Martz Trailways Uses Cradlepoint Solutions to Provide WiFi Service to Its Passengers On the Road
Martz Trailways is a motorcoach company with over 80 vehicles. Each day, Martz Trailways transports approximately 2,300 people to New York City for work, school, and leisure. In addition, Martz offers charter services to schools, college and university groups, senior groups, religious groups, military moves, children’s camps, professional sports teams, bus banks, tour operators, and individuals needing motorcoach transport throughout the eastern United States.
Martz Trailways wanted its drivers to be able to accept and validate passenger tickets electronically (versus collecting paper tickets and bringing them back to the office for manual entry into the system). This required Internet connectivity for their motorcoaches. When the company first began looking at in-vehicle network solutions, the cost was prohibitive: “The initial options for the solutions were too pricey when you consider we have over 80 vehicles,” reports General Manager Bob Chepalonis. “Plus, the units were too large, about the size of a laptop. We needed something compact that could tuck away out of sight.”
As Martz continued to explore options, their vendor pointed the company to Cradlepoint in-vehicle routers. “The solution of an economical router came to us from the Gateway software people, who were helping us with the paperless ticketing system."
"When we investigated Cradlepoint, the price point was excellent. No one else came close,” says Bob. “In addition, the Cradlepoint solutions that we chose are small enough so we could install it in a concealed, out-of-the-way spot where no one could tamper with it.”
The company plans to have the backend of the paperless ticketing system in place by summer. In the meantime, the Cradlepoint network infrastructure was the first piece to be put into place. “With paperless ticketing, our drivers will just scan a bar code on the ticket and the information will go through the Cradlepoint router, over the Internet and right to our back office,” notes Bob. “We’ll be able to view data in real-time, instead of the two-week lag that the current manual process entails."
“In addition, our customers had been asking for WiFi access for a while, but the cost was just too prohibitive, but now, Cradlepoint makes it affordable. In fact, we use WiFi as a marketing tool to attract new riders. Customers have positively commented on the free WiFi we offer. Better yet, our competition does not offer it."
- Simple “Installation was very simple,” notes Bob. “We wired it to a “keyed-on” power source.”
- Reliable “We’ve been using the Cradlepoint solutions for over 6 months now on our motorcoaches,” reports Bob, “and we have had no failures.”
- Performance “The fact that we’ve had no complaints from customers about speed or performance of the WiFi speaks for itself,” says Bob.
- Robust Feature Set “With the functionality offered in the admin menu, we were able to lock out certain websites, while still allowing customers normal Internet and email use,” explains Bob.
- Support “On the initial setup, the one broadband card from Verizon was not compatible with the router,” reports Bob. “Cradlepoint went to Verizon and was able to have that as a compatible card within a few days. That is pretty good support!”
- Affordable “Cradlepoint was the most economical choice when we first got them,” says Bob. “And they’re still the most economical choice.”
Bob adds one final thought, “The Cradlepoint routers were small enough that we could install them out of sight.”