DATTCO announces acquisition of Flagship Trailways

Two well-known New England motorcoach companies are becoming one.

DATTCO Motor Coach, a Connecticut-based motorcoach and charter bus company, has acquired Rhode Island-based Flagship Trailways for an undisclosed sum, in a deal that closed July 1.

Flagship Trailways’ motorcoach service will operate under the DATTCO brand and the company’s staff will remain in place, according to details of the deal.

In announcing the acquisition on Facebook, DATTCO pledged Flagship clients can expect the same service, with a few enhancements.

“We have a long-standing business relationship with Flagship,” said Don DeVivo, President of DATTCO, based in New Britain, Connecticut. 

‘In good hands’

The acquisition provides an exit strategy for Tom McCaughey, longtime President and CEO of Flagship, based in Cranston, Rhode Island, who has become busier with driving his collection of vintage buses in films and TV shows.

Flagship Trailways has been providing motorcoach service to Rhode Island clients for more than 25 years.

“As a family-owned business, we appreciate the care and attention the DATTCO team will bring to this partnership and know this transition is in good hands,” McCaughey said.

The acquisition of Flagship Trailways will allow DATTCO to expand services.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the Flagship team to our DATTCO family and collaborating with them to bring a wider array of transportation solutions to the Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts market,” said Dennis Lyons, Vice President for DATTCO’s Coach & Tour Group, to Bristol Press.

Flagship Trailways has been providing motorcoach service to Rhode Island clients for more than 25 years and will continue the operation from its current Cranston location under the new administration. The company’s staff will remain in place and Flagship’s drivers will continue providing service to their clients, according to DATTCO. 

The only immediate change will be that staff will transition to a new DATTCO uniform. Over time, Flagship will also be rebranded to spotlight DATTCO’s big red bus.

Third-generation carrier

DATTCO, a third-generation family-owned business, was started by Louis DeVivo and his brother, Ed. The pair drove school buses part time in the 1940s to supplement income from their family farm, which was started by their father, an Italian immigrant also named Louis.

Over the decades, the company has grown into one of the largest private motorcoach carriers in the country, employing more than 1,800 people. 

DATTCO not only provides charter trips, scheduled commuter stops and other varieties of bus travel, but it also services 29 school districts in Connecticut and Rhode Island, running 1,400 school buses to transport more than 110,000 students each school day.

The company also operates training programs for commercial drivers and mechanics, fleet repair services, dealerships for Thermo King (which sells and services refrigeration for trucks and buses), a property management subsidiary and a tool wholesale distributor.

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