Michael J. Fitzgerald has been a journalist for 40 years, working as a writer and editor for newspapers, magazines and web publications. In 2014 he published the novel, "The Fracking War." In 2015, he published his second novel, "Fracking Justice." He writes or contributes to five blogs. He and his wife Sylvia Fox are the owners and principal partners in *subject2change Media, a multi-media firm involved in print, video and broadcast. He writes a weekly column, "Write On" for the daily 'Finger Lakes Times' newspaper in Geneva, NY. He was a journalism professor at CSU Sacramento from 1986 to 2011 teaching Newswriting, Column Writing and Magazine Writing.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sixty-two cities have just been cut from the Greyhound bus company's routes, among them Petaluma and a score of other small towns in the state I've traveled through over the years.
This bit of news comes on the heels of the latest federal plan for Amtrak: pull the federal support and turn over the whole thing to the states. The States! As if states can effectively pay for (and manage) a national passenger rail line.
The message the public is getting, of course, is pretty clear: The only form of legitimate travel in the USSA is the private automobile. And given that gasoline prices are hitting the roof, legitimate profits for those holding oil stocks are also going through the roof. Lucky for oil stockholders, there's someone in Washington D.C. who things getting rid of Amtrak, high oil prices, and probably ditching Greyhound bus routes are all swell ideas. Swell for pocketbooks of Republican political donors anyway.
Contrast this latest blow to the mass transit system in Mexico, where you can take a bus to even the most remote villages (a scary trip, maybe, but at least you can get their without having to buy a car...).
Mexico has the bus thing figured out, just the same as Europe has bus and rail travel made easy, relatively cheap, and most of all convenient.
I'm glad I own a 33-miles-per-gallon Miata and live within walking distance of where I work.