Virginia DRPT has chosen to overlay a bus onto the US 29 Corridor (and tie to Dulles). I can't find anything at www.drpt.virginia.gov
, but this is a good picture and Blog:Virginia plans two new cross-state bus lines, citing success of Blacksburg-D.C. route
Full Size Image
You'll notice that it overlays the Crescent all the way from Danville, but pops up to Dulles before going into DC. New Cities (non-Amtrak) served along the Crescent Route include AltaVista, Amherst, Lovingston, Warrenton & Gainesville. To me, this all feels like making it easier for "College Kids" in Lynchburg and C'Ville to get to/from "home" along US 29. (My daughter, at UVa will definitely use it to visit family in NoVa and to come home to Boston (probably by air, but Acela would be facilitated too). If scheduled at "non Rush" times (like the original I-81 bus was) it should move along pretty well. It is unclear whether this pre-empts or pre-proves demand for additional LYH trains
I'd generally say it should be (1) symbiotic with the Cardinal/Crescent/Roanoker but (2) tap off a lot of demand that'd otherwise be important to an additional train's success and (3) But if they can schedule trains that cut through rush hour, that'd be helpful but (4) as I-66 gets HOT lanes, a bus is going to be pretty effective at beating other road travel.
At the right time Danville to DC is a 4 hour drive. Add another hour for stops and you're still about on the Crescent's schedule (5h10m from Danville to WAS).
Starting in Martinsville VA is bizarre. Seems like an old-fashioned "fills a hole in the network" but I'd say the hole is there because there's no population out there. Maybe there's some kind of Civil Rights need to balance the network? Touching the college town of Hampden Sydney is seems to be the anchor of the whole route.
[EDIT: it is not bizarre, but I think I'm right about Civil Rights, specifically Title VI, being the reason. More below]
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires:
no person in the United States shall on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity for which DRPT receives federal financial assistance.
Since they are using Federal $ for this, I suspect they had to rebalance their network with race in mind, and Martinsburg and South Boston (and Danville) seem to have the desired mix of Black housholds