RVM thruway bus to CVS

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I just noticed this: Amtrak has extended the Richmond-Charlottesville thruway bus (for Cardinal connections) to Main Street Station. This is great!
 
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Public transportation is limited in Richmond if you want to go to Staples Mill (no night or weekend service), whereas Main Street is right downtown on several major city bus lines.

I wonder if they'll extend the thruwasy connection all the way to Williamsburg and Newport News.

The problem is that you can only go from Chicago to RVM/WBG/NPN on days when 99 and 83 run down the peninsula. Train 95 leaves WAS too early for a guaranteed connection from the CL.

So this is an improvement for mid-week service when the Cardinal runs eastbound.
 

MikefromCrete

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I saw this topic and my first thought was that the Amtrak bus would be stopping at a drug store.
 
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Palmland

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I was in RVR last weekend and heard the thruway bus announcement at 11:45 for its noon departure. Too bad schedules can't be adjusted to connect with the Silver Star. It was scheduled in from Miami at 12:21.
 

afigg

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Public transportation is limited in Richmond if you want to go to Staples Mill (no night or weekend service), whereas Main Street is right downtown on several major city bus lines.

I wonder if they'll extend the thruwasy connection all the way to Williamsburg and Newport News.

The problem is that you can only go from Chicago to RVM/WBG/NPN on days when 99 and 83 run down the peninsula. Train 95 leaves WAS too early for a guaranteed connection from the CL.

So this is an improvement for mid-week service when the Cardinal runs eastbound.
They are clearly extending the bus to RVM to try to get business from people in downtown Richmond area. Shouldn't cost much to run the bus an additional 9 miles with plenty of room at RVM. The reservation system still shows the option to take the train 20 minutes from RVM to RVR, wait over 2 hours at Staples Mill for the bus to CVS, then the Cardinal from CVS. How many people take with the (slow) 20 minute train ride, if they don't have a way to get to Staples Mill?

Extending the bus to WBG or NPN would cost more and probably not enough business to justify it. Still, one has to wonder why extending the through bus to RVM wasn't done years ago.
 

fairviewroad

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I was in RVR last weekend and heard the thruway bus announcement at 11:45 for its noon departure. Too bad schedules can't be adjusted to connect with the Silver Star. It was scheduled in from Miami at 12:21.
Wouldn't work. The Thruway bus is scheduled to arrive in CVS at 1:30 p.m. and the westbound Cardinal departs at 1:55 p.m.

That's already a tight-ish connection (though there's clearly some padding in there, since it's about an hour's drive from Richmond to Charlottesville

under normal traffic conditions.)

So if you moved the departure back 20 minutes to provide for a connection from the Star, then you're really gambling with the connection

in CVS. And of course if 92 is running late, then what do you do? Hold the bus in RVR and then hold the train in CVS?

If people want to connect from Florida to the Cardinal, they can take the Meteor to DC and connect there.
 

afigg

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I was in RVR last weekend and heard the thruway bus announcement at 11:45 for its noon departure. Too bad schedules can't be adjusted to connect with the Silver Star. It was scheduled in from Miami at 12:21.
You need at least a 2 hour buffer at RVR for a late northbound Silver Star, if you wanted to allow for a thruway bus connection. That would mean a bus that departs RVR at circa 2:30 PM, if not later. Which of course is not close to matching to the Cardinal schedule. Let's say it was an allowed connection, what happens when the Star is 3 or 5 hours late? Does Staples Mill have the staff to handle putting people up in a motel? (For 2 days? no, that doesn't work.) Or maybe they send them on to WAS and let the staff at WAS figure it out?
 
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Henry Kisor

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I saw this topic and my first thought was that the Amtrak bus would be stopping at a drug store.
Me, too! That's the trouble with referring to stations by their Amtrak codes. I know it's quick shorthand for dyed-in-the-wool foamers, but for others it can be mystifying. Now I'm going to go plan a trip from ORD to SJO.
 
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Obviously with all the Megabus activity at Richmond Main Street Station, there's a demand for travel.

By the way, about 10-15 years ago, Amtrak DID try a shuttle connecting Staples Mill Station with downtown and VCU. An agent at Staples Mill told me they cancelled it for lack of demand. (This was before Main Street Station was reopened for Amtrak service.)
 

Anderson

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Well, and VCU has grown since then, as has train use among college students. Moreover, if they ran a shuttle down the Peninsula to connect with a few trains that don't go down the Peninsula, it would likely attract a good bit of business.
 

Swadian Hardcore

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Greyhound's Richmond terminal is a bit out of the way on North Boulevard. Richmond is possibly Greyhound's largest maintenance center and I guess they need the space. It is capable of in-house rebuilds. Can't spot much from Google Maps though.
 

neroden

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By the way, about 10-15 years ago, Amtrak DID try a shuttle connecting Staples Mill Station with downtown and VCU. An agent at Staples Mill told me they cancelled it for lack of demand. (This was before Main Street Station was reopened for Amtrak service.)
It would probably be more popular now; people who are used to taking the train to Richmond Main St. would likely use buses "filling in the holes in the schedule". It's a bit different when there's nobody riding the train to Richmond Main St...
 
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the_traveler

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Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
I saw this topic and my first thought was that the Amtrak bus would be stopping at a drug store.
Me, too! That's the trouble with referring to stations by their Amtrak codes. I know it's quick shorthand for dyed-in-the-wool foamers, but for others it can be mystifying. Now I'm going to go plan a trip from ORD to SJO.
I'd like a Thruway bus fron CHI Union Station to the CVS Pharmacy at Canal & Wells! :p 1/2 block is a LLLOOONNNGGG way to walk! :giggle:
 

afigg

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Amtrak has posted a news release about the 4050/4051 Thruway buses not only extended to Richmond Main Street, but also a new? 6020/6021 bus from RVM and RVR providing connections to the Crescent at CVS (the city, not the pharmacy chain).

New Amtrak Thruway Bus Service between Richmond and Charltottesvile (3 page PDF with attached schedules)

WASHINGTON Amtrak and James River Transportation have launched a new Thruway bus service that connects passengers traveling to/from Richmond to two long-distance trains at Charlottesville. From Charlottesville, the Crescent continues south to Atlanta and New Orleans and the Cardinal operates west to Cincinnati and Chicago.

The Thruway bus connection serves both the Staples Mill Road and Main Street stations in Richmond and the Charlottesville station. The busses are equipped with Wi-Fi, electrical outlets and comfortable seating, including tables. Both Amtrak trains offer passengers a wide, comfortable reserved coach seat or sleeping accommodations, hot meals in the dining car and the opportunity to mingle with fellow travelers in the lounge car. Checked baggage will be offered to/from the Staples Mill Road and Charlottesville stations.
 

City of Miami

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I was just investigating a trip to VA Beach from Charlottesville. The new thruway bus segment adds $24 to the price, cf. RVR-VAB. That's more than greyhound for the 1 hour trip to Richmond. It was possible to make my trip to VA Beach but difficult to get back. The station agent said 1 person is booked on that ambus tomorrow morning & they will not run it if no one is booked.
 
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Anderson

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I think the main reason the bus was put in probably has a lot to do with getting folks off the Crescent CVS-north. Right now, the "official" transfer is at ALX, which means that someone taking the Crescent and then looping back south (say, to FL) is going to take a space CVS-ALX and one ALX-RVR which is now freed up.
 
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