Effective Approaches to Meeting Rural Intercity Bus Transportation Needs

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - surveys, planning - marketing/promotion, land use - planning, organisation - competition, place - rural, mode - bus


Barriers to entry (Competition), Bibliographies, Bus transportation, Case studies, Financing, Intercity bus lines, Intercity transportation, Marketing, Rural transportation, Strategic planning, Surveys


This report presents results of research conducted under Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Project B-21, "Effective Approaches to Meeting Rural Intercity Bus Transportation Needs." The project identified strategies for initiating, preserving, and enhancing effective rural intercity bus transportation. To identify recent projects and to identify barriers or issues affecting implementation, the research effort included surveys of state rural transit program managers, state rail program managers, and intercity bus carriers. The report includes three parts. Part I contains a review of recent developments affecting the intercity bus industry, an overview of potential funding sources, and a review of barriers to implementation of rural intercity projects. Part II provides strategies for rural intercity service improvements, including methods of identifying intercity carriers and services, planning, program development, operating assistance, capital assistance, marketing assistance, and combining approaches. Each strategy is described, and implementation examples are presented. Part III presents 50 project descriptions based on additional survey interviews with project contacts. A compendium of all projects identified is included as Appendix B. Also included as appendixes are guidance for the Section 5311(f) program (Appendix A) and a bibliography (Appendix C). The research indicates that there are a variety of ways to implement successful rural intercity projects, depending on local goals, institutional constraints, and funding availability.


Permission to link to report given by TRB.