Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cheap buses emphasize how much rail sucks

From Wired, an article about the increased popularity of bus travel, especially along the Northeast corridor. Bus companies like DC2NY run exclusive routes, offer perks like free wifi and beverages, all for fares much lower than either Amtrak or flying. DC2NY runs its eponymous service for $25 each way, and other services run much farther routes for even less money. The Northeast corridor is very well-traveled, and the fact that bus service – which can take up to twice as long as a train – can be so popular means that there's no reason that privatized rail shouldn't be able to compete at the same level. But a nationalized rail service? That's another story, apparently:

It's amazing how much money you can save, too. I'm headed to Washington DC soon, so I'm looking for some cheap transport. It's a quick flight from Boston, and while I knew that airfares were up, I had no idea how high they'd gone. A round trip flight is $397. The train isn't much better — a ride on Amtrak's Acela at $410, and even the slower, less sexy Northeast Regional is $211. Compare that to $163 on Greyhound, or better yet $50 on low-fare line GotoBus, and it's a no-brainer.

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