’s 2013 Top 50 Motorcoach operators survey, meant to provide an annual snapshot of the industry, we received input from a total of 87 carriers. This year’s results included a handful of operators who are new to the list and several ties.
New to the list this year is San Francisco-based Bauer’s Transportation, which came in at No. 16; Salt Lake City’s Lewis Stages; Wichita, Kan.-based Village Tours; and Cardinal Buses Inc. in Middlebury, Ind.
Operators who returned to the Top 50 list this year after an absence last year include Brea, Calif.’s Gold Coast Tours; Germantown, Wis.-based Go Riteway Transportation Group; and Sebring, Fla.’s Annett Bus Lines.
Another development reflected in the survey results is Mesa, Ariz.-based All Aboard America!, and New Orleans’ Hotard Coaches merging their businesses to form All Aboard America Holdings (which tied for spot No. 11) last year, strengthening their operations. Both All Aboard and Hotard celebrated their 75th anniversaries this year. The operations are keeping their original names.
Once again, reported fleet sizes were larger this year. Predictably, the top four spots were taken by FirstGroup America, Coach USA, Horizon Coach Lines and Academy Bus Companies.
A few notable upward moves in the list were made by Halifax, Nova Scotia-based Ambassatours, jumping from No. 33 last year up to No. 23 this year; Premier Coach Co. in Milton, Vt., which moved from No. 38 to No. 31, and Owosso, Mich.’s Indian Trails Inc., climbing from No. 40 to No. 32.
There are 22,267 vehicles represented among the Top 50 carriers in this survey. Among all respondents, the vehicle total is 22,705.
The average fleet size among the 50 largest operators, not counting the top five, is 99. The median fleet size is 75.
All of the Top 50 operators plan to purchase more vehicles this year, up from last year’s 86%. Altogether, they plan to buy about 573 new and 131 used vehicles. Of the buying numbers cited, about one-quarter were firm plans, versus estimates. The most popular vehicle brands cited were, once again, Motor Coach Industries (62%), Prevost (54%) and Van Hool (38%).