SIC 4141

This category includes establishments primarily engaged in furnishing local bus charter service where such operations are located principally within a single municipality, contiguous municipalities, or a municipality and its suburban areas.

NAICS Code(s)

485510 (Charter Bus Industry)

The local bus charter service industry—whose primary business is in local sightseeing tours and airport shuttle service—grew rapidly after 1982. The number of employees increased from 3,781 in 1982 to 8,782 in 1997, and the number of establishments in the industry grew from 163 to 503 during those years. More than 40 percent of these establishments employed fewer than five people; fewer than nine establishments employed more than 100 people. The average salary for all employees in 1997 was $16,094.

By 2000, the charter bus industry as a whole employed 38,380 workers, with a median hourly wage of $10.31. In 2001, there were 1,395 establishments, with 33,406 employees and a payroll of $660 million. The industry leader was Chesapeake Bus and Equipment Co. of Gaithersburg, Maryland, with $228 million in revenue. Phoenix-based Super Shuttle International Inc. was second with $75 million in revenue. Super Shuttle specialized in shared-ride door-to-door transportation.

According to the Motorcoach Census 2000, 1,623 companies offered charter service, 414 offered sightseeing tours, and 322 offered airport service.

Affiliates of the Dallas-based Gray Line Worldwide, a sightseeing and tour operator association with a global membership of 150 companies, provided charter services

SIC 4141 Local Bus Charter Service

and airport transfers across the country to accommodate local niches. Gray Line of San Francisco offered sightseeing expeditions around the city, as well as tours to nearby attractions such as the Napa Valley wine country. They also offered their tours in a number of foreign languages to accommodate the international tourist. Gray Line of Alaska maintained a fleet of more than 150 motorcoaches and offered more than a dozen different land tours of the state, some lasting as long as 10 days. In addition to its 21 daily sightseeing tours, Gray Line of Las Vegas did a high volume of business in airport shuttle service. With 65 coaches and 68 minibuses, its Airport Express service carried 2.4 million passengers to and from more than 70 hotels in the Las Vegas area in the mid-1990s. In 1996, Gray Line Worldwide announced plans to expand its membership and increase its electronic booking capacity.

According to the American Bus Association, only 8 percent of bus travel is due to sightseeing. The industry was expecting increases in passengers in 2004, as companies put more marketing effort into targeting the growing numbers of travelers.

Further Reading

Baker, Deborah J., ed. Ward's Business Directory of US Private and Public Companies. Detroit, MI: Thomson Gale, 2003.

"Motorcoach Census." American Bus Association, 2000. Available from .

"Motorcoach Industry Facts." American Bus Association, 2004. 8 March 2004. Available from .

"Super Shuttle International: About Us." 8 March 2004. Available from .

U.S. Census Bureau. "United States—Establishments, Employees, and Payroll by Industry and Employment-Size Class:2001." County Business Patterns. 5 March 2004. Available from .

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Bus Charter Service." 2000 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. 15 November 2001. Available from .

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