Announcing the New Go Chargers North County Express Coach Service

Nov 09: New bus service from North County to Chargers games

San Diego Chargers fans residing in North County will continue to have transportation to Chargers home games thanks to SEAT Planners Incorporated and the Chargers.

"With steep budget cuts affecting all public transit operators and NCTD, we cannot afford to neglect customers using our regular daily bus service," said Bob Campbell, NCTD Chairman of the Board of Directors. "Fortunately, we were able to partner with the Chargers and SEAT Planners Incorporated to keep buses rolling to the games."

Football fans residing in Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas and Escondido will be able to board local charter buses arranged by SEAT Planners at the same locations used by NCTD. The new service will use buses with reclining seats and other comfortable amenities well-suited for highway travel.

"When we heard about the budget cuts at NCTD, we turned to SEAT Planners to organize the local charter bus companies into a cohesive plan that worked as well as the NCTD service," said Jim Steeg, Chief Operating Officer for the Chargers. The departure schedule will vary with each game. For schedule information, visit chargers.com, the NCTD website at GoNCTD.com, or call 619-921-5011.

Tickets are $25.00 round trip and must be purchased online in advance at Ticket Derby.

Buses will depart from the following locations:

Coastal Corridor

Oceanside Transit Center Plaza Camino Real bus stop La Costa Park and Ride Birmingham Park and Ride

Inland Corridor

Escondido Transit Center Felicita Park and Ride Del Lago Park and Ride

"Spiraling costs and reduced subsidies to public transit systems nationwide mean private bus operators must now handle events that used to be taxpayer subsidized," said Jim Seal of the California Bus Association (CBA). "The CBA helps localities find new ways to provide services they can no longer afford to handle."

SEAT Planners Incorporated was founded in San Diego in 1988 and operates convention and special event transportation systems throughout North America. They are known for their operation of the traffic plan and transportation system for the Comic-Con International event held every July in Downtown San Diego.

NCTD moves more than 12 million passengers annually by providing public transportation for North San Diego County. Its family of transit services currently includes the BREEZE bus system, the COASTER commuter rail service, LIFT paratransit and the SPRINTER light rail. It is NCTD's mission to deliver safe, convenient, reliable and user-friendly public transportation services.

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SEAT PLANNERS LOVES COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

April 09: Check out our Adventure Days and see how much we love doing well by doing good.

SEAT PLANNERS INCORPORATED PROVIDES TRANSPORTATION FOR 55,000 COMIC CON FANS

Dec 2008: Comic Con International is one of San Diego’s most attended events. Thousands of fantasy fans from around the globe descend upon the picturesque city – and once they arrive, SEAT Planners steps in to coordinate and manage flawless transportation.

During five days this past summer, SEAT moved 55,386 science fiction lovers, comic book collectors and superhero enthusiasts. This feat took 153 buses with 1,881 bus hours, not to mention an enormous amount of pre-event planning. Preparation for Comic Con begins six months before the event every year.

To launch the most efficient ground transportation program possible, SEAT met with the San Diego Convention Center regularly before the event, as well as coordinated with Comic Con staff, San Diego Police, ACE Parking and many others to guarantee fans had a good time and experienced hassle-free movement to and from the Convention Center.

The hassle-free aspects included placing helpful signage at all major traffic arrival streets days before the Con began, giving commuters and residents advance warning and raising awareness about better routes and potential delays. SEAT’s preparations also included use of an extensive traffic plan, providing staff at each entrance of the Center to guide guests and report challenges before they became problems.

“The first year we transported Comic Con fans was 1991 and it was much less complicated,” says Steve Weathers, SEAT’s president. “We moved a mere 16,607 people then. This year, we saw an increase from that original number of about 330 percent. Those kind of numbers require every step of the process to run seamlessly into the next.”

The number of transported fans is not the only element that has changed in the last 17 years. When Comic Con moved into the San Diego Convention Center, the surrounding area was made up of warehouses and empty lots. Redevelopment has changed that and now 30 police traffic controllers are required to manage intersections near the Center. SEAT now acts as the lead agency to bring together involved entities such as MTS San Diego Trolley, CalTrans, Gaslamp Quarter Association and the City of San Diego. SEAT oversaw the flow of cars and people to avoid gridlock that would detract from the success of the convention as well as inconvenience downtown residents and businesses.

SEAT provided bus operation two hours before exhibits opened and programs began and run the buses until 3 a.m. the next morning. Buses were regularly switched out for refueling and cleaning and bus drivers were relieved to keep shifts to a reasonable length of time. Buses served 10,000 parking spaces, all of downtown San Diego and 22 hotels. Wheelchair lift-equipped vehicles were available according to need, as well.

“We look forward to transporting Comic Con attendees all year because we always have such a good time with them,” says Pat Weathers, vice president of SEAT Planners. “Next year is the 40th Comic Con and transportation arrangements have already begun so that our guests enjoy even better service next time they’re in town.” [back to top]

SEAT PLANNERS INCORPORATED OF SAN DIEGO
CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY

Oct 2008: The party is in full swing at SEAT Planners Incorporated as the San Diego-based ground transportation management experts are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. Launched in 1988 in the back bedroom of Steve and Pat Weathers’ San Diego home, SEAT Planners is now a nationally-renown transportation company. Over the past two decades this dynamic company has moved 10 million people to and from a multitude of venues – whether to attend a city wide convention, participate in a corporate meeting or take in a special event.

After a friend suggested the concept for SEAT Planners, Steve and Pat took it from there. With Steve’s bus company experience coupled with Pat’s extensive hotel background, the husband-and-wife team made the perfect combination. Focused on lessons learned from years in the hospitality industry, Steve and Pat set out to create a business with service as its number-one priority.

SEAT’s philosophy of exceptional customer service and reliability is reflected in flawless, customized transportation solutions. SEAT Planners does it all – from route design to lobby signage to subcontracting with local drivers and even post-event analysis. The company handles every single aspect of group transportation professionally and efficiently, guaranteeing clients first-class treatment from the moment they leave their hotel.

Since landing its first out-of-town job in Orlando in 1991, SEAT Planners has grown to handle 6,000 bus orders a year and has worked in 46 different cities across North America. The company managed participant transportation for the 1996 Republican Convention as well as the 2004 Olympic games torch relays. Today only 20 percent of SEAT’s business is based in San Diego, a number that speaks to their success on a cross-continent scale.

“We began as a family business,” says Pat Weathers, Vice President of SEAT Planners. “We still are a family company but now our family has grown to include our incredible team members as well as part-time staff literally all over North America. Our network of talented employees allows us to handle events anywhere, any time.”

The Weathers credit SEAT’s success to energetic employees who rate high in integrity and enjoy an unblemished reputation with clients, suppliers and even competitors. SEAT celebrates its phenomenal staff and contract employees through a series of company-wide activities including a “bus drivers’ ball” for local drivers, thrown annually since 1990.

The longevity of key staff is a testament to the family-like atmosphere at SEAT, while adding a depth of knowledge and experience that produces a professional, efficient team. Steve and Pat’s daughter, Veronica Kenny, hired in 1991, is now SEAT’s Executive Vice President. The first part-time employee hired in 1990, Jodie Keller, is now the company’s Director of Sales. And with 10-plus years with SEAT each, Director of Operations Lesley Lerps and Director of Purchasing and Standards Denise Glasgow bring a strong sense of leadership and management expertise.

“The last 20 years have really flown by,” says Steve Weathers, President. “I often joke that I must have bus fumes in my blood because working every day with my wife and others who sincerely care about punctual, reliable transportation is such a pleasure. We’re happy to do what we do and hope to continue for many, many years to come.”[back to top]