About us

OUR PROUD HISTORY

 

Highway Coach & Bus Division

FRANKLIN COACH LINES’ HISTORY

FRANKLIN Coach Lines Limited is a charter bus company providing transportation from South Central Ontario to destinations across North America.


The guiding principles of this family-owned-and-operated business, at its time of origin in 1951, were honesty, reliability, excellence and personalized service.  Founded by current owner, Craig Smith’s parents, Franklin and Doris Smith, the company originated as a line run, operating between Marmora and Belleville, delivering parcels and transporting the occasional passenger.  The appellation “FRANKLIN” was chosen because “Smith” was simply too common a name, and was already in use by other transportation-oriented businesses.  Times were tough and money was scarce, but the combination of Franklin’s hard work and commitment, and Doris’ nursing salary of $33.00 a week, combined with her prayers and perseverance, helped them survive the hardest periods, and gradually, their situation improved!


The one-bus fleet grew to encompass several school buses and, after discussing their plan with Mr. DeNure Sr. of DeNure Tours in Lindsay, they decided to launch the “tour” component of the business by organizing and advertising an East Coast tour. 
Subsequent to the success of this first venture, a Western Canada tour followed and then a tour to Alaska, which proved to be a challenging destination due to the potholed roads and the long days of travel.


Tours to Mexico ensued as the company continued to evolve, and proved to be much easier for the driver, passengers and equipment!


Over the years, benefitting from the dedication, hard work and commitment of its founders, FRANKLIN Coach Lines and Tours continued to demonstrate the original attributes of honesty, reliability, excellence and personalized service.  The name “FRANKLIN” became synonymous with quality in terms of both service and equipment.  Tour destinations increased to include Arizona, California, Florida, Gaspe, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the Maritimes, New England, Newfoundland and Western Canada and the U.S., to name but a few!

FRANKLIN COACH LINES AND TOURS TODAY

The current “Franklin Smith family” owners are Craig and June Smith.  Craig grew up in the bus industry, and has a lifetime’s worth of experience and knowledge in the domain of motor coach transportation.  He is capable of quickly turning his hand to address any problem area with the expertise of a master craftsman and the acuity of a shrewd entrepreneur.  Combine these qualities with an affable personality and integrity, and we have the attributes of a well-rounded and approachable businessman.


For June, the highway coach and tour industry follows a 30 year teaching career.  Her official title is “Office Manager”, and she oversees the operation of the “tour” side of the business.  She also addresses the financial, the communication and the information components of the organization.  In addition, she takes an active role in escorting tours, as that enables her to meet new customers, to mingle with familiar faces, to broaden her knowledge base and skills, and to offer the “personal touch” for which FRANKLIN is known!


The FRANKLIN drivers are genteel, knowledgeable and experienced, and can always be relied upon to “go the extra mile” in terms of service, assistance and accommodation!
The FRANKLIN Head Office is located at 305 Bell Boulevard in Belleville.  This is an optimal location, situated on one of the city’s main arteries and with close proximity to 401.  This site offers a spacious, well-supervised and well-illuminated parking area, in which our customers are invited to leave their vehicles, free of charge, while travelling with us.


The FRANKLIN Tours’ office staff, Monica Reid and Carol Reynolds, works unceasingly in pursuit of their goal to offer customer-significant destinations that are cost-efficient and of interest to the consumer.  These ladies are friendly, professional, knowledgeable and thrive on providing excellent service.  As a further area of competence, they are also proficient and experienced in organizing customized tours for any size of group.


The FRANKLIN organization invites you to travel with us, and to call us for your group transportation needs.  Our goal is to offer SUPERIOR SERVICE at an OPTIMAL PRICE!  Why not “EXPERIENCE THE ROAD TO EXCELLENCE” with FRANKLIN!?

 

    Guiding Principles for Our Operation

  • Mission Statement:

    • Our goal is to offer excellence in the domain of group transportation, via the provision of superior equipment, exemplary drivers and the support of dedicated office and maintenance staff.

    Customer Service:

    • We endeavour to offer our clients a service based upon personalized attention, accommodation, reliability and integrity.  Our drivers and staff are always prepared to “go the extra mile” in an effort to enhance customer satisfaction.

    Safety:

    • FRANKLIN Coach Lines is vigilant of the safety of all its staff members.  Drivers, as well as office and maintenance staff, are encouraged and reminded to practise sound safety strategies in conducting their daily routines.

    Maintenance:

    • Our regular and comprehensive maintenance program minimizes the likelihood of equipment malfunction, and contributes significantly to passenger and driver safety and well-being.  Although the possibility of breakdown cannot be completely eradicated, we endeavour to reduce the probability and frequency of its occurrence.

    Training:

    • All areas of our staff execute their respective duties with confidence, competence, courtesy and care.  In order for our employees to meet this high standard of performance, they are given opportunities to increase their knowledge base and upgrade their skills through a variety of training formats.

    Cleaning:

    • Over the years, the name FRANKLIN has been synonymous with well-maintained equipment, in terms of both mechanical fitness and cleanliness.  Our clients deserve to travel in a spotless vehicle that gleams on the outside, and that is equally inviting and hygienic inside, as well.  Our garage staff takes pride in the quality of their efforts in preparing each vehicle for the next trip!

    Drug and Alcohol Testing:

    • Our Highway Coach Drivers are all part of a drug and alcohol testing program in which they are tested on a random sampling basis, without notice.  They understand the absolute necessity of “being at the top of their game” at all times in terms of their driving competence!