Intercity buses are struggling, and that could leave some people stranded

Kai Ryssdal and Sean McHenry Oct 7, 2021
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"Those routes from Washington, D.C., to, say, New York or to Boston, those routes are always going to be there," said Governing Magazine's Jake Blumgart. "The real question is what's going to happen to these other places." Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images

Intercity buses are struggling, and that could leave some people stranded

Kai Ryssdal and Sean McHenry Oct 7, 2021
Heard on:
"Those routes from Washington, D.C., to, say, New York or to Boston, those routes are always going to be there," said Governing Magazine's Jake Blumgart. "The real question is what's going to happen to these other places." Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images
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While not necessarily known for comfort, intercity buses like Greyhound and Megabus offer a low-cost way for riders to travel long distances. Buses across the country carry an estimated 62 million of riders annually, but the companies that operate them have been scaling back routes for years. The pandemic only made it worse.

“A lot of the operators were closing off service to rural and small-town areas, areas that are not as plugged in to the rest of the country,” said Jake Blumgart, a reporter for Governing Magazine.

Blumgart wrote about the plight of intercity buses and spoke to “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal about his reporting. According to Blumgart, ridership has started to return, but not everywhere.

“Those routes from Washington, D.C., to, say, New York or to Boston, those routes are kind of always going to be there,” Blumgart said. “There’s such a strong market in those areas. The real question is what’s going to happen to these other places.”

Click the audio player above to hear Blumgart’s conversation with Ryssdal.

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