Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach

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Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach is system of through-ticketed routes to connect passengers with areas not served by Amtrak trains. As the name implies, in most cases these are dedicated motorcoach routes, but can also be non-dedicated intercity bus services operated by companies like Greyhound, transit buses, vans, taxis, ferry boats and commuter rail trains.

A Van Hool C2045L Amtrak California Thruway Motorcoach at the Bakersfield station

Train and thruway tickets are typically purchased together from Amtrak for the length of a passenger's journey, and the connections are timed for guaranteed transfers between the two services. In addition to providing connecting service to unserved areas, some Thruway Motorcoaches operate as redundant service along passenger rail corridors to add extra capacity.

Amtrak establishes temporary Thruway Motorcoach service when normal rail service encounters disruptions.[1]

History and purposeEdit

Amtrak operates the Thruway Motorcoach to extend the reach of its train services, offering connections to destinations not directly served by a train station. The earliest incarnation of such a service was launched in January 1973, to provide a connection between Amtrak's Inter-American in Laredo, Texas, and the Aztec Eagle train run by N de M from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.[2] The following year, Amtrak launched an agreement with Greyhound allowing for passengers to buy combined bus and rail tickets for connecting services run by the two companies. These services were the predecessors of Thruway Motorcoach. The first Amtrak bus service to bear the name "Amtrak Thruway" was launched in California in 1993.[3] Amtrak launched a significant expansion of Thruway Motorcoach services across the United States in 2014.[2]

 
Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach at Newport News station, January 2013

RoutesEdit

NortheastEdit

EastEdit

MidwestEdit

WestEdit

Pacific NorthwestEdit

CaliforniaEdit

 
Passengers boarding a YARTS bus at the Merced, California station operating as Amtrak California Thruway Motorcoach route 15 to Yosemite.

Substitution for Amtrak trainsEdit

Thruway Motorcoaches can also be used as an alternative to the Amtrak Downeaster on the following segments:

  • Boston (North Station) to Dover, Exeter, or Durham/UNH – one northbound (Bus 8619) and one southbound (Bus 8618) (C&J bus)- this segment can be reserved through Amtrak ticketing systems
  • Boston (South Station) to Portland, Maine – Portland/Boston Flexpass is valid on Concord Coach or Downeaster runs between Portland and Boston – no reservations required (The Downeaster serves Boston-North Station, while Concord Coach serves Boston-South Station

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Thruway Motorcoach Service and Accessibility". Amtrak. Archived from the original on 2006-02-20. Retrieved July 27, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Historic Timeline — Amtrak: History of America's Railroad". history.amtrak.com. Retrieved 2021-11-25.
  3. ^ Munson, Jeff (April 27, 1993). "Amtrak offers link to valley". The Union Democrat. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  4. ^ Berlin and Conway, NH, Concord Coach Lines. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  5. ^ Littleton and Plymouth, NH, Concord Coach Lines. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  6. ^ Vacations in North Carolina by Train and Thruway Bus, Amtrak. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  7. ^ Route 5, Piedmont Authority for Regional Transit. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  8. ^ "Cascades (Portland-Eugene) - POINT". Retrieved 2021-10-11.

External linksEdit