Technology on Buses by DePaul University
The rising use of electronic devices on intercity bus, planes and trains.
The Personal Tech Tidal Wave
This report, the fifth in an annual series, explores the rising use of personal electronic devices among passengers on intercity buses, planes, and trains. This year’s sample consisted of 7,034 passengers on 106 departures. The results show that:
1. The use of personal devices among passengers remains on an upward trajectory. Discount city-to-city buses services (such as Megabus) experienced the fastest increase in technology use. More than 59% of passengers on discount bus lines were “powered up”— an increase from 46.4% last year—a rate that outdistances Amtrak, conventional bus, and air travel by a wide margin.
2. Technology use on airlines remained virtually flat and continues to lag behind other modes, suggesting that the relaxation of the FAA policy on the use of personal electronic devices is having little effect. The new policy allows the use of certain devices during takeoffs and landings but appears to have been greeted unenthusiastically by flyers who are still unable to connect to Wi-Fi or 3G/4G systems, send text messages, or place phone calls.
3. Tablet/e-reader use once again has risen sharply on all modes observed. More than one-third of devices used on airplanes are now tablets or e-readers.
4. The ability to use devices continues to stimulate the demand for bus and train travel.