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境外游,在线搜索火车和大巴

更新时间:2013-11-23 14:24:11 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Looking for a Bus or Train? New Sites Aim to Help
境外游,在线搜索火车和大巴

IF YOU WANT to search a single Web site for fares across multiple airlines, there are plenty of options — Priceline, Orbitz, Expedia — that allow you to do just that. But the same cannot be said if you’re planning to travel long distance by bus or train. Typically you have to know the name of the company you plan to use and make a reservation through its Web site.

如果你想找一个能比较多家航空公司票价的网站,会有许多网站供你挑选———Priceline、Orbitz、Expedia等都能帮你达成这个目的。但如果你打算乘公共汽车或火车长途旅行,就很难找到这种比价网站。一般来说,你必须知道准备乘坐的火车或长途汽车所在公司的名字,然后到它们的官网去订票。

Now, however, a handful of Internet start-ups are trying to make searching for bus and train routes and fares as easy as searching for flight information. The sites are emerging as more people are traveling by bus and train. Intercity bus service grew by 7.5 percent between the end of 2011 and 2012, the highest rate of growth in four years, according to a report from the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University.

但最近,几家新型网站开始进行尝试,努力让公共汽车和火车价格和线路方面的搜索像航空搜索一样方便。这种网站兴起的原因是越来越多的人开始选择公共汽车或火车来旅行。德保尔大学沙迪克都市发展研究所(Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development)的一项研究表明,2011年底至2012年底,城际客运行业增长了7.5%,这是四年来增长最快的一年。

And service by discount operators like BoltBus and Megabus in the United States jumped 30.6 percent year over year. (That outpaces the growth reported by airlines and car travel, the Chaddick Institute report said.) Train travel has also grown, and it’s likely to become more popular given that the Department of Transportation, as part of the High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program that President Obama announced in 2009, is developing high-speed and intercity passenger rail corridors for 150- to 220-mile-an-hour trains.

此外,BoltBus、Megabus等提供长途客运折扣服务的公司,去年也在美国获得了30.6%的迅猛发展(沙迪克的报告说,这个速度远远超过了航空和自驾旅行的增长速度)。而根据美国交通运输部的数据,火车旅行行业也所有增长,且将来会继续增长,因为奥巴马总统2009年宣布开工的高速城际客运铁路项目(High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program)正在兴建时速150至220英里的高速城际铁路。

Wanderu, a minimalist Web site introduced this month, enables travelers to search for bus and train trips in the Northeast across multiple companies. The site does not directly sell tickets, but it provides a link that allows you to book your trip with your chosen company. If the operator’s Web site is not mobile-friendly or does not have an intuitive checkout system, Wanderu provides a reservation form for you to fill out and sends it to the operator on your behalf.

本月刚刚创建的极简主义风格的网站Wanderu能让旅客搜索美国东北地区多家公共汽车和火车公司的旅行信息。这家网站并不直接售票,但提供的链接可以帮助你在所选的公司订票。如果哪家公共交通公司不兼容移动网络平台,或者无法直接订票,Wanderu网站会提供一张预订车票的表格,填好后网站会帮你发给运输公司。

A recent search for a bus to Washington, D.C., from New York City pulled up dozens of trips — including departure time, price and duration — on lines like BoltBus, Megabus and DC2NY. Filters narrow search results to a particular operator as well as to buses that have Wi-Fi, power outlets, extra leg room, free water, loyalty rewards and “green certified” designations indicating that they were evaluated by the Certification for Sustainable Transportation at the University of Vermont (more information is available at Erating.org).

最近我在BoltBus、Megabus、DC2NYA等网站上搜索了纽约到华盛顿的公共交通,返回了数十条结果,信息包括出发时间、票价、旅途时长。这些搜索过滤器将结果限制在非常有限的运输公司,过滤条件包括车上装有Wi-Fi、车上有电源插座、额外的腿部伸展空间、免费饮用水,忠诚顾客回馈政策和有“绿色认证”标识的客运公司。“绿色认证”标识指的是,这家运输公司获得了佛蒙特大学推出的可持续发展运输公司的资格(更多信息请见:Erating.org)。

My Washington trip search showed that I could save $5 by taking the 10 a.m. Megabus from 34th Street and 11th Avenue for $21 instead of the 10:30 a.m. BoltBus from 33rd Street and Seventh Avenue for $26 — that is if I didn’t care about the extra legroom on BoltBus. On the other hand, the Megabus was “green certified.” Such are the dilemmas of travel nowadays. Sometimes you have to choose between your comfort and your conscience.

我的华盛顿旅行搜索显示,如果我上午10点在34街和11大道的交叉口乘坐Megabus公司的车,价格是21美元。比10:30在33街和第七大道的交叉口乘坐BoltBus的车要便宜5美元。前提是我不在乎BoltBus车上的额外伸腿空间。但从另一方面来说,Megabus有“绿色认证”。诸如此类的两难选择是当今旅行需要面对的。有时候你必须在舒适感和理性之间做出选择。

Wanderu is easy to use and at the moment it has partnerships with more than a dozen bus and train companies, which Wanderu said means that it covers roughly 80 percent of the East Coast market (one major bus company that’s not on the site, for instance, is Peter Pan). The site’s chief executive, Polina Raygorodskaya, said Wanderu was planning to expand to the Southeast next month and to the Midwest by the end of the year.

Wanderu网站非常易用,目前已经与十几家公共汽车和火车公司建立了合作关系。Wanderu说,这意味着它已经覆盖了美国东海岸80%的公共客运市场(没有与Wanderu建立合作的大公司包括彼得·潘[Peter Pan]公交公司)。Wanderu网站的首席执行官波丽娜·雷格罗兹卡娅(Polina Raygorodskaya)说,Wanderu下个月打算扩张到美国东南部,年底会扩张到中西部。

My search for a trip to Washington pulled up a number of bus options, though no trains. Turns out that Wanderu is reworking its Amtrak integration to make it faster, so while some trips turn up Amtrak options, Ms. Raygorodskaya said, the site’s full Amtrak integration should be back on track again in a few weeks. If you want to travel by train only (or by bus only), there isn’t a way to narrow the search to one mode of transportation, but you can filter by carrier. And given that Amtrak is the nation’s major train company, Ms. Raygorodskaya said, users can filter for trains simply by selecting Amtrak as their carrier of choice. Wanderu is also developing an app that will allow users to create accounts and save all their tickets in one place.

我为华盛顿之旅进行的搜索返回许多公共汽车的资讯,但没有火车方面的信息。然后我发现Wanderu现在正在重做美国铁路公司(Amtrak)的数据整合系统,以求得到更高的搜索速度。虽然目前有些搜索也会出现美国铁路公司的数据,但雷格罗兹卡娅女士说,网站与美国铁路公司所有数据的整合在几周后就能完成。如果你打算只乘坐火车(或只乘坐公共汽车)旅行,这个网站无法将搜索结果限制在一种交通工具之内。但你可以选择特定的运输公司来过滤搜索结果。鉴于美国铁路公司是美国最大的火车客运企业,雷格罗兹卡娅说,用户可以在运输公司部分直接选择“美国铁路公司”,就会得到火车信息。Wanderu网站目前正在开发一款应用,允许用户创建账户并将自己所有的票务信息储存在同一个地方。

On Bustripping, another new intercity bus search engine, users can search for routes in 163 United States cities, four European cities and Vancouver, Canada. There is also an app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The site currently turns up trips among 18 bus companies like Yo! Bus and Go Buses. Bustripping’s chief executive, Ben Silverstein, said in an e-mail message that he is in talks with additional operators. The site, which is still building up its partnerships, is currently missing big carriers like Greyhound.

在另一个城际公交搜索网站Bustripping上,用户可以搜索163个美国城市、四个欧洲城市以及加拿大温哥华的公共汽车信息。网站还有个用于iPhone、iPad 和iPod Touch平台的应用。目前,这家网站可以搜到18长途公交公司的信息,包括Yo! Bus和Go Buses等公司。 Bustripping网的首席执行官本·希尔弗斯坦(Ben Silverstein)在一封电邮中说,他正在与更多运输公司洽谈合作。网站目前还在扩展合作伙伴阶段,“灰狗”等大型公交公司还没有与他们建立合作。

You can filter searches by time, price and operator. Recent searches for trips to Boston, Philadelphia and Washington from New York City each turned up two bus carriers. Each time I went to purchase tickets, Bustripping redirected me to another search site, Gotobus.com, to buy the trip. Mr. Silverstein said GotoBus handles the ticketing for many smaller bus lines and that Bustripping shows GotoBus routes on its site. (In other instances, Bustripping users are sent to a bus company’s Web site to buy their tickets.) “In the future we plan to allow our users to purchase tickets for any bus company through our Web site and mobile app,” Mr. Silverstein said.

你可以根据时间、价格和运输公司等条件来搜索。近期我搜索了从纽约到波士顿、费城和华盛顿的公共交通,只找到了两个运输公司的结果。每次我准备买票的时候,Bustripping都将我转到另一个搜索网站Gotobus.com去完成支付。希尔弗斯坦先生说,GotoBus网站帮助许多小型公交公司处理支付问题,而Bustripping也会将GotoBus网站的搜索结果显示在自己的网站上(另一种情况是,Bustripping用户会被转到某个具体公交公司的官网来完成支付)。“我们的计划是,将来我们的用户可以通过我们的网站和App直接进行支付,”希尔弗斯坦先生说。

Of course, you could just go directly to GotoBus, a longstanding, fairly cluttered third-party Web site that allows users to search for bus routes and book them. This summer the company introduced a mobile Web site that allows passengers to access their account and show an e-ticket to the bus operator as opposed to providing a printout. It’s worth noting, though, that while GotoBus is not a bus operator, the company has sold tickets on carriers that were charged this year with federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration violations, like the Chinatown bus companies Fung Wah Bus Transportation and Lucky Star. So be sure to do your homework before booking a ticket with an unfamiliar carrier. You can research the safety performance of a specific interstate carrier on the Department of Transportation’s Web site. (Customer reviews for GotoBus are on the Better Business Bureau Web site, BBB.org.)

当然,你也可以直接去GotoBus网。这家功能有些散乱的资深第三方搜索网站允许用户搜索公共交通路线并直接订票。今年夏天,这家网站推出了一个移动网站,允许用户登录自己的账户,然后用移动终端将电子票展示给长途汽车的检票员,而不是提供打印出来的纸票。但值得注意的是,GotoBus并不是一家公交运输公司,但它售票的合作公司中有几家今年因违反联邦客车安全管理局(Motor Carrier Safety Administration)规定而被起诉,比如唐人街的风华巴士有限公司(Fung Wah Bus Transportation)和幸运星公司(Lucky Star)。因此,在不熟悉的运输公司订票之前请先做足够的功课。在美国交通运输部的官网(Department of Transportation)可以搜索任意一家运输公司的安全记录。(在商业改善局[Better Business Bureau]的网站BBB.org上可以查询用户对GotoBus的点评)。

In December, Bustripping will begin adding charter trips in Europe. For instance: Paris to and from Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brussels and Breda, in the Netherlands. Next year, there will be new routes to and from a number of other cities, including Milan, Luxembourg, Strasbourg, Prague, London and Hamburg. You will be able to check the prices and various other stops on the Web site.

12月份,Bustripping将在欧洲推出租车旅行服务,比如:巴黎往返阿姆斯特丹、海牙、鹿特丹、安特卫普、布鲁塞尔和荷兰的布雷达。明年,他们还会在更多城市开辟更多的租车路线,包括米兰、卢森堡、斯特拉斯堡、布拉格、伦敦和汉堡。这些路线的价格和多个停靠站点的信息,可以在网上查到。

(If you’re looking for bus tickets in Europe, one established site is Rail Europe, a search engine with more than 50 train companies that had a record year in 2012, transporting more than a million travelers.)

(如果你寻找欧洲的公共汽车票,目前就有的一个网站是Rail Europe。这家搜索网站聚合了50多家火车运输公司,2012年这些公司一共运输了100多万旅客。)

Navigating these nascent sites is fairly straightforward. How useful they will be to travelers will ultimately depend on how many bus carriers and regions are included as the sites mature. The bottom line? The sites are not yet as comprehensive as flight search engines, but they nonetheless enable you to explore several route options at once — and to discover carriers you might not have been aware of.

这些新生网站的用法非常简单而直接。但他们对旅行者的用处有多大,取决于网站成长过程中引入多少家运输公司进行合作,以及覆盖的领域有多大。整体来说如何呢?这些网站目前还没有机票搜索网站那么强大,但它们确实可以让你在多家运输公司中选择,并探索那些你不知道的公司。

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