In the Driver’s Seat Together
About Madison’s Transportation
Owned by husband and wife team A.J. and Tracie Madison, Madison’s Transportation provides school bus services to New Orleans charter schools, private schools, and summer camps. A.J. and Tracie started Madison’s Transportation with a single school bus and one driver—A.J.—in 2011, and they have since grown the fleet to ten buses and a team of ten drivers.
Schools and Summer Camps
Naturally, Madison’s Transportation provides busing services to schools. Because charter schools in New Orleans are run independently, each school (or network) is responsible for its own transportation. This means there is room for a small transportation provider to contract directly with the school, as opposed to subcontracting under a larger company. “Our first school only needed one bus, which was great because that’s exactly what we had,” Tracie explained. “As this school has grown, so have we. We continue to work with them today.” Madison’s also works with private schools in New Orleans, and A.J. and Tracie keep their drivers busy working summer camps.
A Perfect Pair
Prior to founding Madison’s Transportation, A.J. compiled more than ten years of bus driving experience. He first worked with the Regional Transit Authority (RTA), New Orleans’s public transportation agency. After leaving the RTA, A.J. drove for a large school bus company in the New Orleans area. “I knew I wanted to work for myself,” A.J. said. “I had the experience driving, and Tracie had the office experience.” Tracie, who had managed the office of a foundation repair company added, “It was A.J.’s vision, and he worked hard to convince me. I’m so glad he did.”
An Extension of the School
A.J. and Tracie have built a company culture that spreads to their drivers, schools, and the students they serve. First, the rules of each school extend onto the bus. Tracie credits this—setting clear expectations with the students—with curbing behavior issues on the bus before they begin. The Madisons hold monthly meetings, so the drivers are up-to-date with school policies. Drivers are equipped with extra family contacts for each student and make every accommodation for a student in case of an emergency. “We do things differently,” Tracie explained. “We have four kids. We know how parents want their children treated, and we run the business with that in mind.”
From One Bus to Ten (and Beyond)
“When we started Madison’s Transportation, we had nothing,” Tracie remembered. A.J. noted, “We had one bus and an idea. That’s all we needed.” Tracie explained that she spent the first year learning how to run a business. A.J. and Tracie converted their laundry room to a home office, a space they have since outgrown. They spend the summers soliciting new business, engaging with schools, and evaluating their needs for the coming school year. This process has brought them from one bus in 2011 to ten buses and a passenger van today. Tracie refers to this as “smart growth,” and has even turned down business that didn’t feel like a good fit. The Madisons plan to continue this smart growth with the school bus business, and they are considering other options in transportation industry.
To learn more about Madison’s Transportation, visit madisonstransportation.com. To discuss school bus and event transportation, call Tracie at 504-975-3500.← News and Insights