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mark1447

Megabus Gets a Free Ride at Port Authority Bus Terminal

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Megabus Gets a Free Ride at Port Authority Bus Terminal

 

HELL'S KITCHEN — Discount carrier Megabus will soon be picking up passengers from the Port Authority Bus Terminal — but it won't have to pay a cent to be there.

 

That's a far cry from the $10 million that three of the company's competitors say they have to fork over every year to operate out of the Midtown depot.

 

Megabus' new pickup spot is on the south side of West 41st Street, between Eighth and Ninth avenues, which is straddled by the bus station. But because it's a city street, the company won't have to pay to be there, according to city Department of Transportation policy.

 

The new stop is outside the terminal because the company's double-decker coaches — which a recent report said are too heavy for city streets — can't fit in the station itself.

 

Megabus' rivals slammed the move in a Feb. 5 letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

 

"By issuing the proposed permit for no charge, New York City would be providing an unfair competitive advantage to Megabus while decreasing revenue to the Port Authority," read the letter from the Coalition of Port Authority Carriers, which includes Adirondack Trailways, Greyhound, and Peter Pan.

 

Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/20120208/chelsea-hells-kitchen/megabus-gets-free-ride-at-port-authority-bus-terminal##ixzz1lsN2lbIK

Edited by mark1447

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Megabus Gets a Free Ride at Port Authority Bus Terminal

 

HELL'S KITCHEN — Discount carrier Megabus will soon be picking up passengers from the Port Authority Bus Terminal — but it won't have to pay a cent to be there.

 

That's a far cry from the $10 million that three of the company's competitors say they have to fork over every year to operate out of the Midtown depot.

 

Megabus' new pickup spot is on the south side of West 41st Street, between Eighth and Ninth avenues, which is straddled by the bus station. But because it's a city street, the company won't have to pay to be there, according to city Department of Transportation policy.

 

The new stop is outside the terminal because the company's double-decker coaches — which a recent report said are too heavy for city streets — can't fit in the station itself.

 

Megabus' rivals slammed the move in a Feb. 5 letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

 

"By issuing the proposed permit for no charge, New York City would be providing an unfair competitive advantage to Megabus while decreasing revenue to the Port Authority," read the letter from the Coalition of Port Authority Carriers, which includes Adirondack Trailways, Greyhound, and Peter Pan.

 

Read more: Megabus Gets a Free Ride at Port Authority Bus Terminal - DNAinfo.com

 

No joke i wonder if Coach USA/Megabus and the Mayor are in bed together i.e donating to his campaign?

 

Still if Megabus can have this area at the PABT for free when not Boltbus owned by Greyhound which is much safer(stating facts not a bias against Mega)than Megabus.

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sounds like what Greyhound did to block Megabus (Coach Canada) from setting up a Montreal to NYC route. the complained to Transport Quebec to make sure they didnt get the permits.

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sounds like what Greyhound did to block Megabus (Coach Canada) from setting up a Montreal to NYC route. the complained to Transport Quebec to make sure they didnt get the permits.

 

Not exactly. The province of Quebec issues franchises for private operators to operate inter-city services. Unlike the deregulated industry here in the US, Canada regulates the services (with the recent exception of the province of Alberta). Companies bid the corridor, and the prices are set in accordance to Canadian regulations - there is a price cap on tickets. Greyhound holds the franchise for cross-border services into Montreal, therefore they are the only company who can run the route.

 

Toronto is different, as Greyhound/Trailways and Trentway-Wagar (Coach Canada) once worked together in alliance before Megabus, and share this operating authority. This is the reason why they are allowed to operate in competition with each other.

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I don't think they are in the same bed together, but this street is owned by the NYC DOT so technically MegaBus can use the Street, even Boltbus can use the street for free.

 

As for Greyhound and Peter Pan Bus, they are probably too stubborn to realize that they could've moved Boltbus to PABT before MegaBus but they chose not too, and they failed.

 

In fact, do realize that MegaBus actually sparked more competition between bus carriers, they are like the Apple of low-priced inter-city bus service, so Stagecoach can do stuff, Greyhound can't, so they are suffering, except with Boltbus.

 

Actually, BoltBus did try to move into that area and was rejected more than once. They are inside the Port at Gate 84, to improve the operating conditions on the curb at 33rd and 34th, even though no one really wants them there (company and passengers).

 

The detail not being shared is that this move is meant to be temporary. The agreement Mega has with the Community Board is that they will stay there and 10th Avenue between 40th and 41st until the MSG construction is over. At that time, they will move back.

 

Also, Megabus didn't spark the initial competition, the Chinatown carriers did, and ate the legacy carriers lunch so to say. Mega changed the game by installing new pricing and marketing - Bolt brought the value proposition of WiFi and outlets (both not new) to the table. It's been a progression ever since.

 

The problem Mega has today though is that they are Greyhound for a new generation of bus travelers (literally). The question we will come to answer is this: is that really a good thing?

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No joke i wonder if Coach USA/Megabus and the Mayor are in bed together i.e donating to his campaign?

 

Still if Megabus can have this area at the PABT for free when not Boltbus owned by Greyhound which is much safer(stating facts not a bias against Mega)than Megabus.

 

They got it for "free" because no one wants a lawsuit based on the grounds of "impeding interstate commerce." There is currently a bill in the NYS legislature that will eventually provide licenses to the companies for a yearly fee to use the sidewalks. This arrangement is also temporary until the MSG construction ends.

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The problem Mega has today though is that they are Greyhound for a new generation of bus travelers (literally). The question we will come to answer is this: is that really a good thing?

 

No.

 

The problem that I have with Mega, Bolt and the plethora of Chinatown carriers is that the fare structures they put into place is not sustainable in the longrun. As a result you have Greyhound and Peter Pan bleeding cash trying to get these customers. Another bad side effect that I'm seeing is that there is this huge push for express or non-stop schedules which completely screwover the local passengers who are GLI and PPs bread and butter. Not to mention the fact that the local passengers are subsidizing the express passengers fares.

 

Longterm, I see an airline style consolidation happening, at least in the northeast. Everybody has been beating their heads in chasing passengers and no one is making any real money. Even though it's been rumored for years, I honestly see Peter Pan being "Brought to you by First" pretty soon. We are the smallest and weakest player in the northeast market. The Arrow division has shut down 2 of 3 garages this year alone....Academy and DATTCO are eating our lunch on charter work in CT and RI. The expansion of Mega into CT and MA is not helping thing on the line run side of the house. At some point Peter Jr will have to piss or get off the pot and IMO, he'll make more selling then dragging this out.

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Not exactly. The province of Quebec issues franchises for private operators to operate inter-city services. Unlike the deregulated industry here in the US, Canada regulates the services (with the recent exception of the province of Alberta). Companies bid the corridor, and the prices are set in accordance to Canadian regulations - there is a price cap on tickets. Greyhound holds the franchise for cross-border services into Montreal, therefore they are the only company who can run the route.

 

Toronto is different, as Greyhound/Trailways and Trentway-Wagar (Coach Canada) once worked together in alliance before Megabus, and share this operating authority. This is the reason why they are allowed to operate in competition with each other.

 

Coach Canada last year went to Transport Quebec to apply for a licence to provide Montreal to NYC service but Greyhound complained that they will be using the Van Hool double deckers that are too large to operate in Quebec. Which is funny as Transport Quebec gave Coach Canada special permits to use them on the Toronto to Montreal route. So Transport Quebec shut them down on the licence application

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Coach Canada last year went to Transport Quebec to apply for a licence to provide Montreal to NYC service but Greyhound complained that they will be using the Van Hool double deckers that are too large to operate in Quebec. Which is funny as Transport Quebec gave Coach Canada special permits to use them on the Toronto to Montreal route. So Transport Quebec shut them down on the licence application

 

Thanks for the information - didn't know that part.

 

What it comes down to though is business and payback - Mega did the same to GLI/PPB in the US when they filed a PHL-DC route for Bolt.

 

Regardless, both companies want to protect market share. Is it right - of course not.

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For the move, I guess maybe MegaBus got a free ride however I believe it is really because they don't want a Greyhound/Peter Pan monopoly because Boltbus is just a Greyhound/Peter Pan behind Orange Wraps and a New Brand.

 

As for competition, it's because Chinatown's lines are just cheap, but really Coach USA heated it up with the introduction of Megabus, which worried Greyhound/Peter Pan and then they started to compete as well.

 

In a way you are right about what Megabus has accomplished. The spring/summer of 2008 was a perfect storm of all of these things taking place and changing the operating environment.

 

Truthfully from someone in industry, not many people like Coach USA because of what they have done to this industry. Not saying Greyhound or Peter Pan have better relations, but Coach has not done any favors to help themselves. Some (Dattco) work with them to ensure their own survival and build a dedicated source of revenue + they believe in the operating model. Others (Coach America) see long-term contracts. Still others (Academy) see diversification of markets - in other words they put up with them.

 

Mega has to be very, very careful with their growth going forward to prevent what happened less than 10 years ago.

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No.

 

The problem that I have with Mega, Bolt and the plethora of Chinatown carriers is that the fare structures they put into place is not sustainable in the longrun. As a result you have Greyhound and Peter Pan bleeding cash trying to get these customers. Another bad side effect that I'm seeing is that there is this huge push for express or non-stop schedules which completely screwover the local passengers who are GLI and PPs bread and butter. Not to mention the fact that the local passengers are subsidizing the express passengers fares.

 

Longterm, I see an airline style consolidation happening, at least in the northeast. Everybody has been beating their heads in chasing passengers and no one is making any real money. Even though it's been rumored for years, I honestly see Peter Pan being "Brought to you by First" pretty soon. We are the smallest and weakest player in the northeast market. The Arrow division has shut down 2 of 3 garages this year alone....Academy and DATTCO are eating our lunch on charter work in CT and RI. The expansion of Mega into CT and MA is not helping thing on the line run side of the house. At some point Peter Jr will have to piss or get off the pot and IMO, he'll make more selling then dragging this out.

 

J-

 

I understand your point of view. However, everyone in the Northeast running curbside express services "prints" money. In most cases, the locals subsidize the express runs because of the premiums charged, but it's an equal balance here for the most part - volume vs. premiums. There will always be a market for the terminal-based customer, but that market is now a niche, not a segment. Small towns and minor cities will have service, but either not as frequent or not as fast.

 

The big issue GLI/PPB has is their operating structure - that is the part that's not sustainable. I love terminal workers and the terminals themselves, but they cost money to maintain and retain. That money drives up the fixed costs, and lowers the profit margin.

 

What GLI really needs is fixed sections on every schedule to get their operational needs in line - once the cap hits 50, close the schedule. You only add based on demand and schedule the extra section to a time frame, not an actual schedule. That's what you're seeing with Express (and by the way it hits Houston-Dallas at the end of the month). It's the only way to really remain competitive at this point. You can't keep on having drivers sitting and people waiting - it's not good business.

 

If anything, the curbside carriers taught them this, and taught them well. After all, if one heeds progress, one fails.

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In a way you are right about what Megabus has accomplished. The spring/summer of 2008 was a perfect storm of all of these things taking place and changing the operating environment.

 

Truthfully from someone in industry, not many people like Coach USA because of what they have done to this industry. Not saying Greyhound or Peter Pan have better relations, but Coach has not done any favors to help themselves. Some (Dattco) work with them to ensure their own survival and build a dedicated source of revenue + they believe in the operating model. Others (Coach America) see long-term contracts. Still others (Academy) see diversification of markets - in other words they put up with them.

 

Mega has to be very, very careful with their growth going forward to prevent what happened less than 10 years ago.

 

What happened to Coach USA back then was they were expanding too fast and buying up mainly tour coach companies and after 9/11 the travel/tour market tanked. This is the same reason why Coach America failed after Coach USA spun them off as most of their business was tour related and the travel industry has not still fully recovered since 9/11. Coach America doesnt have may profitable contract transit or commuter routes as Coach USA did as keeping its most profitable operations back then.

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Yeah, it is a perfect storm, even Amtrak recognized the threat posed by MegaBus and Chinatown Lines, that explains their agressive Wi-Fi expansion in the NorthEastRegional, KeyStoneRegional and AcelaExpress Lines and their agressive ads. Greyhound recognized it too, so they introduced Boltbus and eventually Greyhound Express.

 

And yeah, StageCoach is kinda monopoly-ish, and too agressive. It's not just about the tours tanking, but really about the Twin sumthing Bus Line who got forced to be sold/broken up in the last few years. They gotta slow it down a bit and not expand too much.

 

Dont let First Group (Greyhound) and Veolia fool you they act the same way too!

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When will the MSG construction be over?

I can't imagine them moving back there - the queueing of passengers (or lack thereof) was horrible back then and that was when they weren't running as many sections.

Sure, it's convenient, but with all the foot traffic in that area, it'll take forever for them to load a bus.

 

 

Actually, BoltBus did try to move into that area and was rejected more than once. They are inside the Port at Gate 84, to improve the operating conditions on the curb at 33rd and 34th, even though no one really wants them there (company and passengers).

 

The detail not being shared is that this move is meant to be temporary. The agreement Mega has with the Community Board is that they will stay there and 10th Avenue between 40th and 41st until the MSG construction is over. At that time, they will move back.

 

Also, Megabus didn't spark the initial competition, the Chinatown carriers did, and ate the legacy carriers lunch so to say. Mega changed the game by installing new pricing and marketing - Bolt brought the value proposition of WiFi and outlets (both not new) to the table. It's been a progression ever since.

 

The problem Mega has today though is that they are Greyhound for a new generation of bus travelers (literally). The question we will come to answer is this: is that really a good thing?

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Interesting excerpts from the court filing below - seems like Boltbus got screwed since they didn't think of it first. If this is permanent, this will be quite the mess for the queueing of passengers once the peak summer season comes. On Friday, that line snaked past the PABT exitway for the south wing ground level gates to the point that PAPD had to deploy barriers to prevent passengers from blocking the exit completely.

 

 

90. Commissioner Forgione further stated that an extension of the 90-day period

would depend largely on safety criteria, such as the number of buses using the site and the

impact on pedestrian traffic, and that she could foresee extending the permission for Megabus to

use the site on a permanent basis.

91. When the representative of Petitioners inquired as to why BoltBus had not been

permitted to compete for use of that location, and why it had been awarded solely to Megabus,

he was told by Commissioner Forgione that it was because Megabus had “asked first.”

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Problem there with #91 was that Bolt asked for Area X across the street, as that was an active bus loading lane. They were originally receptive to the idea, and actually at first DOT suggested Area X. However, she was right that Mega asked for the space across the street - no one would've thought of enclosing a 125-foot area with Jersey barriers and board people on the street.

 

Gotta give that one to them though.

 

Thing is this - the Community Board does not want them in the neighborhood and will fight to get them and everyone else out.

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Megabus does not scale its operations properly which is why they get into the situations they find themselves in.

 

Scheduling buses into demand only works if you have infrastructure. Just like operating an airline-based model with their drivers and buses only works when you have infrastructure to support.

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I know, in fact I think Veolia is also wanting to enter the NYC market, kinda...

 

Veolia does not have any inclination to join the intercity bus circus. Too much of a mess, and frankly, too little profit to be made in approaching the market at this time. You can't compete against Mega and Bolt by trying to be Mega and Bolt - just won't work.

 

Just like the biggest sleeping giant of them all does not want any part of the circus - they are content with contracts and becoming the name in charters and contracts on the East Coast, which they are.

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Just like the biggest sleeping giant of them all does not want any part of the circus - they are content with contracts and becoming the name in charters and contracts on the East Coast, which they are.

 

I keep hearing Francis wants to throw his hat into the ring. Now that he has facilities,buses and drivers in CT and MA....theoretically he could. But does he want to really beat his equipment into the ground chasing pennies?

 

What I would love to know: Is MegaBus actually profitable? They seem to only be after markershare....I would love to know what their yields are. Because at the these low prices they can fill a DD but still lose money, something the airline industry went though for a long time.

 

Myself personally the long haul line run game is getting to be pretty boring. It's turning in all "Express This and Express That". I don't want to deal with those 3-5 hour nonstop odysseys anymore. I'll stay on my local schedule for as long as I can.

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