Filmmakers hop the bus to Marketplace

Tech-savvy bus buffs document their Trailways excursion to Nashville

In early January, BUSRide received word from Trailways of its recent collaboration with film producer Nick Catania, a 23-year old entrepreneur managing to capitalize on his love of buses. He says he rides them almost everywhere whenever he can.

When Trailways met Catania, he was preparing to travel by coach from his home in the Hudson Bay area of upstate New York to Tennessee to attend the American Bus Association (ABA) Marketplace in Nashville. Intrigued with his mission, Trailways quickly arranged for his travel exclusively on Trailways and Greyhound coaches, as well as for his film assistant, Thomas “TJ” Giannetta. Trailways also commissioned them to create a travel journal for social media covering the week-long journey.

Catania, 23, resides in the Hudson Valley area of New York.

The company says the idea of a travelogue of modern bus travel from the viewpoint of a young, tech-savvy person coincidentally fit perfectly with its current marketing agenda.

“It is our goal to promote Trailways to a new generation of young people through social media,” says Trailways Chairman Tony Fiorini. “When we met Nick in December, we were very intrigued with his plan to ride buses to the ABA convention. We then learned that Nick is an audio engineer with experience in filmmaking and photography.”

Trailways didn’t hesitate putting this project together.

On their way to Nashville as this issue of BUSRide was going to press, Catania, an alumnus of Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ, and Giannetta captured their observations about modern bus travel, along with their exploration of American cities and towns en route.

The trip began in New York with Adirondack Trailways, transferred to Martz Trailways in Pennsylvania and switched to Burlington Trailways in the Midwest. A few legs of the trip ran on Greyhound coaches.

Trailways and Greyhound took care of the travel arrangements, with Historic Hotels of America providing hotel stays that included the Omni Severin, Indianapolis, IN, and the Omni Majestic, St. Louis, MO.

Catania and business associate Ralph Mattiaccio have co-founded NickelBus, Inc., with in beta-test phase where consumers will be able to search bus schedules, routes and station locations all throughout the U.S.

Catania, president, and Mattiaccio, CEO, say while they share the same fascination for buses, the business plan for their tech company is to make more people aware of more travel opportunities available by coach.

“Yes, we like buses, but what we really aim for is the destination,” Catania says. “We have built NickelBus as a tool to show how easy it can be to travel.”
NickelBus says it challenges website visitors to discover just how many miles they can travel so cheaply to so many places.

Catania and Gianettas’ social media observations and accounts are available on Twitter, Facebook and blogs for Trailways, Greyhound, American Bus Association and Historic Hotels of America.