Tag: COVID-19

Village Travel Acquires Kincaid Coach

On April 4, Village Travel agreed to purchase the assets and business of Kincaid Coach Lines. Kincaid began in the charter bus business back in 1977 in the Kansas City area. They grew to have locations in Wichita, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Amarillo, Siloam Springs, and Panama Beach, Florida. Kincaid went on a dramatic growth spree in 2015 and even acquired Red Carpet Charters (OKC, Tulsa, and Dallas locations) in 2018. Before the pandemic, they ran over 80 coaches and thousands of school buses as the country’s largest Thomas school bus dealer.

During the pandemic, Kincaid shifted from the charter coach business to focus on their school bus and other business ventures. They contracted their fleet and shuttered all locations except Oklahoma City and Tulsa. At the time of the acquisition, Kincaid operated 23 units out of these two locations. Several older coaches had been parked and out of service since 2020, and those units were all sold.
So what does this mean for Village? After consolidating their business with ours, Kincaid’s coaches were absorbed into our OKC and Tulsa fleets.

In preparation for future growth, 10 acres of land was purchased last year in Oklahoma City for a new facility. Due to this Kincaid purchase, we have accelerated plans to construct a new terminal located west of the intersection of I-35 and I-44, only about a mile from our current OKC location.
It’s an exciting time to grow! Fifteen years ago, we had seven coaches in Oklahoma City and none in Tulsa – now, we are the clear market leader in both locations, with more than 65 coaches in Oklahoma.


Transportation for Medical Workers in Texas

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Village Travel has been providing transportation for medical first responders in high-risk areas. First, in New York City for more than 3 months as they battled rising COVID numbers. Now, our business has moved to southern Texas. KAKE News, in Wichita, did a feature story on our work in Texas.

“This job has certainly helped the Village drivers and the company as well. It has come at a great time and at a time that we needed it,” said Rusty Handy, General Manager of the Village Travel OKC Office.

There are currently 52 coaches throughout Texas, providing transportation for medical first responders. Our fleet consists of more than 125 seated coaches. We have drivers from all of our locations (in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas) who have volunteered to be part of this important mission.

“Village was fortunate enough to be able to answer the call to move large numbers of medical personnel,” said Handy.

Our country has typically relied on the charter bus industry to move large numbers of people. Normally, the crisis is a hurricane or flooding, but this time it is a pandemic.

Providing paying jobs for employees to support their families and helping in the fight against COVID makes all the difference.

“There’s no better feeling than knowing that every day your efforts are helping those that are in need, down in Texas,” said Handy.

KAKE News aired a video story on our Texas charter efforts, which you can watch here.

We are so proud of all our drivers who have sacrificed time away from home and their families to help out with this important cause. Want to learn more about our heros on the frontlines transporting medical workers? Several of our drivers have been featured by local news outlets!

  • Read about our Arkansas Driver, Gregg O’Bryan here.
  • Read about our Wichita Driver, Renee Moraine here.
  • Read about our Salina Driver, Richard Holmgren here.

Wichitan Helps Transport Nurses to Hospitals in New York City

FROM KAKE NEWS IN WICHITA, Ks

In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, a Wichita resident has answered the call of service.

“Well that’s always been Renee, because before this she was a paramedic and she’s always taken care of people,” Mark Moraine said.

Mark’s wife, Renee Moraine is a bus driver for Village Travel. She’s been in New York City the last month helping transport nurses to hospitals in the area.

“I felt like it was a way I could give back and help in the process of getting through this,” Renee told KAKE by phone on Monday.

The health care workers she drives are from all over the country. They’ve already formed a bond with Renee and the other drivers.

“You know the very first day I could see the fear in their eyes,” Moraine said. “You know what are they walking in to? What are they going to anticipate seeing and on my part too there was a little bit of that fear.”

Fighting a pandemic in one of the nation’s hot spots is serious business, but it doesn’t mean they haven’t found ways to have fun. Renee and the nurses on her bus have made various dance videos to help pass the time.

“I have both day and night shifts and they were both very excited to get in and show what they can do and have a little friendly competition,” Renee explained.

Pitching in during a time like this has also shown Renee what her fellow citizens are capable of doing.

“I think as Americans it’s really brought America together and bonded us as to what we can truly do as Americans,” Moraine stated.

View the full article and news coverage here.


Northwest Arkansas Nurse and Bus Driver Helping in NYC During COVID-19 Pandemic

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark — A Northwest Arkansas nurse and bus driver are now in New York answering the call for help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Arkansas has been less affected by the pandemic than many other states in this country. New York has been one of the hardest hit and when cases began to spike, local nurse Erin Courtway and bus driver Gregg Obryan headed there to help.

“It’s our way of giving back to the country that’s been so good to us,” Obryan said.

Fayetteville native Courtway was finishing up her nurse practitioner program when the outbreak began. She was furloughed because her clinic was deemed nonessential.

“Whenever I started seeing the big need for nurses on the news and just healthcare providers to step forward I really felt the calling,” Courtway said.

She says she’s been in the city for over a week now and will be there for another eight weeks. Her assignment is in the emergency department and she works 12 hours shifts four nights a week.

“I’ve never dealt with any kind of disease or virus or anything in my seven-year of my nursing career that can compare to this virus,” Courtway said.

She says her hospital has enough PPE, but the ICU is holding way over its capacity of patients.

“I’ve got double to patients per room and they’re just completely overloaded,” Courtway said.

Obryan works for Village Travel in Springdale and says a fleet of bus drivers is in New York helping transport nurses and medical workers.

“It’s extremely stressful for them it’s a long hard hours and really tough working conditions,” Obryan said. “We’re transporting nurses back-and-forth to their work at the hospitals.”

Obryan says he has responded to many emergency situations in the past with Village Travel.

“We have worked disaster relief all over the country for him, we were down in Hurricane Katrina,” he said.

Obryan says it’s tough to be away from his family and Courtway agrees.

She says her kids are still young, but thankfully they understand the work she is doing.

“I just got off a FaceTime call with my youngest kid and said he missed me but he knew mommy was taking care of people and getting them better,” Courtway said.

Obryan says he’s been in New York since the outbreak began. He says that his daughter is having her wedding next month and if it is still permitted, there’s no way he’s missing it.

Read the full article here.