Skip to comments.Traveling back to the future on intercity buses
Posted on 08/23/2011 6:25:47 PM PDT by gusopol3
While the Obama administration has been desperately seeking to spend $53 billion on so-called high-speed rail lines, private businessmen have developed Chinatown and Megabus lines that provide intercity service that has attracted legions of price-conscious travelers.
Chinatown bus service started in 1998 to provide a cheap way for Asian immigrants to get from New York to Boston. You lined up at the curb, paid your $20 fare to the driver, and settled into a comfortable bus for four hours or so.
Now there's service to multiple destinations (including gambling casinos) from New York and on the West Coast too. And competitors have arisen. Megabus routes exist between Maine and Memphis and Minneapolis, notably including many college towns.
The buses have bathrooms, AC power outlets, and free Wi-Fi. They're not as fast as the much more expensive Acela train, but they tend to run on schedule.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...
Pay your money, take your chances. These cheap buses have had a high level of breakdowns and fatalities in the last couple of years. Many of the drivers are driving mutliple routes and can’t speak english when they crash or fall a sleep at the wheel.
Megabus from Columbus to almost anywhere else in the Midwest...$1 each way.
Yeah, we had a Megabus crash here last year. The driver was going from Philadelphia to Syracuse in the wee hours, and he missed the turn-off for the Syracuse bus terminal, even though he had driven the route many times before. So he was going the wrong way and ignored 10 signs (some with lights) that said there was a LOW bridge ahead. He was busy looking at his GPS, which was against company policy. The double-decker bus crashed into the bridge and four people died. It was really tragic.
I think I remember the discussion about them on this board back in ‘98. I’m surprised that the government hasn’t run them out of business.
I saw BoltBuses up and down I-95, as well as Megabus; both were covered with ads about $1 fares, but when I went to the website, roundtrip Philadelphia- Boston is close to $60, one way takes 7 hours. Southwest Airlines, booking 2 weeks in advance, staying over the weekend , fares only, is about $78 at their site (web only).
Yep, There have been several that come to mind.
Drivers falling asleep, speeding in bad conditions, or driving poorly maintained buses.
Peter Pan seems to have a brand new fleet ( they must be merged with Greyhound somehow); they have impressively low fares at their site for advanced purchase. I guess the point of the article is that here’s another reason we don’t need to be spending $53 b on really fast trains.
If public transit is fair game for the TSA (like the incident that fumed up the head of Amtrak that screened people coming OFF trains), then I’d take private buses, too.
In your case avoiding the airports in Philly and Boston make the seven hour ride look tolerable.
I agree with you. We just have to take the time to research the safety history of some of these that we aren’t familiar with.