George M. Sage, Bonanza Bus founder, dies at 74

GEORGE SAGE poses with one of 'Sage's Stages,' in this Peter Pan Bus Lines photo.
GEORGE SAGE poses with one of 'Sage's Stages,' in this Peter Pan Bus Lines photo.

PROVIDENCE – Local businessman and philanthropist George M. Sage, 74, the founder of Bonanza Bus Lines, died unexpectedly Monday in Providence, Bonanza’s parent company reports.

“We at Peter Pan Bus Lines are deeply sadden by the passing of George M. Sage,” said Peter Picknelly, president of the company that acquired Bonanza in 2003, when it bought the Coach USA group. “George was a friend and colleague, mentor, philanthropist and most importantly a devoted husband, father and grandfather.

“The founder of Bonanza Bus Lines, George is the architect of bus transportation, having dominated the motorcoach industry for more than 40 years. George advanced his bus line from a single vehicle transporting apple pickers to and from work, to one of the largest and most well respected bus companies in the Northeast.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sage family at this difficult time.”

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Though Sage had sold Bonanza Bus lines nearly a decade ago, to Coach USA, he had continued to run the local operation, whose motor coaches still bear the legend “Sage’s Stages.”

A memorial wreath was to be placed at Bonanza’s George M. Sage Terminal in Providence, at the George M. Sage mural, the company said. The funeral is planned for this Saturday, Dec. 9, at 11 a.m., at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 191 County Road, Barrington.