- - Tuesday, June 26, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

For Amtrak to thrive in today’s world, it should be similar to Greyhound. Greyhound has staffed stations, and Amtrak should have the same. Amtrak has many unstaffed stations at former ticket booths and baggage checks that used to be staffed, but it should restaff many of those stations with contracted people who can do ticketing and baggage check, with some places also doing package shipping.

Currently, Amtrak doesn’t allow people the option to have paper tickets issued unless they order by phone. This forces the consumer to either print out tickets at home or use a smartphone for tickets. Greyhound allows you to print from home and pick up at the bus station or at contracted 7-Elevens, where you can pay in cash.

Greyhound also has more cross-country routes. Until 2005 Amtrak had one cross-country route called the Sunset Limited, but after Hurricane Katrina that came to an end. Amtrak could make two or three routes cross-country instead of ending in Chicago. I hope Amtrak undertakes real reform rather than ending nearly all its routes, and that it decides to look at Greyhound as a model.

JOHN DAVIS

Fort Worth, Texas

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