New easyBus service between Heathrow and Shepherd's Bush

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by radamfi, 8 Jun 2015.

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  1. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    easyBus will start a new service between Heathrow and Shepherd's Bush from 1 July. Fares will generally start from £2 but as an introductory offer all fares are 50p or £1 for travel 1-14 July if you book by 11 June. There is a 50p booking fee unless you have Maestro.

    This is the first easyBus service that is fully within the TfL area.

    If you have to pay at least £2 normally, it is clearly not great value compared to the Tube, especially if you have to get the Tube on from Shepherd's Bush. The off-peak Tube fare from Heathrow to Zone 1 is £3.10 and it is £2.30 from Shepherd's Bush to Zone 1.
     
  2. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    Are the hours of operation longer than for the tube?
     
  3. dzug2

    dzug2 Member

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    Almost 24x7 - though infrequent after midnight

    And they seem to have settled on £1.95 rather than £2 as the base fare
     
  4. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    It is extended to Waterloo from 5 October. Fares from £1 each way (plus 50p booking fee, except for Maestro).
     
  5. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm sure that this will attract plenty of people through the advertising of the fares and the 'Easy' branding alone.
     
  6. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    The card brand that is now defunct? My current account maestro has just been reissued as a Debit Mastercard.
     
  7. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    You can still get a Quidity Maestro card, and of course in many European countries, Maestro is the principal debit card brand.
     
  8. deltic

    deltic Established Member

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    I'm always surprised how few people I ever see on Easy airport buses in London - often they are completely empty.
     
  9. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Maybe some of them, at least, aren't in service and are just going to or from the start point? I doubt they'd be happy to run at a loss, at least not for an extended period of time.
     
  10. BestWestern

    BestWestern Established Member

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    How on earth does anybody make a profit on fares that are peanuts? Are these proper buses or is EasyBus still Ford Transits?
     
  11. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Not all fares are "peanuts". They use Renault minibuses nowadays.
     
  12. BestWestern

    BestWestern Established Member

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    Well if you have just 16 or so passengers, and some are paying almost nothing, I can't see there being a worthwhile profit margin. The standard fare would need to be not too excessive in comparison to the headline promotional fare, otherwise people will simply turn away and not use the service.
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Because they are minibuses and thus require only D1 rather than D, the drivers are much cheaper.
     
  14. BestWestern

    BestWestern Established Member

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    There isn't much in the way of savings to be made! :-/
     
  15. deltic

    deltic Established Member

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    Driving jobs are advertised as paying £10.75 per scheduled driving hour
     
  16. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Well, I'm surprised :)

    I wonder why they aren't using full sized coaches then?
     
  17. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Would they carry bigger loads than they currently do with a proper coach?
     
  18. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I wonder if they might. The history of easyBus is a strange one - they've toyed with minibuses the whole way through, while Brian Souter came steamrollering in and got the concept spot-on with large coaches and Megabus.

    It'd be like starting up easyJet with Cessnas.

    The minibuses might lend themselves well to a US-style airport-to-hotel shuttle, but that's not what they're operating.
     
  19. deltic

    deltic Established Member

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    Not with the loads I see them carrying - very few people on those traveling from Waterloo to Gatwick. The coach operations that are branded Easybus are run by National Express ie those from Victoria to Luton and Gatwick
     
  20. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Is the Easybus target market visitors who don't really understand the pricing of their competitors? Is the strategy to lure people in with dirt cheap headline fares and then hope that they will just pay whatever fare is being offered for the date and time that they want? Do they get a lot of custom from people on the outskirts of central London?

    I haven't registered the buses I've seen as being particularly full or empty. I don't really know much about their business model. it just seems to em that they must have some reliance on being a well known brand, at least across Europe, and they must make money somehow!
     
  21. BestWestern

    BestWestern Established Member

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    All I ever see of it is the sticker on the side of NatEx Levantes saying they accept EasyBus tickets. Seems like a rather pointless operation to me?!
     
  22. deltic

    deltic Established Member

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    I struggle to understand their business model to. They started off with the idea of entering the UK coach market but their advisors did not seem to understand the market and the service from Milton Keynes to outer London which they started off with didnt last that long. Not surprisingly they moved onto the airport market but again have struggled to make real inroads and now lend their brand to some conventional London-airport links provided by National Express.

    In some ways I see them a bit like Virgin - have a strong brand and good pricing model but dont really understand the operational bit and hence would prefer a more established player to work along side. With the exception of the airline have any of the other "Easy" businesses ever taken off - pardon the pun.
     
  23. BestWestern

    BestWestern Established Member

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    Do they still do hotels and car hire?!
     
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I don't know where on earth they got the idea of MK to London from; it was doomed from day one. Who on earth would use an infrequent service to outer London from a place that has frequent trains with cheap off peak fares *and* a frequent service of National Express coaches at even cheaper fares?

    They should have started with something like Manchester to London.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Someone told me that they nearly got into bed with Stagecoach, and what became Megabus could have ended up as easyBus. But for whatever reason it didn't work out, and the rest was history.
     
  25. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    http://www.route-one.net/industry/album-conference-sir-brians-big-idea/

     
  26. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm so glad it's not just me!

    I can see the sense in not operating buses at all, and allowing their brand to be used to allow other operators tor each customers that they maybe wouldn't otherwise.

    I can see that having a variety of pick ups just outside the central area of London might secure them some custom, but that's about all I can make any sense of.

    That makes sense!

    I'm sure I've seen adverts for different Easy offers across the web. Easy Cruise has definitely finished, but Easy Hotels seem to be still going.
     
  27. AndyW33

    AndyW33 Member

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    They are, they have 21 hotels across the UK and the rest of Europe. But just like the stickers on the National Express vehicles, it is a branding exercise. The hotels don't belong to easyGroup, they're franchised.
     
  28. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    So, to be fair, are a very large number of other chain hotels.
     
  29. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Indeed. I've never thought they were owned by Easy Group, it's just another example of the brand being seen as adding value, whether in a franchise or by some other method of partnership.
     
  30. deltic

    deltic Established Member

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    Never knew that - just imagine what would have happened if they had partnered up. It would be easy to see an Easybus branded Stagecoach operated coach service really taking on National Express and being a massive player in the transport market.
     
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