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Study: Who Is Riding Curbside Buses, And Should Amtrak Worry?

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 05:29 PM
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Study: Who Is Riding Curbside Buses, And Should Amtrak Worry?

from Transportation Nation:

Study: Who Is Riding Curbside Buses, And Should Amtrak Worry?
By Alex Goldmark | August 1, 2011 9:07 am

After 40 years of retrenchment, the bus industry is making a comeback in a big way, according to research from DePaul University. As weve reported before, discount curbside buses are currently the fastest growing mode of intercity transportation in the U.S. A new survey released Monday finds that bus passengers are overwhelmingly young, and they are being diverted from rail, even more than they are from driving.

We estimate the curbside sector has grown to more than 400 daily departures. And thats big. That means it has become almost a third of the size of the national intercity bus network of Greyhound, said Joseph Schwieterman, the director of the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University. Theres over 60 points served now and theres five major hubs. It has grown from a baby industry to an industry that has blanketed the Midwest and a good chunk of the Northeast.

At the heart of the increase in popularity of intercity buses are two companies, Bolt Bus and Megabus, each owned by traditional bus operators. To find out just who is riding this new breed of motorcoach, Lauren A. Fischer and Schwieterman led a team of DePaul researchers to survey more than 1,000 bus riders, mostly from those two companies.

According to their report, the portrait of a curbside discount bus rider is younger, under 35, traveling for leisure or personal reasons, and tech savvy. Theyre mainly younger people traveling on personal business. The survey found that 72 percent of Bolt and Megabus riders were under 35. Almost half of all riders were 18-25 years old. Thats actually a diversification. ......(more)

The complete piece is at: /

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nxylas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-04-11 12:11 PM
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1. Unless things have changed since I last looked... seems to be a phenomenon of the Northeast and California. I don't think you'll find many Megabus services in the flyover states. But then not much Amtrak service either.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 02:28 PM
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2. Actually, Megabus is very big here in the Great Lakes region.

I think it shut down in California.

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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-13-11 12:48 AM
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3. But the number of stops are limited
For example, Megabus stops in Pennsylvania from Pittsburgh, goes to State Collage, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia.

Amtrak stops from Pittsburgh include Greensburg(GNB) , Latrobe (LAB), Johnstown (JST), Altoona (ALT), Tyrone, Huntington (HGD), Lewistown (LEW) Philadelphia, PA - 30th Street Station (PHL), Ardmore, PA (ARD),Paoli, PA (PAO), Exton, PA (EXT), Downingown, PA (DOW), Lancaster, PA (LNC), Elizabethtown, PA (ELT), Harrisburg, PA (HAR), Lewistown, PA (LEW).

To Harrisburg Megabus charges $19.00 ($5 if you buy the day you leave, but no promise of a seat that day), it take 3hours and 50 minutes. Amtrak charges $49 and takes 4 hours and 25 minutes. Thus you save $30 if you take Megabus, but you can NOT get off in between. It is those stops why people take Amtrak and it is those stops Megabus do NOT serve.

Now Amtrak does NOT directly serve State Collage, you take Amtrak to Tyrone and take a bus from Tyrone to State Collage. Again not a direct competitor. These are more additional options to driving. The real competitor is Greyhound.

Greyhound has more stops, but higher fares then Amtrak, for example the fare to Johnstown PA from Pittsburgh, PA on Greyhound is $18.00 but only $14.00 on Amtrak. From Pittsburgh to State Collage, Greyhound is also $18.00 (On the Net only). Amtrak charges $25.00 to go to Tyrone, there you could, before October 2010, catch a bus to State Collage for an additional fee of $14 (Fullington Bus Company was providing the Service, but dropped it do lack of Riders).

Just pointing out this is more an attack on Greyhound then Amtrak. To a degree Amtrak and Greyhound compete, but in many ways they do not. Do to the nature of Trains, they use less fuel per passenger seat, but have higher paid employees. The Train engine and cars are more expensive to purchase, but last five to six years longer (The Trains Cars used on the Pittsburgh to Philadelphia route were built in 1979, and are in excellent shape). Buses tend to last only about ten to 15 years (Passenger Train Cars can last 50 to 60 years).

Thus my point, Megabus main attack is on Greyhound, not AMTRAK.
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