Greyhound Bus Corp. has requested fare increases of between 92 percent and 122 percent on its commuter routes between Washingston and Annapolis or Baltimore. If the fare boosts are not granted, the company either will abandon the service, which has operated for more than 40 years, or sharply curtail it, Greyhound threatened.
"The proposed fare hikes don't represent an effort to achieve a profit position," said Greyhound President Frank L. Nageotte. "They simply reflect our need to eliminate the staggering losses in our commuter operation."
The company said it is losing $3,000 a day on the fare structure covers less than half the cost of providing the service. It lost $750,000 on the route last year, a company spokesman said.
Nageotte said Greyhound is competing with Metro and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad commuter service between Washington and Baltimore, which is subsidized by the state.
"Logic alone dictates that this type of competition is really no competitition at all, not when you have a private-enterprise company trying to exist alongside two government-supported entities who have their losses underwritten by public funds," Nageotte said.
Between 1,500 and 2,000 commuters ride the routes daily. If the increase is granted, a 10-ride fare from Washington to Baltimore would increase from $17.65 to $39.20. A 10-ride fare from Washington to Annapolis would increase from $15.85 to $30.40. If granted the fares would become effective May 15, according to a company spokesman.
The Washington-Baltimore route includes stops in Beltsville, Berwyn, College Park, Hyattsville and Laurel.