As Megabus routes expand it catches the attention of new customers. Most want to know what kind of service to expect on Megabus routes. I travel on Megabus when I can. This article covers what to expect and provides tips so you can make the most of the experience.
Megabus is owned by Coach U.S.A. It is popular in the northeast U.S and offers service in southern Canada and the Midwest. In November 2011, an Atlanta hub was added to expand service to 11 additional cities.
Travelers are often students, young professionals and families. Megabus is also popular with senior citizens and the frugal. Many people consider it to be green transportation since cars are kept off of the highway.
Ticket prices begin at $1.00 and must be booked online at us.megabus.com. Travel should be booked early to get this rate. The closer you book the more the ticket costs. Megabus riders can expect to pay between $25 – $30 dollars by booking at the last minute.
Cheap seats aren’t the only reason for the popularity. Buses are WI-FI capable and there are electrical outlets at each seat. However, don’t expect Megabus WI-FI to work. The company makes no guarantees. The website says they will ‘make a reasonable attempt to provide this service. It further says that ticket refunds will not be given if the internet service doesn’t work.
Megabus suggests arriving at the bus stop 30 minutes before departure. This may be fine for smaller stops but not for larger stops. Buses of different companies may share large lots. Arriving at least 45 minutes before departure allows time to find the corral for the bus you need.
A word about the bus stops
Riders should expect Megabus routes to have outdoor bus stops. Riders are exposed to the elements while waiting. It’s a good idea to consult the weather forecast before heading to the bus stop. Dressing in layers may be helpful.
Getting on the bus
Boarding Megabus couldn’t be simpler. Show your reservation number to the driver as you get on the bus and take your seat. The reservation number can be hand written on a piece of paper, printed from your home computer or shown to the driver on your cell phone.
Unless disabled, riders should be able to stand for 30-45 minutes at the bus stop. Don’t expect Megabus drivers on any route to help with luggage. Most won’t. Riders need to be able to stow their own luggage under the bus, in the overhead bin or under the seat.
Don’t expect stops on a Megabus route to be near coffee shops, restaurants or rest rooms. Bathrooms are available on the bus but you may not want to use them. Beverages will need to be consumed before boarding. However; snacks are usually permitted.
The coach bus
I can’t comment on the double decker buses. My experience on Megabus routes has been limited to the traditional coach bus. This photo shows the Megabus interior on a coach bus. There are two rows of two seats each with overhead storage compartments. Pull down shades are on the windows and there are overhead lights. The seats are fairly comfortable if firm.
A tip that one of the drivers gave me is that people with disabilities should ask for a front seat. If needed, it’s easier to get the driver’s attention. I was told that the drivers on most Megabus routes will put their personal gear in the front seats. People with disabilities should expect to ask Megabus drivers to be able to get these seats.
Late buses are another thing to expect on Megabus routes. Traffic, weather, road delays and new drivers can affect schedules. The routes have the same risks that all drivers face. Riders who are making connections will need to allow for extra time.
I’ve come to expect Megabus to have unreliable customer service overall. Calling the customer service line at 1.877.GO2MEGA can mean a long wait. Representatives may not be able to help. Some drivers are rude.
The best answer for what to expect on Megabus routes is to remember that this is budget travel. You get what you pay for. Rider expect Megabus routes to transport you from point A to point B safely. Just don’t expect much else.