BUSES & MOTORCOACHES TRAVEL in USA

Bus and motorcoach operators are classified as follows:

• Intercity bus transportation (the largest of which is Greyhound Lines)

• Charter motorcoaches

• Sightseeing bus tours (the largest of which is Gray Line)

According to M.J. Bradley & Associates (www.mjbradley.com), buses and motorcoaches lead every other travel mode in terms of their fuel efficiency, averaging more than 200 passenger miles per gallon.

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Economic Impact

According to recent studies by researchers at The George Washington University and Dunham and Associates (www.dunham.com), one overnight visit by a motorcoach group can yield from $5,000 to more than $13,000 for a destination’s economy. Those dollars are spent on lodging, meals, admissions, fees, shopping, souvenirs, services, and local taxes.

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Intercity Bus Transportation

Greyhound Lines, Inc. (www.greyhound.com), the largest provider of intercity bus transportation, provided the following overview of its operations:

• The Greyhound fleet consists of more than 1,735 active buses.

• Greyhound uses approximately 90 company-operated bus terminals and approximately 850 agency-operated terminals or sales agencies. Including all stops, Greyhound serves nearly 3,800 destinations in North America.

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• Greyhound employs more than 8,400 people nationwide, including more than 2,500 drivers based in 80 locations across the country.

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• Greyhound logs 5.5 billion passenger miles annually, carrying over 17 million people.

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• The following are the busiest terminal cities:

New York, NY

– Los Angeles, CA

– Philadelphia, PA

– Atlantic City, NJ

– Baltimore, MD

– Richmond, VA

– Washington, DC

– Dallas, TX

More than one million people traveled on Greyhound during the 2015 Christmas holiday season.

Recent startups BoltBus (www.boltbus.com) and Megabus (www.megabus.com) appeal to budget-minded, urban-dwelling young adults by providing a hip image, technology (complimentary wi-fi and power outlets at every seat), and cheap fares. These companies hold costs down by providing city-center curbside pickup in lieu of service at bus terminals.

“Living in cities with heavy traffic and limited transportation alternatives beyond cars, 20- and 30-something riders have emerged as the core constituency for this new breed of curbside buses, which are becoming the JetBlue of U.S. highways – fun, cheap and efficient. The strategy seems to be working: while traditional bus companies are still growing, curbside companies are booming.”

Founded in 2008, BoltBus operates routes in the northeast and Pacif ic northwest regions, serving Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Cherry Hill, NJ; Greenbelt, MD; Philadelphia, PA; New York, NY; Newark, NJ; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Vancouver, BC; and Washington, DC. BoltBus is owned by Greyhound Lines. Routes in the northeast are operated in partnership with Peter Pan Bus Lines. Routes on the West Coast are owned and operated by Greyhound without a partner.

Megabus, branded on buses as megabus.com, operates 30 routes throughout the United States and in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Central Canada. Chicago Union Station, New York Port Authority, Philadelphia 30th Street Station, Toronto Coach Terminal, Washington Union Station, and locations in Atlanta, GA; Dallas, TX; and Pittsburgh, PA serve as hubs. The intercity bus service launched in 2006.

Launched in 2010, RedCoach is a luxury liner serving the Florida market between Miami and Tallahassee with routes along the west and east coasts of the state. Free wi-fi and flat-screen TVs are standard on every coach, and First Class offers complimentary snack boxes and roomy seats that recline. Business travelers make up 30% of RedCoach’s ridership.

Motorcoaches

Motorcoach Facts, by the American Bus Association (www.buses.org), provides the following profile of the motorcoach industry:

• The motorcoach industry provides 630 million passenger-trips annually.

• The motorcoach industry’s network of terminals includes more than 3 times the number of airports and intercity rail stations.

• The motorcoach industry is made up of nearly 3,300 mostly small businesses, 80% of which operate fewer than 10 vehicles.

• The total industry fleet of 33,400 vehicles provides charter, tour, sightseeing, airport shuttle, commuter, and scheduled services.

• Motorcoaches are the most fuel-efficient transportation mode in North America when measured in terms of passenger miles per gallon of fuel.

• For 14.4 million rural U.S. residents, motorcoaches are the only available intercity commercial transportation service.

• Motorcoach traveler and tourist demand generates more than $44 billion annually in sales.

There are more than 800 charter motorcoach operators in the U.S. according to the United Motorcoach Association (www.uma.org).

A directory of motorcoach companies, along with website links, is available

online at http://imgcoach.com/charter-bus-company-directory.

Sightseeing Bus Tours

Sightseeing bus tours are available in most metropolitan areas and major tourist destinations of the United States.

Gray Line (www.grayline.com), the dominant operator in the segment, offers tours in the following locations:

Albuquerque, NM Anaheim, CA Anchorage, AK Atlanta, GA Austin, TX Baton Rouge, LA Biloxi, MS

Boston/Cape Cod, MA

Branson/Springfield, MO Buffalo, NY Charleston, SC Chicago, IL Colorado Springs, CO Dallas, TX Denver, CO Fairbanks, AK

Fort Worth, TX Galveston, TX Hilton Head Island, SC Houston, TX Jackson Hole, WY Juneau, AK Kauai, HI Ketchikan, AK Las Vegas, NV Los Angeles, CA Maui, HI Memphis, TN

Minneapolis/Saint Paul, MN Monterey/Carmel, CA Myrtle Beach, SC Nashville, TN New Orleans, LA New York, NY Niagara Falls, NY

Oahu, HI Orlando, FL Phoenix, AZ Portland, OR Providence, RI

Rapid City/Mount Rushmore, SD

San Antonio, TX

San Diego, CA

San Francisco, CA

Savannah, GA

Seattle/Tacoma, WA

Skagway, AK

St. Louis, MO

Tampa Bay Area, FL

The Big Island, HI

Tucson, AZ

Valdez, AL

Washington, DC

American Bus Association, 1100 New York Avenue NW, Suite 1050, Washington, DC 20005. (202) 218-7223. (www.buses.org)

National Association of Motor Coach Operators, P.O. Box 320266, Alexandria, VA 22320. (571) 312-7117. (www.namocoaches.org)

United Motorcoach Association, 113 S. West Street, 4th Floor, Alexandria, VA 22314. (800) 424-8262. (www.uma.org)

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