DALLAS — Greyhound Lines Inc. has awarded Prevost a contract for up to 360 motorcoaches, the largest order in Prevost’s 93-year history.
The deal specifies the delivery of the first 60 coaches this year with the option to purchase the balance over three years.
“Our team is quite excited to be able to build Greyhound buses again,” said Francois Tremblay, vice president and general manager at Prevost.
“We greatly value our long-standing relationship with GLI and are appreciative that they have chosen Prevost as their brand of choice,” Tremblay said. “We believe product quality and exceptional service support made all the difference in their decision.”
Greyhound President and CEO Dave Leach said the quality of buses Prevost produces “will help us to keep setting the highest standard for transporting customers across North America. Our customers desire to travel in the safest and most comfortable bus available; motorcoaches from Prevost allow us to fulfill that need for them.”
The new coaches will seat 50 passengers, which has become Greyhound’s seating standard during the past decade.
Volvo D13 engines coupled to Allison B500 transmissions will power the Prevosts. They also will be equipped with wheelchair lifts and inverters, enabling Greyhound and Bolt Bus to install 110-volt outlets and Wi-Fi, allowing Internet access by passengers.
Prevost has become the dominant supplier of new motorcoaches to Greyhound during the past decade, starting with an initial order of 50 announced at UMA Motorcoach Expo in January 2008. In a series of follow-up buys, Prevost has delivered a total of 465 X3-45 Prevosts for use in Greyhound, Bus Bolt and Greyhound Mexico fleets.
The Bolt Bus subsidiary of Greyhound operates in the northeastern and western regions of the U.S., plus British Columbia, and Prevost coaches dominate its 100-bus fleet, including a handful of second-hand H3-45 Prevosts Greyhound acquired.
Should Greyhound end up buying all 360 coaches specified in the new order, that will bring the number of Prevosts it has purchased to 830, representing just over half the Greyhound fleet.
The last major order for Prevost X3-45s by Greyhound was nearly four years ago, with delivery of those coaches occurring in April and May 2014. Since then, with Greyhound’s parent company, FirstGroup, having to cope with a series of financial setbacks, Greyhound has added coaches on a more sporadic, smaller-scale basis.
In 2015 and continuing through most of last year, Greyhound passenger counts declined, forcing the carrier to reduce over-the-road mileage. During the 12 months ended March 31, 2017, Greyhound mileage decreased by 4.8 percent.
The drop in travelers and mileage allowed Greyhound to reduce the size of its fleet by 100 coaches during the 12 months ended March 31, cutting the fleet from 1,700 buses to 1,600 and reducing its workforce by 500 people.
Greyhound remains by far the largest provider of intercity bus transportation in North America, serving upwards of 3,800 destinations and operating throughout the continental U.S., 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico.
Prevost, which is part of the Volvo Group, is a leading supplier of touring, intercity and commuter motorcoaches. It also is the world’s No. 1 producer of conversion coaches for high-end motorhome and specialty conversion.
Prevost has its main manufacturing facilities in Sainte-Claire, Quebec, and has 10 parts-and-service centers in the United States and Canada.
“It is always a pleasure to work with our long-term partners at Greyhound and FirstGroup,” said Jack Forbes, vice president of North American sales for Prevost.
“A true team effort went into the bid process that brought us to securing this contract and our relationship with GLI will continue to be a team effort,” Forbes said. “From sales to manufacturing to the best aftermarket support team in the industry, we are all committed to the success of this partnership.”