Those of you who follow the mystical magical unfolding of passenger rail resurrection in our region, and in particular, as the unaffordable, unsustainable second coming reveals itself in Brunswick, know that the All Aboard Brunswick demographic is largely unaware that other transit options exist. Some even use the same Departure Center at Brunswick Station used by the riders of the Downeaster.
So we’re shocked to find out that another option has been created, in contravention to the local consensus. See it here:
The above photo shows what accommodations on this new mode of transportation, called a ‘bus,’ will look like.
Compare it to these Downeaster accommodations, designed to bring economic benefit to Maine communities:
The Red Sox, Bruins, and Celtics are Maine teams, aren’t they?
Our friend George Betke, from whom we’ve posted guest columns in the past, sent us these observations regarding the new bus service:
Don’t look now, folks, but Harry Blunt of Concord Coach Lines is making fools of those enthralled with the notion of instituting Amtrak train service between Portland and New York City via Worcester and Hartford sometime in the distant future. He’s doing it now, non-stop, with deluxe equipment, valued amenities, superior transit time, a market-based price, and without asking taxpayers for a dime. His only subsidy will be the one you and I already provide to maintain highways for use by all motor vehicles.
Harry’s initiative reflects the competitive spirit and risk-taking propensity of American business. Identify a product or service that people appear to need and take the chance of overlooking something that could prove otherwise. He’ll know in a few months whether a viable market exists and if it could warrant a second daily round trip. If it doesn’t, there’s no need to abandon a huge investment in the special-purpose infrastructure that is problematic for any small-market railroad endeavor.
The bus is our most flexible mass-transit technology, well-suited for testing potential patronage. Without a fixed guideway, it can turn left or right at any intersection and stop anywhere along its route. Service can be as frequent as demand warrants, and elaborate stations are superfluous. I challenge proponents of passenger rail to identify any popular inter-city route that was not previously served by bus – and most likely still is.
The most interesting aspect of the Portland-Boston travel corridor is that Concord Coach has the lion’s share of patrons and makes money, even though its round-trip fare is 52% higher than the train, while the underutilized “Downeaster” generates operating losses from a supposedly superior experience in terms of comfort and amenities. One reason – 27 daily round-trip buses to multiple Boston destinations (with departures spanning 20 hours a day) versus five trains to North Station.
And we found this related promo on the Concord Coach web site:
We don’t expect the luxury bus service to last. The legacy transportation fans……
…..like “All Aboard Brunswick,” and “TrainRiders Northeast,” will see it’s creation as just another act of the ‘no it alls’ who can’t see the irrefutable logic of passenger rail.
What else would we expect from NBIMY’s?
Sorry….that’s not a spelling error; we’re talking about the “No Bus In My Yard” troops.
Check back with us soon; we’ll have some exciting news in the next few days.