megabus journey part deux

The original blog was already too long, so I’m going to recap journeys 3 & 4 in this post.

Day #3: Pittsburgh, PA – Philadelphia, PA
Our hotel was just over a mile from the MegaBus stop. BTW, in Pittsburgh, the MegaBus stop is on 10th street under the Convention Center. It’s a really central location and covered from the elements. So, we were just over a mile away. When we arrived in PIttsburgh, we just walked the 1.2 miles with our luggage because we had been on buses since Durham, NC. The exercise sounded good and it was.

Bus from Pittsburgh to Philly was 6:10am, before the hotel shuttle started. I called down at 5am to get a taxi at 5:20am. We got down at exactly 5:20 and the taxi driver came and left. What?! Hotel person calls them again and requests another taxi. At 5:40, no taxi. She calls again and they can’t give an estimate. At 5:45am we walked 1.2 miles with all of our luggage as fast as we could move. We got to the bus stop at 6:03 and they were in the middle of loading. We were truly the last people on. Whew – that was scary!  Very stressful start to the day.

Bus isn’t packed which makes it more quiet and roomier. We were able to sit at a table on the lower deck which is nice since I needed to do some work while we enjoy the Pennsylvania countryside. Unfortunately, wi-fi wouldn’t connect again. This will limit the work I can do as I need Google Docs (spreadsheet) and the internet. I can get the internet on my iPad and iPhone but not google docs properly. If I’m missing a good app that lets those work, help a girl out! iPad has the lowest data plan, so need to be careful on its usage.

I do like the bus for seeing parts of the country I’ve never visited. Plus we get the added bonus of no hassle of driving and parking. As I said before, I think I would use MegaBus again for journeys like today – no connection. I just need to be prepared to not have wifi. It’s those unmet expectations that will get you every time

Edited 8/4 to add: Day #4 – Philadelphia, PA to Washington, D.C.

The Philly MegaBus stop is near the 30th street station.  Convenient location, but out in the elements.  Not a stop I’d want to be at in the rain or snow.

We were one of the first in line, got on with no hassles, and grabbed one of the downstairs tables.  Love the tables! We both could work, have open laptops, iPads, etc, plus have room to stretch out.  And, we finally got a bus again with working wi-fi! Bus was clean. Bathroom was truly a porta-potty this time, but clean and lots of deodorized smelling air being pushed in, so no smell other than the deodorizer.  Easy, simple trip.

Final Thoughts:  

  • No frills transportation
  • Your experience is heavily dependent on your driver
  • MB needs to clarify their policies on their website better (I still can’t find 2 policies that drivers told me and I’ve searched the website)
  • MB should either time their schedule in such a way that someone can’t have less than a 2 hour window for connections (if that truly is their policy), or get rid of that policy and actually help their customers when they, MegaBus cause the delay for mechanical issues.
  • Leaving people in the rain with no more information should never be ok, especially when they caused the delay due to mechanical problems.  I know it’s lower cost than an airline, but this just isn’t an acceptable way to treat paying customers.  (And yes, we paid more than $1 for all of our trips.)
  • I wish they would up their fee by $1 per trip to pay for better wifi.  Don’t make wi-fi a main point of your advertising only to put in the small print that it doesn’t work well.
  • MB can be an inexpensive, easy way to get to places without taking your car & having the hassle of paying parking or driving in a big city.  Plus, you can sleep and/or work on the bus while seeing the countryside.
  • The temperature should be able to be controlled by the driver.  (Drivers said they can’t change it.)  It was REALLY cold, even with our blankets, on some of the buses.
  • I would take MegaBus again as long as it didn’t include a connection.
  • The tables on the bottom are the best seats if you want to do any work.
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