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Coach USA prepares new Dragon Bus intercity service for Spring launch


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From BusRide Magazine: http://busride.com/news.asp?N_ID=757


"Coach USA, Paramus, NJ, is readying Dragon Bus for intercity service throughout the Northeast Corridor.



Based on the success and growing popularity of Megabus, and the obvious demand for low fare express coach service in cities in the Northeast, Coach USA moved to purchase Eastern Travel last September, and last week finalized its agreement to purchase Today’s Bus, once a rival of Eastern Travel.


As Chinatown-type operations, Eastern runs between New York City and Washington D.C.;Today’s Bus reaches into Philadelphia and northern Virginia. The two entities will launch as Dragon Bus in early April as a significantly upgraded curbside express service says Coach USA president and COO, Dale Moser.


Now in what Coach USA says is the transition phase, the acquisitions did not include any of the companies’ rolling stock, and that Dragon Bus is gradually replacing the fleet with a number of new D model MCIs in time for the spring launch.


“The objective here is to greatly enhance the service and safety levels in this type of bus operation,” says Moser. “We will replace the equipment and integrate many of the same services offered in Megabus.com, and provide base offerings with greater frequencies in more locations.”


Moser says one tremendous advantage Coach USA will offer is the capability to cross-sell both brands to Megabus and Dragon Bus patrons over the Internet.


“The demographic for this type bus service is growing,” says Moser. “Dragon Bus represents a big step for this company in moving to a more customer-oriented express service.”


Coach USA sees this type of regional intercity transport only growing, particularly in light of today’s economic forecast. As much as it plans to enhance the product, the average fare of $25 is still a substantial bargain with perhaps greater efficiency than the $100 to $200 spent to travel the same distances by train or plane."


Coach USA is really placing emphasis and energy into the intercity bus market in the Northeast - two services to serve both ends of the industry: Megabus for the yuppies and young professionals/silver surfers - Dragon Bus for the common traveler and traditional intercity bus customer.


According to my sources, both services will be based out of Coach USA's Elizabeth facility.

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