United States of America
Brian Francis Antolin is a student in Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. His professional interests and research focuses on inter-regional mobility and intercity modal shift behavior in relation to public transportation. He worked at Greyhound Lines, Inc. in various operational rolls for their years as an intern.
Linda Joyce Forristal is assistant teaching professor in the Hospitality Management, Culinary Arts and Food Science department at Drexel University. She specializes in destination management which includes a focus on understanding the history, interconnections and dynamics of transportation in relation to tourism and intercity mobilities.
Remobilizing intercity travel: How Greyhound stayed alive
Over the past decade, Greyhound, North America’s legacy bus carrier, has successfully adapted to accommodate the demands of the mobile, wired traveler that demands transit connectivity. For years, Greyhound restricted customer mobility and connectivity by offering static routes, schedules and fares. With the lack of reinvestment into key resources, low-employee morale, negative public perception of intercity bus travel and a lack of attention to customer needs, Greyhound struggled to stay relevant and solvent.
Ethnic curbside carriers, such as Chinatown bus companies, were the first to utilize the power of the Internet to sell tickets in the late 1990s. With lower fares and more attention to evolving travel behaviors, they helped remove restrictions on mobility, allowing a new group of customers to adopt and adapt to the bus as a preferred mode of transportation. Not recognizing or responding to these new trends, Greyhound continued to lose market share with its dated business model.
Greyhound is only alive today because they unwillingly adapted and learned from their keen, progressive competition with more attention to current customer needs and demands. In 2008, they leveled the playing field with the introduction of BoltBus, their own curbside service, and Greyhound Express, the final result of the company’s strategic reinvestment in terminal infrastructure, employees and customer service.
Today, stratification of the Greyhound brand with the continuation of service to major terminals under the names Greyhound and Greyhound Express, plus its premium Boltbus operation, serves multiple niche markets by offering value-added mobility.