9     Other Services Provided by Private Motor Carrier  Operators in Massachusetts

9.1     Charter and Tour Operators

The operation of fixed-route, scheduled bus services represents only a small part of the private carrier motor coach industry. Other services provided by private carriers include tours, charters, school transportation, and transit contracting. The Department of Public Utilities Transportation Division lists 365 private bus companies operating in Massachusetts, only a small number of which offer fixed-route, scheduled services. The total number of buses operated by these carriers in Massachusetts was estimated by the FHWA to be 3,692 commercial buses and 7,401 school buses in 2009.2

The private motor carrier industry is basically about moving people. In the case of the motor coach tourism industry, however, the bus operations are key to making an entire submarket of the hospitality industry feasible.

The American Bus Association (ABA) estimates that in 2009, in Massachusetts alone, the motor coach tourism industry employed 9,820 workers with a payroll of $371 million. This includes the motor coach operators, as well as the hotels and other lodging establishments and the dining, entertainment, and amusement venues that depend on bus tourists. The ABA estimates that an additional 2,678 jobs can be attributed to firms supporting and provisioning motor carrier tourism operations in Massachusetts.

The large casino complexes in eastern Connecticut have proved to be viable destinations for private motor carriers. Direct one-seat service is offered from a large number of Massachusetts locations by numerous private carriers. Service can be scheduled for the convenience of casino patrons and practicalities of bus fleet utilization. The carriers currently providing service to the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun complexes, and the Massachusetts origins served, are shown below.

Mohegan Sun services

Foxwoods services

2 http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/information/statistics/soo9/mv10.cfm