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Bill Brannan Northwestern Trailways National Bus Traffic Assn. The Intercity Bus Industry.

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Presentation on theme: "Bill Brannan Northwestern Trailways National Bus Traffic Assn. The Intercity Bus Industry."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bill Brannan Northwestern Trailways National Bus Traffic Assn. The Intercity Bus Industry

2 Decline of Communities Served by National Intercity Bus Service

3 Began after creation of Federal Highway System in 1956 More personal vehicles Increased airline travel Service reduction by Greyhound/Trailways

4 Number of Communities Connected by Intercity Bus Service (1956-2005)

5 Decline in Washington State Intercity Bus Service

6 In Washington... 1982

7 In Washington... Today

8 What’s in the future

9 Intermodalism

10 Internationalism Canada - United States – Mexico

11 Intercity Connectivity Our Nation’s transportation infrastructure relies on intercity connections to facilitate access to nationwide travel. Motorcoaches can help complete intermodal trips, long distance moves or provide daily commuter between cities.

12 What is Intercity Transportation? ( As defined by FTA 5311(f) guidelines) Operates regionally on a regular fixed route schedule Connects rural communities to larger urban centers through the statewide network Is capable of carrying passenger baggage and freight Has meaningful connections with national intercity carriers and other transportation providers

13 What Intercity is not: Intercity is not a local commuter service Intercity is not demand responsive These services can act as connectors for the Intercity Network, but are funded from sources other than FTA 5311(f)

14 Characterizing Private Intercity Fixed Route Carriers How many scheduled service companies exist? –100-200 carriers 2 –Approximately 70 carriers nationwide are listed in the Russell’s Guide and 59 carriers belong to the National Bus Traffic Association. How many scheduled service stops are served by private carriers? –Nearly 3,200 bus stations 1, serving over 4,200 destination points How many rural intercity passengers are served by private carriers ? –Able to reach 72.9 million passengers, serving over 31 million in 2001 (as reported by 12 of the 203 identified carriers in 2001) 1

15 Identifying Private Intercity Scheduled Service Carriers Intercity carriers serving rural communities can be identified through several sources. –Russell’s Official National Motor Coach Guide –The Greyhound System Timetable –State regulatory agency listings –Trade associations American Bus Association National Bus Traffic Association

16 Examples of Intercity Bus Service Private for-profit firms regulated by FMCSA –Greyhound and Northwestern Trailways Private firms, non-profits, or transits that receive 5311(f) grants to provide service between rural centers or from rural areas to urban areas Public transit systems that connect to traditional IC carriers outside their service areas

17 Other Examples of Intercity Bus Service Airporters that offer regular route services between fixed points Bus services operated in conjunction with Amtrak

18 What is NBTA?

19 The National Bus Traffic Association is: A non-profit association headquartered in Washington, DC Founded in 1933 Home of the Interline Revenue Clearing House and the Tariff Publisher for the Intercity Bus Industry A collection of 59 intercity scheduled service carriers located throughout the United States and Canada

20 Map of US NBTA Members

21 Interlining tickets with other companies 50% of passengers use more than one carrier Each carrier is independent Each carrier markets locally to their customers Share the revenue from ticket based on miles One ticket for entire trip

22 Interline Revenue Clearing House An interline ticket (also known as a thru ticket) allows a passenger to buy a single ticket to travel to a final destination that may require transportation from two or more bus service providers. Tickets can be distributed through an Automated Ticketing System –Greyhound’s TRIPS/MAX system’s –Gateway/Galaxy system is used by several carriers The process used to derive billing carrier’s proportionate share of ticket revenue is a function of miles transported to thru trip miles (mileage prorate).

23 An Interline Ticket

24 Payment Through the Interline Revenue Clearing House The Association operates the interline revenue clearing house which provides for the monthly settlement of credit and debit accounts electronically. Each month the carriers submit billing invoices to reclaim their portions of the thru ticket revenue, in addition to other categories of charges aligned with bus operations, such as: facilities rents, fuel, maintenance, etc. Carriers can submit their invoices requesting payment from other carriers online through the Association’s website, as well as view the amounts that they owe. Net payments are deposited and credited to the appropriate accounts through an electronic funds transfer.

25 Sponsorship Advantages for Transit Agencies and Non-Profits Nationwide visibility and quotation of the services offered by sponsored transit agencies Increased ridership Convenience of through ticketing for customers Expanded access for rural residents to the national transportation network A more seamless and coordinated national ground transportation system Access to additional funding sources –Ticket Sales Commissions –5311 –5311 (f) 3 Decreased paperwork

26 Sponsored Transit Agencies and Non-Profits May enter into a sponsorship arrangement with an NBTA member carrier, who will secure a membership application. Pay a nominal annual membership fee to the Association. Sell tickets to intercity destinations on the sponsoring carrier’s ticket stock from destinations originating on the sponsored carrier’s operating lines. Honor tickets of NBTA member carriers from intercity points of origin terminating on the sponsored carrier’s operating lines. Sponsoring NBTA member carrier will secure all applicable reclaims. Annual dues payment of $100.00


28 Greyhound Rural Feeder Service Program Feeder service must be meaningful: Prefer scheduled service over Demand Response service Proper operating authority & insurance Interline relationship with the Greyhound: NBTA “sponsored transit agency” membership Operated at least 5 days per week Not duplicating existing or other subsidized service Proper ticketing & package express service Information available to nationwide ICB network August 21, 2007

29 Greyhound Rural Feeder Service Program Meaningful Connections Weather, accidents or a change of plans can all impede a customer’s ability to properly schedule a return ICB trip with a DR feeder service If we can’t guarantee a customer’s connection return trip, we can’t issue a ticket or include the DR feeder service in our fare & schedule database And if customers, ICB companies & ticketing agencies can’t see local feeder service in our database, they can’t sell or market that local feeder service But substantial increases in 5311(f) funding make scheduled feeder services much more feasible August 21, 2007

30 Greyhound Rural Feeder Service Program Benefits for Feeder Services A rural feeder service can be operated with new & increased 5311(f) funding A rural feeder service may be able to secure local match for the project through the FTA local in-kind match pilot program A rural feeder service can sometimes also become an agent and also receive a commission on each ticket sold or package shipped (which can then be used as local match) August 21, 2007

31 Greyhound Rural Feeder Service Program FTA Local In-kind Match Pilot Project FTA initiated a 2-year pilot for using the unsubsidized capital costs of ICB service as in-kind match for the operating costs of 5311-funded feeder services Project definition must include both the feeder service and the connecting intercity bus segment, and the project budget must include both the direct costs and the in-kind contributions WSDOT supported this measure and is using the local match option in the Walla Walla service expected to begin in the near future August 21, 2007

32 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 $150,000 - 50,000less Fares - 50,000 50,000 Deficit 100,000 - 25,00050% 5311(f) - 50,000 $ 25,00050% local match $ 50,000* * At about $2.00 per mile (50% of Greyhound’s total operating cost), the project would need 25,000 annual Greyhound miles to match the project. * Greyhound will agree in writing to make this in-kind donation to the project. August 21, 2007

33 New Intercity Funding Approach

34 Separate Intercity FTA 5311(f) funds from the WSDOT Consolidated Grant Process Draft a Request for Proposals for specific routes within the identified intercity network Select best operator for each project Competition between providers, not projects

35 RFP Process No Grant Applications RFP’s Issued on Corridor Basis Gives More Control Sets Expectations in Advance Makes Sure we Tie in with Greyhound Schedule

36  WSDOT works with area stakeholders to identify intercity transportation needs and levels of service required for a regional route  WSDOT drafts an RFP for specific service levels along a route, which reflects those identified regional needs  Providers respond to the RFP with their proposals for meeting specified service criteria  A diverse panel of regional stakeholders reviews each of the proposals to select the one which meets the service criteria, and reflects the best overall public interest value RFP Process

37 RFP Criteria Meaningful connections with interstate, regional and local providers A sound and sustainable business plan which includes revenue recovery from fares, freight handling and contracts ADA compliant service vehicles Interline agreements with Greyhound and Amtrak FMCSA authority to connect with interstate carriers Federal certifications and assurances regarding insurance and drug/alcohol compliance



40 Travel Washington - Grape Line



43 Walla Walla Feeder Service Project With the Greyhound Rural Feeder Service program and FTA local in-kind match pilot in place: WSDOT established a process for creating feeder service to/from Walla Walla The project was designed to meet all FTA requirements for the 5311(f) program, including meaningful connections with Greyhound WSDOT & Greyhound staff cooperated on the development of service schedules WSDOT held numerous local and regional public meetings to obtain input August 21, 2007

44 Walla Walla Feeder Service Project Project Status: WSDOT has completed the RFP process and selected a service provider The provider is in the process of completing all the steps for service start up We expect service to be initiated in the near future August 21, 2007

45 Walla Walla Feeder Service Project WSDOT conducted a competitive RFP process that clearly presented service requirements, including: –Prescribed routing & scheduling –Service name: The GrapeLine –Days of service: 7 days per week, 365 days per year –Obtain NBTA membership for revenue sharing –Secure FMCSA and Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission (WUTC) authority –Ensure Greyhound ticketing capability for service –Aggressively market the service August 21, 2007

46 Walla Walla Feeder Service Project Customer ticketing: GrapeLine customers will be able to buy a one-way or round trip ticket in several ways: –Greyhound’s toll-free telephone information center –Online through –By phone (or in person) through GrapeLine, using Greyhound-supplied software and ticket printer Customers will be able to buy tickets in advance or on the day of travel Tickets, issued in multiple parts, will include travel on GrapeLine and Greyhound (to their final destination) August 21, 2007

47 Walla Walla Feeder Service Project Reconciling ticket revenues: GrapeLine & Greyhound will both sell tickets If GrapeLine sells the ticket, they will collect the fare for all segments of the trip including Greyhound segments If Greyhound sells the ticket, we will collect the fare for all segments of the trip including GrapeLine segments At the end of each month, GrapeLine and Greyhound will reconcile the ticket revenue collected by both and reimburse the other for any ticket revenue owed August 21, 2007

48 Walla Walla Feeder Service Project Project funded with FTA 5311(f) funding and matched by Greyhound’s unsubsidized capital costs Definition includes the feeder service segment from Walla Walla to Pasco and a Greyhound service segment from Pasco Feeder service will make 3 scheduled round trips daily between Walla Walla-Pasco, including stops in Touchet, Wallula and Burbank, the Pasco Intermodal (making the Greyhound connections), the Pasco Airport and the Pasco Transit Center The service schedules will help meet regional travel needs in addition to making the Greyhound connections August 21, 2007

49 Manual tickets MAX M anual A gent E x termination »Developed by Greyhound »Provides on-line ticketing at agencies »Automatic reporting and statistics

50 If you would like to see a live demonstration of MAX on-line, see me after workshop.

51 Northwestern Trailways Number of Passengers Continue to Grow Passengers

52 The End Result Consistent and sustainable high quality service Increased community awareness of services More regional interconnectivity Increased coordination amongst interstate and regional providers

53 Computerized MAX ticket



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