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Bus co. expands efforts to NYC - Boston Herald
2004-12-24
The Peter Pan bus company put its efforts this year into improving its Boston-to-New York Route.

The move could hardly have been better timed. It came just as rider interest was growing.

More travelers than ever before are expected to head out this year, and a large chunk will be on buses.

``This is going to be a banner Christmas season,'' said Robert Schwarz, Peter Pan executive vice president.

Christmas and New Years are not typically ranked with the big holidays because they're so spread out, but this year is different.

The company has added 650 buses to its usual fleet of 120 to accommodate the intense demand. Buses are loading up and going rather than holding to a schedule.

The company expects to transport 200,000 people from Dec. 17 through Jan. 3. That compares with a typical 100,000 to 140,000 riders.

Ridership has already begun rising. There was a big boost on the New York-to-Washington, D.C., leg Wednesday when schools let out.

The IvyMedia Corp., an internet bus-ticket company based in Cambridge, has also seen a boost in business during the holidays, chief Jimmy Chen said.

``It's a good business to be in, for sure,'' Chen said.

He said interest in bus trips has grown since the 2001 terrorist attacks, when travelers began staying closer to home.

It helps this year that Christmas and New Years fall on weekends, said Mantill Williams, spokesman for AAA.

``We're expecting the largest number of travelers ever,'' he said.

And it will top off what has already been a good travel year, he said.

An estimated 62.7 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles from their homes, a 3 percent increase over last year, according to AAA.

Most of them, about 81 percent, will go by car. Another 14 percent will fly. About 5 percent will take trains or buses.

Peter Pan will expand its efforts this year on the New York-to-Washington route. He said officials will be pleased if they see the boost in ridership that they've seen on the Boston-to-New York route.