Apparently, American selfishness still outweighs all other concerns:
"Workers don't do math the same way as their employers, he (Henry Posner) explained. Someone sent to work in Harrisburg could be reimbursed by their employers for up to 55 cents a mile for driving their own cars. They perceived they'd be giving up money (more than $200 for a round trip), though they'd save their employers money by riding the bus at $138.00. That was a subtlety he
hadn't considered when the Flyer began its runs, Mr. Posner said."
This illustrates pretty well where people's priorities are. We (Americans) care about transit and reducing our car dependence only when we stand to lose money by driving. So many times people who do not use transit use arguments such as transit/transportation is not "convenient" for them, or it is not timely enough (i.e. it takes alot longer to get somewhere riding a train, bus etc. than it does to ride in their own car). Here you have (had) a service that was competitive, was timely, and allowed people to commute, work, and return home in the same day. It still was not enough of a draw to stay afloat.
This brings up some important questions:
#1. Is there really that large of a market for air/train/bus service between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg?
#2. Was U.S. Airway's commuter air service that successful? (What was the "ridership" on the daily flights? Did they merely maintain the service because Pittsburgh was in fact a hub?)
#3. How high would gas prices have to be for people to really consider ditching their cars in large numbers when traveling between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg? (The same question could be asked about Cleveland, or Columbus)
#4. Is this failure an indictment of non-automobile transportation between regional destinations?
#5. Were there mitigating factors to this failure that make you think there is a viable transportation solution?
#6. Do you agree that alot (not all) of Americans are utterly selfish?
I'm not going to answer these questions. I want to know what you think.
Talk amongst yourselves