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Monday, December 24, 2007

Get on the bus

Wow, interesting article. Greyhound is experiencing a surge of sorts. They've been making changes and they are reaping the benefits. That is they're not going into these small towns, they're cleaning up their terminals, they've made changes to their buses. They're making a change in their overall presentation.

This was in today's Sun-Times...

Maybe it's all those flight delays at O'Hare Airport. Or the fact that people are more environmentally conscious than they used to be.

Maybe it's the price of gas.

Whatever the reason, Greyhound and other players in the intercity bus industry are seeing a surge in growth for the first time in more than 40 years, according to a new study from DePaul University.

Much of that growth is being fueled by the introduction of low-cost carriers such as Megabus.com. But older companies such as Greyhound are also attracting more customers, thanks in part to changing attitudes about traveling by bus.

Student researchers at DePaul's School of Public Research found that increased demand for city-to-city bus service has caused carriers to increase the number of scheduled runs nationwide by 13 percent just since February 2006.

"Obviously, the intercity bus industry suffered from a reputation as the travel means of last resort for many years," said Joe Schwieterman, a professor at the school. "But with more upscale coaches being put into service with amenities like larger seats and on-board movies, the companies have started to close the gap on other modes of travel."

It's the first sign of a renaissance for intercity buses, which were a key mode of transportation in most U.S. cities during the first half of the 20th century.

That all changed in the 1960s with the introduction of the interstate highway system, which was quickly followed by the exodus of residents from central business districts in the city to the suburbs. Cars became king, diminishing the need for bus transport.

As a result, U.S. cities lost nearly one-third of their scheduled intercity service between 1960 and 1980 and more than 60 percent of the remaining services between 1980 and 2005, the study said.
Some of what I've said, I have seen. Plus these were advertised in commercials by Greyhound within the past couple of years or so. I expect that some of this is making a difference.

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