Start-ups Find Footing with Crowdsourced Bus Service in Cities with Ailing Transit
Sept. 2, 2017
ABA's President & CEO Peter Pantuso spoke with the Washington Post about the crowdsourcing trend for commuters.
“They can come and go and in a lot of markets they are still trying to figure out what works, and it doesn’t work in every market,” said Peter Pantuso, president of the American Bus Association, which has 4,000 members including motor coach operators.
Pantuso said the surge in crowdsourcing apps is expanding the bus business in some ways and adding competition in others.
Companies that provide commuter bus services are seeing new competition, and even reporting losses in ridership. But the crowdsourcing for special events, is creating or expanding the bus market and the travel opportunities for customers who might not have known or been aware there was any kind of service available or who didn’t have a large enough group to charter a bus.
“The bus company might not have been offering that service so they are getting a new ridership out of it,” Pantuso said.
In some markets, including the popular New York to D.C. route, transportation companies could feel the pinch if more competition is added.
“Are they going to be expanding the market or are they going to take from what’s already there? I think that is the question,” Pantuso said. “They will tell you they are going to expand it, but I don’t know if they know the answer to that.”