Per-mile operating costs for a 40-foot or larger coach increased 34% since 1999 to $1.90, according to the American Bus Association’s annual survey.
At the same time, the amount that operators charge per mile for charters and tours increased about 13% since 1999 to $2.51. Despite that, average annual revenue per coach for companies with less than 10 coaches was up 22%, reaching about $130,000 in 2001. Companies with 40 or more coaches averaged $200,000 per coach, a 43% increase over 1999’s average.
The average per hour charge for charters and tours increased from $60.19 in 1999 to $63.07 in 2001. Only 12% of those who responded charge $80 or more per hour.
The 161 respondents to the survey averaged 18 coaches and 62,568 miles per coach per year for charters and tours. Five percent averaged 110,000 miles or more per year. The average number of passengers carried per coach per year increased from 36 to 40. The age of the operators’ fleets averages 9.44 years.
Wages for drivers and mechanics are on the rise. Eighteen percent of the companies paid their drivers more than $10.99 per hour in 1999. This year, 44% said they pay more than $10.99. Most of the operators average 17 full-time drivers and 18 part-time drivers. Fifty-five percent of the operators paid their mechanics $15 or more per hour, compared with 20% paying that amount in 1999.
Internet access is also becoming more common for motorcoach operators, with 94% having access at the office compared to 77% in 1999. Seventy-five percent of the operators have their own Website, up from 51%.