Out of Control Policy Blog

Intercity Bus Satisfies Customers

Last August, I noted on this blog how intercity bus services such as Megabus and Bolt Bus provide very competitive, cheap, and technologically accessible transportation between major cities. The Northeast is one example, and these private bus services are growing as an alternative to pricier choices like Amtrak's subsidized regular and high-speed rail services and commercial air travel.

Alan Pisarski, a transportation consultant located in Washington, D.C., recently tried out one of these bus services on a trip from D.C. to New York City. Here's his first hand report, used with permission:

"I took one of the New York-Washington buses up to the Big Apple this week: $17 one way and $15 back.  Made it to New York 15 minutes early and a half hour early coming back.  Very pleasant ride....  Mostly 20 somethings – the lap tops were open before we left the station.  We had wi-fi the whole route.  Elapsed time 4 hours non-stop.  I was amazed how well they handled New York traffic and minimized delay coming in and going out of town at both ends."

Alan's experience is a useful reminder that intercity travel can be multimodal and does not have to be subsidized. Let the private sector compete!  

Samuel Staley is Research Fellow


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