Thursday, November 08, 2007

Some Mass Transit Links

Here is an article about the Megabus detailing their business plan:

"The demand for this type of service has been outstanding," Moser said before a news conference on a street corner in downtown Pittsburgh.

"I don't have a terminal, so I don't have bricks and mortar," he said. "I don't have the staff that maintains it. Everything's backroom -- it's all computer sales. I have nobody handling cash. I have nobody handling any kind of transactions at the bus. The bus driver is focused on taking care of the customers and driving safely."

A limited number of seats are priced at $1, and the fares increase incrementally based on the time between the booking and departure dates, a pricing scheme used by discount airlines.

"But I will tell you that the highest-price seat is still cheaper than all the alternatives to get from Pittsburgh to Chicago," Moser said. Megabus' most expensive ticket for such a trip, booked 24 hours in advance, would be $43.50, he said.

Its top-end fares, Moser said, are lower than those of Greyhound Lines, the largest intercity bus service in North America.

Liz's take on it is somewhat different. "You have to go online and have a credit card to buy a ticket," she says, "so that eliminates a lot of the seedier people." Indeed, when we visited the Greyhound terminal in Ann Arbor during Shelagh's freshman year, it was terribly seedy, complete with a passed out wino heaped in the corner of the dirty, smelly waiting room.

And here are links to the Friends of Amtrak and the National Association of Railroad Passengers(NARP). The NARP website has up to date information on the bills currently before Congress that will affect the future of rail service.

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