According to the American Bus Association Foundation’s 2017 Motorcoach Census report, motorcoach travel remains one of the most flexible, cost-effective, and environmentally efficient modes of transportation. In 2017, the motorcoach industry provided 574.6 million passenger trips, this compares to 741.6 million enplanements on domestic air carriers and 31.7 million passengers for Amtrak. The industry moved individual passengers a total of 64.3 billion miles.
In 2017, the motorcoach industry consisted of 3,196 companies that operated 37,264 motorcoaches in North America. In the U.S., 2,963 companies operated 32,920 motorcoaches, and in Canada, 233 companies operated 4,344 motorcoaches. The majority of these companies (94%) were small companies that operated fewer than 25 motorcoaches. The firms ran 21,875 motorcoaches and provided 88.8 million passenger trips. Mid-sized companies, operating 25 to 99 motorcoaches, ran 6,604 motorcoaches for a total of 87.6 million passenger miles. Large companies, those that operate more than 100 motorcoaches, moved 8,785 motorcoaches that provided 398.1 million of the industry's passenger trips. The industry provided 98,500 jobs.
Given the number of passengers served per bus, motorcoaches move people with remarkable fuel efficiency, according to the report. In 2017, the average fuel efficiency of a motorcoach was 6.4 miles per gallon of fuel. With this fuel efficiency, a motorcoach carrying the industry average of 43.7 passengers achieved 280.1 passenger miles per gallon of fuel in 2017.
On average, a motorcoach provided 15,418 passenger trips in 2017, provided 1.7 million passenger miles, employed 2.6 people, used 6,160 gallons of fuel, and traveled 39,506 miles. The Census shows an industry that serves a broad range of customers that moves people with great fuel efficiency. It also shows an industry that provides charter, tour, and sightseeing services, which are of vital importance to the travel and leisure industries, and intercity scheduled and commuter services, which are essential components of the passenger transportation systems in both the U.S. and Canada.
“Despite the industry going through a consolidation phase over the last few years and facing a massive driver shortage, we are still moving people in the most efficient and passenger friendly manner," said Peter Pantuso, ABA Foundation president. "Motorcoach travel remains one of the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly mode of transportation in North America."
The 2017 Motorcoach Census details the size and activity of the motorcoach travel industry in the U.S. and Canada. The report, including full methodology, is available here.