By Karen Axelton
Small Business Daily has buses on the brain lately. Last week, I posted about the “bustaurant” trend; today, the hottest thing on wheels is…business travel?
Bus companies—both old names like Greyhound and new entries like BoltBus–are targeting business travelers, USA Today reports. In an effort to compete with airlines, they’ve remodeled their coaches and are offering low, low fares and perks like wi-fi to help business travelers do more on the road.
While business travelers aren’t exactly flocking to buses, more of them are considering it, says Kevin Mitchell of the Business Travel Coalition. “Ten years ago, buses would not have been considered a product substitute to the airline seat,” Mitchell told USA Today. “However, the air-transportation experience — from security, to airline fees, packed planes, stuffed overhead bins and stressed-out staff — has changed such that consumers are [re-evaluating] the whole process.”
Business buses have undergone makeovers and added features like wi-fi and electrical outlets to capture business travelers and overcome the “seedy” image of buses. RedCoach says 12 percent of its travelers are on business.
For travelers going short distances, once the hassles of getting to the airport, parking and going through security are added in, a bus trip may not take much longer than a flight—and it could save you lots of money.
Of course, time-sensitive travelers may not find buses fast enough, and those in metro areas well served by trains probably won’t give up the train for a bus. But in areas with less train coverage, or for small business owners choosing between taking a bus and driving a car, the bus could be a tempting alternative.
Would you ever use a bus for business travel? Have you already tried it? I’m curious to know.