About Us

Thunderstar Stages was founded in 1997 by three people — a driver, a bookkeeper and a dispatcher — who were then working for a local charter bus service.


Their dream was to operate a service that would take passengers from Petaluma and Santa Rosa to Reno, Nevada, on weekends. They asked family and friends to finance the purchase of their first two 45-foot buses. I — Anne Picchi — was one of those investors. I gradually got more and more involved in the business, learning about both its operations and its financial side.


In April 2004, we incorporated Thunderstar Stages and I became president and CEO. One of the original partners left the firm and the two others, a husband and wife, remained for about three years, when I bought them out. Thus in 2007, I went from knowing merely where the gas and brake pedals were to running not just the financial end of the business, but being “chief cook and bottle washer.” I washed and deep-cleaned the buses inside and out, dumped toilets and learned all about Detroit Engines and Allison B500 Transmissions, bus electronics and air conditioning systems — just to mention a few of my new talents.

I made a lot of friends along the way, many of them past and present employees. 

Many thanks to those in the bus industry who have given me great advice and helped in so many ways to help our company take its place in an industry I am proud to be a part of. Some 600,000 Americans ride buses each year to enjoy local trips and visit national parks and other great sites all over our country, while their drivers work hard to keep everyone safe in all kinds of weather and in the face of more types of unexpected challenges than you can possibly imagine.

Those who work with and operate charter buses are special people. They give of themselves and are always there when the community needs them. Be it fires, floods or disasters of any kind, these men and women will jump in their buses without a second thought to move people to safety or get children out of summer camps to escape fires. They not only help their own communities, but will happily drive great distances to respond to a need.


In smaller ways Thunderstar contributes to our local community, for example by providing buses to the 20/30 Club so kids can go fishing, transporting special-needs children to the Pumpkin Patch, and running shuttles for the Human Race, Graton Fire Department Pancake Breakfast fund raiser, and the Fungi Fest food program.

From providing the Best Napa Wine Tours to Casino Transportation and more

Our vans accommodate up to 8 guests, and our shuttle buses accommodate up to 28 guests.

Locally woman-owned and family-operated charter bus service for over 15 years in beautiful Sonoma County.

Building a reputation for fantastic personal service and clean equipment. Member of the United Motor Coach Association. Committed to providing safe, clean equipment with reliable service in compliance with all applicable government orders and regulations.

What are you waiting for?