PEGASUS TRANSPORTATION TAKES WING IN ORLANDO
By: Lyle Smith
To the ancient Greeks, Pegasus was the legendary divine, winged white horse to the Muses, the ancient inspiration to the arts and creative thinking. For a business that began humbly as one man and one van, then grew into the largest fleets of 61-seat passenger buses in Florida, Pegasus is no doubt the right name and the right mascot.
FERNANDO PEREIRA FOUNDED Pegasus Transportation in 1994 as the single driver of a single van providing chartered transportation to visitors of the Orlando area. What he saw at the time was a van service industry that was “informal” at best. From the beginning, his vision was to create something customers were not getting. He was the first one to take a more formal approach and treat van service professionally. He was the first one to wear a tie, something that all Pegasus drivers continue to do today.
“The professional appearance is important to us,” says Pegasus Vice President, Claudia Menezes. “A professional appearance and professional service.”
LARGEST FLEET IN THE BUSINESS
The Orlando-based operation transports more than 120,000 passengers a year to and from the airports, theme parks, sporting events, cruise ships and more. They operate transportation back and forth to Miami and Fort Lauderdale as well. They also maintain the largest fleet of 61-passenger luxury buses in the business.
Why 61-passenger? Many groups come in numbering about 180 or slightly over. With their specially designed 61-seat vehicles, Pegasus can serve these groups with just three buses rather than charging for additional equipment, fuel, driver and more. It’s just another illustration of how this company, celebrating more than 20 years in business, puts the needs of their clients first.
SMALL THINGS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
Menezes points out some of the things she thinks separate Pegasus from the competition, including the way they operate their phone services. They offer 24-hour service and no telephone trees. Whenever customers and clients call, they always get to speak to a person directly on the phone. “These are some of the small things that make a big difference,” she says.
And what Menezes describes as the small things for Pegasus, may actually be larger things for other companies. Pegasus is consistently adding more buses to their fleet and maintaining their equipment in a way that supports one of their more central missions — safety.
“We don’t wait for things to break to replace them,” Menezes says. “We keep things up- to-date so that we are safe for our customers and our staff.” In fact, Pegasus’ DOT record is excellent.
Additionally, Pegasus is always striving to make their clients’ lives easier. The company invested considerable resources creating and implementing its W.I.N.G.S. web platform over the past two years. W.I.N.G.S. is a technological investment designed to enable simple management of group services from anywhere in the world.
Some of these are the reason Pegasus has become such an industry leader throughout Florida. The company has earned numerous industry citations and was most recently named one of the top ten medium-sized businesses in the region and won the Innovator of the Year Award for the Bright House Regional Business Awards.
We are pleased and excited to be considered for such a prestigious regional business award,” said Pereira. “It is an honor to be listed along with such a fine group of successful companies.”
Just as Pereira chose not to rest on his laurels with a van-sized operation and expand to his first large bus in 2000, Pegasus has embraced expansion through growth and diversification over the years. And it is that diversification they say, that is responsible for the company being able to survive some challenging times.
“We really fight for our customers,” Menezes said. “We don’t just deliver what they ask, we deliver more options and more perspectives.”