As Peter Pan Bus Lines prepares to ring in its 90th year in business, the transportation company is laying the groundwork to remain one of the largest family-owned transportation companies in the United States for decades to come.
In July, CEO Peter Picknelly and his wife, Melissa, announced that their son, Peter Picknelly IV has been promoted to Director of Safety & Security.
He’s been learning the ropes at the company for years. While in high school and college, Picknelly IV worked in both Operations and Customer Service. Picknelly IV recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Western New England University with a degree in Business Management, according to a July announcement by Peter Pan Bus Lines.
“The fourth generation takes the wheel and rolls into a bright green future, as Peter IV joins his sister, Lauryn Picknelly-DuBois, who was recently named Controller for Peter Pan Bus Lines,” the release stated.
Peter Pan serves millions
Owned and operated by the Picknelly family for four generations, the Springfield, Massachusetts, bus service relies on a workforce of more than 500 employees to operate the business and keep its fleet of 220 coaches on the road. The company serves more than 100 communities throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, and carried nearly 6 million passengers in 2019.
Peter Pan offers daily express service in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and beyond. The company says it is proud to offer one of the “greenest” forms of economical and environmentally friendly transportation, and it holds the highest safety rating from the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Defense.
The company was started by Peter Carmine Picknelly, an Italian immigrant. who, after decades in the transportation industry, started his own independent bus line in the spring of 1933. He named his new company “Peter Pan Bus Lines” after his children’s favorite bedtime story, “Peter Pan,” by Sir J.M. Barrie, according to the company’s website.
Rapidly growing business
Peter Pan Bus Lines grew so rapidly that, during the 1940s, more family members relocated from New Jersey to Massachusetts to help expand Picknelly’s business. When Peter C. Picknelly died in 1964, the company’s leadership passed on to his 33-year-old son, Peter Louis Picknelly, who built Peter Pan’s first major bus terminal in 1969. In the 1980s, Peter Pan acquired more than a half-dozen transportation companies in New England and established Coach Builders, the only bus body shop in the Northeast that offered complete repair and restoration services for its own fleet and other fleets, as well.
When Peter L. Picknelly died in 2004, the helm was passed on to his son, Peter A. Picknelly, the third generation and current leader of Peter Pan Bus Lines. The following year, the Springfield Bus Terminal was renamed the Peter L. Picknelly Transportation Center in honor of his legacy.
In 2018, Peter Pan moved its corporate headquarters and bus operations to the historic and newly renovated Union Station in Springfield. To celebrate this move, as well as Peter Pan’s 85th anniversary, the city of Springfield named the bus entrance way into Union Station 1 Peter Pan Way.