In the latest Motorcoach Census, provided and published by the American Bus Association (ABA) in 2013, the bus industry in the U.S. consisted of over 3,600 individual bus companies operating more than 35,000 individual charter buses. If you’re really only familiar with buses in terms of the local bus services provided by your city’s public transportation department, then it probably comes as a surprise that there’s a charter bus industry at all, and that it’s big enough to have its own association.
Regardless of whether you’ve never taken charter bus transportation before in your life or whether you exclusively travel via motorcoach companies, the extent to which bus companies bolster the U.S. economy is pretty impressive. For example, as the ABA’s 2013 Census notes, there are a handful of ways that bus companies provide better transportation and support the economy:
Millions of Passenger Trips: In just one year, bus companies provide about 750 million individual trips and are responsible for driving about 75.7 billion passenger miles. Out of all these trips, the largest percentage of trips (41%) were conducted through small coach bus companies who operate fewer than 25 individual vehicles.
Employment: Out of the 3,600 companies in the country, 94% are considered to be small businesses — even though each company operates fewer than 25 buses, these bus companies provide about 52% of jobs within the bus industry. Overall, charter bus services provide more than 132,000 jobs, and it’s a well-known fact that small businesses are more likely to support their local communities through these jobs, ultimately increasing the quality of life for residents.
Support for Other Industries: For a single charter bus to stay just one night in a local town, over $11,000 of revenue is collected by the local community through lodging, food, and entertainment services. In fact, for every $1 paid toward the charter bus industry (e.g., passengers buying tickets), about $1.65 worth of revenue will materialize for other industries, both on a local scale and a national scale.
So if anything has been keeping you from looking at your local bus company for transportation options, it might be time to re-think how much of a difference you’ll make, just by choosing to become a passenger on a charter bus!