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Coach buses

LudwigVonDrake

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Anyone have any idea why there are lots of third party coach buses driven by non-cast members being used as Disney transportation? We are ending a week long trip at All Star Movies and we had Disney buses maybe twice or three times the whole week. Is it cheaper for Disney to farm out the buses? Kinda ruins the Disney magic 😕
 

danlb_2000

Well-Known Member
Anyone have any idea why there are lots of third party coach buses driven by non-cast members being used as Disney transportation? We are ending a week long trip at All Star Movies and we had Disney buses maybe twice or three times the whole week. Is it cheaper for Disney to farm out the buses? Kinda ruins the Disney magic 😕

I believe it's because Disney is struggling to find enough drivers.
 

LudwigVonDrake

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I asked a Disney cast member about the coach buses and he got all weird and basically said at the end of the night when they’re really busy they hire extra buses but yesterday morning we went to Disney Springs in an Academy coach bus.
 

TransportationGuy

Active Member
Then I am likely mistaken.
Bus driver positions are open online, but the posting is pretty old since it hasn’t closed in months. Third party transport is being used to handle the volume of the all stars almost constantly along Disney buses as well as throughout the resort around opening and closing times. These supplemental buses will be around for quite some time as Disney had been quietly renewing contracts to fill the gaps for months to come.


Our return Magical Express coach this past Tuesday was a regular Mears vehicle though the driver did say “Welcome to Magical Express.”
As a part of the DME contract, Disney purchases new motor coaches at certain mileage intervals, but had decided not to do that since the service will be ending. To supplement, Mears is using their own coaches as well as subcontracted ones to cover the addition capacity needed.
 

Nick_A

On the edge of glory.
I had an Academy bus and driver a few weeks ago who was quite chatty the entire ride on the microphone. He informed us he was from NJ and was hired by Disney to come down “for the summer” to assist with their transportation needs.

It sounded to me like Disney needed to hire third party providers to meet the demand. I assumed it was a staffing issue.
 

Queen of the WDW Scene

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Probably lack of CM's.
Although I do recall a couple of times in the past having a coach bus.
I found out real quick that if its headed to MK wait for a regular bus if possible because the coach bus dropped off at TTC.
 

Rteetz

Premium Member
I was in WDW over the 4th and now the past three days. There were tons of Academy buses all over property these past three days. I didn't notice them as much over the 4th.
 

skypilot2922

Well-Known Member
There is a huge shortage of CDL's currently. Would you drive a WDW bus or a tanker? Tanker drivers are making $10k/wk in ATL area.

Thats what Disney gets for firing everyone, Probably most of the drivers knew they could make more elsewhere but enjoyed being part of peoples vacations. After Disney fired them they went out and got far better paying jobs. Good luck replacing those drivers Disney, they aint coming back. Not unless you triple their pay.
 

LudwigVonDrake

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I had an Academy bus and driver a few weeks ago who was quite chatty the entire ride on the microphone. He informed us he was from NJ and was hired by Disney to come down “for the summer” to assist with their transportation needs.

It sounded to me like Disney needed to hire third party providers to meet the demand. I assumed it was a staffing issue.
None of the Academy drivers I had spoke to the guests. We had one Friday night who was having a phone conversation while he drove 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

lightguy

Active Member
And this is why Disney should have invested in a fixed route mass transit solution instead of doubling down on more Buses and bigger roads. Not only is that infrastructure and bus replacement cost high, but the amount of staffing (especially hard to fill CDL positions) is astronomical vs. some type of trains (light rail, monorail, etc.) where you need 1 or 0 drivers per train plus station staff.
 

Bullseye1967

Is that who I am?
Premium Member
And this is why Disney should have invested in a fixed route mass transit solution instead of doubling down on more Buses and bigger roads. Not only is that infrastructure and bus replacement cost high, but the amount of staffing (especially hard to fill CDL positions) is astronomical vs. some type of trains (light rail, monorail, etc.) where you need 1 or 0 drivers per train plus station staff.
You spend the money up front or you spend more down the road. I have always thought they could have made a huge investment but saved money over 20 or 30 years.
 
In the Parks
Yes
Oh, I definitely agree, but I think the fact that the monorail trains are all more than a decade past when they shouldve been retired and are (more) headlines waiting to happen at this point while Disney experiments with gondolas as the next big transportation wave of the future of the past tells us everything we need to know about where they're at internally for transportation initiatives.

But I also think that Disney, for all that it is a private enterprise that can do what it wants on and with its own property, is not immune to bloated US transit construction costs. (And I'm generally unsympathetic to the argument that nothing should be built until we bring costs in line with our world peers, but on the other hand, Disney isn't currently choking to death on car culture, so.) And while I can absolutely fault them for the current state of the monorail, I cannot find it in me to fault them for choosing not to build more of it when the bus system (present issues aside) generally works about as well as you can hope for a bus system to work.

Frankly speaking, even as a staunch advocate for real transit solutions, I probably wouldn't sign off on running rail to every corner of the Disney property at the current going rate if the choice was mine. ($107m/km as of 2019 - a spitball estimate just based on how many points of interest there would be to connect says the going rate to establish WDW Metrorail is currently right around $2.5 billion, or about 100 years of funded bus service.) And it's not like Disney is currently lighting billions of dollars on fire for a useless interstate expansion that it could easily redirect towards transit instead, nor are thousands of guests dying annually at Disney due to the negative externalities of widespread single-occupancy vehicle adoption.

I really do hate to admit this, but Disney not building more trains is probably the right decision.

EDIT: Had a look at some other bus system operating budgets and decided I lowballed how many years of bus service would equal the $2.5bn investment on the balance sheet. It's probably 100, not 1000 - which, still.
 
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