Greg Moore wrote:My point is, that the prices suggested aren't out of the ordinary at all..
So, directly put, what would you say is a good estimate of the typical fare NYP-ALB for a Summer Friday PM Northbound, by people buying it the "typical" time in advance for such summer trips? $45 to $63 is a big range vs the articles single "$75" number.
In the end, the problem is a lot like the problem NNEPRA had with the considered-and-rejected Downeaster summer weekend extension to Rockland:
1) If the current route sells out, the extension must either
- add a section, but then all other sections will have emptied at their usual termnius and you run the whole rest
of the train empty even though the new coach is full
- Extension riders must outbid
a current customer to get their seat (politically painful, and expensive for ticket prices, since each "new" PIT customer would squeeze an existing ALB customer off. In this case, yes, a $2 premium would kill the economics.
2) If the current train happens to have many empty seats--like half-empty--then that's a huge win since you just fill them with as people who'd want to go NYP-PIT, and it runs full to ALB and half-full to PIT.
3) But If the current train has a small number of empty seats it probably looks too much like #1...the only seats occupied ALB-PIT will be those that'd have been previously empty NYP-ALB.
Greg Moore wrote:And then said suggesting only a $2 premium for an extra hour of travel really isn't fiscally sound, which is surprising coming from one who generally suggesting Amtrak has to be more fiscally responsible.
Under PRIIA, Amtrak is going to charge MA to operate the extension, and MA will take most of the business risk of a $2 premium. Anything Mass attempts is going to be a win for Amtrak, unless Mass is so stupid as to insist that PIT fares be BELOW ALB fares, in which case ALB people will just buy a PIT ticket, get off early, and Mass' money will have been entirely wasted.