27.10.16

COMPARE AND CONTRAST.

Three days a week, Amtrak's Cardinal makes its way between Chicago and New York by way of Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Panem, er, D.C. and Philadelphia.  The other four days, there's a regional train between Chicago and Indianapolis, which also exists to haul bad-ordered cars to the repair shops at Beech Grove.

That regional train is now being operated by a private company, Iowa Pacific Holdings, using Iowa Pacific staff and Iowa Pacific rolling stock.  There's a dining car serving real food on real china, and business class passengers rate a Great Dome lounge.  They pay more for the privilege, but it's apparently worth it.
Almost 2,500 people rode the Hoosier State last month, and that was up 46% compared to September of last year. It was also the fifth consecutive month when this year’s ridership exceeded the numbers from 2015. And there’s more: according to the Indiana DOT, revenue from tickets sold in September totaled more than $82,000 and that was a 64% increase from September of last year.

For examples of one-way Chicago-to-Indianapolis adult fares, I picked two mid-week days next month for a snapshot comparison: One-way Business Class, CHI – IND, on the Cardinal is $64; one-way Business Class on the Hoosier State is $70.

I shall now risk stating the obvious: People will respond to a quality experience and they will pay more for it. Likewise, nickel-and-diming passengers by cutting costs is counter-productive.
Downsizing is a false economy, forsooth!

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