For Immediate Release: Friday, September 25, 2015
ABA Board of Directors Discuss Technology Changes to Improve Motorcoach Experience
In an effort to create a better experience for the hundreds of millions of people who ride motorcoaches, the ABA Board of Directors looked to three diverse experts who are shaping the way passengers will book tickets and reserve bus transportation in the future.
The panel consisted of Polina Raygorodskaya, the CEO of Wanderu. Wanderu is a ground travel meta-search website that searches Amtrak, Greyhound, Megabus and other bus and train operators for the lowest fare. Matt George is the founder of Bridj. Bridj is a data-driven, popup bus service that prides itself on “not being your grandmother’s bus system.” Matt Kochman is the CEO of Buster. Buster is a business where you can book group transportation - buses, limos, and vans - easily and instantly, all online. The company also only works with charter operators who have met Buster’s high standards and have been “Buster Verified.”
The panel discussion took place at the ABA’s annual fall Board of Directors meeting in Cape Cod, Massachusetts on September 22nd.
All three technology experts agreed that because of many, already established benefits, motorcoach companies will continue to very important providing safe, high-quality transportation. But they stressed that the industry must evolve, especially when it comes to attracting and retaining new customers in the millennial generation. The key they said was providing options and an ease of booking quickly, along a high-quality experience.
“Connecting people to buses and train stations is a growth area, especially as more people are getting out of their cars. We want to help make bus travel bigger and grow,” said Wanderu CEO Polina Raygorodskaya. “If your riders love your experience, and the service is good, you’ll have and retain long-term customers.”
“We need the ABA and its high-quality bus companies. We are building the technology, and we want to be your partners,” said Buster CEO Matt Kochman. “We need to keep innovating and increase the consumer’s awareness of the industry.”
“Bridgj is doubling in terms of the number of its riders every 25 months. We want to make travel easier for passengers who travel on buses regularly and encourage new passengers to try it,” said Bridgj Founder Matt George.
“In my years at ABA this was one of the most exciting discussions we’ve ever had. The industry is changing. Now there are amenities such as free Wi-Fi and 110-volt plug-ins at every seat. Passengers can book different levels of service and consumers have more choices than ever before,” said ABA Chairman John Meier. “These young, innovative business leaders are technology, experts. This presentation gave us a roadmap of where the industry is going when it comes to the customer booking experience and what are members should begin preparing for now.”
The American Bus Association (ABA) is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry, with more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.
ABA Senior Director of Communications