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    Bus routes aim to beat travelers with upgraded and enhanced services

    Jet will provide 14-seater coaches between New York and Washington, DC with luxurious seating for two people, one for each, seat clerk service and UV air filtration.

    jet

    For James Gilmer, 28, who lives in New York City, long-distance trips by bus usually mean the very specifics of going in and out of his hometown of Pittsburgh on vacation.

    When he and his sister take Megabass to Manhattan to visit their New Year’s cousin, it’s a well-known routine and route since childhood. Otherwise, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater artist Gilmer isn’t really a regular bus-rider, except for occasional road tours to cities near local commute and dance companies. did.

    “I have nothing to oppose it,” he said, referring to a leisure trip on a large bus. “But the particular situation of traveling from Pittsburgh to New York is familiar to me, who doesn’t exist anywhere else, in that it feels comfortable on the bus.”

    When it comes to consumer comfort levels, bus trips are often a fuss. In a popular imagination, buses are often a last resort travel option.

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    Given that prejudice, Florencia Cirigliano, Vice President of Marketing at RedCoach, states that it is a luxury service originating in Argentina that has been operating in Florida since 2010. Her company saw the opportunity over 10 years ago. “People here are used to bus trips, but it’s another kind of bus trip,” she said. “When we started, people said,’What are you doing? Americans don’t want a bus.’

    “But many people who don’t get on a regular bus will probably jump out of the car given a bus option like us,” Cirigliano said.

    Indeed, in the United States, someone is always on a bus of all kinds. According to Peter Pantuso, chairman of the American Bus Association, an industry group, about 3,000 large bus companies provided and hired a record 600 million passenger trips in 2019. About 100,000 workers.

    Then Covid was a hit. “Point-to-point [buses] … Overall, it’s probably about 50% in 2019 and is slowly returning, ”he said, referring to the current number of passengers. .. “

    Still, Joseph Schwittermann, a professor of public services at DePaul University’s Faculty of Public Policy and Sustainable Urban Development, said it was an “exciting time” in the industry to serve twice as many US travelers as Amtrack. I called it.

    “For the first time, there are three major national brands: Greyhound, Megabass, and now FlixBus,” he said. (FlixBus USA’s parent company, FlixMobility, acquired Greyhound on October 21, but the brand has not been integrated.)

    “Each of them feels the pressure to keep up with the latest technological conveniences. [such as] “Mobile boarding passes, bus tracker programs, and Megabass also have reserved seats. All three emphasize value. It’s a rival service at an attractive price,” said Schwitterman.

    One of the trends that has gained momentum over the last five years is business class or first class large buses that offer point-to-point service with limited luxury seating. Food and drinks; In some cases, there are also onboard staff. It’s also a competitive price compared to railroads and airlines offered on similar routes, and often offers significant discounts.

    “There is a whole new kind of business class service that attracts tired leaflets to the airport,” says Schwieterman. “The sweet spot is between 125 and 250 miles, probably 300 miles in absolute upwards. Here it’s so short that the bus journey won’t last forever.”

    Branding service as a premium reassures travelers booking buses.

    Joseph Schwitterman

    DePaul University Professor

    One of the obvious candidates is the corridor from New York to Washington. A route about 225 miles long is already offered by airline shuttles, Amtrak, and some discounted motor coach lines, but newcomers Jet will be in Manhattan’s Hudson Yard and DC in November. Launched direct first class service from $ 99 between Metro Centers. How to do it.

    The fare is a route that allows business class tickets to run over $ 250 and provides passengers with a reserved “Hover Seat” motion cancellation seat with 45 degree reclining and high speed streaming Wi-Fi. On-demand attendant service. Access to a large luxury toilet. In favor of both comfort and Covid’s perception, the number of seats has been reduced from the planned 19 to 14. The line spacing is 6 feet. A state-of-the-art UV air filtration system has been installed.

    According to founder and CEO Chad Scaborow, HoverSeat, the first application of existing commercial technology to passenger services, stands out. The active and independent seat suspension reads what is happening under the rider 100 times a second and reacts accordingly.

    “When you feel a bump, you measure the bump and move the seat in the opposite direction to counteract it,” he said, noting that the leg rest and tray table move in sync with the seat. “So you’re just kind of floating for the whole vehicle … see the bus bounce around you.”

    Rethinking intercity bus travel

    A luxury bus operator, Jet offers passengers a unique motion-cancelling “hover seat” on their trip from New York to Washington.

    jet

    Scaborow said he would like to completely rethink intercity travel. “We are trying to eliminate all the problems [and] It creates a true first class experience from the background to the destination, but at a very reasonable price. “

    Jet offers twice-daily direct flights between New York and Washington between Friday and Sunday. Scaborow hopes to depart daily in the spring, up to four flights a day, and is considering other point-to-point direct flights in the two metropolitan areas.

    Other large bus routes have provided luxury direct service for many years.

    C & J Bus Lines has recently increased the frequency of existing services between the three cities of New York and New England. Buses to Portsmouth and Seabrook, New Hampshire, and Tuxbury, Massachusetts feature first-class double or single seats, power outlets, Wi-Fi, and a self-service snack galley.

    As part of that, RedCoach has transported more than 25 million business and leisure travel passengers on existing Florida routes over the past decade, but expanded to Texas on October 15 to Austin, Dallas and Houston. Connected (stops at Waco and College Station). ) A fleet of 27-seat first-class or 38-seat business-class motor coaches. Maximum one-way fares on Texas routes range from $ 60 to $ 120.

    “When people try our seats and experience comfort, Wi-Fi [and] Our convenience [drop-off] Compared to flying through TSA, the place is a bit crazy. ” In addition, unlike airlines, RedCoach does not charge for seat allocation or baggage (two and allowed to bring in) and offers light meals on board on some routes.

    The Covid-19 pandemic could have hit many shipping companies since March 2020, but RedCoach never shuts down low-density coaches and has a small number of seats. She said that the actual in-flight social distance was the selling point. Now, rising gas prices make this route even better for many Texas and Florida people who may drive themselves.

    “Including all wear, mileage, and the cost of filling the tank, [driving] “We are luxurious yet affordable and we want to make this concept available to everyone,” says Cirigliano.

    Change the way passengers think

    James Gilmer, an artist at the Alvin Ailey Dance Company in New York, said:

    San Francisco Chronicle / Hurst Newspaper by Getty Images | Hurst Newspaper | Getty Images

    Schwieterman of DePaul University estimates that 12 large buses have appeared in the game. “Most of the premium brands are special offers from mainstream carriers,” he said.

    For example, Vamoose, which operates in the New York-Washington Corridor, currently offers up to four Vamoose Gold departures a day, with 34 wide leather seats (56 in standard coach class), and more. Large foot space, reading lights, power in the seats and bottled water. Other lines offering premium products include BestBus, which competes with Vamoose. Dartmouth, another New York-New England operator. Vonlone from Texas and Oklahoma.

    “Branding services as a premium reassure travelers booking buses,” says Schwieterman. “If done correctly, it’s a game changer, and these business class operators will do the easier job of acquiring reluctant customers.”

    Bus routes aim to beat travelers with upgraded and enhanced services

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    The post Bus routes aim to beat travelers with upgraded and enhanced services appeared first on Eminetra.

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