“Study Details Support For a Bus Connector to Amtrak in Lynchburg”, Jan 7 issue is typical gibberish by those who make their living studying things instead of doing them. A figure of $150,000 per year to operate a bus to connect with Amtrak is gold-plated considering several far less-costly alternatives, such as running one of the existing buses that ply the Smart-Way bus routes between Blacksburg and Roanoke straight through to Lynchburg / Kemper St. Station. Or even to Clifton Forge three days a week to access the northbound and westbound Cardinal that also serve the Northeast Corridor to New York. Returning passengers could return on the route that ends in Lynchburg where they could access a Smart-Way bus to Roanoke or even a Greyhound that also returns to Roanoke at 12:15 AM. Not an ideal trip time, but at least it beats leaving Roanoke about 6 AM to board the train leaving Lynchburg at 7:38 AM.
We are talking peanuts here, folks, not mentioning taxicabs or even car pools to either Lynchburg or Clifton Forge. This is not Rocket Science and could be implemented almost immediately on a break even basis. Even one train a day could be operated to Lynchburg on present single trackage with little change in track or sidings. After all how many freight trains pass over that line daily, even at reduced speed, using the sidings and interlocking trackage that already exists?
Sometimes, the perfect is the enemy of the good; or even the better-than-nothing!
– Randolf Gregg, Roanoke