Both trains and buses offer an excellent solution to the continuing need to transport lots of people from A to B with the least amount of damage to the environment (compared to other methods of transport powered by fuel). Few of us work close to our homes anymore, and many of us live miles away from our families, so buses and trains have become an important part of our daily commutes and a good way of visiting loved ones without the expense involved in driving our cars. Buses and trains are also increasingly featuring in our international travel plans as airfares and airport taxes have risen and the time taken to get through security and check-in has increased considerably. Bus lines cover much of Europe and a UK company, iDBUS runs bus lines directly from London to France, then to Holland, Belgium and Italy. Trains also cover these destinations at great speed, but for considerably higher fares. So which of these two favoured options is the best choice for travelling locally or indeed abroad?
- Timetables are much clearer and more accurate than they once were, with the use of real-time information often being used on main bus lines to help passengers better plan their journeys. For international travel, iDBUS allows you to choose where you would like to travel to and from very easily.
Bus lines are run by private companies that rely on your business. If they are not competitive in their pricing structures, comfortable or reliable then they know that their passengers will defect to other bus companies that service their lines. Trains, meanwhile, are given lengthy contracts by the government and know that passengers have no alternative but to use their trains.
- Buses run by reputable companies like iDBUS are reliable, comfortable, clean and inexpensive and are staffed by knowledgeable, bi-lingual professionals. You can choose a seat in advance and you are always within sight and sound of the on board crew, so personal safety is not an issue. Free Wi-Fi and electrical sockets are available throughout the bus for all passengers to use.
- There are well-known problems experienced on local services: frequent stops and delays whilst passengers board and pay the driver for their tickets. These problems are avoided by international services, such as iDBUS, which have limited stops and for which tickets are bought in advance.
- Buses are subject to road conditions and are usually much slower than comparable train lines. Real-time information on board and at stations helps to keep passengers informed.
- Trains are fast and direct, stopping at major towns and cities.
- They attract higher fares than buses and are often very overcrowded.
- They are often subject to staff shortages and technical problems with the line or rolling stock (both of which are owned and maintained by separate companies).
- You can be alone in a carriage and without any contact with staff.
- You have to pay extra for services such as sockets and Wi-Fi.
So there seem to be more ‘good’ points and fewer ‘bad’ points for buses. Bear this in mind when booking your next journey, particularly if you are considering travelling overseas.
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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
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