The Ultimate - Workable - Gen Con Shuttle ( Locked)
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Posted by watchdog helenbb
#21

helenbb wrote:
watchdog wrote:
I have no idea what that kind of shuttle system would cost.  The badge cost for the S.D. Comic Con was $220 last year and will be $245, and attendance is 130K, so I think your guess of cost prohibitive is probably correct.

Keep in mind that at SDCC, while the badge cost is higher, it includes admission to all events. Last year our family of 4 attended both SDCC and GenCon. At GenCon, between badges and event tickets, we spent $1,000, or $250 per person. This was a little more than SDCC (which is badge only, no event tickets for con events).That being said, the SDCC shuttle system is fantastic, and it runs regularly, 24 hours a day, during the cons. San Diego also has an awesome public trolley service. These two things together make out-of-downtown hotels viable.

Assuming you paid $80 per badge, that comes to $170 in event tickets per person.  The base cost of most Gen Con events is one dollar per hour. Some people may load up heavily on some of the higher priced options like True Dungeon or some of the SPA events, but the average Gen Con attendee will probably spend under $50 for event tickets. 

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Posted by genconkeeper
#22

Last years shuttle (Indy Go Shuttle) had a Mapping App called 'Double Map" for the Iphone. I guess they have for the Android too. They provide the campus shuttle for IUPUI just blocks from the ICC. The App allows me from my desk to track any of the five bus routes and the bus on them on campus and step out of catch them to anywhere on IUPUI. Now they also run the Green line from the Airport so you can track that bus. If Gen Con was contracting with them again, what would it take to add a Gen Con Map for the duration.  That should provide the intell riders need.
Randu

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Posted by tdb
#23

I don't think the shuttle was run by IndyGo, I think it was another company called just "Go".  So the app probably wouldn't help with that.

That SDCC shuttle setup someone linked to was impressive.  Can anyone who has been there comment on how it worked in practice?

Unfortunately Indy isn't very friendly to public transportation, so I sort of doubt anyone has the available capacity locally to offer something similar. 

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Posted by helenbb watchdog
#24

watchdog wrote:
Assuming you paid $80 per badge, that comes to $170 in event tickets per person.  The base cost of most Gen Con events is one dollar per hour. Some people may load up heavily on some of the higher priced options like True Dungeon or some of the SPA events, but the average Gen Con attendee will probably spend under $50 for event tickets. 

My badge was a little more, since I went to Trade Day, but yes, otherwise it was regular 4 day badges. But the events were very expensive. It may be $2 to sit and play a board game or RPG, but we do those things at home all the time so we wanted to experience events that were unique to GenCon that we could not do anywhere else. 2 rounds of True Dungeon (both adventures) alone was over $100 per person. Add in Killer Breakfast and Gamers Live and other such events and it added up quickly. We didnt' begrudge the cost, becuase we felt that overall the pricing was similar to SDCC< which is a similarly long event (4 days with some Wednesday night activities). 

Anyhow, my point was that overall, the costs of badges + events are similar between SDCC and GenCon. I think the big difference is that all of that money goes to SDCC and GenCon only gets some of it (because much of the event ticket cost goes to the event providers). Regardless, I believe that the majority of GenCon attendees would be willing to pay a modest increase in badge cost to have a shuttle service with the reliability and frequency of the system at SDCC.

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Posted by fjbradford helenbb
#25

helenbb wrote:
watchdog wrote:
Assuming you paid $80 per badge, that comes to $170 in event tickets per person.  The base cost of most Gen Con events is one dollar per hour. Some people may load up heavily on some of the higher priced options like True Dungeon or some of the SPA events, but the average Gen Con attendee will probably spend under $50 for event tickets. 

My badge was a little more, since I went to Trade Day, but yes, otherwise it was regular 4 day badges. But the events were very expensive. It may be $2 to sit and play a board game or RPG, but we do those things at home all the time so we wanted to experience events that were unique to GenCon that we could not do anywhere else. 2 rounds of True Dungeon (both adventures) alone was over $100 per person. Add in Killer Breakfast and Gamers Live and other such events and it added up quickly. We didnt' begrudge the cost, becuase we felt that overall the pricing was similar to SDCC< which is a similarly long event (4 days with some Wednesday night activities). Anyhow, my point was that overall, the costs of badges + events are similar between SDCC and GenCon. I think the big difference is that all of that money goes to SDCC and GenCon only gets some of it (because much of the event ticket cost goes to the event providers). Regardless, I believe that the majority of GenCon attendees would be willing to pay a modest increase in badge cost to have a shuttle service with the reliability and frequency of the system at SDCC.

The only way the costs are similar is if you pay for a lot of high cost events.  My event cost last year was under $30.  I'm also not really interested in paying an increase for a shuttle service.  Badges go up each year.  I would like to see the prices rise as little as possible.
  
I understand and respect your point of view here.  I just do not agree with it...

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Posted by nikki
#26

I would gladly pay a small increase in the badge prices for a good shuttle system.  One day, I might need it.  And even if I don't, having a shuttle system in place would make the crush for downtown rooms less and thereby would increase my chances of getting one.  I see it as a win/win situation for both attendess (and myself) and the con.

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Posted by garhkal mrshiny
#27

mrshiny wrote:
You can book suites now, at $1000 a night or so.

I am sure someone has 4000 just lying around...

 

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Posted by watchdog helenbb
#28

helenbb wrote:
Anyhow, my point was that overall, the costs of badges + events are similar between SDCC and GenCon. I think the big difference is that all of that money goes to SDCC and GenCon only gets some of it (because much of the event ticket cost goes to the event providers). Regardless, I believe that the majority of GenCon attendees would be willing to pay a modest increase in badge cost to have a shuttle service with the reliability and frequency of the system at SDCC.
And my point was that it was a similar cost for you and your family.  But that's not what even the typical Gen Con attendee spends on events, let alone a universal experience.  

I agree that the majority might approve of a modest increase in badge costs to fund a shuttle system, but it would have to be very modest. At some price points it would be more cost effective for a group to book a downtown hotel out of block than to pay Comic Con level badge prices.
 

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Posted by nikki
#29

I don't think it would need to be a large increase.  Just rough numbers, if they added $ 5.00 to the badges for shuttles and with 60,000 attendees, they'd bring in $ 300,000.00 just to fund a reliable shuttle system.

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Posted by tdb
#30

Remember that some of those 60,000 people are one-day attendees. I'm not sure just how many, but I have noticed quite a few, mostly on Saturday and Sunday.  So the 4-day badges might have to pay a bit more, and the 1-day a bit less, to hit the $300K.

And I suspect that might not be enough.  It might cover the cost to run the buses but I doubt it would cover the driver's pay nor profit for the owners.

 

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Posted by lanefan tdb
#31

tdb wrote:
Remember that some of those 60,000 people are one-day attendees. I'm not sure just how many, but I have noticed quite a few, mostly on Saturday and Sunday.  So the 4-day badges might have to pay a bit more, and the 1-day a bit less, to hit the $300K.
And I suspect that might not be enough.  It might cover the cost to run the buses but I doubt it would cover the driver's pay nor profit for the owners.
 

Let's throw some numbers around; if these are out to lunch for some reason please correct me.

Say we put 6 buses on the road and run 'em 24 hours a day from 6 a.m. Thursday to 4 p.m. Sunday - that's (24+24+24+10 =) 82 hours of operation x 6 buses = 492 operating hours.  A $300K budget thus gives you $609 per operating hour.  Let's say the drivers make $40/hour average, factoring in overtime etc. - that still leaves well over $560 per hour.  Someone who knows bus operation better than me can chime in here and tell us what it costs to gas up a bus and keep it on the road, but I'd be pretty shocked if it was more than $500/hour, leaving the remaining $60/hour or so as profit for the bus company.

And possibly all 6 buses don't need to run overnight, maybe we just need three from midnight to 7 a.m.; the operating hours thus saved could go to a limited service Wednesday afternoon/evening and Sunday after 4.

In short, I suspect it would be more than enough.

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Posted by dballing lanefan
#32

lanefan wrote:
tdb wrote:
Remember that some of those 60,000 people are one-day attendees. I'm not sure just how many, but I have noticed quite a few, mostly on Saturday and Sunday.  So the 4-day badges might have to pay a bit more, and the 1-day a bit less, to hit the $300K.
And I suspect that might not be enough.  It might cover the cost to run the buses but I doubt it would cover the driver's pay nor profit for the owners.

Let's throw some numbers around; if these are out to lunch for some reason please correct me.Say we put 6 buses on the road and run 'em 24 hours a day from 6 a.m. Thursday to 4 p.m. Sunday - that's (24+24+24+10 =) 82 hours of operation x 6 buses = 492 operating hours.  A $300K budget thus gives you $609 per operating hour.  Let's say the drivers make $40/hour average, factoring in overtime etc. - that still leaves well over $560 per hour.  Someone who knows bus operation better than me can chime in here and tell us what it costs to gas up a bus and keep it on the road, but I'd be pretty shocked if it was more than $500/hour, leaving the remaining $60/hour or so as profit for the bus company.
And possibly all 6 buses don't need to run overnight, maybe we just need three from midnight to 7 a.m.; the operating hours thus saved could go to a limited service Wednesday afternoon/evening and Sunday after 4.
In short, I suspect it would be more than enough.

So here's some basic info:

You can charter a bus for 12 hours for around $1300.  Cheaper if you use school buses (~1000/12) instead of motor coaches (and, frankly, you want to use school buses because they can pack more asses into them, and you're NOT going to want to be using the under-coach storage anyway, it's just not time-effective... the challenge may be getting them on Thursday and Friday if school is back in session already).

(Source: http://www.busbank.com/charter-bus-pricing/school-bus-rentals/ )

So every bus-day is $2000, ballpark numbers.

Let's say there are six different routes. Let's say a route takes an hour to do, out and back. Let's say we want buses to run every 10 minutes.

6 routes * 6 buses per hour * 4 days * $2000/day = $288,000

These figures don't include gratuities. 10% seems to be norm, but for this kind of "abuse" of the drivers (in terms of long hours, etc.) figure 20%, so ~$58k just in gratuities.

Now, folks will say "you don't need buses every 10 minutes at 4am" and you're right, but you're going to want them every 5 minutes during the day, so it all balances out, in terms of "back of the envelope" type cost-analysis.

 

 

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Posted by marimaccadmin
#33

You guys are incredibly off base on how much it would cost to run shuttles of the scale and size they would need to be, to be effective for Gen Con attendees.  It's a lot more than that.  You all just don't have realistic numbers.

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Posted by dballing marimaccadmin
#34

marimaccadmin wrote:
You guys are incredibly off base on how much it would cost to run shuttles of the scale and size they would need to be, to be effective for Gen Con attendees.  It's a lot more than that.  You all just don't have realistic numbers.

Well, my numbers come from an actual bus company, based on guidance from my mother who used to work for a bus company.

They might need to be tweaked some in terms of increasing the frequency if there's more people on a given route using the service, but that's a defineable number (and, if you sell bus passes in advance, a pre-determined number that you can use to maximize efficiency). 

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Posted by dballing
#35

To put some other numbers on it... running school buses every 5 minutes on 6 routes, 44 adults per bus is 3,168 people transported per hour. Maybe you run them every 2.5 minutes in the morning and evening rush to get the number up to 6,336 people moved per hour. 

Question we'd need an answer to is: How many people are actually staying out at the burb hotels?

Once you have that, this is an easily derived calculation, and I don't think it's nearly as painful as people think. You only really have to 'haul lots of people all at once' during the pre-8am rush, the rest of the day will have a markedly different dynamic (as people flow in and out steadily, with possibly another "burst" in the hours around dinner time).

MAYBE this comes out to around $500k, which sounds like a LOT but it's really not (to put it in perspective, if $500K was shared with every unique badge from 2015, it'd be an $8.14 bump to the badge price. TRIVIAL increase in order to make the burb hotels useful.

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Posted by marimaccadmin
#36

Derek,

Buses every 5 minutes on 6 different routes that take 30 minutes or more?  Every 2.5 minutes?  That's absolutely impossible without astronmical funding.  You're just not understanding the amount of resources it takes to do a shuttle effectively. Clearly, looking at how much the shuttle charged last year and how effective that was should give you some inkling of how much a truly effective shuttle would cost.

I understand you think you know exactly how everything works, and exactly how much everything costs, and you know better than anyone how to run everything better.  We're all very aware of your opinions.  But you're wrong, and I'm tired of aruging about it.  You don't know how much it would cost to run a shuttle that would be viable for Gen Con.  Go find other windmills to tilt at.
 

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