CONSIDERATION is given by the author to possibilities of radical changes in design of the motorcoach to meet the increasing demands of transportation, and he outlines and analyzes the practices of the company he represents in connection with the operation and maintenance of a fleet of 57 motorcoaches, all of the same make, which supplement the street-railway system in Youngstown, Ohio.
The tendency toward a narrowed field for public-transportation service because of the increasing use of the private automobile is discussed and, in the author's opinion, the urban transportation-company will find the field for the motorcoach and the field for the street-car; but he states that the total use of the combined agencies will be far less than would be the case if the conditions of 10 years ago still prevailed. Further, he asserts that the reduction in the number of potential passengers for a public-transportation line, caused by the use of private automobiles, is a fundamental fact that must be faced by the public-transportation companies. To maintain a profit, there must be less, not more, service by the public-transportation company per unit of population, in his opinion.
The test of the use to be made of motorcoaches and street-cars is on the basis of operating cost per passenger carried, according to the author, dismissing from consideration any idea that the one form of conveyance is more attractive to passengers than the other. This opinion is based upon close observation and a detailed study of the preference of passengers in Youngstown, where 60 per cent of the service mileage is given by street railway and 40 per cent by motorcoach.
In considering the total cost of operation, the author assumes two groups of expenses, Group (1) consisting of all expenses common to street-cars and motorcoaches, and Group (2) all expenses that are inherent in street-cars alone. He then analyzes this classification and also treats the subject of limitations which tend to prevent the substitution of motorcoaches for street-cars.