Archives for AMTRAK

Survival and Prosperity, Part 3: The Gains of Winning, The Cost of Failure

In Part 1 of this series, I identified a gaping hole of opportunity for profitable motorcoach service – in countless corridors where intermediate-distance travel is provided only by commercial airlines. In earlier installments, I exposed the travesties of the commercial airline industry (Southwest Airlines excluded) which make travel of any distance by Today’s commercial airlines an expensive, inconvenient-at-best obstacle course (see https://transalt.com/article/drivers-v-robots-part-2-the-nature-of-modern-travel/). I explored this sector’s corruption in great detail (see https://transalt.com/article/expanding-the-mode-split-dividing-line-part-1-exponential-airline-industry-corruption/). These factors render a mode-split from small- and medium-distance commercial airline flights to luxury motorcoach travel an extraordinary opportunity. All we need is the right vehicle, described in

Survival and Prosperity Part 1: Magic Corridors

Yes, there are still some opportunities for the motorcoach industry to get back on its feet. This series of installments will provide some new ideas – beyond those discussed briefly in a few previous NATIONAL BUS TRADER articles (see Parts 1, 2 and 3 of Motorcoach Survival in the Age of COVID- 19 in the May, June and August 2021 issues: https://transalt.com/article/motorcoach-survival-in-the-age-of-covid-19-part-1-roles-and-opportunities/; https://transalt.com/article/motorcoach-survival-in-the-age-of-covid-19-part-2-on-the-road-again/, and https://transalt.com/article/motorcoach-survival-in-the-age-of-covid-19-part-3-the-end-of-charter-and-tour-service-for-now/. Competing with airlines in corridors not serviced by AMTRAK. Frankly, the opportunity outlined below was here all along: Competing with airlines in corridors not serviced by AMTRAK. It was just never optimized. Not that AMTRAK

Transportation Network Companies – Even Worse than Expected

The clever title Eyes Wide Shut was wasted on a allegedly-sexual movie released in 1999. While there are plenty of mainstream events widely opening our eyes these days, this film’s expression is an understatement for events that have occurred in the United States public transportation field in the last seven or so years. I am not so sure even a dead man’s switch would open many eyes in our field. But I have been trying to do so. This installment is yet another alarm. I mourn the days when my National Bus Trader installments were either positive (like the year-long

Expanding the Mode Split Dividing Line, Part 1: Exponential Airline Industry Corruption

Modal competition has ebbed and flowed over the past 100 years. Until the recent incursion of transit network companies (TNCs), each mode managed to find its own niche, some overlaps notwithstanding. At its best, this mix sorted each mode into a role where it had its own defined ridership, and where the hierarchy of modes provided rational choices for many or most non-automobile travelers. Some modes (e.g., motorcoach, taxi and limousine service) required no subsidies, others (e.g., schoolbus service, NEMT service) operated completely with subsidies 1, and still others (e.g. transit and paratransit) operated mostly with subsidies. At the margins,