Executive Chair of Coach USA Linda Burtwistle retires

Linda Burtwistleis stepping down as Executive Chair of Coach USA.

The announcement of her retirement comes in the same month that Coach USA, one of the biggest operators of private bus service in the country, filed for bankruptcy.

Coach USA
Linda Burtwistle

The company, which runs a network of commuter services, mostly in the Northeast, as well as Megabus service throughout the U.S., said it hasn’t been able to recover from a decline in ridership brought on by the pandemic. As a result, it determined that initiating court-supervised sale processes is the best path forward.

Coach USA, owned by private-equity firm Variant Equity, operates under several brands, including Megabus, Coach Canada, Dillon’s Bus Company, Coach USA Airport Express, and Go Van Galder. Coach USA’s fleet of about 2,070 buses 

Burtwistle’s retirement was noted in a Linkedin post by Coach USA.

The tribute noted that Burtwistle once said. “There is a solution to every challenge. The key is to have a team that is knowledgeable, focused, committed, and motivated to overcome the challenge.” 

Started in business while in UK

Burtwistle’s career began in the United Kingdom bus business before she moved to the U.S. over two decades ago, taking on leadership roles that shaped some of the country’s largest transportation companies. 

She has served as CEO of Coach USA for more than seven years before stepping down from that role in March of 2023. Derrick Waters, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, took over the CEO position. 

Previously, Burtwistle held leadership roles as President of First Transit and First Student.

During her tenure at Coach USA, Burtwistle not only guided the company through significant milestones but also navigated it through unprecedented challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Her leadership during the pandemic showcased her resilience and the strong bond she shares with the Coach USA family. Her days were filled with meetings, addressing ad hoc issues, supporting her staff, and promoting the Coach USA brand with unwavering dedication. Her efforts ensured the company remains a beacon of safety, innovation, and consumer satisfaction in the transportation industry,” the LinkedIn tribute noted. 

Burtwistle was also praised for contributions beyond her professional achievements. She has worked as an advocate for women’s issues and is a staunch supporter of efforts to combat human trafficking. She has volunteered with Truckers Against Trafficking and served in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking.

“As Burtwistle hands over the reins, her colleagues express their deepest gratitude for her unwavering dedication, inspiring leadership, and the countless ways she has touched their lives. She has been a remarkable Executive Chair, mentor, friend, and source of inspiration for many,” the tribute read. 

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