Can new bus lines chart a course to better travel options in the West?
A misbooked flight left Anthony Gill needing a quick ticket to Seattle from Spokane, Washington, last November. Gill, a 25-year-old graduate student in public policy at the University of Southern California, had heard of a new bus service called FlixBus, so he found the company’s app on his phone. The first run connecting Washington’s two largest cities, traversing the state from the rolling sagebrush of the east to the winding mountain passes and Puget Sound in the west, was departing the next day. So, Gill said, “I booked the trip that night for like $10.”
The purchase was a spur of the moment decision, but not an accident. Gill has an interest in transportation in the Northwest and was previously a board member of Cascadia Rail — a nonprofit pushing for a high speed train connecting major population centers in the region. He’s also part of a generation whose members are less likely to have a driver’s license and more willing to ditch their cars than older generations. “Why would I drive when I can sit back, surf the internet, continue my Twitter addiction or watch a movie?” Gill said.