Bus industry experts will gather at New York University on Jan. 13, 2017 to mark the release of the “2017 Outlook for Intercity Bus Travel in the United States,” a new study by the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University.
The DePaul report evaluates the remarkable implications of the resurgence of intercity bus travel on the competitive landscape of U.S. travel. The report expects bus ridership to resume its growth trajectory in 2017 after several difficult years in which ridership sagged due to the sharp fall in fuel prices. This finding is reinforced by a recent report by a major investment firm, which also expects profits at Greyhound, a unit of FirstGroup, to grow sharply over the next several years.
The DePaul analysis shows that Amtrak and discount airlines now face competition from BestBus and Megabus and other express city-to-city bus lines on more than 60% of their major routes involving travel distances of less than 400 miles. The largest markets that remain unserved are predominately in the Southwest and Mountain states.
There is particular anticipation next year for the expansion of business-class and luxury bus services. The current year has brought success to upscale offerings by Concord Coach and Limoliner in the Northeast, Red Coach in Florida, and Vonlane in Texas. The report also mentions implications for the remarkable expansion of Flixbus in Europe, which markets a wide variety of bus services on the continent on a common booking platform.
The 2017 Outlook release event at NYU, co-sponsored by the school's Rudin Center for Transportation and the local Transportation Research Forum chapter, will include commentary by DePaul professor Joe Schwieterman and industry expert Brian Antolin, CEO of CoTo Travel. This widely anticipated event will be followed by a technical tour in Midtown Manhattan that includes stops at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the departure locations for BoltBus and Megabus, and other notable embarkation points. The tour will run for 90 minutes starting at 2:30 pm.
Tickets for the study release and tour are each $20 ($40 total), with discounts available for students.