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Megabus expanding yet again

 
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timecruncher



Age: 67
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 456
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 7:39 pm    Post subject: Megabus expanding yet again Reply with quote

Seems that Megabus is going into the cross-Florida market now, with Miami - Orlando, Miami-Tampa and Orlando-Tampa service.

If you look over what's left of Greyhound's network - and believe me, it is barely a shadow of what it looked like just 20 years ago - Megabus is marching into the old dog's heaviest service areas.

When Megabus came back to Louisville a couple of years ago (still here in Louisville with two Chicago - Indianapolis - Louisville - Nashville - Chattanooga - Atalanta schedules every day), we worked with their representative to establish a bus stop that was convenient to downtown Louisville. He told us at that time that their typical passenger was not a refugee from Greyhound or Amtrak, but primarily those who had driven between the city pairs served.

Just sayin'...
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 905
Location: Queens, NY

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. Sadly that is all a result of the bus deregulation. Whereas years ago, Greyhound and other 'legacy' carrier's, that had franchised and regulated routes 'cross-subsidized' their unprofitable light branch lines, with their heavily profitable main lines. ICC and state regulatory commission's set fares, and minimum frequency of schedules, in exchange for protection from 'cut-rate' predatory competition that only would 'cherry-pick' the lucrative routes.

As a result, yes, consumer's do get lower fares, but are severly limited in available routes. And the fierce competition has forced carrier's to scrimp on the wages they pay their employees, and lower their standards to recruit them as a result.
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timecruncher



Age: 67
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 456
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point. Same can be said about the airline industry as well. It is better for consumers to a point, but not better for the industry as a whole.

I think.

Another way to look at it is that even the legacy carriers were in full bore decline long before Megabus and many of the Chinatown cutthroat outfits came into being.

Even Greyhound long ago realized that local all-stops service off of the interstate grid was no longer sustainable even with good ridership on the main routes.

What they didn't realize - or refused to accept - was that they needed a web presence and needed to get away from seedy terminals with their high fixed costs and occasionally seedy clientele. Furthermore, Greyhound and even what was left of the Trailways network stopped letting the public know when their buses were scheduled by no longer publishing timetables and again - not putting them onto the web as printable documents with effective dates and sample fares. Megabus has done the opposite - giving reserved seating, low fares and street corner convenience to many riders who would not have considered riding Greyhound because of their image.

Again, Megabus claims that its typical rider is not a former Greyhound passenger or even an Amtrak rider (although some certainly are). Their typical rider is someone who drove or flew between the city pairs they are riding. The airlines are fast leaving the under 300-mile markets, and Amtrak is unable to expand due to politics and freight railroad interference.

Time will tell.

timecruncher
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John Roth



Age: 66
Joined: 06 Jul 2013
Posts: 33
Location: Pasadena Md

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Figure this. Two weeks ago on a Sunday I left NYC at about 4;30pm to make the three hour drive south to Baltimore on the turnpike and I95. During that time I counted 24 GHL vehicles heading north (to NYC?) vs five Megabus. That was a surprise! I assumed it would be 50/50 or maybe tilted slightly to favor Mega. Looks like GHL is still the big boy in the northeast.

John
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 905
Location: Queens, NY

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Roth wrote:
Figure this. Two weeks ago on a Sunday I left NYC at about 4;30pm to make the three hour drive south to Baltimore on the turnpike and I95. During that time I counted 24 GHL vehicles heading north (to NYC?) vs five Megabus. That was a surprise! I assumed it would be 50/50 or maybe tilted slightly to favor Mega. Looks like GHL is still the big boy in the northeast.

John


To add to your observation......did you also notice the orange and black 'Bolt' buses?
And the green and white 'Peter Pan' buses?
They are both affiliated with Greyhound.....
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 905
Location: Queens, NY

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

timecruncher wrote:
Good point. Same can be said about the airline industry as well. It is better for consumers to a point, but not better for the industry as a whole.

I think.

Another way to look at it is that even the legacy carriers were in full bore decline long before Megabus and many of the Chinatown cutthroat outfits came into being.

Even Greyhound long ago realized that local all-stops service off of the interstate grid was no longer sustainable even with good ridership on the main routes.

What they didn't realize - or refused to accept - was that they needed a web presence and needed to get away from seedy terminals with their high fixed costs and occasionally seedy clientele. Furthermore, Greyhound and even what was left of the Trailways network stopped letting the public know when their buses were scheduled by no longer publishing timetables and again - not putting them onto the web as printable documents with effective dates and sample fares. Megabus has done the opposite - giving reserved seating, low fares and street corner convenience to many riders who would not have considered riding Greyhound because of their image.

Again, Megabus claims that its typical rider is not a former Greyhound passenger or even an Amtrak rider (although some certainly are). Their typical rider is someone who drove or flew between the city pairs they are riding. The airlines are fast leaving the under 300-mile markets, and Amtrak is unable to expand due to politics and freight railroad interference.

Time will tell.

timecruncher


I will grant you that Megabus has made some good innovation's in the business, and as a result, Greyhound has reacted by matching many of those, including a better internet presence, reserved seating, popular amenities such as free internet and electrical plug-ins on board....

One of my objections of the Megabus business model, was to locate their stops next to someone else's business, like a parasite, for their customer's to use resttoom's and as a shelter, with no compensation to the owner...many times an Amtrak station or other such business. Thank goodness for cities like Boston that forced Megabus off the street corner, and into an adequate terminal for their passenger's.

As for maintaining a 'network off of the interstate grid'....if you look back to the system timetables just prior to deregulation, I think you will be surprised at the vast amount of that still extent...and even after deregulation, there was still plenty of it. But when the cut-rate carrier's came, that is when that network really declined.

Greyhound unfortunately, does get a share of 'seedy traveler's', mainly those poverty stricken, or non-internet savvy, that come from being, in the word's of a former CEO, "The bargain basement of public transportation". This is just a burden of being "For 100 years, America's Bus Line"....
It is unfortunate that the modern cities "safety net" does not provide adequate shelter for the homeless that have no place other than the bus terminal.
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