Three new US cities added to network
TRANSPORT group Stagecoach is expanding its megabus network in North America with services from three new US cities.
Stagecoach has added a range of routes from Omaha, Nebraska; Memphis, Tennessee and Boston, Massachusetts which take its US coverage to 64 locations.
Perth-based Stagecoach has partnered with Connecticut bus operator DATTCO Coach & Tour Group which will operate some of the services.
Dale Moser, president and chief operating officer of megabus.com in North America, said: "Our latest expansion will bring great value travel to even more locations across North America.
"People are continuing to turn to megabus.com for affordable travel and to make their dollar go further."
In a separate development Stagecoach condemned a shareholder group which is urging investors to vote against the firm's remuneration report at this week's annual meeting.
Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (Pirc) is angry over Stagecoach bringing forward payout dates for bonuses to chief executive Sir Brian Souter and finance director Martin Griffiths last year to avoid the introduction of the 50p tax rate.
Additional payments for the difference caused by the date change were also recommended.
Sir Brian received £844,000 in total pay and bonuses for the year to April 2011 while Griffiths netted £836,000.
Pirc says changing the terms for tax reasons runs against its best practice guidelines, as does making up the difference following an adjustment.
Stagecoach said: "The approach taken ensured that the original performance criteria were applied to the awards.
"Frankly, we find Pirc's explanations unclear, inconsistent and illogical and we would advise shareholders to ignore them.
"Other investor bodies, such as the ABI, RREV and Manifest have not expressed the same concerns as Pirc and we continue to believe this was an appropriate use of the discretion of the Remuneration Committee."
Last week, Stagecoach announced it would return £340 million to shareholders through the issue of new D shares, while also reporting increased revenues in all of its four businesses over the past three months.
Brian Souter, who owns 15 per cent of the company, stands to receive about £51 million from the handout, while his sister and co-founder Ann Gloag will pick up close to £37 million.
Stagecoach has returned more than £1 billion to shareholders in the past six years.