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Trouble At Megabus in the East

 
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Dieseljim
Deceased



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 548
Location: Perry, NY

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:13 pm    Post subject: Trouble At Megabus in the East Reply with quote

On the Transportation Guild Yahoo group, I got wind of Megabus having to drop their Hartford, CT stop between Boston and New York due to getting the pants beaten off them by Bolt Bus and other competition in the east. Not only that, but the VanHool bus being used is taking more of a beating than it was engineered for. Could it be that European built and designed buses used here in the states are NOT at all suited for the rigors of regular line service as are the MCIs and Prevosts? The VanHools and SETRAs seem to be okay for charter and tour service, but regular line service, I don't know about that.
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RailBus63
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 1063

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't read too much into this - Megabus adds and drops stops on a regular basis as business conditions warrant. You have probably noticed in your own backyard, where Megabus reduced its Rochester-area stop to one trip per day in each direction.
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metrolinecoach111




Joined: 25 Dec 2008
Posts: 18
Location: Atlantic City, NJ

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Megabus is in fairly good shape - however they have only realized recently that their methods of operation were not yielding the profitability they projected, in part because of their interlining with Eastern (which ended this month upon the sale back to their former owners) and because of the way they operated. If you notice the stark difference between them and Bolt, the true difference is that Bolt makes their money where the demand is and build into it, whereas Mega tries to undercut themselves by lowering their fares but supplying service into the demand.

For evidence just look at how Mega has re-shaped their NE schedules now as compared to Bolt.
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shortlineMCI



Age: 53
Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way...Shortline and Community coach recieved a handful of buses from Eastern. Why the heck not. They are brand new as far as buses goes.
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timecruncher



Age: 71
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 456
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Van Hools are up to the task as much as anything MCI or Prevost is offering today. They have a smaller chunk of the market in North America, so they are priced more agressively. Even the Setra coach is probably suitable for line-haul service nowadays, its just that they don't have sufficient manufacturing capacity to supply the market.

The Van Hools being used here in the 'states are identical to the ones in far heavier service overseas than we have here on our east coast.

In most cases, the ability of a highway coach to withstand the rigors of line-haul service is more a function of maintenance and inspection standards, and the ability to get parts in a timely manner. Parts availability could be an issue for both the Van Hool and the Setra, at least for the components that are not supplied by North American vendors.

Note that I didn't say "made in America" -- many of the parts used in domestic coaches are produced elsewhere!



New Mexico DOT Van Hool cruiser at the transit center in downtown Albuquerque in April 2007. Nice-looking coach, even with the bare-bones color scheme...

timecruncher
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JA




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 30
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have to agree with timecruncher. I've seen both Van Hool T945s and Setra S217s in line haul service climbing up and down hills. They did an excellent job. The buses that did the worst was ex-Olympia Neoplans. They could not take the beating.

As far as Megabus is concerned, yield management is critical. I am looking at a batch of new line haul services right now and in reviewing the Megabus scheme, it is designed similarly to the airlines to keep buses full. The double decker routes are set up to starve the competition of passengers with increased allotments of $1 fares. It is not a bad strategy...the Chinese have increased their use of used buses. They used to constantly trade up for new buses.

I have decided to use split pricing on my runs. That is, an allotment of "promotional fares" and then the standard line fares. In that manner, buses do not have to be full to make money. The Megabus model works better on the double deckers than the single deckers. BoltBus's yield management is better in my opinion.
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