Bloomberg News has a dispatch on the surge in intercity bus operators like Megabus.com and BoltBus. Left unexplored are two policy angles: first, how inconvenient and intrusive federally mandated airport security procedures, which don't apply to bus travel, have helped to make buses a more attractive option than flying for some trips. And second, how the market is meeting the same need for intercity transportation that President Obama wants to address by spending $53 billion in taxpayer dollars on high speed rail. What a contrast between the efficiency of an entrepreneurial, market-driven, dynamic approach and the cost of a government-driven, central planning approach.
Yes, I understand the high-speed rail would be faster than the buses. And yes, as a New Yorker who travels fairly often to Washington and Boston more subsidies for high-speed rail would probably net out better for me personally than a lot of other possible federal expenditures. And yes, I understand that there are a lot of private-sector forces, like locomotive engine manufacturers, pushing high-speed rail. But it's an illuminating situation nonetheless.