Ed has been sharing his passion for wanderlust every day since January 25, 1999 when at age 51 he left a 26-year corporate career and became the first to offer the unique experience of freedom on the road in a luxury motorhome/bus conversion. He welcomes travelers aboard his “house-on-wheels” and takes them anywhere roads lead. In the past nine years, Ed has completed more than 50 trips and drove over 165,000 miles throughout the US and Canada.
“This is safe, reliable and comfortable escorted, private travel,” he explains. “I pick people up at their door, then we hit the road. Sometimes I have as many as eight people on board, other times it’s just been me and one other passenger. I’ve taken people in the coach for just one day while others have traveled for up to six weeks.”
Over the nine years, trips have been as unique as Ed’s business model. “I enjoy the trips as much as the customers.” He recalled one special trip that focused on AAA baseball, Civil War battlefields, barbeque, and blues. The trip followed the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Natchez Trace, made a visit to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and finished up in Graceland for the for 25th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death; see http://www.privatemotorcoach.com/elvistrip1.htm , http://www.privatemotorcoach.com/photoalbum-CT2002-2.htm .
Ed escorted The Preservation Jazz Band of New Orleans to a performance in The Hamptons. He gave terminally ill people their last ride to their summer homes. He reunited families for special events. He has helped to show off the splendor of Alaskan glaciers, the wilderness areas of the Canadian Yukon and wonders of national parks. Once, he even caravanned a team of drivers to pick-up a fleet of used garbage trucks. Trips have been for business, vacations and special medical needs.
One key service of Private Motor Coach, Inc. is that it provides a travel option for persons with manageable disabilities, who cannot travel via air or car. Ed says, “These folks can get off the couch at home and go anywhere because the coach becomes their temporary home while on the road and an escort is always with them.”
In 2007, Ed replaced his original coach, a MCI-9 called “Patty’s Charm” with an upgraded Prevost XL motorcoach/bus conversion called “Dolly’s Pride.” As with the original coach, the Prevost has all the amenities of a house-on-wheels: living room, kitchen, dinette, full bathroom with shower, queen-sized bedroom, and a large storage bay for bicycles, luggage, sports equipment or whatever needs to go along on a trip, including wheelchairs. Ed also tows a Toyota Corolla behind the coach for side trips.
Private Motor Coach, Inc. began operations in 1991 in the basement of Canadian-born Ed’s North Park home in Gibsonia just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2001, he moved the operation to Whitehouse near Dallas, Texas. Now, he’s given up the physical address and lives in the coach fulltime. “Nearly all of the people who travel with Private Motor Coach find my services on the Internet by going to the website www.privatemotorcoach.com. Over time, I found that I did not need a physical office. I use emails, talk on the phone about where and when people want to travel, and then I take the coach to them. Without roots to a home or office, I can position myself to better serve my customers.”
“After only two years in business, the United Motorcoach Association awarded PMC the 2001Vision Award for innovative travel, but there are no copy cats. Many people have aspired to run a coach like I have. I give them counsel regularly but no one has yet to take the leap. As far as I know, Private Motor Coach, Inc. is the only company providing this type of custom, private travel,” says Lonsbary.
Ed plans to continue offering trips as he moves forward in the ninth year of operation with the geographic expansion of trips and the goal to make the tenth anniversary, a real milestone. He explained, “Private Motor Coach will expand the current offering of trips in our luxury motor coach/bus conversion to include more than just North America. Next on the horizon are trips to Central American and South America.”