Industry software firm RBS shuts down after 35 years

RBS Inc., a major provider of tour and charter management systems designed for the motorcoach industry, officially is shutting down this summer. 

Although talk of the company’s demise has been circulating for more than a year, co-owner and CEO Bob Schecter told clients on April 8 that the closure will be official at the end of June.

“We regret to inform you that the rumors of the past year are now proving true. After 13 months of failed negotiations with multiple potential purchasers, we have decided that our only option is to cease operations at the end of June 2024,” Schecter wrote in an email to clients.

In the email, Schecter, co-owner with Walter Buist, the firm’s longtime head developer, says the firm “never recovered from the loss of key personnel due to the COVID pandemic.”

Four competitors

Longtime competitors Distinctive Systems and busHive, along with startups TBN Drives and Busie, are working with RBS clients who are transitioning to a new software system.

Distinctive systems

Eric Elliott
Eric Elliott

“We have been working with a lot of RBS users on switching over to Coach Manager and the Tour Booking System,” said Eric Elliott, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Distinctive Systems. “With the news breaking again a couple weeks ago of RBS shutting down, this has increased our marketing outreach and inquiries.  All in all, since the first time the news came out about 14 months or so ago, we have had a very steady stream of assisting companies switch over (to our software).”

Elliott added that these RBS users are expecting fully built, tested, and supported software solutions that are ready to use and built solely for the charter and tour industry. With the availability of imported information, RBS users can quickly gain access to their client, vehicle, driver, and location records in Coach Manager.

“We are very proud that we have led the way in software innovation and development for the past 25-plus years and have introduced the industry’s first driver app, easy to use integrated payroll modules, important integrations with GPS solutions like Saucon and Samsara, online sales tools and so much more,” Elliott said.


Similarly, busHive has been providing charter booking technology to motorcoach operators for over 26 years and has hundreds of operators using its product, said Brian Mann, the firm’s Vice President of Business Development.

“We’ve successfully migrated dozens of companies over from RBS Go Chart in the past 18 months,” said Mann. “busHive offers to upload client, contact, driver and vehicle data. Operators have migrated to us for our 20-plus years of experience and cloud-based platform. The one thing we’ve learned over the years is no two operators are exactly alike.”

As a result, Mann said busHive is designed to be highly flexible and is updated weekly.

“One key feature that has been an industry favorite is our integration with PC Miler,” Mann said. “Other systems use Google, which isn’t designed around a bus profile. This can lead to inaccurate quoting and lost revenue.”


Louis Bookoff, Co-founder/CEO of Busie, says his firm has been hard at work over the past 18 months transitioning former RBS customers to its charter software.

“Busie can easily sync companies’ historical data from RBS into our platform, making the transition process seamless. Our team does all the heavy lifting, letting our customers focus on their business,” Bookoff said. “With our proprietary routing technology that powers Busie, companies can be confident their pricing and charters created in our platform are accurate.” 

He adds the company’s software is routinely evolving based on feedback from customers to ensure it is providing the tools and technology that match the needs of charter businesses.


TBN says it has created a data migration process from RBS to TBN that will seamlessly transfer past and future bookings, contacts, drivers, vehicles and more to its system.

“TBN is fairly unique in this conversation in that we have pioneered a way that we can migrate your data out of RBS into TBN. We’re the only company that does that,” said Chris Riddell, CEO and co-owner of TBN. “And for those who choose not to go with us, they just have to manually enter whatever data they want in the new system.”

The lifecycle of software needs a constant level of attention and investment, Riddell said.

“We continue to invest at a very high level, and we keep hiring more developers. We know that the goal isn’t just to be ahead, the goal is to stay ahead and to get further ahead,” Riddell said.

Riddell says TBN has been migrating RBS companies to its system over the past 18 months.“We are growing at an outstanding rate,” Ridell said. “We’ve got great people involved. We went from one customer in January of 2023 on the operation system to over 100 today.”

RBS urges quick transition

RBS is known for two products: GoChart and GoTour.

GoChart features customer and contract management, schedule and dispatch, accounts receivable, operations reports, and accounting reports, with the option for add-on modules to customize the system and increase security.

GoTour, one of the first browser-based tour management systems available in North America, manages reservations, itineraries, payables and receivables. GoTour also produces management reports and customer documents for group and retail tours. 

RBS is recommending its GoTour clients implement new software immediately because there is a June 30 deadline of access to its server. 

Schnur said the company’s GoChart software will continue to function but won’t get upgrades or support. “We are not sending support invoices for 2024, and preference will be given to companies that paid support for 2023 for questions or problems,” he wrote.

“Some receiving this email have already moved on to other software solutions for their charter management needs. There are a number of choices, but we are not recommending any one in particular. It is unfortunate that we could not find continued support for GoChart,” Schecter wrote.

RBS ‘pushed the envelope’

RBS, short for Relational Bus Systems Inc. launched as a software development house in upstate New York in 1987. It entered the bus and motorcoach industry two years later when it received a contract to develop software for motorcoach operator Oneonta Bus Lines. 

Over the next three years, the company automated every aspect of Oneonta’s business, from charter bookings and scheduling to tour reservations and receivables management. That success led the company to widen distribution of the system.

In fall 1992, the company began offering the system nationwide, and it attended its first UMA EXPO in 1993 in Miami. At one time, more than 500 RBS systems were in use across North America, according to the company’s website. 

Riddell praised RBS for helping scores of operators use software to modernize their operations.

“When you think about the world that existed 25 years ago, RBS really pushed the envelope of technology, bringing in software into the industry to add different functionalities to speed up operations throughout the years,” Riddell said. “They made a real impact on this industry.”

Mann agreed.

“RBS has been a true trailblazer in the industry,” said Mann. “They set the bar early, and without their product, many operators would still be managing their businesses with pen and paper.”

Bookoff credits the RBS team for bringing technology to the charter bus industry when few were building for it, paving the path for innovation. 

“While RBS might be shutting down support, there’s no question that their software and their impact will live on forever,” Bookoff said. “Despite being a competitor, our team has always had immense respect for RBS and have always shared in the same mission of supporting charter bus companies with the best technology to the fullest extent and listening to customers. At Busie, we aim to continue that legacy and honor their efforts and impact.”

Elliott added that Schecter and Buist deserve thanks for their longtime commitment to the industry. 

“Walter and Bob have served our industry for over 30 years and built so many long-standing relationships,” Elliott said. “Our industry is truly special because even your competitors need to be your friends, and seeing Walter at so many shows throughout the years, we have always appreciated our time together. We will miss seeing them at each show and hope the legacy that RBS contributed to, of being fair, honest, and respectful to all in our industry, lives on.”

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