Industry Research

Motorcoaches Prove A Better Deal Than Amtrak, Study Says

Posted on August 1, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Leaders of the American Bus Association met with Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, on Thursday to discuss the findings of a new report, Supporting Passenger Mobility and Choice by Breaking Modal Stovepipes.


The report shows that motorcoaches outperform Amtrak service and urges continued discussion in the news and among policymakers on expanding safe, efficient, and sustainable transportation options.

Representing ABA were President and CEO Peter Pantuso, senior vice president for government affairs and policy Clyde Hart, and policy manager Daniel Hoff.

The group talked about several issues concerning the motorcoach, travel and tourism industry, including the need to create a more equitable playing field for transportation planning and finance.

The new report is one in series of papers that examine how incorporating alternatives into the transportation planning process, including motorcoach travel, can reduce consumer and taxpayer costs while creating more options.

Key findings from the report:

  • On a fully allocated cost basis, motorcoaches average less than 25% of the cost to provide comparable Amtrak service.
  • Only two Amtrak lines generate enough revenue to cover operating and capital costs.
  • On average, per-passenger carbon emissions from motorcoaches are 45-65% less than comparable Amtrak trips.
  • Motorcoaches generally offer more schedules per trip than comparable Amtrak trips.
  • Motorcoaches serve 2,766 cities and towns in the lower 48 states, while Amtrak serves more than 500 cities and towns in 46 of the 48 states.
  • Generally, total trip time by motorcoach is comparable to Amtrak.

"Mr. Shuster’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is integral to the future of how our industry will move forward,” Pantuso said in a statement. “With rail and surface transportation reauthorizations coming into focus, it is important that our industry be at the forefront of shaping our transportation system. Mr. Shuster has always been a friend and ally of motorcoach travel and tourism, and we know that our members will be part of the committee’s solution to ensuring safe, cost effective, environmentally efficient transportation.”

Source: ABA

Related Topics: American Bus Association, federal funding, ground transportation, industry politics, motorcoaches, Peter Pantuso, Washington DC

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