Sometime in the early 1950s, Hobe Thompson, a local sheep farmer in Philipsburg, PA, had a new idea. He decided to purchase two school buses to provide all students in the area transportation to and from school. Back then, there were far fewer students and only one school in North Philipsburg. He and his wife, Vera, proudly provided the service for several years.
Hobe and Vera had a daughter, Shirley Thompson, who married Ed Long. In 1966, Ed and Shirley purchased Hobe and Vera’s school buses and decided to make a real business out of the operation. Long Motor Buses Inc. became an official corporation that year.
Ed ran the business while Shirley diligently worked in the office to manage the employees and finances. They ran Long Motor Buses out of a garage in North Philipsburg (which still stands in all its bright-blue glory). School buses were provided for the West Branch area, and mechanics were hired to work on fleet and customer vehicles.
In 1995, Shirley and Ed began supplying school buses for the State College area after acquiring a small plot of land. Shortly after, they found a need for a little more land in State College and purchased the current garage location at 129 Hawbaker Industrial Drive.
Ed and Shirley remained committed to the business and worked together until Shirley passed away in the year 2000. Come 2001, Long Motor Buses moved out of the North Philipsburg garage to our current location at 721 Troy Hawk Run Highway. Ed and his son, Ted, worked together to run the business alongside several committed office employees, drivers, and mechanics that came along from the old garage.
Long Motor Buses expanded their garage work for customers and began offering charter service while providing service to West Branch, Philipsburg, and State College. A team of great employees was formed, which helped the business immensely during its expansion.
Ed passed away in the year 2007 and left Ted to run the company. The age of the “party bus” came to be and local charter trips were expanded for groups. Ted became known for his many charitable donations throughout the community and used the business to help others as much as he could.
Long Motor Buses hit hard times in 2018 when Ted was unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer. When he passed in December of 2018, his son, Aaron, took over as president of the company and Ted’s wife, Esther, became owner. With the help of a great team, Aaron and Esther see a path of healthy longevity for the company.
Over the years, Long Motor Buses has been through some big changes, but we have always remained a family owned and operated company; committed to providing for our communities and employees. We look forward to a future of continued service and new ideas. We are more than just a school bus company.