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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.