[tabi] Re: Fw: [fcb-l] new bus service

  • From: "Easy Talk" <Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2012 05:52:54 -0400

We have read coach to some locations.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Allison and Chip Orange 
  To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Sunday, April 08, 2012 7:14 PM
  Subject: [tabi] Re: Fw: [fcb-l] new bus service

  Thanks Robert for passing this on.

  I'm just curious, does anyone know if we have Red Coach or this new MeggaBus?


    From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On 
Behalf Of Easy Talk
    Sent: Sunday, April 08, 2012 2:13 PM
    To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Subject: [tabi] Fw: [fcb-l] new bus service

    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Easy Talk 
    To: fcb-l@xxxxxxx 
    Sent: Sunday, April 08, 2012 2:11 PM
    Subject: [fcb-l] new bus service

    BRUCE LIPSKY/The Times-Union
    Arnold McDuffie waits to board a Megabus at the Skyway station near the 
Prime Osborn
    Convention Center. The bus was coming from Atlanta and headed to Orlando. 
    for the express bus trips has steadily grown to where Megabus officials say 
    80-seat coaches are 75 to 80 percent full.
    Megabus and Greyhound serve the Jacksonville market.
    Roger Bull
    Dennis Loy's car was waiting back in Orlando, at the end of his bus ride.
    He could have driven that car up to Jacksonville to visit his daughter at 
the University
    of North Florida. Instead, he took the bus.
    And he was about to step on the double-decker Megabus to ride it back.
    "My daughter's the one who told me about it," he said. "It cost me $24 for 
a round
    trip. It would have cost me $60 just in gas to drive."
    Instead of driving, the 58-year-old pool designer does paperwork.
    After decades of decline, intercity bus ridership is on the rise, in large 
part to
    people like Loy who simply choose to ride rather than drive or fly.
    Intercity bus ridership grew 7 percent in 2011 and was the only major 
    passenger transportation that grew significantly, according to a study by 
the Chaddick
    Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University in Chicago.
    The biggest factor is what are called the curbside buses - those that pick 
up passengers
    not at a bus station, but simply at a designated place in town. Ridership 
for those
    rose 30 percent last year.
    which started sending two buses a day through Jacksonville last November
    , is the major player in the new wave of buses that are faster and cheaper 
than those
    of a decade ago. But even Greyhound has gotten into it with its Greyhound 
    And, no, it's not just because of the price of gas.
    "It began with a large number of young people without any particular 
affinity for
    the automobile," said Joe Schwieterman, who directed the DePaul report. 
"They just
    wanted to go from Point A to Point B."
    He said his surveys have shown that up to a third of bus riders chose it 
over flying.
    What really started the turnaround was the Chinatown buses in the 
Northeast, said
    Fred Fravel, a bus specialist from the KFH Group, Maryland-based 
transportation consultants.
    Those buses went from a neighborhood, not a bus station, in one city 
straight to
    a neighborhood in another city.
    "Those buses were discovered by the smarter students," Fravel said, 
"because the
    travel times were similar to a car. And at the same time, they were cheap."
    The problem with buses in the past was that they stopped at each town along 
the way,
    making a bus ride last up to twice as long as driving, he said.
    "Who's going to ride a bus in that circumstance except those who do not 
have a car
    available?" Fravel said.
    But using the Chinatown buses' example, Megabus, Boltbus and others created 
    services. Jacksonville to Orlando is a little more than two hours. They 
added free
    wi-fi and outlets to plug laptops in.
    Schwieterman said his surveys show half the people on Megabus are plugged 
in, twice
    the rate of airline passengers.
    And then there's the cost. Jacksonville to Orlando may be $12 on Megabus, 
but it
    could also be less. There's a limited number of random $1 seats on each 
bus. The
    earlier you book, the better the chance of getting one.
    "This never would have happened so fast were it not for the Internet," 
    said. "Electronic ticketing, the schedules, word spreading on Facebook."
    Still, buses have developed a stigma over the years. As more people got 
cars, the
    middle class which used to ride the bus abandoned it.
    "The poorest group didn't use to travel at all," Schwieterman said. "But 
now that's
    what Greyhound is.
    "And they're still dogged by, I don't know how else to say it, but an 
    clientele," he said. "People have the image of a bus station as a guy 
walking around
    and smelling like wine.
    "And that's reality as much as perception."
    As Megabus, BoltBus and others moved into each market, they've generally 
    bus stations. In Jacksonville, Megabus uses the Skyway Express stop near 
the Prime
    Osborn Convention Center.
    And as they expanded outside the major Northeastern cities, they focused on 
    "Four years ago," Schwieterman said, "Megabus looked like a college 
charter. Now
    it's more diverse."
    Even the traditional giant in the field has gotten into the act. Greyhound 
    expanded into Jacksonville in January. Greyhound has 22 routes a day out of 
its station
    in downtown Jacksonville; six of them are express.
    It has the same $1 random seats.
    Loy said when he first rode the Megabus up to Jacksonville, there were 
maybe 12 people
    on it. Now the buses that roll in from Atlanta and Orlando each day are 
    that seat 80.
    Bryony Chamberlain, the company president, said it's usually 75 to 80 
percent full.
    But everyone hasn't found success. Red Coach
    came into Jacksonville last year
    , with one bus running north and south between Tampa, Orlando, Daytona 
Beach and
    It only averaged about four riders a day and eight months later it was 
gone. It's
    still in 12 other Florida cities and could come back to Jacksonville, a 
    said, but it would probably be for a longer trip, such as to Miami.
    With all the growth in buses across the country, Fravel said there is one 
major drawback
    that few people are noticing.
    When Megabus moves into a market, it takes a large chunk of the riders off 
the buses
    that stop in each town along the way. Then Greyhound adds express, and the 
    buses have even few riders.
    So Greyhound is dropping those routes.
    "Look at the Pittsburgh-to-D.C. route," he said. "First we had Megabus, 
then Greyhound
    Express and all of a sudden we have towns in Western Maryland that don't 
have bus
    "Two months ago, Hagerstown had five buses a day. Now the buses just go by 
the interstate."
    roger.bull@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, (904) 359-4296


    fcb-l mailing list

Other related posts: