In 1937, when he was only 17 years old, Rue Burnett bought his first truck. From that humble beginning, he went on to own many more trucks. Then, in 1954, he purchased his first school bus, and it was a good thing he did, because it was shortly thereafter that he met his future wife while driving that school bus. Rue went on to buy more school buses, adding more contracts with central Wisconsin schools as time went by. In the mid-1980′s, he began servicing area counties, transporting mentally and physically challenged adults.
In 1989, shortly after his youngest son joined the family business, the first brand new European motorcoach was purchased, and Progressive Travel was born. Throughout all those years, his wife, Mary, was taking care of the business portion of the company. Rue passed away September 3, 1998. Mary continues to have a presence in both companies—Burnett Transit, the school bus and special needs transportation company, and Progressive Travel, the motorcoach company. Joe Burnett now serves as president of both companies. From that first new coach to all of the motorcoaches Progressive Travel owns today, the company philosophy has always been the same: Quality.