Public transportation takes many forms, from taxis to high-speed railways to airplanes, but a popular and ever growing industry for public transportation is motorcoaches and public buses, often available for chartering services. A bus or motorcoach facility could offer fuel-efficient and comfortable vehicles for any group to ride for a tour, whether urban or rural, and small charter buses and motorcoaches can provide everything a tourist needs.
The very concept of motorcoaches goes back to the horse drawn buses of the 1820s and the steam powered, intercity buses of England in the 1830s. Today, the motorcoaches found at a bus facility are highly efficient and luxurious, especially compared to cars on the road and airplanes. One motorcoach alone can remove up to 55 autos from the highway, which also reduces congestion, cuts energy use, and reduces emissions. Similarly, a chartered bus or motorcoach is fuel-efficient compared to cars: they provide 206.6 passenger miles to the gallon, comparing favorably to single occupant cars, which can reach 27.2 passenger miles to the gallon. Overall, motorcoaches emit the least amount carbon dioxide, CO2, per passenger mile compared to any other mode of transportation. To travel comfortably on a bus is not only luxury, but environmentally friendly.
A bus facility is the site of big business. Motorcoaches are popular modes of transportation, and this industry is only growing. Every year, these vehicles account for 751,000,000 passenger trips taken, and this number could continue to climb in the United States. Recently, bus travel increased 7.5% from 2011 to 2012, which made it the fastest growing form of travel in the country, according to a study the American Bus Association carried out. What is more, all this business means that the bus industry hires some 792,700 people across multiple aspects of the industry, from sales and services to purchasing spare parts. The industry fleet’s grand total numbers 33,400 vehicles, often for transportation by charter, to and from airports, commuting, and sightseeing. These buses are mainly divided among 3,400 total small businesses, each with a facility, or more, for these vehicles.
Tourism is a major part of what a motorcoach does, and it generates considerable revenue for the areas in which they work, making them an integral part of the tourism industry. In fact, statistically speaking, just one motorcoach spending the night at a tourist destination or other desirable location can generate a potential $11,660 in the local economy, due to the passengers spending money on amenities such as lodging, food, and any other spending such as entertainment. Another way to describe this is that for every $1 invested in a motorcoach, $1l.65 is spent in other sectors of the economy, which can make motorcoaches, if there is enough tourism business, very profitable and efficient to purchase and charter to tourists and commuters, or anyone taking a vacation.
A facility can offer various buses for travelers and tourists, and when it is time to charter a bus, one can choose a motorcoach based on party size, budget, and the distance traveled. A smaller bus could work well for a smaller crowd, while a large, organized tour group would be assigned a larger motorcoach chartered for the entire crowd. Wifi on a bus is one option, and the buses may have other on-board entertainment such as music or TV screens (possibly with DVD players) for longer trips.
Who Is Traveling?
It is not just tourists riding buses. For 14 million rural Americans, riding a motorcoach is the main or only way to have intercity transport, since these buses often go where railways do not. Overall, the demographics of bus travelers are fairly even. In 2012, 49.9% of passenger trips were taken by young adults and adults, and in that same year, 50.1% of students and senior citizens made up the remaining portion of travelers. There are more women than men making long distance bus trips, with women taking 55% of long distance bus trips compared to 45% for men.
Charter buses are for everyone, efficiently going anywhere airplanes or trains cannot, and they remove many cars (and their emissions) from the roads and stimulate local economies with tour and vacation groups, and this thriving industry may grow well into the future.