Subsidies bring another bus to town

August 10, 2015

From the Editorial Board of Illinois’ Quad-City Times:

Greyhound is bringing another subsidized public transportation option to our community. The state of Illinois is using federal transportation funds as incentives for a lower-cost Greyhound connection on the Interstate 88 tollway to Chicago.

The funding makes lower cost bus service available from Chicago to the Quad-Cities, with fewer stops. It’s primarily intended to improve service to and from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, and Dixon, Ill.

Our Quad-Cities has three bus providers, with the best fares to Chicago virtually identical. Greyhound, Burlington Trailways and MegaBus all offer $40 fares to Chicago.

Compare that with Amtrak’s best Princeton-to-Chicago fare of $35.

We mention the new subsidized Greyhound service to remind that all public transportation is subsidized, from the Amtrak passenger service to the Delta air service to the public bus companies. All operate on government-funded tracks, runways and roads. Many receive additional subsidies in the form of airport gate fees and operating subsidies.

So taxpayers need to determine what types of subsidized public transportation they want. In this scenario, we see even more reasons to support state and federal subsidized passenger rail service to our community. Consider the money not as discounts for individual riders, but as incentives to connect our community more completely with the rest of the nation.

Illinois’ second largest metro area deserves the level of passenger train service currently enjoyed by residents in Springfield, Champaign, Danville, Joliet, Kankakee and 15 other Illinois towns with Amtrak service.

You can read the full editorial by clicking here.

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