Check in, clear security and catch the bus! Bus transport the future for US aviation feeder routes?

Premium Analysis

The slow, smoky, much-maligned bus, very much a fixture of the transport infrastructure of Third World countries, may be about to make a comeback in the United States.

An experiment is under way by which passengers can check in at their local airport for a bus that will take them to the nearby principal airport for their long distance flight, rather than them having to travel on a feeder air service.

There are numerous traveller 'advantages' proposed, but the scheme is driven fundamentally by need - there are not enough pilots and other crew for regional air services - and of course buses are perceived as being 'cleaner' than aircraft; even if they are belching thick, black, noxious fumes out of the exhaust.

It is the right experiment at the right time, but it could face passenger resistance and there is a hard sell in prospect.

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