Amtrak vs. Greyhound: Trusted American Transit

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Difference between Amtrak and Greyhound

When it comes to the transport industry in the United States two names stand out above all the rest: Amtrak and Greyhound. The two offer quite different services of course, but their status in the transport industry–and indeed in American culture–make a comparison between the two companies fairly logical. This comparison article takes a look at their key attributes.

Amtrak
Greyhound

Profile

Amtrak, also known as The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, is a government-owned company set up with the goal of providing passenger train services to various cities in the United States. The company first began providing such services on May 1, 1971, and its headquarters are located at Union Station in Washington, D.C. Greyhound Lines, Inc., is a Dallas-based company that provides bus services to passengers in more than 3,700 points in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The company is known for its distinctive leaping greyhound logo, and it was established in Minnesota in 1914. The company was incorporated as "Greyhound Corporation" in 1929.

Ownership

Amtrak is almost solely owned by the federal Government of the United States. In fact, the members of the company's board of directors are appointed by the President, and each membership is subject to the approval of the U.S. Senate. In 1971, the company’s stocks were made public to different railroads that supplied capital and equipment, and in spite of the almost total lack of benefits of these stocks, the shareholders’ refusal of a buyout offer by Amtrak made headlines in 2002. Amtrak currently employs a workforce of almost 19,000 employees. Greyhound for its part is owned and operated as an independent subsidiary by Scottish company FirstGroup, under a division of FirstGroup America.

Main Services

Amtrak is not actually under any obligation to provide national services, although it still operates in almost all of the lower 48 states with the exception of Wyoming and South Dakota. The company provides rail service to Boston, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Pennsylvania by way of a system of overhead wires, with the rest of the states being serviced by way of diesel-driven engines. Amtrak also operates the Thruway Motorcoach, which provides bus service to and from the company’s train stations. Greyhound offers a variety of services in addition to its main bus routes, such as a discount bus service out of New York City and other destinations in the northeastern United States. These services were launched in 2008, and they work in conjunction with the company's other services. The company also operates the BoltBus and NeOn bus services, although the poor performance of NeOn led the company to conglomerate all NeOn services into rest of the Greyhound local bus services.

Summary

Amtrak

  • A government-owned company that provides passenger train services to various cities in the United States
  • Started operating on May 1, 1971
  • Also operates the Thruway Motorcoach
Greyhound

  • Provides bus services to passengers in more than 3,700 points in the United States, Canada and Mexico
  • Known for its distinctive leaping greyhound logo
  • Owned and operated as an independent subsidiary by Scottish company FirstGroup, under a division of FirstGroup America
  • Also operates the BoltBus and NeOn bus services

Amtrak and Greyhound Video

Which transit system is more reliable?
  • Amtrak
  • Greyhound
 
 

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