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January 27. 2014 7:04PM

Upper Valley Ride expands service with acquisition of Vt.-based The Good Bus

GRANTHAM — Upper Valley Ride expanded earlier this month with the purchase of Vermont-based The Good Bus.

Owner Randy Heller started Upper Valley Ride, based in Grantham, four years ago because of the lack of transportation to and from Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, he said Monday.

“I used to travel a lot for my job and knew there was this need for car service,” Heller said.

Heller was an executive with a Fortune 400 company and decided to become an entrepreneur when his company asked him to move to Los Angeles.

“I said no thank you,” he said.

Since then his car service business has been booming, he said. “We do anything and we go anywhere, but the bulk of our service has been Manchester airport.”

Upper Valley Ride has three cars and eight drivers, but would sometimes sub-contract out jobs to White River Junction-based The Good Bus for larger groups.

The Good Bus has two 24-passenger mini buses, one 15-passenger van and one 12-foot luggage trailer.

The owner of The Good Bus runs a yoga retreat in Plymouth, Vt., and started the bus company to transport people to her retreats, Heller said.

“It really was a situation where she needed to put something together to get them there, and she did and that was fine, but she realized she didn’t want to be in the transportation business,” Heller said.

After working with her for a while, she offered to sell the business to Heller. The sale was finalized Jan. 16, Heller said.

Heller said he plans to continue running The Good Bus under its original name.

“They’ve been doing this for three years so they have quite a following, lots of weddings,” Heller said.

The Good Bus has a big summer business with weddings and yoga retreats, so Heller said he plans to build on tourist opportunities in the area in the winter, such as bus service for groups of skiers and organizing winery and brewery tours.

Upper Valley Ride will continue to offer its five trips to Manchester airport every day, he said, as well as car service to just about anywhere, including Boston-Logan, Manchester, Lebanon and Burlington airports.

mpierce@newstote.com



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