Inspired by high profitability in the airline sector, bus companies are eying the idea of elite programs, with operators in Sweden, UK and the USA planning to introduce new premier offerings in 2018. The USA’s New Jersey Transit are most advanced with the debut of its “Platinum Imperial” service in the Spring. According to NJT, around 30 of its buses on high-volume routes such as the 609 Ewing to Quakerbridge Mall will be retrofitted with Platinum Imperial business class seating, featuring fully reclining pod-style seats and Walmart Mainstays toiletries. Priority boarding will be established at principal bus stops, allowing Imperial group 1 and 2 members to line-up in designated lanes prior to getting on the bus. The Elite Dream Lounge under construction at Trenton Transit Center will feature buffet-style pork roll, upgraded restroom facilities and bonus busmiles.
Operators believe that providing an imaginary social stratification with enticing elitist names, together with upgraded after-dinner sweets and pre-boarding lanes will make buses more acceptable to executive users. Whether they will be willing to pay $50 for the West Trenton to Hamilton Station ride remains to be seen, but based on behavior exhibited in air travel, expect long lines at the group 1 elite bus lane very soon!