Tuesday, July 10, 2012

And leave the driving to Bolt Bus

Private business usually beats government at efficiency, and the old Greyhound Lines is no exception;

BoltBus, Greyhound's new low-cost, nonstop express-bus service, promises to whisk travelers to these cities [Seattle, Portland, Vancouver BC] for fares starting at $1.
Amtrak's Cascades trains are the main competition, but at these prices, why even drive or fly?
....Who's the winner? When it's rainy and cold, sitting inside a train station is better than standing on a street corner waiting for a bus. But when it comes to overall 21st-century convenience, BoltBus is the winner.
Bradford Snell will probably want to hide his eyes from this; what the Seattle Times reporter (Carol Pucci) doesn't mention is that Amtrak is nowhere near covering its costs (operating and capital) from its fares.  It only continues to operate thanks to heavy taxpayer subsidies of something around $ .25 per passenger mile.

Unlike the BoltBus which is a profitable business, that contributes subsidies to Amtrak through the taxes it pays whenever it puts fuel in its fleets' tanks.  Of course, those subsidies eventually come from Bolt's passengers in higher fares.

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