These luxury bus lines hope to redefine travel in America | Tech US News

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When you think of taking a bus in the United States, the picture isn’t always pretty. Overcrowded coaches, long delays and incomplete stops made bus journeys here a long time.

But is the perceived embarrassment of getting on a bus behind us? Luxury bus operators are betting on yes. From wine service to private suites to motion-cancelling seats, the emerging luxury bus industry is working to challenge the stigma of bus travel in America.

“It’s really a different experience than what people are used to with coach and ground transportation,” explained Daniel Aronov, founder and CEO of Napaway, a new luxury sleeper bus line that runs from DC to Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee.

On the Napaway, pilots get a suite with a privacy curtain and two seats that convert to a single bed. They will also receive pillows, blankets, Wi-Fi and onboard entertainment. The bus leaves DC around 10pm and arrives in Tennessee the next morning. Tickets start at $125 one-way and vary based on demand.

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Napaway sleeper bus (Napaway)

Aboard the Jet, another new luxury bus line running from DC to New York, you’ll find the world’s first “motion-cancelling” seats, originally designed by BOSE Audio using the same technology as their noise-canceling headphones . For $99 one-way, The Jet riders will also get food and beverage service, luxury bathrooms, extra legroom and fast Wi-Fi, among other amenities.

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“We like to call it the first true first-class coach company, much like a first-class experience on an international flight or private jet…but because it’s still a bus, we can do it at a very affordable price,” said Chad Scarborough, founder and CEO of The Jet.

The rise of luxury bus lines

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RedCoach Luxury Bus (RedCoach)

For companies like RedCoach, which operates routes in Florida and Texas, the concept of luxury coach travel is nothing new. RedCoach opened in the United States 12 years ago and its parent company has been in Argentina for over 50 years.

“In the beginning, it was very difficult, because people did not really understand the concept of luxury bus travel. You would think that luxury and bus would never go together; it was a last resort,” said Florencia Cirigliano, vice president of marketing. and sales on RedCoach. “We came in trying to change that mentality.”

Today, RedCoach is one of many operators, each offering something different. In Texas, RedCoach operates in Austin, College Station, Dallas, Houston, Katy, Richardson and San Antonio. In Florida, you can ride a RedCoach in 16 cities, including Orlando, Tampa and Miami.

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At RedCoach, it’s all about affordability and convenience, not the amenities you’ll see at Napaway or The Jet. There are fewer seats than a standard coach, and all are custom made, recline 140 degrees and come with leg rests. Tickets are priced at $29 one-way and come in three tiers: economy, business and first class.

“We’re focusing on a bigger audience,” Cirigliano said. “We believe the most important part of the service is the seat, being comfortable, having reliable Wi-Fi and having your outlets working. That’s pretty much all you need for just a few hours. We focus on safe stops, cameras on. buses, things like that.”

“Not just a trend”

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The Jet Luxury Bus Line from DC to NYC (The Jet)

So why is bus travel becoming more socially acceptable now? There are several factors, operators say. With the headaches and cost of air travel in the pandemic era, luxury bus lines are becoming a more affordable and convenient alternative.

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“We have new generations,” Cirigliano said. “People don’t want to be in their cars. They’re more open to other options. If you give them quality options, most companies, the way they grow is word of mouth, like, ‘oh, if you take the bus I’ll try'”.

The operators also credit low-cost international lines, such as Germany-based FlixBus, which have expanded into the United States in recent years.

“They opened up perspectives, more people were trying,” Aronov said. “This opens the door for high-end and premium services.”

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All three companies said they have plans to expand in the near future — The Jet has its sights set on Philadelphia and Baltimore — and all welcome more competition and more routes.

“I think the more companies that get into this space, the better off we are, because we still have to overcome this stigma that people have against buses,” Scarborough said. “What you can do with a coach is very unique with the high level of service you can provide at an affordable price. … I think that’s why you’re starting to see them all over the country.”

“We believe that affordable luxury coach travel is not just a trend,” Cirigliano said.

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