By Jennifer R Jones | Posted on July 15, 2009 1:48 AM
In an effort to cut costs, two of New York City’s best-known rival double-decker tour bus companies are merging to combine operations in a joint venture. CitySights NY and Gray Line New York Sightseeing will continue to operate under the same names, but the new company will be called Twin America, with a fleet of 100 vehicles and gross assets of $28 million combined. Supposedly no layoffs are happening as a result. The merge comes at a time with New York City’s tourism boom is taking a hit from the economic crisis and the number of tourists expected to visit New York are much lower this year. Another double-decker bus and fairly young competitor on the scene is the Big Taxi Tour, a hop on, hop off family-run bus tour company bringing passengers to attractions in New York City. Their yellow buses with black and white-checkered stripes have been seen more and more throughout Manhattan. Big Taxi Tour is less expensive than CitySights and Gray Line with $25 rides through Midtown and Downtown, versus $44 for CitySights or Gray Line. Whether this bargain bus and the economy will harm Twin America is yet to be seen.