Getting Business People on the Coach: A Stated Preference Experiment for Intercity Long Distance Coach Travel

Steven Lannoo*, Veronique Van Acker, Roselinde Kessels, Daniel Palhazi Cuervo, Frank Witlox

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


From the middle of the 1990s, the traditional coach industry in Western Europe has been in decline. However, recent regulatory changes have created new opportunities in the sector of scheduled intercity services, resulting in fast growth of both coach lines and passengers traveling on these lines. Until now, operators have persuaded a public consisting mainly of students and people traveling for leisure purposes. In this paper we analyze whether business travelers could also be an interesting target group and what service characteristics are most convincing for them. For this purpose, we organized a stated preference experiment in which we gathered data from 63 Belgian business travelers. Analysis of the data revealed that for business travelers, price is the dominant factor in seducing customers. However, journey length, higher commercial travel speeds, ample leg space, on-board Wi-Fi and the entertainment system also play a role. Moreover, business travelers are prepared to pay for extra services. We conclude that when an adjusted service is offered, business travelers form an interesting (additional) target group for the intercity coach business. Our findings could be used by coach operators for product development and help to understand travel market segmentation, and eventually also have impact on developing a more sustainable travel policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-174
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • intercity coach
  • stated preference
  • modal choice
  • business travel

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