Originally Posted by WarrenC12
Wow, things have changed. Maybe the bus makes less stops. I can't explain the time of the train, since when I caught it last there were maybe 3-4 stops including the border, all 5 mins each, and otherwise the speed was great. Under 3 hours easily.
Of course the only reason I took it was the sale for $3.50 each way, per person. No joke! Anyway, at $39US each it's still a hard sell. I drive to Seattle with my girlfriend in our Yaris and it's $50Cdn for gas (at Canadian prices). Tough to justify.
In all fairness, though... unless you're driving a hybrid or a diesel, you can't get much better fuel economy than a Yaris. I assume you mean $50 return.
I'd add another $10. Add another $10 for parking. You have more freedom with a car, mind you. You're now getting close to the price of a return train ticket. However, that's only if you're solo.
You're right about the stops, though. There are only 4 stops before Seattle. Bellingham, Mt. Vernon, Everett, Edmonds. They could even advertise day trips into Bellingham for shopping.
You know what's funny... Bellingham's ferries go to Victoria in the Summer. They're passenger-only ferries and they depart from the ferry Terminal which is right beside the Amtrak station. It's a 3-hour ride, costing $49. They go directly to downtown Victoria. The train is $14 to Bellingham.
While the ferry price is a little high and obviously geared toward tourists, you could technically leave Vancouver, cross over the border to Bellingham and assuming you arrive before 9:00am in Bellingham, hop on the Ferry to Victoria for a 3-hour tour...
$64 and 5 hours later, you'd be in Victoria.
Kind of funny. But this route isn't much longer than the public transit route:
From Vancouver by public transit:
~75min. by bus to Tsawassen (2 buses)
1:45 on the Ferry
75min to Downtown Victoria.
By Amtrak/ferry $64
By public transit $20
By Coach, $40
By Heli-jet, $75
If they reduced train travel between Vancouver to Bellingham to 1 hour it would actually be competetive (time-wise) to go through Bellingham!!! it SHOULD be possible to reduce the travel time, there is only ONE stop (though I'd like to to see NO stops and border control to be in Pacific Central).
It really only needs track upgrades.
Of course, all this begs the question... If Pacific Coach lines can survive on a $40/trip by bus, and Bellingham can charge $50 for a 3-hour trip, what's stopping a ferry from downtown to downtown (even if it was seasonal) from doing the same?
$30/trip geared toward tourists at first. I can't think of what travel time would be... but it couldn't be more than 3 hours.
I know it's been tried before... but I can't find the details. Anyone remember?
edit: Yea, this should be in its own thread, perhaps... but there's not a lot of information on it, anyhow. Here's a long term plan
for Amtrak Cascades. Hmm... this thread went off-track on post #1023, when the budget allocated money for a Evergreen and possible Pacific Central upgrades.