Michael Tornabe came to Logan Bus Co. in 2003 with deep experience as an entrepreneur, but not exactly in the school bus business. He was previously a construction business owner and an inventor, holding several patents.
At Ozone Park, New York-based Logan Bus, Tornabe put in long hours and learned all aspects of school transportation while working to develop the business. When he joined the company, Logan Bus had a fleet of 700 buses. Fifteen years later, Logan Bus Co. & Affiliates has grown to 2,550 buses, transporting some 55,000 students daily. The company is now ranked No. 6 on School Bus Fleet’s 2018 Top 40 Contractors list, which is based on fleet size.
Beyond growing the business, Tornabe has made it a priority to build relationships with staff. The president and chief operating officer learns drivers’ names and bus numbers, and he can often be found in the bus yard or in the shop talking with staff.
The Logan Bus leader is known for going beyond what contracts require, donating buses for fundraisers, for example, or finding ways to accommodate students’ changing needs.
“He does what he does for the sake of the kids,” said Thomas Volpe, director of transportation for Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District in North Merrick, New York.
Tornabe has also gone out of his way to support various charities and community organizations with busing and donations. That has included the Queens Boys & Girls Club, the Navy SEAL Foundation, the Wounded Warrior Project, and police and fire departments. The company has also provided vehicles to help out in times of emergency, such as delivering food and transporting affected residents after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in 2012.
For his dedication to safe student transportation, his charitable efforts, and his achievements in growing his business, SBF named Michael Tornabe its 2018 Contractor of the Year. SBF Vice President Emeritus Frank Di Giacomo presented the award at the National School Transportation Association’s annual meeting in Philadelphia on July 24.
A profile of Tornabe and Logan Bus Co. will appear in SBF’s September issue.