JA
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Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:05 am

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...-planes-would-save-89-million.html

CO already operates flights using bus equipment. In light of recent events, this should be an option for the stability of the EAS network.
 
PanHAM
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Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:13 am

....provided that the passengers would accept the bus service. I for my part would not and rather go by car. OK, that would mean no subsidy at all, but would also make the bus service less viable.

Abolishing subsidized feeder services at all would eventually leave such cities without any significant small industry because the infrastructure is not there. i think the questions and answers in that study are too simple. OTH, subsidizing a singe passenger with a couple of hundred Dollars does not make sense either.
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downtown273
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:39 am

I remember Air France used to code-share on TGV trains (French high-speed trains) for years - not sure if they still do. So you could get an Air France ticket to travel Bordeaux-CDG-LAX. The TGV stops at CDG airport.
 
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ERJ170
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:41 am

You can get CO flight numbers on Amtrak service, I do believe..
Aiming High and going far..
 
kl911
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:46 am

Prague-Brno in the Czech Republic has a busservice with a OK flightnumber. Same as highspeed trainservices in Europe.
I think its a good idea. Anything under 2,5 hours driving time centre to centre should be bus or train imo.
 
Grid
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:51 am

I took a bus once ...
ATR72 E120 E140 E170 E190 Q200 717 727 737 747 757 767 777 A319 A320 A321 A330 A340 MD11 MD82 MD83 MD88 MD90
 
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breiz
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:54 am

Quoting kl911 (Reply 4):
Anything under 2,5 hours driving time centre to centre should be bus or train imo.


That is exactly the opinion of the SNCF (French train company) which would like to develop speed-train European inter-connections under 2 to 2.5 hours.
 
airbazar
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:55 am

I agree somewhat. 150 miles is a long way to have to take a bus or drive in order to catch a short flight, anything less than 100mi is just wasting money. My daily commute to work is 45 miles each way and I know people who have even longer commutes. Subsidies are good to get the route established but after a few years the subsidy should be reduced or ended.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:13 pm

well, there's a quality difference between a bus ride and a ride on a TGV or ICE train. LH as well puts their flight numbers on dedicated ICE trains from FRA to STR and CGN. FRA/DUS however is already too far to be competetive with connecting services to other hubs, although it adds only about 20/25 minutes. Also, bags are checked through on trains with flight numbers.

LH also has dedicated bus services in luxury buses to Heidelberg, Mannheim and Strassburg, also operating under a flight number.
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offloaded
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:53 pm

Quoting downtown273 (Reply 2):

No BOD anymore, but some routes eg:

WED 05OCT11 PARIS AREA /BRUSSELS *AF
** AIR FRANCE - SN ** 21 WE 05OCT 0000
1 CDG ZYR 0747 0859 AF7181 J9 C9 D9 I1 Z9 O9 W9 S9 A9 Y9#TRNC*E
2 CDG ZYR 1004 1119 AF7179 J9 C9 D9 I1 Z9 O9 W9 S9 A9 Y9#TRNC*E
3 CDG ZYR 1235 1415 AF7183 J9 C9 D9 I1 Z9 O9 W9 S9 A9 Y9#TRNC*E
4 CDG ZYR 1603 1805 AF7185 J9 C9 D9 I1 Z9 O9 W9 S9 A9 Y9#TRNC*E
5 CDG ZYR 1839 2027 AF7187 J9 C9 D9 I1 Z9 O9 W9 S9 A9 Y9#TRNC*E
To no one will we sell, or deny, or delay, right or justice - Magna Carta, 1215
 
JA
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:56 pm

The comfort of a bus is strictly based on its configuration. A 33 or 36 passenger configuration would be more comfortable than a 57 passenger setup, but there would be complaints there too about the service not being utilitarian. A 45' bus with 36 big black leather seats could certainly replace any short haul flight under 200 miles without a whimper from the passengers. You could probably get a mini-fridge on there and the seat costs would still be cheaper than a 9 seater.
 
glbltrvlr
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:02 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 1):
Abolishing subsidized feeder services at all would eventually leave such cities without any significant small industry because the infrastructure is not there.

That was the classic argument for the EAS subsidy, but I don't believe there's ever been any evidence presented that supports the argument. EAS has been around in the US for over 30 years and you'd think someone would be able to point to a business that was willing to go on record as saying they wouldn't exist if it wasn't for EAS flights.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:18 pm

As to replacing some EAS air service with subdisied busses, there are serious issues to consider with busses to some locations. Some EAS locations are quite isolated, with limited road access, sometimes mountains, bad weather (especially in the winter) could make impossible to run the busses, it would take much longer in time perhaps hours instead of 30-40 Min by air.
 
Curiousflyer
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:29 pm

The problem would be quality. Bus service in the US (and many other countries, it is not just a US issue, far from it) is generally horrible. Greyhound, who issued the study that the article relies on, typically is a pretty bad bus company:
- dirty old buses
- cramped uncomforatble seats
- nasty drivers
- no onboard service
- bathrooms so filthy that the whole back of the bus smells of sewage.

I am all for buses or trains replacing flights under 150 miles because it would be more efficient and certainly more reliable (less dependency on weather and less breakdowns), but the service should have quality standards set by law (you cannot trust the airlines or bus coompanies for quality):
- guaranteed connections, sufficient frequency
- luggage handling that matches what airlines do
- minimal standards for comfort, in coach and first (the Hamptons Jitney is a great example in NYC)
- decent facilities (not the grim bus terminals we find in NY or LA...)
 
TGV
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:46 pm

Other airlines do it also:


HKG Hong Kong Intl HK [VHHH]
MRS Marseille Provence FR [LFML]
WED 28 Sep 2011 - 05 Oct 2011

Carrier Flight From Depart To Arrive A/C St Frequency | Dur'n | Dep T | Arr T | Effect | Ending | Exceptions
--------- ------ ---- -------- ---- -------- --- -- ----------------------------------------------------------------
CX 261 HKG 23:45 CDG 06:30 +1 744 0 1234567 18:40 1 2A 02 Jul 28 Oct
-> CX/2C 9511 CDG 08:21 +1 XRF 12:25 +1 TRN 0 TN -
Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans
 
JA
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:56 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 12):
Some EAS locations are quite isolated, with limited road access, sometimes mountains, bad weather (especially in the winter) could make impossible to run the busses, it would take much longer in time perhaps hours instead of 30-40 Min by air.

They can easily get a waiver for continued EAS.

Quoting CuriousFlyer (Reply 13):
The problem would be quality. Bus service in the US (and many other countries, it is not just a US issue, far from it) is generally horrible.

I guess the article's stock photo doesn't help...lol. I would expect the buses to run directly from airport to airport. The quality issue is ever present, but it is an issue with some of today's EAS carriers too. This is why enplanements in certain markets have crashed.
 
777jaah
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:59 pm

Quoting CuriousFlyer (Reply 13):
not the grim bus terminals we find in NY

Specially the GWB terminal. Took a bus to Jersey from there last week, and I can tell you, it has to be the worst in Manhattan, and specially now that all the shops and delis are closed.

Quoting TGV (Reply 14):
but the service should have quality standards set by law (you cannot trust the airlines or bus coompanies for quality):

I bet when the standers hadve to go high, bus companies will start to complain and in the long term, subsidies will be given to them.
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planesmith
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:13 pm

I'm a firm believer in an integrated transport system such as that seen in Germany, Holland, France etc with excellent rail connections up to a couple of hundred miles. Sadly here in the UK any decisions may make in that regard will take decades due to any interested party complaining and appealing against any point it doesn't like. Any resulting service will be a botched one. I find it sad that there are so few rail/airport interchanges, especially so in the US where the potential links are obvious.

Like many contributors I can't say that the chance of travelling on a bus fires my enthusiasm, too often having left the environs of the airport simply to join static traffic!! That, and of course what others have said about plain uncomfortable vehicles, cramped seats, and unpredictable journeys.
 
Group51
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:36 pm

Quoting CuriousFlyer (Reply 13):

The problem would be quality. Bus service in the US (and many other countries, it is not just a US issue, far from it) is generally horrible. Greyhound, who issued the study that the article relies on, typically is a pretty bad bus company:
- dirty old buses
- cramped uncomforatble seats
- nasty drivers
- no onboard service
- bathrooms so filthy that the whole back of the bus smells of sewage.

Greyhound is owned by First, a British company, and their UK Greyhound service appears to be premium:

http://www.bug.co.uk/blog/2009/08/20...ning-coaches-in-the-uk-next-month/
 
airbazar
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:48 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 8):
well, there's a quality difference between a bus ride and a ride on a TGV or ICE train.

Not really. TGV and ICE are inefficient for distances less than 300-400 Kms. Here we're talking about distances that are less than 150 miles ( less than 240Kms). Here in the BOS-NYC corridor, BoltBus is an excellet alternative to both plane and train.
 
vinniewinnie
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:04 pm

Quoting CuriousFlyer (Reply 13):

The problem would be quality. Bus service in the US (and many other countries, it is not just a US issue, far from it) is generally horrible. Greyhound, who issued the study that the article relies on, typically is a pretty bad bus company:
- dirty old buses
- cramped uncomforatble seats
- nasty drivers
- no onboard service
- bathrooms so filthy that the whole back of the bus smells of sewage.

Not my experience. Definetely not as horrible as you imply. And you forget the likes of Megabus which are pretty decent.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 19):
Not really. TGV and ICE are inefficient for distances less than 300-400 Kms. Here we're talking about distances that are less than 150 miles ( less than 240Kms). Here in the BOS-NYC corridor, BoltBus is an excellet alternative to both plane and train.

Really? Then there would be no high speed rail in Europe and the corridor most likely to have high speed rail in this country (Washington - NYC) would never have projected stations at Baltimore, Wilmington and Philadelphia as distance would be way to little. Quasi high speed rail works very well between Philadelphia and New York for example.

It's not about speed anyway, it's about travel time and cost.
 
fn1001
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:05 pm

Etihad is using coaches between Dubai, Al Ain and AUH
http://www.etihadairways.com/sites/E...ad/attheairport/pages/Coaches.aspx


Lufthansa had own trains in the 80ies
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lufthansa_Airport_Express
Mai bine să-ţi fie rău decît să-ţi pară rău.
 
midex461
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:19 pm

Quoting planesmith (Reply 17):
especially so in the US where the potential links are obvious

There are a few airports in the US that have these links - BWI, EWR, MKE, & BUR all have train stations within close proximity to the terminal; heck, at BUR you can WALK from the terminal to the train station!
If you count local transit, there are more - DCA, ATL, SFO, PDX, SEA all have transit stations where you can catch a train right at the airport

I think in the US, cultural attitudes come into play. Here, pax trains are largely viewed as an anachronism - there are A LOT of cities that have absolutely no trains, or only see one a day.

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 3):
You can get CO flight numbers on Amtrak service, I do believe..

You can - CO codeshares with 2V/Amtrak on service out of EWR
Opinions and views expressed are MINE and do NOT represent the views of US Airways
 
PanHAM
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:21 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 19):
Not really. TGV and ICE are inefficient for distances less than 300-400 Kms. Here we're talking about distances that are less than 150 miles

well, the two lines I mentioned, FRA to CGN and STR measure about 100 km and 200 km in distance (roughly) and are highly efficient. Faster than plane and road take the passengers in little less than an hour to CGN resp. 73 minutes to STR .

No bus could match that, published times for aircarft are about 40 minutes, with flights closing 15 to 20 minutes before.

Compare all that with a 150 mile bus ride in the US taking at least 3 hours to substitute a flight, nightmare and waste of time even in a luxury bus. With 800 US$ subsidies per passengers a Cessna charter on demand would be cheaper.
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kellmark
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:23 pm

I remember, years ago, when working for Eastern Airlines, we had a subsidized flight that operated a Lockheed Electra MIA-VRB-OCF-GNV-JAX and then DCA. It carried a couple of passengers on each leg, if that. Some days it was empty on some legs. EAS routes in recent years are just as bad. Look at Johnstown in Pennsylvania, with just a couple of passengers a day with subsidized service from IAD. That was Congressman Murtha's pet deal. (Not to mention the millions he poured into that airport).

It is ridiculous to continue this waste of resources that we don't have on markets that won't support themselves.

This whole EAS business has to end. There is no money for it and it makes no sense economically.

If a city has the demand to be served, then someone will serve it. If it doesn't then the city itself can offer incentives for an airline to serve it. That is their choice. Like Panama City Florida and Southwest.
 
UALWN
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:50 pm

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 3):
You can get CO flight numbers on Amtrak service, I do believe..

Yes, you can. Newark to Philadelphia, for instance.
AT7/111/146/Avro/CRJ/CR9/EMB/ERJ/E75/F50/100/L15/DC9/D10/M8X/717/727/737/747/757/767/777/787/AB6/310/32X/330/340/380
 
YULWinterSkies
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:18 pm

AF, KL and I believe LX have long been using buses to provide service to Ottawa in connection from YUL.

Quoting downtown273 (Reply 2):
I remember Air France used to code-share on TGV trains (French high-speed trains) for years - not sure if they still do. So you could get an Air France ticket to travel Bordeaux-CDG-LAX. The TGV stops at CDG airport.

They certainly still do. Trick is that you do not get any air miles for the TGV leg. And this short French domestic connections are sweet for accumulating segments!!! But it depends where one goes too: downtown a major city like Lyon or Marseille and I would vote TGV; in the catchment area where one has to drive to get to either airport or rail station, clear advantage to the plane as it's easier to drive and park at an airport like LYS than Lyon downtown. But plane options are still there so it's a non-issue.
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acidradio
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:45 pm

Quoting JA (Reply 10):
The comfort of a bus is strictly based on its configuration. A 33 or 36 passenger configuration would be more comfortable than a 57 passenger setup, but there would be complaints there too about the service not being utilitarian. A 45' bus with 36 big black leather seats could certainly replace any short haul flight under 200 miles without a whimper from the passengers. You could probably get a mini-fridge on there and the seat costs would still be cheaper than a 9 seater.
Quoting CuriousFlyer (Reply 13):
The problem would be quality. Bus service in the US (and many other countries, it is not just a US issue, far from it) is generally horrible. Greyhound, who issued the study that the article relies on, typically is a pretty bad bus company:
- dirty old buses
- cramped uncomforatble seats
- nasty drivers
- no onboard service
- bathrooms so filthy that the whole back of the bus smells of sewage.

We almost need to create a "class" system for buses in the US. Right now most intercity bus service in the US is on Greyhound and about the only good attribute is that it "gets you there."

I took a semester of college in Cuernavaca, a city about 70km south of MEX. Mexico doesn't have a nationwide passenger rail system anymore so they rely on systems of first/second/third class buses. I took a first class bus from MEX airport directly to Cuernavaca. It was great! It cost about $12USD at the time each way. It was on a bus line called "Pullman de Morelos" - literally an homage to the Pullman train cars of the past. They operated all fairly new Mercedes and Volvo buses with comfortable seats, a smoking and non-smoking section, two onboard lavatories, an "in-flight movie" and a stewardess who served snacks and beverages.

Of course there are also second and third class bus lines. Not nearly as nice, they have more stops so they aren't as direct but cheaper. These would be more along the lines of the Greyhound buses in the US. If there is some way to establish real first-class bus lines to tie in with airline flights this may have a chance.
Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
 
frmrCapCadet
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:11 pm

Our local Grayhound freaked us out with grossly deviant behavior on board, and drivers simply ignored it. Our local airport van is too unreliable to depemd upon it. I could see small subsidies from the federal and state government to tie the transportation system together. But the local community needs to be willing to kick in something too. Probably the best and cheapest subsidy would combine licensing and inspections of persons, sedans, and vans along with bulk rate insurance.
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heathrow
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:24 pm

Very popular for LX, KL and AF out of YOW. Bus departs XDS (ottawa Rail) to YUL to connect passengers on to flights. Mind you, coming back from let's say BUD, going BUD AMS YUL is already a long day, getting on a bus for another 2 and a half hours, and then a cab from the train station; I'd rather fly in to YOW!!
 
aerokiwi
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:50 pm

Quoting CuriousFlyer (Reply 13):
The problem would be quality. Bus service in the US (and many other countries, it is not just a US issue, far from it) is generally horrible. Greyhound, who issued the study that the article relies on, typically is a pretty bad bus company:
- dirty old buses
- cramped uncomforatble seats
- nasty drivers
- no onboard service
- bathrooms so filthy that the whole back of the bus smells of sewage.

I know approximately zero about the US bus system (though I did read a hilarious article on the "Chinese" buses running out of New York up to Boston and down south a bit), but if they're looking for a model of amazing buses, they need look no further than those used in Thailand for longer runs (eg. BKK-PKT). Talk about luxurious! Business class seats that recline a LONG way, private tv screens, on board food and drink service included. And reliable.
 
N766UA
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:15 am

Quoting acidradio (Reply 27):
a smoking and non-smoking section

How in the heck would that work in a bus?!
This Website Censors Me
 
glbltrvlr
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:33 am

Quoting N766UA (Reply 31):
How in the heck would that work in a bus?!

Presumably the same way it used to work in an aircraft. Smokers in the back and the folks in nearby non-smoking seats get to enjoy the secondary smoke.
 
BMI727
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:47 am

Quoting JA (Thread starter):

We shouldn't be subsidizing buses either.

Quoting JA (Reply 10):
A 45' bus with 36 big black leather seats could certainly replace any short haul flight under 200 miles without a whimper from the passengers.

Taking three times as long might make me whimper a bit.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
acidradio
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:06 am

Quoting glbltrvlr (Reply 32):
Quoting N766UA (Reply 31):
How in the heck would that work in a bus?!

Presumably the same way it used to work in an aircraft. Smokers in the back and the folks in nearby non-smoking seats get to enjoy the secondary smoke.

You opened a door to the back section of the bus where they permitted smoking.
Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:16 am

Quoting Midex461 (Reply 22):
If you count local transit, there are more - DCA, ATL, SFO, PDX, SEA all have transit stations where you can catch a train right at the airport

PHL and (shortly) PHX have local rail connections from the airport terminals.
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teneriffe77
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:52 am

I know that in NY 2 EAS Cities, Ogdensburg and Massena, are up on St. Lawrence river and over an hour from the nearest non EAS airports, SYR and BTV. YOW is actually the closest major airport but that's over the border and more expensive if your going to a place like chicago. These are 2 cities where a bus wouldn't be a good substitute owing to the distance involved.
 
KingFriday013
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:52 am

Quoting CuriousFlyer (Reply 13):

That's definitely not the case here in the Northeast. Greyhound is currently taking delivery of new Prevost Car X3-45s and MCI D4505s to replace older buses (i.e. the MC-12 Americruiser). The new buses are equipped with (free! and pretty reliable too) Wi-Fi and power outlets (one pair of outlets per pair of seats), and they're installing 5 fewer seats on each bus for increased legroom. That's already a lot nicer than most regional jets; so what if the seats aren't huge and covered in leather, you get all this other great stuff. As for the 102D(L)3s, those are being refurbished with the above-listed amenities. Back in April I was on an X3-45 from ROC to YYZ and it was pretty good. I was on a local route for YYZ-BUF on a D4505 and I must say that was a pretty nice bus; it was really smooth. For BUF-ROC I was on a local route on an unrefurbished 102DL3 and I agree it's not the nicest ride, but it isn't much worse (or worse at all) than an ERJ -- at least you can stand up on the bus  

I've been a longtime advocate of replacing EAS with bus service (perhaps EBS?). Most EAS flights are not too long. One argument against it is that buses aren't great in the snow -- that's not so true actually. Buses are very heavy and go pretty easily in the snow. On my YYZ-BUF trip I was talking with the driver; his favorite bus was the H3-45 (a Prevost touring coach) but he said in the snow you want the MC-9 because it drives like a tank. Now the MC-12 is very similar to the MC-9; even though they're going, 102DL3s aren't exactly light either. By replacing EAS with bus service, people could travel for much less money, and at the same time American taxpayers would save too. I'm sure Greyhound has inherently lower operating costs than airlines, so they wouldn't have to request as much money in subsidies for these routes (any new ones, that is) as airlines do. Passengers could also travel with more luggage in some cases. Many EAS cities are already served by Greyhound, so it's simply a case of perhaps adding additional service -- but would that even be necessary? EAS loads are known to be very low; how are bus loads in these cities currently?

-J.
Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you, By the livin' Gawd that made you, You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
 
cloudboy
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:11 am

If that in fact was the case, then why are the busses not raking up the dollars now? Aren't they served by bus routes now?

Obviously this is just a publicity report and intentionally biased in order to "prove out" someone's objective. But in the real world we already know what happens. The bus industry is hurting even worse than the airlines - they offer little alternative over the car, use the same routes and are subject to all the same problems as cars such as traffic, extended travel time, and safety issues. And yes, they have tried luxury buses - Boston to NYC for instance is served by the limo liner. Yeah, it does alright, but no, it does not create a serious dent in the intercity market.

Another interesting observation - routes under 150 miles, which are arguably the least efficient for air travel, and even there they only offer better costs on half the routes. Not to mention that they only serve one, closest, hub.

I am curious what will happen to this report one factors such as polution and traffic are factored in.
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Vio
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:40 am

Bus service makes perfect sense, but I would rather choose train over it. About 5 years ago, I was always travelling from Calgary to Edmonton (about 350 km). Flying from YYC to YEG (with Westjet or Air Canada Jazz) was a pain.

1. Get to the airport in YYC
2. Security
3. Boarding
4. Taxi
5. (20 min flight)
6. Taxi back to terminal
7. Boarding off the plane
8. Take a taxi from Edmonton Airport downtown (which is retarted.... That's 1 hour there spent in the taxi... Airport is actually South of Edmonton, in Leduc)
----------------------------------------------------------
This was about 3 hours in total. The bus was just a little longer than that, but:

1. Didn't have to go through security or waste time boarding, etc.
2. Had Wi-Fi in the bust
3. Nice leg room and leather seats.

We're not talking about Greyhound here. The only bad thing? Well, the highway was not always in great shape (snow, ice, bad roads). Still the bus was so much better than the plane.
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mikesairways
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:41 am

I remember at one time UA had bus service between SJC and SFO, in fact, if I recall correctly, it was actually a UA Flight number AND you even got 500 miles.
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Calibansa333
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:45 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 1):
....provided that the passengers would accept the bus service.

The article mentions a route from Lebanon, NH to Boston on Dartmouth Coach. I've had the chance to take this route, and it's actually not half bad. You obviously need to plan for connecting time to your flights, but it's really not so bad. It would be sad to see the last commercial airline service available in LEB dropped though, but I think this was destined to happen anyway...
 
JA
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:25 am

Most EAS airports leak over 80% of the flyers in their catchment area. The vast majority are leaking to a medium or large hub accessible by...car. If you can drive there, chances are excellent that a bus or minibus can drive there too. I am sure that areas dependent on a mountain pass can get a waiver.

Buses are what you make of them. If you want to see what can be done to a bus, visit limoliner.com or hamptonluxuryliner.com. Certainly, the market defines the bus configuration. I think it is premature to offer a special configuration for PR reasons, but it is something that is an option in the future.

The quiet crisis is that EAS airports are capping out at the $200/passenger mark in bulk. Previously, airlines would inflate their potential passenger numbers to get under the cap. As the USDOT got burned by this, they are now beginning to reject applications with unrealistic passenger numbers. So, the airport can accept flights operated with buses or they can lose their eligibility. If they accept bus flights, they can always bring back planes later on.
 
7673mech
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:02 am

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 12):
As to replacing some EAS air service with subdisied busses, there are serious issues to consider with busses to some locations. Some EAS locations are quite isolated, with limited road access, sometimes mountains, bad weather (especially in the winter) could make impossible to run the busses, it would take much longer in time perhaps hours instead of 30-40 Min by air.

So?
Then move to the big city. (Not you - just a generalization).

Quoting CuriousFlyer (Reply 13):
The problem would be quality. Bus service in the US (and many other countries, it is not just a US issue, far from it) is generally horrible. Greyhound, who issued the study that the article relies on, typically is a pretty bad bus company:
- dirty old buses
- cramped uncomforatble seats
- nasty drivers
- no onboard service
- bathrooms so filthy that the whole back of the bus smells of sewage.

You apparently haven't flown on a RJ?
 
chootie
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:18 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 8):
Also, bags are checked through on trains with flight numbers.

For the LONGEST time LH no longer offer baggage check-in for travel on the trains. That means you shlep it up to the platform(or down depending on your direction of travel.) Only if you are luck enough to have the porter service, will they acutally take for you from the platform to/from the check-in point. And do not forget that the porter has only one baggage cart to deal with all those bags. NOT a very nice situation to be in.

That is why I choose to fly via an airport with air connections just to avoid the hassel.      
chootie
 
ILUV767
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:33 am

Try running a bus from Vernal Utah to Denver. That is an all day adventure right there or an hour long flight.
 
csavel
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:07 am

Quoting teneriffe77 (Reply 36):
I know that in NY 2 EAS Cities, Ogdensburg and Massena, are up on St. Lawrence river and over an hour from the nearest non EAS airports, SYR and BTV. YOW is actually the closest major airport but that's over the border and more expensive if your going to a place like chicago. These are 2 cities where a bus wouldn't be a good substitute owing to the distance involved.

This is true, but people living there shouldn't expect the rest of the country to subsidize them. In the same way people living in Phoenix or Las Vegas shouldn't expect the rest of the country to subsidize their water infrastructure - privatize Hoover dam!

(Yes I am serious, and also serious that EAS should be shut down yesterday)
I may be ugly. I may be an American. But don't call me an ugly American.
 
Curiousflyer
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:12 pm

Quoting KinGFriDAy013 (Reply 37):
Greyhound is currently taking delivery of new Prevost Car X3-45s and MCI D4505s to replace older buses (i.e. the MC-12 Americruiser). The new buses are equipped with (free! and pretty reliable too) Wi-Fi and power outlets (one pair of outlets per pair of seats), and they're installing 5 fewer seats on each bus for increased legroom. That's already a lot nicer than most regional jets;

Thanks, this is very ineresting news, going in the right direction. I have flown RJs and have had nightmare trips to upstate NY or YUL. If there is a good reliable bus service, I'll take it even for such a long trip from NY (it is not there yet, I have looked into buses, uncomfortable, and trains, not frequent enough, and ended up flying or renting a car, it unfortunately was a better option, although not a nice one).
 
FWAERJ
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:54 pm

I read the article and study last night.

The study compared not only motorcoaches to EAS flights, but 15-seat Mercedes-Benz (Freightliner) Sprinter vans as well. Both could offer cost savings on distances less than 150 miles from a medium/large airport, and I could see the advantages of using Sprinters on the extremely thin EAS routes.

However, I am also concerned that the trend could trickle to larger, non-EAS airports within 150 miles of medium/large airports. Here in Fort Wayne, there's a service called the Hoosier Shuttle that runs $35 one-way vans to IND. (Another similar service, the $60 o/w Indiana Flyer, failed.) In South Bend, there are buses that go directly from SBN itself to both ORD and MDW. In some cases, scheduled shuttles have replaced scheduled air service entirely, as what happened at LAF.

On a side note, I think that DL might jump for this idea, as they want to wash their hands clean of this type of flying...
"Did he really need the triple bypass? Or was it the miles?"
 
747400sp
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RE: Buses For Planes Would Save $89 Million In Subsidies

Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:56 pm

I know MCI, Prevost and Van Hool are happy with this report.    But really, this could be a hit or miss ideal.
Take in mind that Amtrak Thruway service, is bus operated. Back in 2003, I was supposed to take a night train from San Diego to Los Angeles and I just finished an UA A319 flight, from ORD to SAN. So I went to the train station and to my dismay the train was a Thruway bus. So I stepped aboard the 102DL3, to find out that the bus had more leg room than the A319, that I was on earlier. In California, the Amtrak Thruway service, I believe are operated by Coach USA Van Hool C2045/MCI J4500 and Preferred Charters MCI J4500, most are in Amtrak California colors. Here in the Tide Water area of VA, The Jame River Bus Line operates the Thruway service with MCI D Series and MC-9s. If airline configure their buses for extra, comfort for the passenger, then this system may work. Also take in mind, that these routes are likely to be operated by Saab 340 and Beech 19. Today's, motorcoaches are all wide bodies, (for buses) very heavy, ( even the D4505 hit the 50,000LB mark) and are wider than an ERJ, and has more head room than an ERJ or CRJ, so a motorcoach can be more comfortable than a regional a/c. There is a tour company near Virginia Bleach name Venture Tours, that has H3-45s and C2045s, that will give 737s/A320s, a run for their money in luxury's.

Quoting JA (Reply 10):
The comfort of a bus is strictly based on its configuration. A 33 or 36 passenger configuration would be more comfortable than a 57 passenger setup, but there would be complaints there too about the service not being utilitarian. A 45' bus with 36 big black leather seats could certainly replace any short haul flight under 200 miles without a whimper from the passengers. You could probably get a mini-fridge on there and the seat costs would still be cheaper than a 9 seater.
Quoting acidradio (Reply 27):
I took a semester of college in Cuernavaca, a city about 70km south of MEX. Mexico doesn't have a nationwide passenger rail system anymore so they rely on systems of first/second/third class buses. I took a first class bus from MEX airport directly to Cuernavaca. It was great! It cost about $12USD at the time each way. It was on a bus line called "Pullman de Morelos" - literally an homage to the Pullman train cars of the past. They operated all fairly new Mercedes and Volvo buses with comfortable seats, a smoking and non-smoking section, two onboard lavatories, an "in-flight movie" and a stewardess who served snacks and beverages.




I think a first class bus service is a good ideal. I would like to see a MCI J4500, Prevost H-45 or Van Hool T2145 or C2045 with DD13s, on such a service.

Quoting KinGFriDAy013 (Reply 37):
That's definitely not the case here in the Northeast. Greyhound is currently taking delivery of new Prevost Car X3-45s and MCI D4505s to replace older buses (i.e. the MC-12 Americruiser). The new buses are equipped with (free! and pretty reliable too) Wi-Fi and power outlets (one pair of outlets per pair of seats), and they're installing 5 fewer seats on each bus for increased legroom. That's already a lot nicer than most regional jets; so what if the seats aren't huge and covered in leather, you get all this other great stuff. As for the 102D(L)3s, those are being refurbished with the above-listed amenities. Back in April I was on an X3-45 from ROC to YYZ and it was pretty good. I was on a local route for YYZ-BUF on a D4505 and I must say that was a pretty nice bus; it was really smooth. For BUF-ROC I was on a local route on an unrefurbished 102DL3 and I agree it's not the nicest ride, but it isn't much worse (or worse at all) than an ERJ -- at least you can stand up on the bus



Yes, he is right, because it is very rare to see a MC-12 in Norfolk VA, now at days. We used to get the new X3-45, lately we getting mostly 102 DL3s.

Now sometimes, you do need the speed of a RJ, for example, later this year In need to go Charlotte NC, but may I have class that morning, so I may to have to fly down there.

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