July 9, 2013

Greyhound to launch onboard entertainment system

Greyhound bus image via Flickr by matt7d

Greyhound bus image via Flickr by matt7d
Greyhound announced the launch of BLUE, its onboard entertainment system, developed in cooperation with Lufthansa Systems, which enables passengers to watch movies, listen to music, play games and surf the Internet.

BLUE, which stands for Bus Line Universal Entertainment, enables passengers to watch movies, listen to music, surf the Web and play games from the comfort of their seats using their own personal Wi-Fi enabled device. The system is based on the Lufthansa Systems innovative Velimo platform. Lufthansa Systems is the first in the market to deliver a turnkey video solution over Wi-Fi on a bus with secure digital rights management encryption and a compliant content supply chain, both approved by the Hollywood Studios.

BLUE is now available on the company’s premium Greyhound Express service between Dallas and Houston, as part of an exclusive six-month pilot program, with broader roll-out planned for later this year. It will also test BLUE on buses operated by its sister company, BoltBus, in the Pacific Northwest during this same period.

Greyhound is the first and only intercity bus carrier to offer a personalized on-board entertainment experience provided by Lufthansa Systems, according to the company. When developing the solution both companies benefited from the leading edge technology from Lufthansa Systems and from the extensive experience of the German IT specialist in providing trend setting infotainment solutions for mobile platforms like aircraft and cruise ships.

“As a transportation leader, we constantly provide ways to offer a more fun, comfortable ride and introduce customers to a wholly new travel experience,” said Dave Leach, president/CEO, Greyhound. “With BLUE, we are adding an exclusive, top-of-the-line on-board entertainment system at the touch of our customers’ fingertips, further complementing our current family of premium amenities such as free Wi-Fi, power outlets, extra legroom and leather seats.”

Once on board, customers can enjoy BLUE via their Wi-Fi enabled personal devices including laptops, tablets or smartphones, with access to more than 25 movies, 15 hours of television shows, 100 music albums and five games. Customers can also surf the Web, read digital news publications, check their trip maps and review destination guides.

“Greyhound will be a global first BYOD experience in the bus industry and we are proud to make that happen. This new entertainment solution again shows the mobility and agility of our technology,” said Bernd Appel, SVP Industry Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “We are proud that it helps Greyhound to provide its passengers with a truly unique travel experience, which will further strengthen its position as a leader in this field of transportation.”

Greyhound has been moving quickly to introduce a number of advancements to improve the travel experience. The company recently installed self-service ticketing kiosks at more than 20 major terminals, allowing customers to purchase a ticket using cash or credit card, weigh their bag and receive a destination bag tag all in one transaction. Greyhound also expanded its wireless network to include nearly 95 Wi-Fi enabled terminals, introduced its book on-line/pay with cash feature on Greyhound.com, and launched The Hound, Greyhound’s official blog featuring the company’s latest news, travel deals, and regularly featured destinations and attractions.

“We’re not just providing customers with a trip from Point A to Point B,” added Leach. “By enhancing their experience from the moment they buy their ticket to the time they step off one of our modern buses, we are ensuring our customers choose Greyhound time and again when it comes to travel.”

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