By Demetrius Dillard
Special to the AFRO
OurBus, a technology platform specializing in intercity travel, has announced a newly launched direct bus route running between Baltimore and New York City.
It’s the only direct bus route with service between downtown Baltimore to Manhattan in addition to Wilmington/Newark, Del., to Manhattan, the company said in a release.
Marketing itself as a customer-friendly, affordable, time-efficient alternative for passengers, OurBus offers cutting-edge flexibility for its riders. The company provides bus services in more than 100 markets in the U.S., and the newly launched route will be particularly useful for Baltimore-area college students who are either from the NYC area or are visiting, said OurBus CEO Numaan Akram.
“Students were really the first ones to find us because I think they were looking for a better solution. They were tired of that experience of old bus companies not meeting their expectations,” said Akram, who is also the co-founder of OurBus.
“Younger people were looking for an alternative and they found us.”
Aziah Siid, a Morgan State University student, is a proponent of OurBus’ marketing strategy and the comfort and convenience it offers. Though she doesn’t use intercity buses as much after getting a car, she isn’t opposed to using OurBus, should she choose to take a bus trip home at some point.
“If I did still take the bus or do choose to start taking the bus again back home, that will definitely be a bus route I consider just because when you want to go home, you want to go home,” said Siid.
“You really just want to be comfortable and get there as soon as possible to start your mini vacation away from school and work. So I think it’s pretty dope.”
The Brooklyn native majors in multimedia journalism at MSU, is a graduating senior and is a former editor with MSU Spokesman, the university’s newspaper.
“I just hope that the service is as good as the Megabus and the Bolt bus. Those are the two I typically take,” she said. “I hope that accommodates everybody in a way where they’ll actually want to take it.”
The OurBus route runs from Thursday through Monday, and stops along the route include 1578 Maryland Avenue in downtown Baltimore (near MARC Penn Station), White Marsh Mall and Christiana Mall in Newark, Del. The route concludes in Manhattan at Park Avenue South between E. 27th Street and E. 26th Street (across the street from Hotel Giraffe at 371 Park Avenue South).
Safety protocols for OurBus are in place, including mandatory masking for passengers and staff as well as comprehensive cleaning and disinfecting of each bus consistent with CDC guidelines at the completion of each trip.
Baltimore-area residents may also find the express service just as useful as local college students.
“The bus industry, it’s been dominated by big guys like Greyhound and Megabus. But they are old companies and they don’t have much tech,” Akram said, adding that his company’s ratings are higher than industry competitors.
“So what we did was create new technology to improve the whole customer experience, that is the rider. We’re thinking about the rider first.”
OurBus provides an array of features to create a more enjoyable and convenient experience, including no rescheduling fee, free WiFi, sanitized restrooms, reclining seats, charging ports and free water. The bus service has a myriad of routes and destinations, and mainly serves commuters in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
“Our basic premise is that ‘if you make it easier to move, then quality of life improves’,” Akram concluded. “Baltimore needs accessibility.”
For more information, visit www.ourbus.com.
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