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Intercity Bus Program: Alternative Strategy for Rural Transport Stephen Abernathy, AICP Intercity Bus Program Manager Public Transportation Division.

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Presentation on theme: "Intercity Bus Program: Alternative Strategy for Rural Transport Stephen Abernathy, AICP Intercity Bus Program Manager Public Transportation Division."— Presentation transcript:

1 Intercity Bus Program: Alternative Strategy for Rural Transport Stephen Abernathy, AICP Intercity Bus Program Manager Public Transportation Division

2 Travel Washington Intercity Bus Network 2009

3 Uses FTA 5311(f) Federal funds Request for Proposals (RFP) for specific routes within the identified corridor for open competitive process Provides more flexibility to meet identified rural transportation needs Select best operator for each project Competition between providers, not projects Intercity Bus Program

4 RFP Process (No Grant Applications!) RFPs Issued on Corridor Basis Purchase of Service Contract, rather than operating assistance grant Provides more control Establishes expectations in advance Ensures provider is tied in with Greyhound schedule, ticketing (MAX) web-site and National Bus Traffic Association (NBTA)

5 Greyhound Rural Feeder Service Program How Local In-kind Match Pilot Project works: 5311(f) Formula Local Match Option $100,000 Actual Operating Cost $100,000 $100,000Project Cost $150, ,000less Fares - 50,000 50,000 Deficit 100, ,00050% 5311(f) - 50,000 $ 25,00050% local match $ 50,000* * At about $2.00 per mile (50% of Greyhounds total operating cost), the project would need 25,000 annual Greyhound miles to match the project. * Greyhound agrees in writing to make this in-kind donation to the project.

6 WSDOT collaborates with area stakeholders to identify intercity transportation needs and levels of service for each route. Each RFP is drafted for a specific route. RFP is published statewide for maximum response potential. Providers respond to the RFP with their proposals for meeting specified service criteria. Pre-proposal conference held prior to final proposal review. A diverse panel of regional stakeholders reviews each of the proposals, scores each to select the one which meets the service criteria, and reflects the best overall public interest value. RFP Process and Contract Award

7 RFP Criteria Realistic schedule connections with interstate, regional and local providers. A sound and sustainable business plan which includes marketing, revenue recovery from fares, freight handling and contracts. ADA compliant service vehicles and accommodations for bicycles. Interline agreements with Greyhound, Amtrak & other intercity carriers. FMCSA & USDOT authority to connect with interstate carriers. Federal certifications and assurances regarding insurance and drug/alcohol compliance.

8 Project funded with FTA 5311(f) funding and local in-kind match provided by Greyhounds unsubsidized capital costs Definition includes rural feeder service segments to interstate trunk- line Greyhound service in Washington state. The service schedules help meet regional travel needs in addition to making the Greyhound connections. Current three intercity routes are: Travel Washington Intercity Bus Travel Washington Grapeline- Walla Walla to Tri-Cities Travel Washington Dungenessline- Port Angeles to SeaTac Travel Washington Appleline- Omak to Ellensburg (October 2008)

9 Travel Washington Intercity Bus Customer ticketing: All Travel Washington customers are able to buy a one-way or round trip ticket in several ways: –Greyhounds toll-free telephone information center –Online through or any three Travel Washington websiteswww.greyhound.com –By phone (or in person) through Travel Washington providers, using Greyhound-supplied software and ticket printer (MAXX system) Customers buy tickets in advance or on the day of travel Tickets, issued in multiple parts, will include travel on Travel Washington and Greyhound (to their final destination)

10 MAX Ticket Sample

11 Interline Ticket Example

12 Travel Washington Intercity Bus Reconciling ticket revenues: Travel Washington providers & Greyhound both sell tickets. If Travel Washington provider sells the ticket, they will collect the fare for all segments of the trip including Greyhound segments. If Greyhound sells the ticket, Greyhound will collect the fare for all segments of the trip including Travel Washington provider segments. At the end of each month, Travel Washington providers and Greyhound reconcile ticket revenue collected by both and reimburse the other for any ticket revenue owed.

13 Travel Washington Intercity Bus Unique marketing of statewide intercity bus service. Standardized branding of vehicles.

14 Marketing and Promotions of Travel Washington Intercity Service Grape Man at State Transportation Conference in the Tri-Cities 2008 Apple Man with passengers in Omak October 2008

15 The Result More regional interconnectivity and mobility & access beyond Washington Increased coordination amongst interstate and regional providers Consistent and sustainable high quality service Increased community and regional awareness of services

16 The Future Travel Washington Fourth Corridor planning underway. Fourth Corridor connecting rural northeast Washington communities to Spokane (based on 2007 Intercity Bus Network Implementation Plan) Connections to Greyhound, Northwest Trailways, Amtrak and international airport Centralized customer service and dispatching through system designed by Bellair E-Ticket sales using Trip-Tik electronic sales technology to be deployed Coordinating intercity bus service connections with Oregon and Idaho programs

17 Questions?


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