Intercity bus operations overall expanded by 6% in 2010, while curbside operators — which don’t run out of established terminals but pick up and drop off passengers at curbside — grew by 23.9%, says the study by the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul.
Curbside operators now have about 440 departures daily, says Joseph Schwieterman, director of the Chaddick Institute and co-author of the study. That total does not include Chinatown operators, whose operations are harder to gauge, he says.
“There was almost a perfect alignment of the stars,” Schwieterman says. “There was a new bus model that offers super cheap fares, technological changes that made people willing to take a mode of transportation slower than air travel, and the high fuel prices.”
A major attraction of the curbside operators is access to Wi-Fi service. The nation’s major curbside operators are Megabus, which opened its Chicago hub in 2006; BoltBus, a joint venture between Greyhound and Peter Pan Lines; DC2NY Bus, which began service between New York and Washington in 2008; and California Shuttle, which operates between Los Angeles and the San Francisco area.