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TRB – Omaha, NE National Conference on Rural Public & Intercity Bus Transportation October 20, 2008 Connecting The D PowerPoint Presentation
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TRB – Omaha, NE National Conference on Rural Public & Intercity Bus Transportation October 20, 2008 Connecting The Dots Northwestern Trailways – Bill Brannan NBTA – Brandon Buchanan Greyhound Lines, Inc – Tim Lukes. The National Bus Traffic Association is:

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TRB – Omaha, NE

National Conference on Rural Public & Intercity Bus Transportation

October 20, 2008

Connecting The Dots

Northwestern Trailways – Bill Brannan

NBTA – Brandon Buchanan

Greyhound Lines, Inc – Tim Lukes

The National Bus Traffic Association is:
  • A non-profit association headquartered in Washington, DC
  • Founded in 1933
  • Home of the Interline Revenue Clearing House
  • A nexus point for 54 intercity scheduled service carriers located throughout North America
  • Shared staff resources with the American Bus Association (900 bus operator members, 130 fixed route operators)
  • Legislative and regulatory service provider for the private motorcoach industry
interline revenue clearing house
Interline Revenue Clearing House
  • Simplified monthly settlement of credit and debit accounts electronically
  • Carriers submit billing invoices to other carriers online
  • Ticket revenues are reclaimed through apportioned miles
    • Passenger travel 500 miles for $60.00
    • Company A carried them 180 miles, Company B carried them 250 miles, Company C carried them 70 miles
    • Company A receives $21.60, Company B receives $30, Company C receives $8.40
  • Net payments are deposited and credited to accounts

$170 million per year in transactions

characterizing private intercity fixed route carriers
Characterizing Private Intercity Fixed Route Carriers
  • How many scheduled service companies exist?
    • 100-200 carriers
    • Approximately 70 carriers nationwide are listed in the Russell’s Guide and 54 carriers belong to the National Bus Traffic Association.
  • How many scheduled service stops are served by private carriers?
    • Nearly 3,200 bus stations, 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)
    • An estimated 14.4 million rural residents don’t have access to anything beyond bus transportation
network transformation before and after route network

Transcontinental Pipe *



Network Transformation: Before and After Route Network

* Transcontinental pipes had frequency reductions

opportunities for intercity service
Opportunities for Intercity Service
  • Opportunities have never been greater due to federal funds!
  • There is room for improvement, 61% usage rate of $.
opportunities for intercity service1
Opportunities for Intercity Service
  • An average of 21 states per year opt to certify the 5311(f) funds
  • A top down approach is not the answer!
  • A grassroots approach may give us the results that we desire.
nbta board 2008 2010 goals
NBTA Board 2008-2010 Goals
  • Staff and Industry Led Outreach
    • Increase Awareness & Accessibility
    • Increase Networking & Partnership Opportunities
    • Improve Channels of Communication
    • Increase Diversity & Coordination
outreach action plan
Outreach Action Plan
  • Identify potential transportation partners and service coordination targets
    • Metropolitan Planning Organizations
    • State Departments of Transportation
    • Public Transportation Associations
    • Community Transportation Service Providers
  • Direct NBTA members to information resources and key contacts
  • Develop partnership recruitment tools for NBTA members to utilize in building relationships
staff industry outreach mandate
Staff & Industry Outreach Mandate
  • Membership Meeting in 2007 (bi-annual)
  • Board priority to increase outreach and communication efforts
  • Fixed route service locations are decreasing
  • Passengers are losing through bus service
  • Disconnect in customer information available at the community level
  • Online trip planning and customer confidence are emerging priorities
increase awareness accessibility
Increase Awareness & Accessibility
  • Raise awareness of transportation planners to the services and resources provided by NBTA member carriers and the National Intercity Bus Transportation Network
  • Involve NBTA member carriers in planning process to introduce new or failed routes and/or develop terminal facilities
  • Improve the perception of the modern applications of fixed route service
  • Provide expanded access to federal, state and local transportation funding.
    • Legislative process
    • Operating subsidies
    • Capital subsidies
    • Marketing subsidies
    • Pilot programs/experimental routes
increase networking partnership opportunities
Increase Networking & Partnership Opportunities
  • Help establish links among groups with shared interests and goals
    • Transit agencies
    • Non-profits
    • Van pools
    • Other motorcoach operators
  • Increase public-private collaborations
  • Pool limited resources
  • Provide expanded access to funding
    • Encourage partnership to become a sub-recipient in federal programs:
      • 5307
      • 5310
      • JARC
      • New Freedom
improve channels of communication
Improve Channels of Communication
  • Market scheduled bus service beyond current service areas
  • Provide a forum for non-traditional partners to meet and communicate
  • Reduce barriers for efficiently implementing transportation plans and utilizing available funds
  • Facilitate information sharing and lessons learned
increase diversity coordination
Increase Diversity & Coordination
  • Introduce new interline partners to intercity bus service
  • Improve the transportation of special needs passengers
    • ADA coordination
    • Demand response scheduling
  • Educate private bus operators not currently providing intercity fixed route service to the service options available for them and their passengers
  • Facilitate the assessment of transportation needs
    • Rural systems
    • Urban systems
    • Underserved communities
evaluating outreach results
Evaluating Outreach Results

Quantitative Benchmarks

  • Formation of new interline partnerships or expanded routes
  • # of new members
    • Associate Members
    • Operator Members
    • Sponsored Carriers
  • # of identified target groups/organizations/affiliates for partnership
  • Feedback from Member carriers
    • Service Information
      • # of states served
      • # of station stops
      • Amount of grant monies received
    • Partnerships
      • Current
      • Pending
      • Past
  • Increased ridership
other industry resources
State Motorcoach Associations








New England

Northwest (WA, OR, ID)





South Central (LA, MS, AR, TX)





Other Industry Resources

National Motorcoach Associations

  • American Bus Association
  • United Motorcoach Association
  • International Motorcoach Group
  • Trailways, Inc.
what is next
What is Next?
  • Evaluate success of federal funds in maintaining service levels and customer access
  • Facilitate the communication of intercity transportation locations
  • Improve passenger interface and exposure with intercity services
let s work together
Let’s Work Together!

National Bus Traffic Association

Eric Braendel or

Brandon Buchanan

700 13th Street, NW, Suite 575

Washington, DC 20005

(800) 283-2877

(202) 898-2700

interlining with intercity icb expanding your service horizons
Interlining with Intercity (ICB): Expanding Your Service Horizons
  • Rural Feeders connect with National Services
  • Coordinating carriers means connecting customers
  • Shared terminals facilitate customer transfers
  • Coordinating services can cover your match

Regular NBTA Membership


Sponsored NBTA Membership


Existing, Meaningful Rural Feeder Services

  • SCAT- South Central Arkansas Transit in AR
  • Ride Solutions in FL
  • WAPT –West AL Public Transit in AL
  • Grapeline, Dungeness & Apple Lines in WA
  • Sage Stage & Delta Breeze in CA
  • States With New Meaningful Feeder Services Being Planned
  • CA, NC, OH, OR, TN, WV
  • States Subsidizing (Interlined) Private ICB Services
  • IA, MI, MN, MT, PA, TX
  • States Studying or Planning ICB Needs Assessments
  • AL, FL, IN, KS, MO, MN, OH
greyhound changes
Greyhound Changes
  • Greyhound has developed and improved a number of technology solutions that make rural feeder service much more meaningful, such as:
    • An industry-wide ticketing system (TRIPS/MAX)
    • An improved website offering real-time fare and schedule information and online ticket purchasing
    • Ticketing by phone and mail (800-231-2222)
    • No-cost ticketing software (MAX) and equipment that requires only a standard PC and high-speed internet connection (For Sponsored Carriers)
    • Simple, no cost operating and terminal access agreements (BTL) to not-for-profit operators
sponsored transit agencies and not for profits operators
Sponsored Transit Agencies and Not-for-Profits Operators
  • May enter into a sponsorship arrangement with an NBTA member carrier, who will assist in securing a membership application
  • Pay a nominal annual membership fee of $100.00 to the NBTA
  • Sell tickets to intercity destinations on the sponsoring carrier’s ticket stock from destinations originating on the sponsored carrier’s operating lines
  • Sponsoring NBTA member carrier will secure all applicable reclaims
  • Honor tickets of NBTA member carriers from intercity points of origin terminating on the sponsored carrier’s operating lines…”Interlining”
interlining tickets with other companies
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

b us t erminal l icense btl agreements
Bus Terminal License (BTL) agreements
  • Terminal access process:
    • Sponsored transit agency = no-charge
    • For Profit, non-sponsored transit agency = prevailing rate
  • Greyhound staff can help with development and execution of the proper agreements and training
greyhound insurance requirements
Greyhound Insurance Requirements
  • For interlined feeder services, we require a combined Single Limit for injury or damage in any one accident of
    • $1.5m for vehicles with a seating capacity of 15 passengers or less,
    • $2.0m for vehicles with seating capacity of 16-30 and
    • $5.0m for vehicles that seat more than 30
  • For terminal access, we require a General Liability Insurance with a combined single limit of not less than $1.0 Million
  • Greyhound must be an additional named insured in policy
local in kind match option
Local In-Kind Match Option

Feeder Service (Point A to Point B)

Net Operating Cost (Actual Costs less Farebox) =$ 10,000

Connecting Intercity Bus Service (Point B to Point C)

# Point B to C Miles x 50% of Fully Allocated Costs

=$ 10,000

Total Project (Point A to Point B to Point C)

Net Operating Cost Deficit =$ 10,000

+ Local In-Kind (From Greyhound) =$ 10,000

Total Project Costs =$ 20,000

50% 5311(f) Reimbursement =$ 10,000

commission ticket agency
Commission Ticket Agency
  • A rural transit agency can become an agent and sell Greyhound tickets and receive a commission on each ticket sold or package shipped
  • Commissions for rural feeder operators are 9%
  • Commissions are applied to both feeder and Greyhound trip segments: total trip accounting
  • Commissions paid in addition to feeder service fares
  • Commission revenue eligible for use as local cash match against feeder service operator FTA grants

Sponsored Carrier – Accounting Process

  • Greyhound will establish a Corporate Account for the Rural Feeder
  • The Rural Feeder can accept any of the following as an FOP
    • Credit Card – All CC processing fees paid by GLI
    • Corporate Account – GLI handles all billings and collections
    • Check
    • Cash
    • Wampum Bucks 
  • However, when they accept either cash, check or wampum bucks as the FOP, they use the corporate account established for them

Accounting Process (Continued)

  • At the end of each month an invoice is created by accounting.
    • All credit card purchases are settled by GLI
    • All corporate accounts are settled by GLI
    • Remittance = sales activity x commission rate, minus credit card and charge account activity. Difference is the commission $ earned
  • The invoice is e-mailed to the Rural Feeder and payment is expected within ten working days.
the end result reconnect the dots
The End Result – Reconnect the Dots:
  • Expand the service network of rural communities
  • Provide consistent and sustainable high quality service
  • Increase community awareness of services
  • Support more regional interconnectivity
  • Increase coordination among interstate and regional providers
greyhound contacts
Greyhound Contacts

Randy Isaacs, State Government Affairs

(615) 338-0847

Tim Lukes, (Manager, Field Operations)

(214) 849-7096


Interlining with Intercity Bus Service


Selling Intercity Bus Tickets


Earn Commission

Part of Information Network

Community Public Service

Increased Ridership

Bill Brannan

Chairman - National Bus Traffic Association

travel washington intercity bus
Travel Washington Intercity Bus
  • Project funded with FTA 5311(f) funding and local “in-kind” match provided by Greyhound’s unsubsidized capital costs
  • Definition includes rural feeder service segments to interstate trunk-line Greyhound service in Washington.
  • The service schedules will help meet regional travel needs in addition to making the Greyhound connections.
  • Initial three rural feeder routes are:

Travel Washington Grapeline- Walla Walla to Tri-Cities

Travel Washington Dungenessline- Port Angeles to SeaTac

Travel Washington Appleline- Omak to Ellensburg (October 2008)

rfp process no grant applications
RFP ProcessNo Grant Applications
  • RFP’s Issued on Corridor Basis
  • Gives More Control
  • Sets Expectations in Advance
  • Makes Sure we Tie in with Greyhound Schedule
manual tickets max
Manual tickets MAX

Manual Agent EXpiration

  • Developed by Greyhound
  • Provides on-line ticketing at agencies
  • Automatic reporting and statistics
sponsorship advantages for transit agencies and non profits
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
payment through the interline revenue clearing house
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.