Operator Spotlight: Unique Limousine

Today, we unveil our very first Operator Spotlight, talking to Unique Limousine, a company with a rich history and a vibrant vision for the future.
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Within the hustle and bustle of transportation services, there are stories that stand out—tales of perseverance, dedication, and an ongoing commitment to excellence. Today, we shine our spotlight on Unique Limousine, a company with a rich history and a vibrant vision for the future.

Meet Tracy Salinger, President and CEO of Unique Limousine. Tracy took over the family business in 2018, after parents and veteran operators Jim and Josie decided to spend more time with each other and the family. Headquartered in Harrisburg, PA, Unique Limousine has been partnered with Zeelo since 2022 and remains critical to the continued success of our services within the US; supporting the transportation of riders to and from their places of employment within Pennsylvania.

Here, Tracy sheds some light on the history of her family’s business, the impact that transportation has on communities and her vision for the future of Unique Limousine.

Can you share the story/history behind the founding of Unique Limousine and what inspired you to enter the industry?

My dad actually started our company in 1982. He had a towing and trucking  company, and after the fourth daughter was born in 1977, he realized that it may be time to start looking for more women friendly businesses to be in. Unique Limousine was born in 1982, I joined freshly out of eighth grade, and truly grew up in business at my dad’s side. From car washing to bank deposits and cleaning toilets to running the company, I’ve done it all except for the mechanical work. Truly, you don’t want me working on your vehicles. I’ve always been a “Daddy’s girl”, but working with him for over thirty years has truly cemented that relationship.  He retired in 2018 when I took over ownership in full, but we still keep ice cream sandwiches in the kitchen freezer at the office...just for him! I can’t imagine myself doing anything but chauffeured transportation. I have the ability to nurture and care for my people and clients, all the while feeding my need for the crazy business world.

Unique Limousine Under 'New' Ownership - Chauffeur Driven Magazine

How do you see the role of your transportation services impacting the communities you serve, and what values drive your business?

Over the years, we’ve been called a lot of things...life saver, ace in the hole, safety net and so many other great descriptive terms.  It’s truly humbling to know that we are able to help our clients achieve their goals in life and on a daily basis. We are one of the few industries in the world that can actually buy our clients time.  When they ride with us, they can do other things, like work, sleep, relax, talk with their families, watch the dog on spy cam, absolutely anything. Our services provide peace of mind.  

We are a family company, and family values are the biggest drive behind us.  We believe in strong ethics, morals and loving each other and our clients as if they’re our very own family.  When I say something like...”Treat this client like you’re taking Grandma to church on Easter Sunday”....they know exactly what I mean.  Thankfully, the love, commitment to hospitality and those in our Unique family shines like the sun here.

As a female-owned transportation operator, what challenges have you faced in a traditionally male-dominated industry, and how have you overcome them?

Being that I grew up in the transportation world with my dad, I learned very young and quickly that I had to stand for myself, with my own credibility and strength. My personality type is very strong to start with, so I’m in the right place for me. I wasn’t coddled or babied in business, and I’m very thankful for that.  Dad threw me to the wolves at 14 years old, and I came back leading the pack. I never viewed it as male-dominated, I just always knew that it was up to me to take the reins in life, no matter who I was dealing with. The only person who can stop me dead in my tracks, no matter what, is my mom. She’s a strong woman, and raised four strong daughters.  

What was the deciding factor in becoming one of Zeelo’s operator partners in the US?

I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but this far into our relationship, I probably should. I almost deleted the email from Zeelo asking for the RFP. I thought it was spam. One of my team members asked me if I looked at it, and I said no. They said that they googled Zeelo, and that I should. Thankfully, I listened.  At first, I was skeptical, then as we got further into the process, I realized that Zeelo is a real deal.  Working with excellent professionals, knowing there’s always someone on the other end of the phone, and that our comments and concerns are valued made the decision to partner with Zeelo very easy. We feel that we have a partnership, not just a vendor/client relationship. We are on the same team, working toward the same goals every day. It’s a great feeling.

Zeelo emphasizes sustainable and efficient transportation solutions. How does your company align with these values, and what initiatives have you implemented to contribute to a greener future?

Everything we do should be looked at through sustainable and efficient lenses. From little things like recycled TP in the restrooms, to the cleaning products on the vehicles we use every day, and very important is properly maintained vehicles, we want to leave our planet better than we found it. We are looking into newer solutions on how we work every aspect of our operation.  All “paperwork” is done on computers, with very little actual paper.  

Our lights are being changed out in all of our facilities to be more energy efficient. Recycling whatever can be recycled is always part of our plan. Personally, I tend to focus on how we can maintain clean water and use less of it. So many parts of the world don’t have clean water, and it’s a precious resource. It all adds up.

Can you highlight any innovative technologies or strategies your transportation operation employs to enhance the customer experience and stay ahead in the market?

Treating our clients with love and like family is something that always sets us further apart from other companies. We are in the service industry and find that connecting personally with people gives them peace of mind and comfort that so many others simply forget all about. We are current in our technology and some days it’s a lot to keep up with it all. Tech items and services are chosen carefully for the most benefit of our clients.

Diversity and inclusion are essential in fostering a thriving workplace. How does Unique Limousine promote diversity, both within your team and in the services you provide?

I grew up in a neighborhood that we refer to today as the “Neighborhood of United Nations”.  We had kids of all backgrounds all playing together every day. Our parents didn’t put up with anyone being picked on or excluded because they were “different” or “weird”. Any mom in the neighborhood could make a call to our own moms, which would inevitably beat us home. Then we got in trouble again. The good things were also relayed, but we learned young that we can’t judge a book by its cover.  My company is made up of so many different people from all walks of life, and we love sitting around a table when we can, sharing stories and learning about one another. For us, we accept one another as we are. Take time to get to know another and be good to people. It’s truly that simple.

What advice would you give to other aspiring female entrepreneurs looking to enter the transportation industry or start their own businesses?

Be extra ready. Plan more than you think. Have more cash reserves than you think. You can’t be over prepared. Accept that there are things that you don’t know that you don’t know yet, and commit to continual learning. Under promise and over deliver. As women, I believe that we have a better mindset going into any service business. We have strong minds and hearts, so we can take care of people while taking care of business. I have found that it is the magic mix in my world.  

One last thing...cash flow. It’s about the cash flow at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter what fancy reports or consultants say, it’s about the flow of the money. And it needs to be positive.

Can you share any memorable experiences or success stories that highlight the positive impact your services have had on Zeelo riders?

Our first commitment to our passengers is that we will do everything we can to keep them and ourselves safe. That’s a given every day.  We are thankful that we are able to provide our services to help the employees get to and from work every day so that they can provide for their families. We are simply a link in the chain in what helps all of us be successful.

Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations for the future of your business, and how do you plan to stay at the forefront of industry trends and advancements?

We have a number of exciting ideas on our “drawing board” and currently, we are focusing on growing the motorcoach side of our business with charters, tours and fixed routes.  Contract work is always great, as it gives me the ability to provide consistent hours and pay to some of our chauffeurs. We’ve always been a believer of listening to our clientele, along with paying attention to what we feel the future holds.  We pave the way to help our clients achieve their goals, and show them the way to get there safely and comfortably.

Unique Limousine began in 1982 with one pre-owned limousine, and has grown to over 80 vehicles and three Pennsylvania locations today. The company’s headquarters are in Harrisburg with additional locations in York and Lancaster.

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