Curbside buses cut into Amtrak ridership

Curbside intercity buses like Bolt and Megabus, which pick up and drop off passengers on public streets instead of using a terminal, are attracting riders from Amtrak trains and airplanes thanks to cheap fares, WiFi, and free bottled water. In a study of 1,025 intercity bus passengers in six cities, researchers at DePaul University (IL) found that more than one third of East Coast passengers would have used Amtrak if the bus were not available. “Curbside services are bringing a legitimacy to bus travel that was absolutely lacking before,” said study co-author Joe Schwieterman. According to the study, about half of bus passengers are 18-25 years old, 91% plan to use electronic devices en route, and 83% are traveling for pleasure or personal reasons. “The briefcase-carrying business traveler still isn’t likely to take the bus,” Schwieterman said. “It’s amazing how much bus companies have been able to grow despite the lack of business travelers.” Link to full story in The Washington Post.

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