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Ideas for New Thruway Bus Routes


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#1 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 07:15 PM

It seems like most new trains (or revived trains) are lost causes. So maybe another option would be to increase possible Thruway connections, either to pick up new cities/markets or to "improve" service to various cities/markets.

 

I had mentioned largest metros without Amtrak train service: http://discuss.amtra...-to-serve-them/

 

Here are the biggest cities without Amtrak and Thruway connections listed in the Amtrak timetable:

 

San Francisco: Unknown from Emeryville/CZ, "Amtrak Thruway" from Emeryville/CS and Oakland/CS

 

Phoenix: Greyhound from Flagstaff/SWC, Arizona Shuttle from Flagstaff/SWC.

 

Las Vegas: Greyhound from Salt Lake City/CZ, "Commuter Services" from Kingman/SWC, Greyhound from Los Angeles

 

Columbus, OH: Greyhound from Pittsburgh/CL and Pennsylvanian

 

Nashville: Greyhound from Indianapolis and Chicago

 

Louisville: Greyhound from Indianapolis and Chicago

 

Baton Rouge: Greyhound from New Orleans/CONO

 

Dayton, OH: Greyhound from Pittsburgh/CL and Pennsylvanian

 

Colorado Springs: Greyhound from Denver/CZ. Greyhound from Raton, NM/SWC

 

Boise: Greyhound from Salt Lake City/CZ, Greyhound from Portland

 

Wichita: Village Tours from Newton, KS/SWC, Village Tours from Oklahoma City/HF

 

Madison: Van Galder from Chicago

 

Ogden: Greyhound from Salt Lake City/CZ

 

Scranton/Wilkes Barre from Philadelphia

 

Several markets listed in the previous post have no Thruway service.

 

I would say any "new" routes would have to be an existing bus that stops at or near an Amtrak station (if there are any intermodal station it would be a plus). Greyhound is the obvious choice and there are many routes via Greyhound. Martz is part of the Trailways brand. Would Amtrak ever consider teaming with Megabus? Megabus's Philadelphia routes go to 30th Street Station so no extra stops would be required.

 

The only bus routes I am somewhat familiar with is I know Martz Trailways runs many buses to/from New York (way more than to Philly). Currently the Philadelphia buses go to the Amtrak station (I have never ridden from Wilkes Barre to Philly although I have ridden from Wilkes Barre to New York). Maybe Martz can be talked to about making an extra stop to Penn Station for some of its routes. Ideally you could use Martz to Amtrak trains to Boston or Montreal or even the LSL. When I was at the Port Authority Bus Terminal I know there are buses to/from Allentown (not sure if there are buses from Allentown to Philly). Maybe they can set up service as well. Of course, you can take the subway between the Port Authority (42nd Street) and Penn Station (34th Street). Also, SEPTA goes from Jefferson Station near Philadelphia Greyhound and 30th Street Station.

 

I imagine there are buses to/From State College for Penn State students although I have never taken any. You could set up connections to/from Pittsburgh for the western CL or to/from Harrisburg for Keystone routes (Harrisburg is intermodal).

 

The Columbus, OH-Pittsburgh connection is horrible (requires a wait of many hours in Pittsburgh during the Greyhound shift). I'd suggest Columbus-Indianapolis to the Hoosier State although since there is only one daily train serving IND makes it tough. Another idea is to go from Columbus-Chicago. Maybe Columbus-Cleveland to LSL.

 

Feel free to suggest other ideas.


Trains Traveled:
 
Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS)
Lake Short Limited (NYP-CHI)
Silver Meteor (PHL-ORL)
Southwest Chief (CHI-LAX)
California Zephyr (CHI-SLC, SLC-EMY)
City of New Orleans and/or Illini (CHI-Champaign, IL)

 

All I want for Amtrak is a direct train from Philly to Chicago in less than 24 hours 
 
 


#2 Anderson

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 01:15 AM

Phoenix-Maricopa and/or Phoenix-Tucson comes to mind.  Yes, the SL is 3x weekly, but the SL also used to serve Phoenix, and not preserving a bus link strikes me as rather questionable.

 

I'd argue for Albany-Springfield-Boston (both as a form of ersatz Inland Route service and as an alternative to connect to/from the Empire Corridor, Adirondack, and Vermonter).  Another candidate would be some sort of Buffalo-Toronto connection between the Empire Service trains and Toronto (or, for that matter, I'd seriously suggest looking at Buffalo-Detroit).

While I'm thinking about it, a "Hoosier State"-style bus connection running with a timetable similar to the Cardinal's on its off-days (and/or a second "full" frequency along the route) would help out there.  Having this as a feeder from CIN to IND on those "off days" would probably help the performance of the Hoosier State, and it is blatantly obvious to me that there's business on non-Cardinal days to back up such a train.  I'd also look at a Roanoke-Lynchburg-Charlottesville feeder for this on all days.

 

One other thought: The Atlanta-Florida "hole" could probably be plugged this way (on the presumption that you could work out an agreement with Greyhound to stop at the Savannah Amtrak station, you could arrange a connection between Atlanta and Savannah).


Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)

Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)

Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#3 ScouseAndy

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 02:21 AM

I would have loved to have visited Niagara Falls but the lack of decent West bound connections to/from Chicago prevented me from going, thus I'd like to see a thruway coach from Niagara connecting in Buffalo Depew with trains heading west but other then the backpacker tourist like myself would there by enough demand?

#4 ainamkartma

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 02:22 PM

Complete list of bus routes I am willing to ride as part of a train ticket:



#5 Chicoan

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 11:10 AM

How about Tucson-San Diego?

Omaha-Kansas City?

 

Related comment: the Amtrak.com System timetable's maps (and the National System map) are outdated in regard to showing Thruway bus routes.



#6 jis

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 11:55 AM

Hey, since we are dreamin', we on the Space Coast could do with a JAX to WPB Thruway bus along Rt 1 making the proposed future stops for the rerouted section of the Silvers along FEC pending that glorious day when that comes to pass. :)



#7 Eric S

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 12:33 PM

Some possibilities. I'm sure some of these make more sense than others. I bolded the Amtrak connection point(s).

 

Altoona - State College

Baltimore - York - Harrisburg

Birmingham - Decatur - Huntsville

Birmingham - Montgomery - Mobile

Denver - Boulder - Loveland - Fort Collins

Fort Morgan - Greeley - Loveland - Fort Collins

Harrisburg - State College

Kansas City - Lawrence - Topeka - Manhattan

Kansas City - St. Joseph - Omaha

Lancaster - York

Little Rock - Memphis

Memphis - Oxford - Tupelo

Philadelphia - Reading

St. Louis - Rolla - Springfield

Springfield - Decatur - Champaign

Syracuse - Cortland - Binghamton/Ithaca

Syracuse - Watertown

And on and on...

 

Also, I think there are a number of existing Thruway services that could be improved - which would probably require dedicated services rather than relying on pre-existing intercity bus schedules. For example, Normal - Peoria; probably would make sense to try to have a bus connection to/from Peoria meet (almost) every train at Normal. Also, better services heading north out of Milwaukee, feeding the Hiawatha.



#8 Chicoan

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 12:51 PM

Following up on Eric's post -- having more Thruways where both beginning and end points are Amtrak cities (bolded in his list like Baltimore-Harrisburg), to get business both dropping-off-from and picking-up-for a train seems better than a bus that serves only as a feeder to one train.



#9 jis

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 01:01 PM

Following up on Eric's post -- having more Thruways where both beginning and end points are Amtrak cities (bolded in his list like Baltimore-Harrisburg), to get business both dropping-off-from and picking-up-for a train seems better than a bus that serves only as a feeder to one train.

Since the other Thruway from the area (BWI - Cumberland - Frostburg) originates in BWI and avoid the traffic mess in Baltimore, maybe the hypothetical Harrisburg Thruway should also originate in BWI. Just a random thought.






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