Tightwad Travelers Fuel Wi-Fi Bus Wars
"I think what the Chinatown operations did in New York and Washington, they came into communities where the customer was and picked up there," Pantuso says. "That's the model you see now, where they're no longer just picking up at terminals."
In New York City, Megabus forsakes the Port Authority Bus Terminal for a curbside stop near the train routes of Penn Station. It helped Megabus increase almost double traffic between October 2007 and October 2008, with Boltbus and carriers like Washington-bound DC2NY and Vamoose following suit. While this strategy failed in Los Angeles, where Megabus ceased service last year, it has proven popular among students, vacationers and even corporate travelers in the Northeast and helped Megabus expand into 28 cities and add 4.5 million passengers a year in three years.
"We work closely with all the city officials and the department of transportation in every city we operate," says Megabus CEO Dale Moser. "We are always looking for some kind of intermodal connectivity, and that's a strategy that comes over from Europe."
Megabus has expanded its fleet of 81-passenger double-decker buses from 16 to more than 110, while a First Group spokeswoman says Greyhound introduced a fleet of 102 new buses in the Northeast this year that have not only wi-fi, but seat belts. Not to be outdone, Greyhound is sprucing up terminals with flat-screen TVs, expanded food offerings and other services. The images of derelict depots and cramped, smelly, decaying coaches is shrinking in the rearview."That stigma's faded a lot quicker than I could have imagined," Schwieterman says. "I would ride Greyhound about once every two years and my students would look at me like I was nuts." -- Reported by Jason Notte in Boston.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV