Friday, March 28, 2008

The Case for Rail: A No-Brainer

As of April 6, Colgan Air will no longer be flying from Harrisburg, PA to New York City. As far as I can tell, that leaves only U.S. Airways with non-stop flights between those cities – three a day. The one-way fare is $194.

Flight time from Harrisburg to New York’s LaGuardia is an hour and fifteen minutes. Add to that the time it takes to go to and from the two airports, plus all the standing in line for check-in and security, and you can’t possible go from downtown Harrisburg to mid-town Manhattan in less than three hours.

Amtrak offers ten trains a day from Harrisburg to Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan. Depending on the number of stops, the trip takes anywhere from 3 hours to just under 4 hours. The one-way fare is $47.

Given those two options, why would you fly?

And, since this same scenario occurs in many other areas across this country, why isn’t the federal government putting serious money into more and better inter-city train service?

2 comments:

Waldron Faulkner said...

Perhaps the market has spoken in favor of Amtrak, and that is why Colgan Air is forced to stop its NYC route?

JIM LOOMIS said...

Indeed! The traveling public gets it. Let's hope the politicians aren't too far behind.