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Buses for Planes Would Save $89 Million in Subsidized Cities


East New York

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By Jeff Plungis - Sep 13, 2011 11:53 AM ET - Taxpayers would save up to $89 million a year if buses rather than planes served 38 cities where the U.S. subsidizes flights, the American Bus Association said in a study.

 

The average cost of providing service would be reduced by as much as $291 per passenger, according to the Washington-based trade group’s study. Rather than considering only air service for these cities, the U.S. should “look at what makes the most sense,” Peter Pantuso, the association’s president and chief executive officer, said on a call with reporters today.

 

The association, which represents companies such as FirstGroup Plc (FGP)’s Greyhound Lines Inc., looked at cities within 150 miles of a medium-sized or large hub airport that have flights subsidized by the Essential Air Service program.

 

Projected per-passenger bus costs are lower than current air fares on more than half the routes studied, meaning commercial bus companies may be able to operate on them without government support, the bus association said. Smaller subsidies would be required on some routes, it said.

 

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