Welcome to Notes from a Far-Flung Correspondent, which features the weekly interests and musings of Bossy’s Son, who is currently enjoying his sophomore year at Columbia University in the City of New York.
This week: Megabus.
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of being home for ballet recitals, musical performances, and even the occasional Delightful Breakfast:
Columbia University might not be so far away from the homestead, but still, transportation can gouge a pretty big hole in the college budget. Which is why I was so glad to discover Megabus.com. These classy busses –- which feature free wifi, comfortable seating, and double-decker digs –- start at $1 per trip. The price goes up progressively as more tickets are purchased, but even at its most expensive, Megabus is by far the cheapest and safest way to get around without risking life and limb.
Most of the time, I get away with round-trip tickets between Philly and NYC for well under $20, and I get there and back in style.
Here’s what it looks like, Philly to NYC.
The first step is getting to the bus early. I mean early. I mean so comfortably early as to be slightly insane.
Okay, I admit it -– Bossy’s son hates being late and hates being rushed and is therefore nothing like the majority of the population. But it’s 110% worth it to get a good seat. And if you’re lucky enough, you’ll snag the much-coveted front-row top-deck seat. It’s like sitting in a giant fishbowl which, as an added benefit, also has more legroom.
And look – it even has a cute cupholder:
And suddenly you’re off, cruising down Market Street, soaking up Philly:
Then on the bridge, el puente, into the gray beyond:
After an interminable one and a half hours on the dirty New Jersey Turnpike, you finally find yourself in the tunnel:
And then it’s back in New York, back to the Columbia grind. So thank you, Megabus. Do your thing.
Pam saysMarch 2, 2010 at 6:17 am
Hmph. I suppose it’s a good thing that you have The Delightful One – but you know, I have a daughter who’d be perfect for you. And if she’s not, then I’ve got another…
I would have liked a son like you. Can I be your (shhh, Bossy’s not listening, is she?) Downunder Mother? (Is this creepy? I can’t tell. But I do enjoy your posts – keep ’em coming!)
The Domestic Goddess saysMarch 2, 2010 at 7:16 am
Megabus. Now that sounds like a neat thing.
GreatAunt saysMarch 2, 2010 at 9:14 am
I am like you, Bossy’s son. I hate to be late, love to get a great seat on the bus, and require that extra leg room.
So glad the Megabus gets you home to your folks safely.
P.S. Jones saysMarch 2, 2010 at 9:25 am
MegaBus is way better than the Chinese bus, unless money is your concern. Although it is cheaper, the last time I was on the Chinese bus, the bus driver smoked the entire time he drove from NYC to Virgina Beach, VA.
WebSavvyMom saysMarch 2, 2010 at 9:40 am
–>I think sporting a Columbia sweatshirt would deter many from mistaking you as a tourist. Can’t wait to see the next installment of people ON the megabus with you.
lora saysMarch 2, 2010 at 10:34 am
thank you, Bossy’s Son. Now Bossy’s Friend knows how she is going to get to NYC next month. Because she is a little bit scared of the Chinatown bus. And Greyhound is a bit expensive. And forget Amtrak. And that PATCO SEPTA trick takes a long time.
teri saysMarch 2, 2010 at 10:53 am
A few of my coworkers take this bus when venturing to NYC. In fact, one of my coworkers had to take this bus back to Philly in the wee hours of the morning the other day because he assumed Amtrak ran all night. Imagine his surprise when he got home at 3 a.m. but had to be at work at 8:30 a.m. The Megabus saved his ass…
Junebug saysMarch 2, 2010 at 11:19 am
Thanks for the tour. One of my few glimpses of life in Philly and NYC.
Ris saysMarch 2, 2010 at 11:40 am
I’m a big fan of the Megabus. Thanks for the guide!
Little Miss Sunshine State saysMarch 2, 2010 at 12:16 pm
It sounds safer than the Fung Wah bus that runs from Boston to NYC. They have a tendency to crash.
The Megabus looks like a sweet ride.
heidig saysMarch 2, 2010 at 12:29 pm
Bossy’s son, my husband and I would travel well together (and we’d even throw the Delightful One in for good measure). We, also, like to arrive insanely early and hate to be rushed. And, and….we pack our own snacks! What’s better than that?! I love Bossy’s son’s installments. So interesting.
Half Assed Kitchen saysMarch 2, 2010 at 1:39 pm
I’d like to take the Megabus somewhere. Anywhere.
BossysMom saysMarch 2, 2010 at 1:46 pm
Soon as weather breaks a little, I’m on the Megabus!! I’ll bring you snacks, whatever…
Details of ticket purchasing please Bossys son. I don’t get.. the tickets going up progressively..(cumulative or at one time?) I’m lost
km saysMarch 2, 2010 at 3:59 pm
I see the Fung Wah bus on i91 all the time. Do they Megabus here in the land of steady habits? Must investigate. It reminds me of coachtouring around Ireland.
Niki in Baltimore saysMarch 2, 2010 at 7:07 pm
I’ve always wondered about the Megabus. I am seriously alarmed by the giant, maniacal, yellow, is-that-a-man-or-a-doll graphics, but intrigued by the $1 price. Thanks for sharing that it is better than the Chinatown bus (always amusing and well-priced, but what is that smell?).
BTW, there is nothing wrong with being on time or even early; it means you respect not only your own time, but the value of other people’s time as well.
Bri saysMarch 2, 2010 at 9:32 pm
I LOVE the Megabus! I am much older than you but my Mom was still relieved to hear about the cheap and easy transportation available to bring me home occasionally when I moved away to Chicago this year.
Dorrie saysMarch 2, 2010 at 9:39 pm
You may have to get to the bus extra insanely early now that you are letting the secret out.
Maria saysMarch 2, 2010 at 9:59 pm
very cool, son of bossy. megabus doesn’t know it’s supposed to have service in MAINE, tho. However, it’s Boston to NYC route intrigues me and gives me hope that I may never, ever, ever, have to drive in either city again.
Love your updates!
The Great Getzby saysMarch 2, 2010 at 11:22 pm
Dorrie — I thought about that. VERY risky, I know. But trust me — my promptitude will win out.
Bossy’sMom — very simple. The earlier you go to http://www.megabus.com and order tickets, the cheaper they will be. If 10% of the bus’ seats are purchased, tickets might be $5; if 50% of the bus’ seats are purchased, tickets might be $8; if 90%, $12. I’ve never seen over $12.
smhunter saysMarch 3, 2010 at 1:50 pm
Megabus and I don’t get along … 🙁 The ride to my destination was okay except the air conditioner was not working, but that doesn’t even compare to my ride back home. The bus broke down half-way there. 9 hours later, our replacement bus (which was sent from a city 2 hours away) came. I understand things happen, but when you get a rude bus driver on top of it … let’s just say it wasn’t my better trip.
Reeb saysMarch 3, 2010 at 3:08 pm
That photo going through the tunnel kinda made me need to scrunch and duck a little. That’s a tall bus. And a low — from your vantage point — tunnel ceiling.
km saysMarch 3, 2010 at 4:11 pm
Dear Bossy’s son. KM’s son is very good at math. He is ten years old. He also likes to be a little early for everything. He recently got a math problem wrong (game starts at 8 05 and is 30 minutes away, What’s the latest Suzie can leave etc.etc?) He gave Suzie an extra 5 minutes because that’s how he rolls….
David saysMarch 5, 2010 at 2:13 pm
My beef with Megabus is that they sometimes contract out. I got a coveted $1 ticket to DC and ended up on Eastern Transport, which is code for “really a Chinatown bus.” It was everything you’d expect it was. I’m trying Megabus again for the VUBOQ birthday extravaganza. We shall see how that goes.
The Great Getzby saysMarch 5, 2010 at 7:57 pm
David — you’re right. That’s only happened to me once or twice around the holidays, though. Most of the time, they’re the nice double-deckers (they must be expanding their fleet)
Tootsie Farklepants saysMarch 6, 2010 at 2:45 am
The picture of the tunnel made Tootsie’s heart stop. Tootsie is not a fan of tunnels.
Mandy saysMarch 8, 2010 at 3:58 pm
If I wasn’t a million memories away from being a college sophomore I would have a serious crush on Bossy’s son.