Operations

Learning From The Failures Of Chinatown Buses

Posted on June 13, 2012

NEW YORK — FastCompany writer Neal Ungerleider, in his article “Business Lessons From Chinatown Buses” says that “the era of Chinatown buses came to an end on Thursday, May 29, when federal authorities shuttered 26 of the bus firms.” He says their fate is “an example of an ingenious business model failing to adapt to a changing market.”

The first Chinatown buses offered cheap transportation between New York, Philadelphia and Boston for the Chinese immigrant community, whose members commuted between the major cities for work. But like most things, customers got what they paid for. Issues such as mechanical breakdowns, outdated equipment, safety issues and unlicensed drivers repeatedly popped up.

Ungerleider writes: “In the end, Chinatown buses were victims of an inability to adapt to a shifting business environment…Perpetual price-cutting, an unwillingness to submit to expensive (and necessary) inspection and safety standards, and unfamiliarity with American lobbying did them in.”

On the other hand, companies such as BoltBus and MegaBus used key aspects of the Chinatown business model, such as Internet ticketing, curbside pickup and discount prices, and combined them with modern enhancements such as onboard Wi-Fi and well-maintained, newer-model equipment, to achieve success.

Click here to read the full article.

Michael Campos, LCT associate editor

View comments or post a comment on this story. (1 Comment)

More News

Company Accused Of Ditching Couples At The Altar

One client says once the deposits were collected, the Cleveland-based business stopped responding to their calls and emails.

Uber Drivers Complain About The Silliest Things

TNC Travesties Of The Week: Some independent contractors just don't have what it takes to be chauffeurs.

Limo Caddy Can Upgrade A Back Seat To First Class

LCT WEB-X-CLUSIVE: Going the extra mile for customers is made easy with PLATROS’ patent-pending seatback pocket device.

Why You Need A Social Customer Service Strategy

Whether you like it or not, people are talking about your business on social media.

Treat Your Employees Right For Maximum ROI

There’s no better way to show your appreciation than giving them what they need to do their job. 

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (1)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blogs

See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - December 2016 $12.95 GLOBAL/INTERNATIONAL ISSUE COVER STORY: * The Coolest Operators on the Planet * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close