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Amtrak now offers direct tickets to Virginia Tech, Blacksburg


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#1 Texan Eagle

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:29 PM

Amtrak just posted this on their Facebook page- Take Amtrak from Blacksburg to New York

 

Basically, Amtrak has tied up with the local bus service "SmartWay bus" to act as Thruway bus connection from Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg to Lynchburg, connecting to the morning NE Regional heading up to WAS, PHL, NYP. Amtrak's site shows a new "station" - Blacksburg - Virginia Tech Bus Stop, VA (BLK)

 

This is going to be good for the Hokies traveling home and back during weekends and school holidays. How I wish this service was started when I was a student at VT, missed it :( 



#2 Big Iron

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 06:48 PM

Amtrak just posted this on their Facebook page- Take Amtrak from Blacksburg to New York

 

Basically, Amtrak has tied up with the local bus service "SmartWay bus" to act as Thruway bus connection from Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg to Lynchburg, connecting to the morning NE Regional heading up to WAS, PHL, NYP. Amtrak's site shows a new "station" - Blacksburg - Virginia Tech Bus Stop, VA (BLK)

 

This is going to be good for the Hokies traveling home and back during weekends and school holidays. How I wish this service was started when I was a student at VT, missed it :(

and my son is graduating this fall semester.  I-81 absolutely stinks with all the governed trucks drag racing each other at 62 mph.  


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#3 RyanS

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 06:59 PM

AWESOME!!!!

 

That said, I love driving 81. :D


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#4 RyanS

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:01 PM

(Also, the station code is stupid.  BBG or VPI would have been better)


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#5 Texan Eagle

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 10:47 PM

(Also, the station code is stupid.  BBG or VPI would have been better)

 

Seconded. BLK is absurd. Agree with both your suggestions, also a third one- BVT (Blacksburg Virginia Tech)



#6 fairviewroad

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:51 AM

I don't understand the criticism of "BLK." Don't seem any more or less intuitive than BBG. I don't
get "VPI," and "BVT" makes me think "Burlington, Vermont."

#7 PRR 60

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:01 AM

I don't understand the criticism of "BLK." Don't seem any more or less intuitive than BBG. I don't
get "VPI," and "BVT" makes me think "Burlington, Vermont."

 

VPI = Virginia Polytechnic Institute (aka, Virginia Tech)

BVT = Blacksburg, Virginia Tech



#8 abcnews

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:25 AM

(Also, the station code is stupid.  BBG or VPI would have been better)

 

Seconded. BLK is absurd. Agree with both your suggestions, also a third one- BVT (Blacksburg Virginia Tech)

Maybe they thought of that already - and perhaps saving the code for a future Amtrak stop on the Campus of VA Tech?

 

No, probably not...


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#9 Big Iron

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:49 PM

AWESOME!!!!

 

That said, I love driving 81. :D

Glutton for punishment  :giggle:  


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#10 Anderson

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 06:01 PM

The only issue I see with this service is the time.  Running a dummy booking BLK-CVS for tomorrow...dear Lord, an 0432 departure time?  The only way you're going to get people on that bus is if you get a frat party that runs until then.  The reverse time (2340) is barely better...but they're going to have to do better than that to get significant "casual" ridership.


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#11 RyanS

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 06:31 PM

2340 arriva

 

AWESOME!!!!

 

That said, I love driving 81. :D

Glutton for punishment  :giggle:  

 

Trucks are predictable.  4 lanes of the Beltway is anything but.  

 

If you put yourself in the mindset of the trucker, and maybe make a hole and let one or two of 'em out, they'll be the best friend you have on the road.

 

The only issue I see with this service is the time.  Running a dummy booking BLK-CVS for tomorrow...dear Lord, an 0432 departure time?  The only way you're going to get people on that bus is if you get a frat party that runs until then.  The reverse time (2340) is barely better...but they're going to have to do better than that to get significant "casual" ridership.

2340 arrival into town isn't bad at all - downtown is just getting rolling at that point (and on Sunday nights, the name of the game is to get back into town as late as possible).


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#12 Texan Eagle

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:25 PM

2340 arrival into town isn't bad at all - downtown is just getting rolling at that point (and on Sunday nights, the name of the game is to get back into town as late as possible).

 

You are forgetting Blacksburg Transit operates neither at 0430 nor at 2330, definitely not on Sunday nights, so students living off-campus and other residents of the town will still have to depend on calling friends to drop and pick up from Squires Student Center. If you're living on campus, neither time should be a problem as far as safety is concerned. 

 

The only competition Amtrak needs to worry about is the Megabus from Christiansburg that takes you to DC in 4 hours flat! 

 

I am so jealous (in a good way) of students at Tech now, they have so many options.. when I studied there, neither of these were available so I had to endure going to Roanoke and taking a Greyhound that takes long windy road through multiple towns to reach DC, the entire ordeal door to door from BB to DC once took me ten hours :(



#13 RyanS

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:31 PM

The BT definitely operates at least some routes after midnight, my roommate drove for them the last 2 years I was there.

Plenty of ways to get around without it too, be it walking, ride from a friend or taking a bike.

When I was there we also had weekend busses that ran from Blacksburg to Charlottesville to the Vienna metro station on Friday and Sunday. Straight up 81, 64 and 29 - quick and cheap, I took advantage of them regularly (until I finally got a car sophomore year).
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#14 Texan Eagle

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:31 PM

The BT definitely operates at least some routes after midnight, my roommate drove for them the last 2 years I was there

 

Only on Friday and Saturday nights. "Late Night Service" goes on until 2am (and buses after 10pm are party-town, that's discussion for another day!)

Sunday night service wraps up on all routes around 10.30pm. Check out BT website for exact times. I did not have a car all through my days at VT and knew schedules of every single route, just confirmed online, not much has changed. If you arrive by AmBus at 2340 on Sunday night, you're out of luck as far as BT connection is concerned.  

 

 

When I was there we also had weekend busses that ran from Blacksburg to Charlottesville to the Vienna metro station on Friday and Sunday. Straight up 81, 64 and 29 - quick and cheap, I took advantage of them regularly (until I finally got a car sophomore year).

 

Convenient yes, cheap no. As I said, I did not have a car so I have tried every means possible to get out from Blacksburg. The weekend bus to DC was $54 one way, $102 round-trip in 2010-2011 period. Greyhound from Roanoke to DC at that time used to be $39-44 depending on when you book. Then Megabus came in (just as I was graduating) with $1 fares and even now you can get $15-20 fares on any day. I checked Amtrak for a dummy booking, Blacksburg-DC is being offered for $36. Given a choice, I wouldn't mind waking up at 4.00am for this :D



#15 Anderson

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:45 PM

You know, I can manage times like that...but I'd still want a single-seat ride so I could get to sleep and stay asleep (assuming I can get some decent seat pitch).  Actually, tbh, times like this (to say nothing of what you get if you drop the 0600 departure from RVR down to NFK...I think 0600 would translate into 0350 even after schedule improvements given that 0710 translates into 0500) are threatening to make a case for putting some Ampads back together.


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#16 SubwayNut

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:10 PM

Anyone know what the truway ticketing options are for students originating in Blacksberg who don't plan 10 days ahead to have their tickets mailed to them in their student mailboxes I bet they rarely check?

Right now I'm in way downeast Maine (drove up) and am just finalizing my plans for my Saturday return (in time for my NARP discount) and wanted to buy a through Bangor-Portland (Concord Coach Lines) - Boston ticket through Amtrak. The fare to Bangor is the going Downeaster rate to Portland plus the static Concord Coach Line fare from there (similar to this thruway) and I could have saved 10% on everything (and gotten an extra 100 AGR points maybe) but the agent brought up a note on her computer that says if you don't have a paper ticket when you get to the Bangor Concord Coach Station you have to buy a regular Concord Coach ticket, and seperate Amtrak ticket.

I really wish Amtrak would publish those notes so I could have saved myself the hassle of calling (no wait though, thank you Select+!)

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