Industry Research

2012 Report Shows Surge In Discount, Intercity Bus Services

Posted on January 9, 2013

CHICAGO — DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development has released its 2012 Year-In-Review report about the motorcoach industry, showing increases in several key bus service niches. The key findings include:

  • Intercity bus service grew by 7.5% between the end of 2011 and 2012 — the highest rate of growth in four years. Conventional bus lines, after declining modestly between 2010 and 2011, expanded by 1.4%, in part due to Greyhound and Peter Pan’s new specialty services.
  • Service by discount city-to-city operators (discount operators) that do not use traditional terminals in many cities, such as BoltBus and Megabus, surged by 30.6%. For the first time, this sector accounts for more than 1,000 daily scheduled operations. BoltBus’ expansion in the Pacific Northwest and Megabus’ expansion in California, Nevada, and Texas have greatly expanded the sector’s visibility on the national travel scene.
  • Conventional and discount operators appear to be benefitting from the federal crackdown of “Chinatown” bus operators, several dozen of which were shut down on May 31, 2012 for noncompliance with certain safety regulations.
  • Discount operators are developing new technologies to inform customers about service issues, such as delays and cancellations. Such innovations also have helped operators find arrival and departure locations that create less neighborhood interference at hub cities than in the past. The debate over the locations of bus stops has been particularly vigorous in Dallas, New York, and Pittsburgh.
  • The intercity bus remains America’s fastest growing form of intercity travel by a comfortable margin. The sector’s 7.5% growth outpaces the 3% expansion of rail service (in seat-miles) and the less than one percent growth being reported by airlines and agencies tracking automobile travel.

To read or download the complete report, please click here: 2012 Year-in-Review of Intercity Bus Service in the United States.

Source: American Bus Association; DePaul University Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development.

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