Getting more people on the ground
Twiliner has a vision
Getting more people on the ground and convincing them to take a long-distance bus trip. How can this be done? The company Twiliner has a vision.
Guest article by Twiliner AG, Winner of the Fresh Travel Award of BUS2BUS 2022
People want and need to pay attention to their ecological footprint when traveling. Yet flying is still a long way off. Climate-friendly solutions are needed today. Night trains are experiencing an upswing, but the expansion of routes requires a lot of time.
Buses are also environmentally friendly, no need to explain that here. But is that enough to keep people from flying? Coaches today are often trimmed to cost efficiency, which affects the comfort, but also the image of the bus as a means of travel. Some bus operators therefore offer more comfortable luxury buses. This is mostly aimed at travelers who are used to bus travel from earlier times.
Twiliner is convinced that there is a lot of potential in the coach sector to open up new markets and customer segments. To do this, appropriate offers must be developed.
A Night Coach for a New Target Group
Twiliner has set out to develop an offer for people who do not travel by bus today. Younger, urban people with high expectations who think ecologically. According to their market tests, there is a lot of interest for a comfortable night bus among this customer segment.
Twiliner asked prospective customers how they imagine an overnight bus trip, what is important to them and what they would like to see. From the results, they have shaped a vision for a unique ground travel experience. With strong partners like Lantal1 and Migros Pionierfonds2, and in collaboration with experts and a university, the Twiliner team is now trying to bring this new bus travel experience to the road.
A New Bus Travel Experience
On the one hand, a comfortable seat is being developed in cooperation with experts in passenger seating and vehicle safety, which can be converted into a flat bed and has a restraint system for reclining passengers. On the other hand, the entire interior of the 22-seat vehicle is designed specifically for night travel: Whether it's the lighting or ventilation, catering, entertainment or the additional space to change clothes in the morning, the first version of their bus is tailored to the wishes of potential customers.
In terms of communication, Twiliner emphasizes the advantages of a long night bus trip compared to a short flight: boarding the bus in the evening in the city center comfortably and without stress, without security checks or long waiting times. In the bus one can relax or do some work, have a bite to eat and sleep, and arrive refreshed in the city center early in the morning. Of course, they also highlight the environmental friendliness of the coach compared to other means of travel.
The First Version as a Showcase
The pilot operation will start next spring, probably on the frequent flyer route from Zurich to London. This will demonstrate that coach travel can also be different and relaunch the debate on reclining seats in coaches. The test phase will also provide information on the level of demand and willingness to pay.
However, Twiliner’s vision goes even further. The goal is to offer a dense route network throughout Europe. If their assumptions are confirmed, there will already be 25 routes by 2025.
1 Lantal Textiles AG is a leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of textiles and services for international air, bus and rail transport. As a company with Swiss roots, Lantal stands for traditional values and is committed to the highest product and service quality.
2 The Migros Pioneer Fund enables pioneering projects that break new ground and test future-oriented solutions. It is part of the social commitment of the Swiss Migros Group.