Business Essentials for Professionals


Study Finds U.S. Rail, Bus Service Being Undercut By Cheap Oil

Study Finds U.S. Rail, Bus Service Being Undercut By Cheap Oil
A recent study by researchers at DePaul University has concluded that U.S. bus companies and the Amtrak passenger rail system that bet more consumers would embrace alternatives to driving for trips shorter than 400 miles, are being squeezed by cheap gasoline.
No Amtrak passenger rail service or express bus service were found now in nine metropolitan areas in the United States with populations above 700,000, said the study which was released on Tuesday.
According to the study by the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University in Chicago, eight of the 50 most heavily-traveled routes between cities 120 to 400 miles apart have lost either express coach or Amtrak service since 2014.
Various enterprises have sought to profit from offering alternatives to planes or cars for trips that fall between the two distances of 100 miles and 400 miles because travelers favor planes for trips longer than 400 miles, and cars for trips under 100 miles.
Launched in the United States in 2006, Megabus is operated by Britain's Stagecoach Group. And owned by the British company FirstGroup PLC is the Greyhound bus line and its BoltBus express coach service.
He had received verbal approval from the government to build an underground, "hyperloop" transport system that would whisk passengers between New York and Washington, D.C. in a vacuum tube, said Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk while causing a stir in July when he made this claim, without offering details.
A vacuum tube transport system is being developed by Startup Hyperloop One.
"The attention being given to the Hyperloop stems from a yearning by travelers for something new and different at a time when improvements to intercity ground travel seem to be stuck in low gear," said Joseph Schwieterman, one of the authors of the DePaul study.
The study also found that a choice between driving or paying more than $1,000 for airfare purchased two weeks in advance is available for a family of three traveling between Detroit and Cleveland, for example. The study found that Express coach bus service would cost about $120 to $180.
According to data compiled by the Chaddick Institute researchers, roughly tracking a decline in U.S. gasoline prices, ridership and revenue on Amtrak and bus services such as Megabus and BoltBus has declined since 2015.
The study's authors estimated that following a 1.3 percent decline for all of 2016, intercity bus traffic in the United States fell 8 percent in the first half of 2017.

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc