Re: EMT Megatrain
- From: Mizter T <mizter.t@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 09:42:06 -0800 (PST)
Roland Perry wrote:
In message <7-GdnYexn9rgh_3anZ2dnUVZ8vWdnZ2d@xxxxxx>, at 17:29:24 on
Wed, 12 Dec 2007, Paul Scott <notvalidpmscott@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> remarked:
For those interested, the www.megatrain.com website is offering seats from 2
Jan 08 for EMT routes. As an example:
Derby to London Thur 3rd Jan
1134 at GBP 7.00; 1303,1434, 1934, 2116 all at GBP 1.00
London to Derby Fri 4th Jan
1000, 1125, 1225, 1400, 2225 all at GBP 1.00
Main stations covered: Sheffield, Chesterfield, Derby, Nottingham,
Loughborough and Leicester.
"megatrain.com is an easy to use, ticket-less product"
Sounds interesting. So in the absence of a ticket how do I show I'm
entitled to travel? Or do they give me some sort of alternative token
that's "not a ticket, honest guv; not even an e-ticket".
You have a booking reference number, and you will have provided a
name. The guard on the train has a list of valid booking reference
numbers and names. When I travelled on megabus the booking reference
number was all that the driver was interested in.
Leaving that aside for a moment, I've gone to their EMT website and
there is no sign of how to book them.
Going to the Megabus (sic) website, I see that the only service from
Nottingham to London in the morning is the 12.30 [if that still counts
as morning] arr 14.14. What a complete waste of time!
Journeys are only available to the 25th Jan, which is in any event
before the date I'd want to travel.
I can't even book a "silly trip" as the shortest layover in London they
offer me is over six hours:
12:30 Depart Nottingham London St Pancras 14:14
20:55 Depart London St Pancras Nottingham 22:39
The latter being the first train back after 14.14 (obviously).
Stagecoach have confirmed my worst fears - the Megatrain fares are an
elaborate PR bluff.
I think you're suffering from a complete paucity of imagination here
Megatrain will help EMT fill up spare seats on lesser used services,
as it currently does for SWT. It might have the secondary effect of
promoting rail travel and perhaps that's partially the intention, but
I really think one needs to look at the success of Megabus to
understand where this is coming from.
Megabus is about budget travel, and is very successful. Megatrain
would simply appear to be an extension of that to rail travel, and
will help fill up otherwise empty seats.
To be absolutely blunt you are not the target audience for Megatrain
or Megabus. You seem to think it's all a gimmick because it doesn't
suit your travelling patterns, doesn't offer arrivals early enough in
the day and won't help you facilitate day trips. But most people
travelling on Megabus are not doing day trips - they're likely to be
making a fairly long distance journey and will be staying overnight at
their destination. This is students, pensioners (though I'd think that
they'd be more likely to go by National Express coach), people on a
more limited budget travelling to stay with friends, those travelling
home from working elsewhere. If you see people getting on a Megabus
you'll see that more likely than not they will be carrying luggage
that is more substantial than a mere day bag.
True, Megatrain on SWT would facilitate day trips, but so what -
ultimately it's a way for Stagecoach to fill up seats on lightly
loaded services - some money is better than none, and the extra cost
of administering the Megatrain concept is minimal, given that the
booking engine is already up and running for Megabus services.
The Megabus/Megatrain website by default presents bus and train
options together in the results when there are both buses and trains
on that route. I've just had a quick look at some London to Sheffield
and London to Southampton journeys in early January and the price of
the train journey is not any higher than the price of the bus journey.
The prices are of course demand responsive, so I guess that if the
train option becomes popular then the system could/would crank up the
price of the train compared to the bus.
Of course Megatrain will be used by Stagecoach in their PR efforts to
say that they are offering cheaper travel. However just because that
might be happening doesn't mean that the product is itself a duff. I'm
quite sure that as word spreads then Megatrain on EMT will be pretty
successful in putting bums on otherwise empty seats.
Plus it has could have the added benefit - Stagecoach Group at least -
that they might need to run less Megabuses on routes which duplicate
Megatrain rail routes, as Megabus passengers might switch to
Megatrain. However I'd think it more likely that the expansion of
Megatrain on to EMT will just grow the Megabus business model further
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- From: Roland Perry
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