chamber

 
A Local Pandemic Story with a Happy Ending

A Local Pandemic Story with a Happy Ending

by Deb Bastian - April 22, 2022

Benedict’s was transporting the Towanda High School on a bus trip to Washington D.C. when the world stopped. As Emily Cornell, travel coordinator and hostess for Benedict’s described, “On that day in March of 2020, we would visit an attraction and a few hours later learn that it was shutting down. It was as if the Pandemic chased us home.” Little did she know, as they drove the students home, the entire bus industry would change forever from that day forward.

Maria Frank, Co-owner, Dispatcher, Driver and Tammy Mengee, Co-Owner, Travel Coordinator are now the fourth generation of the Benedict family to own and operate the businesses. Bussing started with a horse drawn school bus by their great-grandfather, Floyd Benedict in 1914. In 1964, their grandfather, Byron started a school bus business along with Benedict’s Ford. Their dad Bob took over the business in 1977 and added coach buses and vans. Now Tammy and Maria own two bus companies, Benedict’s Bus Service and Benedict’s, and have navigated a course that no one in the bus industry has ever experienced.

The Pandemic shut down the bus industry with no warning and quickly turned into a very difficult situation. All of a sudden public schools were closed so school buses were stopped. Mansfield University, one of their largest contracts for coach buses, could not transport athletes or students to activities and events. Destinations for tours, restaurants and hotels were closed. Trips that were already planned were canceled and refunds were made to all customers.

After nearly 2 years, Benedict’s is busy again. To be able to start traveling there were changes that had to be made. New air filter systems were installed on all buses, UV Lights now filter air conditioned air, power vents were installed overhead, school buses are sanitized two times a day, new hand sanitizer stations have been installed, and coach seats are sprayed with disinfectant once a day. The cost of doing business has increased post pandemic. Insurance is more expensive, there is a driver shortage and of course, the cost of fuel has gone up. Tammy shared, “I didn’t realize how easy it was to transport people before the shut- down”. Now there are vaccination records and coordinating COVID testing for overseas travel. They also have to be ready at a moment’s notice to make itinerary changes. A theater can quickly shut down if an actor tests positive, so they try to have other options ready when possible.

The first school trip after the pandemic they carried the North Penn -Mansfield High School band and chorus. Tammy said that she felt alive again and was so energized by the students on the trip. “It is good to be back and doing what we love!”

Maria, Tammy and Emily are happy to be planning trips and transporting students and customers, again. They have lots of fun destinations for one day and multi-day trips scheduled. Get on their mailing list by calling 570-724-5867 and visit their web site at www.benedictsbus.com to sign up for a fun adventure.

Credits:

Writing: Deb Bastian

Produced by Vogt Media

 
 
 
x