Luxury Bus Travel No Longer An Oxymoron

Travelers planning a trip from one city to another typically stick to planes, trains and automobiles, though not in that order.

But increasingly, buses are edging their way back onto that list.

An article in the Miami Herald captured bus travel’s image problem when it quoted a flight attendant’s surprised admission: “I never thought I’d say this, but the bus is a really nice option.” (1) Intercity bus travel conjures images of uncomfortable seats, bumpy roads and a motley crew of fellow passengers, but bus companies have worked hard to change that impression in recent years.

Luxury bus services tackle the problem from the angle of comfort. Miami-based RedCoach offers large leather seats, on-board movies and free Wi-Fi on its trips between 11 Florida cities. The Herald reported that RedCoach, like other bus companies, has found favor with college students and business travelers, who together make up three-fourths of its total passengers. Other companies have been exploring demand for luxury bus service elsewhere in the country, including LimoLiner between New York City and Boston and LuxBus between Las Vegas and Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Diego.

On the other end of the spectrum, some companies have worked to make economy bus travel a safe and attractive option. British-based Megabus, which arrived in the United States in 2008, quickly gave rise to a Greyhound-owned competitor in BoltBus; both offer tiered pricing with at least one ticket per trip at a $1 fare, plus booking fees. Most passengers pay between $10 and $30. To keep costs down, both companies pick up curbside. Yet even on these carriers, customers typically have access to power outlets and Wi-Fi.

Both luxury and economy bus travel offer other advantages besides connectivity. The primary one is also perhaps the most obvious: flexibility. Buses go where you want them to go. Unlike rail systems, if a certain bus route sees a significant decrease in passenger traffic while travelers clamor for service to a new destination, buses can be rerouted to respond to demand.

Buses use existing roads and infrastructure. This also facilitates long- and short-term rerouting. And, while precise comparisons are complicated, buses have the overall edge in fuel efficiency. A comparison by the International Council on Clean Transportation last year put fuel economy at a little over 40 passenger miles per gallon for a plane and at around 152 passenger miles per gallon for an intercity bus. Trains came in at about 51 passenger miles per gallon, slightly better than a plane but slightly worse than a car. (2)

It typically does not matter how much your luggage weighs when you take the bus. The legroom ranges from adequate to spacious, depending on the type of bus you select. And passengers don’t need to run the elaborate security gauntlet we have developed for air travel. You can bring as large a water bottle as you care to carry, and not worry about whether you remembered to take your craft scissors or your full-sized shampoo bottle out before putting your bag in the luggage compartment.

Buses are also good for taxpayers. The capital outlay is minimal and none of it is coming from the government. Even if it were, the inherent flexibility in running a fleet of buses would make it a much wiser investment than the trendy rail projects so popular with federal and local politicians.

It has been 40 years since I took an intercity bus myself. They were okay back then, though they lacked many of the improvements instituted in the past decade. The remaining problem that most people agree about is the state of bus terminals in most cities. New York City’s Port Authority Terminal at 42nd Street has such a poor reputation that comedian John Oliver lampooned the agency’s concern over unauthorized use of its image on a dinner plate.

Bus terminals could certainly be improved, and not only in New York. If lawmakers are interested in supporting transit options, this could be a much more logical place to focus spending, rather than on inflexible and often redundant trains and tracks. Or, if local and state regulators allow it, existing terminals could even be replaced by new alternatives. For instance, strip malls, of which there are probably more already in place than the market will be able to support in the era of online shopping, could be repurposed into open air bus terminals. Most already have ample parking.

The rise in popularity of long-distance buses is a good example of how the private market, left to its own devices, can fill a need effectively. Moreover, the market can do so without government intervention or tying up public capital for years to support a project that may no longer make sense, even by the time it’s completed.

Sources:

1) Miami Herald, “Luxury buses scooping up more passengers”

2) The International Council on Clean Transportation, “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Counting Carbon”

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Larry_M._Elkin/669166

Linear Bus Stops

Buses trying to exit bus bays are often unable to do so because motorists are unwilling to give way to them, thereby causing unnecessary delays and adding journey time for most passengers. To address the problem, LTA came up with an innovative solution: remove the bus bays altogether.

As announced in their press release dated 12 February 2007, they are embarking on a trial to convert existing bus bays along Jalan Eunos to bay-less bus stops, also known as “linear bus stops”, to investigate if such bay-less bus stops are effective in reducing delays at bus stops.

Before you read further, it’s best to read the full press release available in my blog (url attached).

My take on this linear bus stop saga? It’s a mere publicity stunt. Instead of focusing on lane widening, their PR team choose to focus on linear bus stops trial. Although they are essentially the same, the change in reporting focus creates a false impression that LTA is planning Singapore’s road with the public transport as utmost priority.

If you read between the lines, you’ll realised that the press release should really read like this:

LTA to widen Jalan Eunos (mock)

Jalan Eunos will be widened by an additional lane in each direction to cater to the increased traffic volume along Jalan Eunos.

The project, slated to begin in the third quarter of 2007, will help to alleviate traffic congestion along Jalan Eunos. The widening works will be completed in 2009.

As part of Jalan Eunos road widening project, bus bays will not be built along the widened roads. Instead, six pairs of linear bus stops will be built to replace the existing ones. This is a part of a trial to build on existing efforts to improve travelling speeds for buses by using Jalan Eunos as a platform to test the benefits of linear bus stops. Linear bus stops are defined as bus stops that are constructed along, and adjacent to, the road, without the inlet known as the bus bay.

By timing the trial together with the proposed road widening project, we foresee that it is not likely to impact other motorists adversely, as there will be an additional lane created on both sides of Jalan Eunos.

Source:
Singapore’s Land Transport: Happenings in Singapore’s land transport landscape
http://sgtransport.blogspot.com/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Daniel_Chin/78247

How to Find a Good Bus Charter Company Online

Are you looking for a good bus charter service? If yes, you need to start searching online. The internet is the best place to look for all kinds of information, including bus charter service. By simply doing a search on Google, you can get an immediate answer to what you are looking for. In this article, let me share with you a few tips to look for a good bus charter company online.

When you use Internet to look for a chartered service, you are at an advantage because companies online usually offer a discount to their travel package. On top of that, you can also compare the prices offered by various companies before you make a decision to choose one.

The Internet is a great research tool. As a consumer, the last thing we want is to get a lousy bus service. With the Internet, you are able to read reviews by travelers about a particular bus company. Reviews by consumers are the best because you are able to know what their experiences were like. If a lot of travelers have a bad experience with a particular company, you can avoid getting their service. Go to forums and blogs to read reviews by other travelers before making any decision.

The ability to do a thorough research on the various bus companies is the reason why I strongly recommend you to find a bus service online. Also, most online bus companies offer online ticketing system. With the ticketing system, you will be able to know the exact price to a certain destination. If you are organizing a bus tour for your company or group, you can send an email through the enquiry form to ask for quotations.

So make use of the power of the Internet so as to get the best deals for yourself. The first step to find a good bus charter service online is to go to Google. Type in “bus charter company” or “bus charter service” in the search box and you will see a list of results. Visit their websites and take a look at what they offer.

By using the Internet to find out what is being said about a specific bus company or service, you will not have to endure any poor service. So rush through the research process. Do it thoroughly and you will be satisfied with the end results.

Professional bus charter company providing bus charter service in Singapore. Check out MyBus now.

Feel free to publish this article on your website, or send it to your friends, as long as you keep the resource box and the content of the article intact.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Cheow_Yu_Yuan/40743

Ways To Save Some Money On Party Bus Rental

The price of renting a good party bus, coach bus, limousine or corporate car have, admittedly, been nosediving. Compared to decades ago, renting a party bus was literally quite unheard of because it is the kind of thing reserved for the rich and famous. The celebrities, mayor, politicians and authorities rented large coach buses and luxury limousines – not common people like you and me.

However, as with everything in life, culture, expansion, growth and increase in competition has ensured that not only is such services more affordable now, they are also much better than before.

Even with the drop in price, there continues to be ways to save a little bit of money off these packages and here, we will tell you how.

Follow and subscribe to your favorite charter bus rental company’s mailing lists and get notification. To save money, you need discounts and promotions and to stay in the know about these promotions, you need to subscribe to your favorite party bus limousine rental company’s mailing list (if they have one). Most party bus limousine rental companies have a subscription form on their website or blog so, just sign up for them and grab the promotions whenever they pop up.

Follow or befriend the said companies through online social networking sites. If the said company has a twitter account or a Facebook page, follow them there.Party bus companies announce their promotions and discounts via these online social networking accounts and you will be the first to know whenever they have a promo.

Make no mistake about it, taking these offers can really save you a fair bit of money.

Booking in advance. For those of you who are not as tech-savvy, there is always the early bird promo. Some companies give discounts to their repeat customers or people who book their limousines or vehicles well ahead of time. Just perform a simple Google search and find them easily.

Sharing the cost out. In order to bring the cost down, we encourage our bus rental customers to share out the cost. For a fraction of the price, all of you get to ride around in a cool, comfy bus…yes, just like a glamorous celebrity!

Pamela Lawson is a part of US Coachways Inc., a leading party bus rental company in the United States. US Coachways serves most major cities in the US, for example New York, New Jersey, Las Vegas, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Houston, Philadelphia and many, many more. Pam, in the meantime, dedicates her time writing entertaining, useful and informational articles on her Lifestyle and Living blog.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Pamela_Lawson/145252

A Bangkok Bus Journey

Years ago I spent a year living in Bangkok as an English teacher (I will be writing a separate blog on this at some point in the near future, check back on my blog for updates). My journey to work involved catching two buses.

The Bangkok bus system is pretty bewildering for any newcomers, most of the buses still only display destinations and mostly in Thai. There are no timetables at the bus stops so catching a bus can be pot luck, you really need to know what bus to catch beforehand. Fares differ depending on whether you catch the small buses, standard non air conditioned buses, air conditioned buses, minivans, songthaews (pick up trucks with two benches in the back). The drivers and conductors don’t speak English, which is only a problem on the air conditioned buses where the fare changes depending on how far you’re travelling……you get the picture!

Once you’re on the bus the journeys can be “interesting” to say the least, depending on many variables:

– The driver, many fancy themselves as the next Michael Schumacher and think nothing of cutting across 4 lanes of traffic, or pushing their rickety old bus to its limits. Many of them are perfectly good drivers, so you never know!
– The type of bus you end up on. Each route usually has at least two different types of bus operating on it. You might end up on the standard non air conditioned bus, very uncomfortable on a really hot day, with the windows open you get a nice taste of exhaust fumes too! As they’re cheaper they also get very crowded and you can expect to stand for most of the journey, if you’re really unlucky you may be standing on the steps into the bus! Air conditioned buses on the other hand are a haven of cool! Because they’re that bit more expensive they generally don’t get too full.
– The time of day and traffic. Bangkok’s traffic is infamous and of course buses are subject to this as well. Being stuck on a bus with the windows open in the middle of rush hour is never much fun!
– Who you sit/stand next to. As with any country in the world, Bangkok’s buses have their fair share of oddballs!

Which leads me onto my story…

Once you know your way around the system, most bus journeys in Bangkok are as dull and uneventful as a bus journey anywhere else in the world. One morning I was just on my way into work as usual and hopped on the small, green, non air conditioned number 77 bus from home. At the next stop on hopped a group of young Chinese tourists, 2 men and a lady, hopelessly lost they came straight to me! The only problem was they didn’t speak a word of English, only French! I don’t speak a word of any Chinese language and very little French, just what I can remember from school! I managed to establish that they had lost their passports and were in search of the Chinese embassy. However it’s very difficult to describe directions to people in a language you don’t speak and in a city that they don’t know! So I agreed to take them straight there. Now, the Chinese embassy is along the new underground train route, however this was in the days before the underground was open. So we had to hop off the bus and onto the Skytrain to Asok station and then a taxi (since I didn’t know which bus to take!).

I deposited them outside the embassy and then realised that, apart from taking another taxi I had no idea how to get to work! Although I knew generally where I was in relation to work, I didn’t really know how far I was or which bus to get. As I had an hour before my first lesson I thought, let’s just get on the first bus and see where it takes me. We approached the Lat Phrao junction and I knew where I was, “please turn right, please turn right”….the bus turned left. Off I got at the next stop, crossed the road and waited for a bus back, at this point I knew which bus to get. At this point I still had half an hour to make it to work, no problem I thought as I got on the next bus. Bus gets back to the Lad Phrao junction and whack…. straight into the back of a limo with blacked out windows. Out gets the burly driver (complete with black suite and shades) and proceeds to argue with the bus driver. After a few minutes somebody gets out the back of the limo to see what’s going on. It’s at this point that I spotted the Chinese flag on the limo, it was none other than the Chinese ambassador (as he shouted at the bus driver as if that would change anything!).

The driver made a quick phone call and minutes later a police car rolled up. They detained everyone on the bus to provide statements, including me even though most Thai police officers don’t speak English. All this on the day that I’d forgotten my mobile! They interviewed everyone else first and a good hour later got to me, decided they couldn’t be bothered and sent me on my way! Frustration was not the right word by this point!

I found a pay phone and called work to give my excuses and got a taxi!

Fortunately this isn’t an everyday experience on Bangkok’s buses, I was clearly having a bad day. But the Skytrain or Underground are preferable and more comfortable if they go where you want to be.

Matthew’s Travel Website, [http://www.matthewt.co.uk] My blog, http://matthewted.blogspot.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Matthew_Tedstone/500777