Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Reason.tv: The Glorious Rebirth of Bus Travel & Why the Gov't May Ruin it Again

[VIDEO] Reason takes a look at the bus industry and how government interference helped hasten its decline after the 2nd World War. Today the industry is making a comeback as it appears curbside bus service - especially for intercity travel - is allowing more people to take the bus.

When I attended school in Atlanta, my mode of transit was mainly Greyhound. I can see how curbside service could be attractive as it costs money to maintain stations and terminals. In the meanwhile with such services such as Megabus all you need is a bus, possibly a garage, and then a place for the bus to pick-up or drop-off passengers. Also I forgot about labor, the buses can't drive themselves.

Another thing reason correctly notes, in the years I've taken the bus even before the Morehouse College years Greyhound has changed. They repainted their buses, made changes to their terminals, they've even added amenities to their buses with places to charge mobile devices and free wi-fi. Also it helps that you don't have to go to the terminal to pick up a ticket you can even print it off at home. For the context of this video, Greyhound owns some of the bus services popular in NYC's Chinatown.

I have to think, this video portrays starting a bus transit service as being particularly easy back in the past. Just buy a vehicle and start picking up people and yes I realize it's not entirely that simple as well you have to let people know you're in business to start. All the same this could go for a number of industries.

How did it happen that government comes in and sets all these rules for what they expect businesses to do? How is it for anyone who wants to operate intercity bus services that companies must have a permit? Even then how is it government decides that cracks in the frame of a bus is a huge issue while an organization represented bus companies have acknowledged that these cracks aren't a serious safety issue?

There are a lot of questions to be asked for sure. It makes me want to support the strictest definition of laissez-faire.

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