December 16, 2010

Report: Intercity bus use continues surge

New statistics, included in a just-released study update, show the popularity of intercity bus travel continues to surge, according to DePaul University.

The Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development released a report this week, “The Intercity Bus: America’s Fastest Growing Transportation Mode – 2010 Update on Scheduled Bus Service.”

For the third year in a row, the intercity bus service was the fastest growing mode of intercity transportation, outpacing air and rail transportation, the study reports. Intercity bus operations expanded by 6 percent in 2010, suggesting that the sector’s renaissance is continuing.

“This new study from the respected academics at DePaul University confirms that the travel mode shift toward buses is continuing, and it’s easy to see why consumers are fast becoming loyal bus riders,” said American Bus Association (ABA) President/CEO Peter Pantuso, commenting on the study results. “Buses beat planes, trains and automobiles in affordability, flexibility and mobility. Buses are the safest greenest, most affordable, most hassle-free and, more often, the most luxurious way to travel.”

The study also looks at external factors affecting the changing travel landscape favoring buses.

Intercity bus service in the United States remained robust through 2010 as a result of rising travel demand, escalating fuel prices, and investments in new routes, DePaul University researchers said in the new study. These and other factors propelled motorcoach travel to its highest level in years and made the intercity bus the country’s fastest growing mode of transportation for the third year in the row.

ABA is not surprised by the numbers, as its member companies have been reporting formally and anecdotally to the association the phenomenon captured on paper in the new study.

“With Wi-Fi, plug-ins, courteous service and city center to city center convenience, all at a fraction of the price of the other travel options, it’s no wonder why the most recent update from the independent third-party academic experts at DePaul University confirm what ABA Foundation numbers show as well,” Pantuso added.

Passengers getting out of their cars to take the bus instead have also helped America slash its total fuel consumption by 11 million gallons annually, which DePaul writes is “the equivalent benefit of removing 23,818 vehicles from the road.”

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