The blue bus is calling us (but not as frequently)
You knew this had to happen.
Once I wrote a post that included the subtitle “the West is the best; get here and we’ll do the rest,” you knew that I would have to write a post that included the title “the blue bus is calling us.”
So, why does a person take his life in his own hands when getting near a Greyhound bus? And why is their service so shoddy?
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the number of companies providing regular route intercity bus service had dropped to 50 in 2005, compared to 143 intercity bus companies in existence in 1960. Greyhound was the only carrier to maintain a national network in 2005, although it made significant cuts in its service to the Northwest, Southwest, and south central United States.
The decrease in intercity bus service was largely due to competition from private automobiles and the airlines, which offered a variety of discount fares and added convenience that lured would-be bus riders to take to the skies instead. In the early 2000s intercity buses accounted for less than 2 percent of all long-distance travel in the United States.
Or, as Lily Tomlin’s character Ernestine said regarding a former near-monopoly:
We don’t care. We don’t have to.