• Apr 4, 2010
Lots of things about commuting are aggravating. High on that list is the productivity that gets smothered while you're snarled in traffic. You can only bang along on the steering wheel to Clyde Stubblefield for so long before you start getting antsy to convert the stop-and-go into some forward momentum on a project. Now, what if the whole commute could be as comfortable as the leather seats in an Infiniti G37 while you spent the entire ride with your nose buried in your laptop?

Bay Area commuters can park the car, pay a bit more for a luxuriously-outfitted bus, and recapture that formerly lost commute time. It's more efficient and has a smaller carbon footprint than 52 individual cars with just a single occupant idling away, too. Bauer's Limousine Service, a company that already zips Silicon Valley worker bees from hive to hive, has added four first-class-only buses to its fleet, and it calls the idea Wi-Drive. There's Wi-Fi, power, TV, even meals and coffee on the Wi-Drive buses. A one-way ride will put the hurt on a ten-dollar bill, and there's still some coordination to work out with pick-up and drop-off points, but it could be worthwhile for the increase in productivity and the better disposition you'll have after spending that hour and a half working, or just surfing Bring A Trailer, instead of pounding your head against the wheel in frustration while you sit in traffic.

[Source: The Wall Street Journal]


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  • 17 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Aww, you can't report a story like this without giving us pics of the inside!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Comparing this to a commuter bus/train is way off the mark. It would be far more realistic to compare the lux-bus to daily town-car service.

      Luckily, I don't have a daily commute, but when I do need to make more than a short trip on ground transportation, I've gladly paid $10/hr for somebody to drive me around in my own vehicle, so the lux-bus fare seems entirely reasonable.

      It comes down to a question of what you feel your time is worth. No matter who you are, you only get 24 hours in a day. So even if you spend your time on the wi-fi equipped lux-bus catching up on the latest episodes of "SeinFriends 90210," or the "Amazing Survivors Big Brother Mole Race," it's something you couldn't do while driving, and doing it while riding frees up other parts of your day to do something enjoyable and/or productive.

      How many days a week would you pay $20 to get two extra hours to do whatever you want?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Great idea, but I don't see how they can make money on it. You need a heck of a lot of $10 fares to pay for a $2M bus, plus driver, attendant, insurance, fuel, wi-fi subscription, etc.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't think their intention is to make a profit at the beginning. $10 for a one way ticket it quite alot, they would have no trouble turning a profit after a they get established.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Friend.. A 2 Million dollar bus is furnished with very elaborate things! This is mostly seats. I'd bet that it costs about 600K. You can get a used Provost tour bus fully furnished for 300K. Originally probably 1 mil but that's furnished!

        10 bucks a pop time 100 people a day would pay it off in 2 years at 600K! With upsells like food and drink (where the real profit is) they can bring in a LOT of money!

        Just sayin...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I dunno. $10 a trip is pretty steep. If my employer wants me to be productive during my commute, they better be ready to cough up the $400 a month bus fare.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A $20 round trip is quite a bit. Financially, I can't really see this working out, unless that additional time you get to work via WiFi would be worth significantly more than $20. If you're on salary, not sure it makes too much sense unless you're spending so much time on the road that you never make it to work at a decent hour and can never finish your work.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Look, it's a corporation, they'll figure it out themselves - and if they can't, they'll fail.

        Be glad the government isn't in charge of this.
      • 4 Years Ago
      $20 is a lot? Have you priced Metro North train tickets from say Stamford to New York City? And don't forget you have to park or get to the station somehow.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I take the public transportation every day and it only costs me $80 per month. I walk to and from the station. Entire trip is 45 minutes door to door. That makes it very useful, not wi-fi access. We need more convenient transportation, not fancy buses.

      This is a cool idea and it is a move in the right direction, nobody likes a public bus. This could be a nice way to spend some time; however, $~5K a year is crazy ($20 a day).

      • 4 Years Ago
      i just hope they can cram enough yuppies into one to get more cars off the road. i think its a great idea to have some sort of upper level public transit, but really, why not just throw money at public transit? not like cali's spending much now. at least its a step in the right direction.
      • 4 Years Ago
      these are the google buses.

      have been around for years

      have had wifi for years


      how is this news?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I thought lux bus are common in metro area? Here in East coast there are so many lux bus that goes all the way to different cities (eg boston to new york or new york to baltimore)
        • 4 Years Ago
        This is a commuter bus i.e home-work, work-home, 5 days a week. I like this idea. I wonder how successful it will be.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I like it too! I'd actually opt in if they had one around my area!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Regardless it's nice to see BaT getting some internet love.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hell, this sounds great. I'd toss 20.00 a day every now and then at that. I live in Ventura county but work at Universal...some days the valley floor crawl is so bad you want to shave your head and get all Travis Bickle on a mini van. Couldn't care less about all the fake greenism of it...I'd just like to arrive at work sane and calm every now and then.

      This looks like a great idea.
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