Same reason people rent cars at LaGuardia or JFK. To get to places outside of NYC.David Benton wrote:Why would anyone in their right mind want to rent a car in Manhattan anyway??? .
Which "prior stop"? If you're going to Long Island or Westchester County, the other Amtrak stops are fairly out of the way. And they don't have rental car facilities within walking distance. There are rental car places in Manhattan, but you have to get to them during normal business hours. Unlike airport rental agencies, which are open whenever the planes are flying, these agencies are not integrated into the rail travel network and their business hours don't take Amtrak schedules (or delays) into account. Back when I lived in Brooklyn, we would go to LaGuardia to rent cars because the in-town rental locations' hours didn't mesh with when we needed to pick up or drop off the car. If someone I knew were coming by train to visit, say, IBM or SUNY/Stony Brook, I'd recommend they take the bus from NYP to LGA and rent a car there.David Benton wrote:Surely anyone looking to travel anywhere other than Lower Manhattan by rental car would get off at a prior stop anyway.
I'm not banging on the "rental car" issue because I'm all that in love with driving. But it is pretty much the only solution that I know of for getting between the station and the final destination that works in the USA for any final destination. The alternatives -- taxi, public transportation, and being picked up by someone from your destination -- only work for a very limited set of destinations, and by depending upon them, Amtrak is reduced to a niche business, sort of like the ferries between Long Island and Connecticut, or between Cape May and Delaware.
The places I know of where HSR seems to be working (Japan, Europe) are places where conventional rail travel was already integrated into the transportation network and a major transportation mode.