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Via Garibaldi 8

Potential Private Express Bus Carriers

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Posted (edited)

I have been working very quietly with some folks that are interested in running private express bus service. A few have tried, but never got any traction, but this time, I think there's a good possibility of something happening. The new site was launched this morning in my advocacy group to gather data and feedback from potential riders. I am working closely with the carrier and will post it here soon. Nothing is set in stone yet, but the idea would be to provide some sort of express bus service in all of the outerboroughs. It would also be cheaper than the (MTA) 's express bus service by a good $50.00. Something like $200 a month. More to come... Here is the site: https://missiontransit.com/?fbclid=IwAR1LVbr1cSVnha0lAz6dwP5HP5z5NXm27REZnnWPLAKTrwG7mkkcJb6YTdg

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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3 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I have been working very quietly with some folks that are interested in running private express bus service. A few have tried, but never got any traction, but this time, I think there's a good possibility of something happening. The new site was launched this morning in my advocacy group to gather data and feedback from potential riders. I am working closely with the carrier and will post it here soon. Nothing is set in stone yet, but the idea would be to provide some sort of express bus service in all of the outerboroughs. It would also be cheaper than the (MTA) 's express bus service by a good $50.00. Something like $200 a month. More to come... Here is the site: https://missiontransit.com/?fbclid=IwAR1LVbr1cSVnha0lAz6dwP5HP5z5NXm27REZnnWPLAKTrwG7mkkcJb6YTdg

This is something I would definitely support. It's annoying how the MTA can so easily get delayed and make you lose connections to certain routes. Already had that happen a couple times already.

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1 hour ago, MysteriousBtrain said:

This is something I would definitely support. It's annoying how the MTA can so easily get delayed and make you lose connections to certain routes. Already had that happen a couple times already.

Yeah, no competition, so when you're the only game in town, you do what you want.

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The numbers do not work at a 50% load factor (social distancing).

Your yield at $200/month is $5/pax. The optimum case is a one hour sector with a 45 minute return deadhead. 

You use two buses on a route with a peak headway of 45 minutes.

AM schedule: 600a, 645a, 730a, 815a

PM schedule: 315p, 415p, 515p, 615p

28 x $5 = $140/trip

4 trips daily = $560/bus


That is not enough money to operate the bus and maintain it to pass NYSDOT.


At $63/week, you have a shot.

28 x $6.30 = $176.40/trip

4 trips daily = $705.60/bus


You can do $650/bus with a bare bones operation except for SI, which would be $700/bus.


Keep a set of membership cards on the coordinator in case someone wants to ride who has not signed up. Make sure you get their information for the passenger list (including phone number). If they do not provide their information, do not let them ride. Create a master customer list in case you become too successful and get sued. Update it at least weekly.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, JAzumah said:

The numbers do not work at a 50% load factor (social distancing).

Your yield at $200/month is $5/pax. The optimum case is a one hour sector with a 45 minute return deadhead. 

You use two buses on a route with a peak headway of 45 minutes.

AM schedule: 600a, 645a, 730a, 815a

PM schedule: 315p, 415p, 515p, 615p

28 x $5 = $140/trip

4 trips daily = $560/bus


That is not enough money to operate the bus and maintain it to pass NYSDOT.


At $63/week, you have a shot.

28 x $6.30 = $176.40/trip

4 trips daily = $705.60/bus


You can do $650/bus with a bare bones operation except for SI, which would be $700/bus.


Keep a set of membership cards on the coordinator in case someone wants to ride who has not signed up. Make sure you get their information for the passenger list (including phone number). If they do not provide their information, do not let them ride. Create a master customer list in case you become too successful and get sued. Update it at least weekly.

 

 

lol This is what you want to plan. We have different plans. There is a reason you were shut down, and I don't want to see the same mistakes happen, so this will be done slowly. I have a lot of questions that need to be answered before I throw my support behind this 100%. Private operators have tried to start up many times, especially you, and have been shut down, leaving passengers with no options. I don't want that. I want everything done by the book, which you didn't do, so please spare us with your lectures on how it should be done.

The operator and myself will sit down and discuss particulars. I want to understand their business plan. We aren't looking at one or two routes and a few trips either.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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This is amazing with what you're group is doing. I'm going to ask a few questions that I can think of right off the bat, I'll let you know when I have more,. (which I'll also ask on Facebook):

- How do you plan to obtain the Rolling Stock for this private Express Bus Service?

- Out of Curiosity, do express bus riders make bus > subway transfer (and vice versa), how would that work under this private service?

- Not that this question in particular concerns me or anything, but "What would be the average salary of these private bus operators?" 

That's all I have for now, keep up the great work!

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

This is amazing with what you're group is doing. I'm going to ask a few questions that I can think of right off the bat, I'll let you know when I have more,. (which I'll also ask on Facebook):

- How do you plan to obtain the Rolling Stock for this private Express Bus Service?

- Out of Curiosity, do express bus riders make bus > subway transfer (and vice versa), how would that work under this private service?

- Not that this question in particular concerns me or anything, but "What would be the average salary of these private bus operators?" 

That's all I have for now, keep up the great work!

-I have been approached on at least three occasions about a private carrier starting up express bus service. The first time, the person wanted to start a route in Bay Ridge similar to the one that ran along 3rd Av back in the day. That never got anywhere because I was expected to get the ball rolling. Not my company, not my problem. I expect the people that want to start a service to have a business plan just as I would if I were starting this up myself, which has been part of the problem, and then I can offer my comments on what I think can and won't work. 

-I expect any operator to do their due diligence - that means securing and filing all paperwork necessary to start the service, etc. I'm not putting out any of my own money for this, but I am offering my own time and input free of charge, which is enough as it is, as I could charge a consulting fee as I normally would, but am not in this case, as I think it's for a good cause.

-The latest idea is by far the most aggressive one yet. The carrier and I have only spoken via text, as I am having a wait and see attitude. Right now I have asked people to provide feedback on the website.  After that, I will arrange a conference call with a series of questions that I as an express bus commuter have, along with other questions that people in the advocacy group have asked. We already exchanged numbers, so when I'm ready, I'll give a buzz.

-This particular carrier seems to be open to the idea of having a number of different lines in the outerboroughs, which could consist of several lines.

-All of the questions you have I have and then some.  I can say that I really wasn't going to say anything about this until I saw that they were serious about this. Since they've taken the time to create a website, that shows me that they have some intent on doing something and aren't just BS-ing.

-Your last question is a funny one. For any business, you need working capital. I'm assuming this party has enough to get the ball rolling (perhaps a mix of savings and even investors who were willing to invest in this) and then some because when you are just starting out, you usually don't make money right away with most ventures. It takes a while to get out of the red and into the black, as there are expenses that you have to cover before you see any ROI (return on investment).

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

- How do you plan to obtain the Rolling Stock for this private Express Bus Service?

Wasn't the plan to use an old RTS?

(I think coach buses - or at least artics - would be better)

Edited by Jova42R

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2 minutes ago, Jova42R said:

Wasn't the plan to use an old RTS?

(I think coach buses - or at least artics - would be better)

What plan? The Bay Ridge one? I believe so... This is a different set up entirely. I would like to see coach buses on these lines ideally. We'll have a conference call tomorrow to discuss particulars.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

What plan? The Bay Ridge one? I believe so... This is a different set up entirely. I would like to see coach buses on these lines ideally. We'll have a conference call tomorrow to discuss particulars.

True. Maybe this could be the first D45 CRT LE in NYC!

edit: maybe an enviro500 would be better, those are low floor

Edited by Jova42R

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15 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

lol This is what you want to plan. We have different plans. There is a reason you were shut down, and I don't want to see the same mistakes happen, so this will be done slowly. I have a lot of questions that need to be answered before I throw my support behind this 100%. Private operators have tried to start up many times, especially you, and have been shut down, leaving passengers with no options. I don't want that. I want everything done by the book, which you didn't do, so please spare us with your lectures on how it should be done.

The operator and myself will sit down and discuss particulars. I want to understand their business plan. We aren't looking at one or two routes and a few trips either.

The reason I was shut down is because I made very powerful people look stupid. You can run through legal challenges with your own equipment, not someone else's.

You can claim you know what you are doing or you could spend your time pouring through the actual filings made by TransportAzumah's legal counsel at the time. If it was good enough for Academy's lawyers to reference when NY Airport Service sued to block the transition of the airport services to Golden Touch, it is good enough for you. 

When you break the rules, you are fined, not sued. Remember when some of the Chinatown carriers briefly put buses on the Chinatown-Flushing route? Did they get sued? No, they got fined and impounded.

If your operator operates in this sector under its own name, their insurance company will assess their vehicles as an Urban Bus. The base rate is $48,000/bus/year for that (which puts them out of business). You will have to shield them. Have you figured out how to do that?

The height of arrogance is assuming that all the people that tried before were idiots. My mentor was the only African-American to ever be awarded a regular route authority from Nassau County to Manhattan and lots of the names you know fought him. He ran that route for almost 20 years. People like us use the tools we have until we can do better. Along the way, we meet people who can help us get to the next level.

No one is going to fight you in the current environment unless you duplicate an existing MTA express bus corridor. Your biggest challenge is economics. Know your numbers and figure out how you will get to them.

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, JAzumah said:

The reason I was shut down is because I made very powerful people look stupid. You can run through legal challenges with your own equipment, not someone else's.

You can claim you know what you are doing or you could spend your time pouring through the actual filings made by TransportAzumah's legal counsel at the time. If it was good enough for Academy's lawyers to reference when NY Airport Service sued to block the transition of the airport services to Golden Touch, it is good enough for you. 

When you break the rules, you are fined, not sued. Remember when some of the Chinatown carriers briefly put buses on the Chinatown-Flushing route? Did they get sued? No, they got fined and impounded.

If your operator operates in this sector under its own name, their insurance company will assess their vehicles as an Urban Bus. The base rate is $48,000/bus/year for that (which puts them out of business). You will have to shield them. Have you figured out how to do that?

The height of arrogance is assuming that all the people that tried before were idiots. My mentor was the only African-American to ever be awarded a regular route authority from Nassau County to Manhattan and lots of the names you know fought him. He ran that route for almost 20 years. People like us use the tools we have until we can do better. Along the way, we meet people who can help us get to the next level.

No one is going to fight you in the current environment unless you duplicate an existing MTA express bus corridor. Your biggest challenge is economics. Know your numbers and figure out how you will get to them.

I think it was quite irresponsible of you to not dot all of your "i"s and cross all of your "t"s.  You in this very post are saying that you broke rules, and obviously, you got under some peoples' skin - you had to know that you would. You're acting as if you are new to the game. You aren't, so you had to be aware of the possible repercussions.  I don't fault you for trying. My issue with a lot of these private operators are they try to get in the game, get shut down and leave the riders with no options but the same crappy ones they had before.  It is stupid to do so much work and then cut corners and get shut down. No other way to say it. We both know that it is not that easy running a private service and running up against the (MTA), so you need to bring your A game, period.  I would sincerely hope that if you try again, you'll do that this time.  

As for me, there is no risk involved, as I am not putting out any money in this, but as a potential customer, I want to see that this is done properly so that it is successful for the people that want it, and I also believe that it needs to happen because the (MTA) is taking advantage of the riding public and has been for too long as the only game in town.  The operator has come to me to put the word out, which I am happy to do, provided they have an actual business plan and have all documentation in order and circumvent the "competition" legally.  We will discuss a number of particulars before I go any further in assisting.

And yes, I would agree... No one is going to fight a private operator in the current environment, so it's the perfect time to try this.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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My legal fight created a set of "bright lines" for anyone operating a special operation service in New York State backed by voluminous research. NYSDOT did not assess any fines because in their eyes, I had followed their guidelines and used big, strong bus companies which gave them no reason to question the safety of the operation. They are hyper focused on safety. Everything else is negotiable.

The MTA's unofficial position is don't poach their services and they are not going to complain. They are well aware that they do not have the resources to provide all of the needed services.

You underestimate the "shadow boxing" that goes on in the background. 2010 was an interesting year. You were going to have commuter vans replace discontinued bus routes, but the city took so long to let them operate that by the time they did, all of the passenger demand dried up. The essential connector plan was supposed to include commuter vans. Where are they? Commuter vans are the only unsubsidized public transit option in NYC and if they get TOO successful, it puts pressure on the MTA and its labor agreements. If the city took every illegal van off of the road, the legal guys would be rich.

If they have NYSDOT operating authority, they are fine. They should not collect any money on the bus unless it is done through a coordinator. The driver should just drive (like a charter) and coordinators should handle everything else. The fastest way to ramp up would be to try and replace the hospital bus network that is slowly being wound down. You might be able to get the operator a start-up grant through FEMA as they are going to be interested in methods to social distance on transit.

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3 minutes ago, JAzumah said:

My legal fight created a set of "bright lines" for anyone operating a special operation service in New York State backed by voluminous research. NYSDOT did not assess any fines because in their eyes, I had followed their guidelines and used big, strong bus companies which gave them no reason to question the safety of the operation. They are hyper focused on safety. Everything else is negotiable.

The MTA's unofficial position is don't poach their services and they are not going to complain. They are well aware that they do not have the resources to provide all of the needed services.

You underestimate the "shadow boxing" that goes on in the background. 2010 was an interesting year. You were going to have commuter vans replace discontinued bus routes, but the city took so long to let them operate that by the time they did, all of the passenger demand dried up. The essential connector plan was supposed to include commuter vans. Where are they? Commuter vans are the only unsubsidized public transit option in NYC and if they get TOO successful, it puts pressure on the MTA and its labor agreements. If the city took every illegal van off of the road, the legal guys would be rich.

If they have NYSDOT operating authority, they are fine. They should not collect any money on the bus unless it is done through a coordinator. The driver should just drive (like a charter) and coordinators should handle everything else. The fastest way to ramp up would be to try and replace the hospital bus network that is slowly being wound down. You might be able to get the operator a start-up grant through FEMA as they are going to be interested in methods to social distance on transit.

I'll repeat what I said before... If you decide to try this again, hopefully it works out.

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9 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I think it was quite irresponsible of you to not dot all of your "i"s and cross all of your "t"s.  You in this very post are saying that you broke rules, and obviously, you got under some peoples' skin - you had to know that you would. You're acting as if you are new to the game. You aren't, so you had to be aware of the possible repercussions.  I don't fault you for trying. My issue with a lot of these private operators are they try to get in the game, get shut down and leave the riders with no options but the same crappy ones they had before.  It is stupid to do so much work and then cut corners and get shut down. No other way to say it. We both know that it is not that easy running a private service and running up against the (MTA), so you need to bring your A game, period.  I would sincerely hope that if you try again, you'll do that this time.....

8 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I'll repeat what I said before... If you decide to try this again, hopefully it works out.

It won't; he's too far down the rabbit hole.... Too much of a rebellious, adversarial, retaliatory disposition when it comes to the MTA & that's what & how he "operates" on.... His name rings mud in the court of public opinion & he has no one else to blame but his self... Not this self-righteous, sanctimonious, fallacious bullshit he wants to come on here spewing, about on how the reason he got deep-sixed being due to making very powerful people look stupid..... Who believes this?? This is what conniving con men have to resort to, in their feeble attempts to try to save face.....

16 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

-I have been approached on at least three occasions about a private carrier starting up express bus service. The first time, the person wanted to start a route in Bay Ridge similar to the one that ran along 3rd Av back in the day. That never got anywhere because I was expected to get the ball rolling. Not my company, not my problem. I expect the people that want to start a service to have a business plan just as I would if I were starting this up myself, which has been part of the problem, and then I can offer my comments on what I think can and won't work.

Are you referring to this: https://www.nyctransitforums.com/topic/50109-bensonhurster-starts-ridge-to-manhattan-bus-service/

If so, that's what happened with that??? Lmao..... I understand having an entrepreneurial spirit & meaning well & all, but this is the shit I'm talking about.... Problem I have with too many people trying to start businesses is that they don't have a warrior spirit running concurrently with that entrepreneurial spirit.... Now I don't know how close you were with them, but if you were nothing more than a mere outsider, I would actually be offended that I'm the one that was expected to give some outside entity a kick & a shove to get shit up off the ground.... The nerve of some people.

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2 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

It won't; he's too far down the rabbit hole.... Too much of a rebellious, adversarial, retaliatory disposition when it comes to the MTA & that's what & how he "operates" on.... His name rings mud in the court of public opinion & he has no one else to blame but his self... Not this self-righteous, sanctimonious, fallacious bullshit he wants to come on here spewing, about on how the reason he got deep-sixed being due to making very powerful people look stupid..... Who believes this?? This is what conniving con men have to resort to, in their feeble attempts to try to save face.....

Are you referring to this: https://www.nyctransitforums.com/topic/50109-bensonhurster-starts-ridge-to-manhattan-bus-service/

If so, that's what happened with that??? Lmao..... I understand having an entrepreneurial spirit & meaning well & all, but this is the shit I'm talking about.... Problem I have with too many people trying to start businesses is that they don't have a warrior spirit running concurrently with that entrepreneurial spirit.... Now I don't know how close you were with them, but if you were nothing more than a mere outsider, I would actually be offended that I'm the one that was expected to give some outside entity a kick & a shove to get shit up off the ground.... The nerve of some people.

Yeah, he approached me about the idea, and I'm like ok, I'm willing to give you a platform for your service, but then it became almost my responsibility. Absolutely not. His company, his responsibility to do the leg work, not mine.

I just finished talking with this new potential operator. They are clearly hungry, but more importantly, they have a business plan, which is what any operator should have. I don't expect them to have all of the answers, but they have a concrete idea of how they want to run the service. The other guy couldn't even confirm how he wanted people to pay to use the service. Weeks going by and I'm thinking, ok, when are you going to come up with something? I'm not sure... I can't be bothered with people like that. Either piss or get off of the pot. These people also have a rough idea of when they want to start, and they have been analyzing demographic data, which is something else that's important, as opposed to throwing darts and hoping that some of them hit the target.

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@B35 via Church IIRC on the first day of service, the buses were nowhere to be found. (I think it was actually people on this forum who went out and looked for it to no avail)

@Via Garibaldi 8 I think with a lot of people working from home part of the time, they need to have a daily option (or per-ride option) in addition to the weekly option. Say if you work 1-2 days at the office and the rest from home. Or if you're a nurse who works 3 shifts of 12 hours each. And some level of flexibility is necessary (let's say they have an LIC-Staten Island route but the last one is 5pm and you stay late at work, you should be able to use your pass on a Manhattan-Staten Island route assuming there is space available, maybe with a small fee for the change)

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1 hour ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

@B35 via Church IIRC on the first day of service, the buses were nowhere to be found. (I think it was actually people on this forum who went out and looked for it to no avail)

@Via Garibaldi 8 I think with a lot of people working from home part of the time, they need to have a daily option (or per-ride option) in addition to the weekly option. Say if you work 1-2 days at the office and the rest from home. Or if you're a nurse who works 3 shifts of 12 hours each. And some level of flexibility is necessary (let's say they have an LIC-Staten Island route but the last one is 5pm and you stay late at work, you should be able to use your pass on a Manhattan-Staten Island route assuming there is space available, maybe with a small fee for the change)

Yeah we had a conference call today and discussed how they want to do things. Availability will be based on demand, as this would be a service driven by usage. The more people, the more service and the lower the fare. Considering an app based payment system. To mitigate costs and risk, buses would not  be purchased. Agreements would be made with various carriers for the service, which we also discussed. Similar to an Uber service, but for buses.

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Posted (edited)

Do any of you realize how expensive this will be to start without city funding, logistics, and advertising will be? You need to buy buses, build a depot, pay for gas, pay operators, and clean the buses. I am not even saying anything about planning. Nobody will know about this, and you have to advertise, which costs money too. Also, you might get sued by the MTA.

Edited by OrionVIIonM79
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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, OrionVIIonM79 said:

Do any of you realize how expensive this will be to start without city funding, logistics, and advertising will be? You need to buy buses, build a depot, pay for gas, pay operators, and clean the buses. I am not even saying anything about planning. Nobody will know about this, and you have to advertise, which costs money too. Also, you might get sued by the MTA.

That's all been discussed already. We had a conference call about their business plan. The carrier has done their homework. The main challenge right now is getting the service up and running, and seeing how much demand there is, along with figuring out advertising. They aren't living in a fantasy land. They're well aware of the challenges. There is no plan to buy buses, as that would be too costly, and they don't want to be involved with maintaining buses, and having a place to park them, etc. You can secure the buses needed in other ways, which is the plan, and you would need a certain amount of ridership to cover the costs and make a profit.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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1 hour ago, OrionVIIonM79 said:

Also, you might get sued by the MTA.

That will not happen in this environment unless they duplicate an existing MTA route.

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On 6/1/2020 at 9:38 AM, B35 via Church said:

It won't; he's too far down the rabbit hole.... Too much of a rebellious, adversarial, retaliatory disposition when it comes to the MTA & that's what & how he "operates" on.... His name rings mud in the court of public opinion & he has no one else to blame but his self... Not this self-righteous, sanctimonious, fallacious bullshit he wants to come on here spewing, about on how the reason he got deep-sixed being due to making very powerful people look stupid..... Who believes this?? This is what conniving con men have to resort to, in their feeble attempts to try to save face.....

Are you referring to this: https://www.nyctransitforums.com/topic/50109-bensonhurster-starts-ridge-to-manhattan-bus-service/

If so, that's what happened with that??? Lmao..... I understand having an entrepreneurial spirit & meaning well & all, but this is the shit I'm talking about.... Problem I have with too many people trying to start businesses is that they don't have a warrior spirit running concurrently with that entrepreneurial spirit.... Now I don't know how close you were with them, but if you were nothing more than a mere outsider, I would actually be offended that I'm the one that was expected to give some outside entity a kick & a shove to get shit up off the ground.... The nerve of some people.

I knew that I have been forgetting something important. There's been a rift between younger and older bus drives. The younger ones are more than willing to interact with the general public and answer any inquiries the riders may have. The younger ones are more than willing to let the nurse, ex-gangsters or cancer patients or people with disabilities verbally spar with the doctor and lawyers. The younger bus drivers tend to emulate the older ones with their slow still of driving and shades.  To my defense, the MTA did market themselves as reformers of prisoners and recruiting ex-cons to drive their buses. The Subways have always been sweet old ladies from Fordham and Jamaica at the station booth while Bronx Bus Drivers listen to Jazz on their buses while driving. I've been wondering where those street pastors on the subway have been.

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11 hours ago, NY1635 said:

I knew that I have been forgetting something important. There's been a rift between younger and older bus drives. The younger ones are more than willing to interact with the general public and answer any inquiries the riders may have. The younger ones are more than willing to let the nurse, ex-gangsters or cancer patients or people with disabilities verbally spar with the doctor and lawyers. The younger bus drivers tend to emulate the older ones with their slow still of driving and shades.  To my defense, the MTA did market themselves as reformers of prisoners and recruiting ex-cons to drive their buses. The Subways have always been sweet old ladies from Fordham and Jamaica at the station booth while Bronx Bus Drivers listen to Jazz on their buses while driving. I've been wondering where those street pastors on the subway have been.

tenor.gif?itemid=13616466

 

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7 hours ago, R10 2952 said:

tenor.gif?itemid=13616466

 

A lot of bus operators who work for the city or Nassau have casually admitted to being in it for the paycheck. They're just not allowed to admit it while on the job while cameras are watching. 

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