FirstGroup, the British transportation company that’s going to take over Greyhound, has an opportunity to make bus transportation cool by making it green.
All they need to do is buy some hybrid fuel buses, install free wi-fi, upholster the seats in hemp, get themselves some Voss water, offer meals from Whole Foods Market, and they’re set.
There’s a huge market that is awaiting a better way to travel mid-range distances. Think about it. Flying a few hundred miles is always a dilemma: there’s the hassle of getting to and from the airport; the rip-off last minute pricing; the torture of the TSA the risk of delays. Is it worth it? Plus, you need to get to and from the airport. And then there’s the fossil fuel that those greedy big birds buirn.
Greenhound, on the other hand, takes you bus terminals centrally located, right in the heart of the city. What could be more geographically convenient or politically correct?
For the last three decades, bus travel has been in a declinist spiral. It’s the trailer park of public transportation, used by the optionless among us, including college students, the carless, and other transient souls who seem like refugees from a Raymond Carver story.
Re-invented as the Greenhound, bus travel could become a rediscovered 1950s artifact like bowling or fondue. Riding the dog, once a jokey symbol of economic desperation, can be the next prideful statement of enlightened sustainability.AH