Megabus Review: Making Green Travel Fun and Easy Since 2006

megabus

The most affordable option isn’t always the healthiest one, and the healthy option is usually the least affordable. That’s true with most things, from your health to the health of the planet. Solar panels on your roof are expensive, but a double down sandwich from KFC, not so much.

So it’s nice when two masters are served, as is the case with Megabus (us.megabus.com), a bus travel business connecting the Northeast, Midwest, South & Southwest using fuel-efficiency and low cost prices.

Before Megabus, what was there for the urban nomad? Cramped, gas guzzling Chinatown buses that introduce us to our least sociable selves, with one too many unexplained passenger pick-ups at rest stops off I-95.

What with the inconveniences we collectively live through at airports, and the long travel times promised on most train schedules, travel buses have been long overdue a makeover.

“Megabus has reinvented motorcoach intercity travel,” said Dale Moser, president and COO of Coach USA. “We are committed to delivering safe, affordable, reliable and the greenest travel to the public.”

For Megabus, that means a fleet of double-decker buses, equipped with free Wi-Fi, reclining seats, 50 lbs of ‘no fee’ luggage, and cord outlets. Cord outlets! It’s enough to tame even the most epic of beard men. Megabus routes include east coast stops in Boston, Philadelphia, D.C., Atlantic City, and Baltimore, and more than 80 other American cities, extending as far west as Chicago and St. Louis.

Riding Green
One of the more green things you can do in this world is carpool, and bus travel is the ultimate carpool. Instead of 81 individual cars all going to Boston from New York—all burping emissions—it’s just one double-decker bus on the highway, taking passengers city-to-city, barely a carbon footprint to speak. “Traveling on Megabus conserves fuel, decongests highways and city streets,” said Moser. “And is the cleanest form of travel offered today, all by taking cars off the road!”

In particular, Megabus buses are equipped to meet fuel efficiency standards—from a GPS system that monitors how long an engine idles before it should be shut off to their Smartire technology, which warns against low tire pressure, something that increases demand for fuel and oil. Remember the inexplicable tire-gauge controversy during the ‘08 election? That’s this.

On the Cheap, On the Fly
We don’t live in Europe. A fact we are reminded of every morning when we try to order a small espresso at Dunkin Donuts. We don’t have the cheapest air travel in the world and who wants to spend scary sums of money refilling gas anymore?

Enter the world of relaxing, inexpensive bus travel. A round trip from New York to Philadelphia on Megabus will cost no more than $22 bucks, and if you’re really smart, take advantage of the deals that one can only quickly describe as “insane.” Think $1 city-to-city express service and 50 cent internet reservation fees. Best of all, once you’ve boarded there’s nothing left to think about. Sit back and watch the country go by.

These low costs facilitate another rewarding aspect of bus travel, spontaneity. It’s liberating to know that you can decide when you wake up to be in Toronto by the end of the day with very little effort or money.

It’s democratic, and to their credit, Megabus has made it green and clean. What’s more, just about every one of the lovely travel destinations, events, and weekend getaways we write about, and review on the site, are a bus ride away. So be your best green selves in your travels and make that a Megabus ride away.

Mega important: Most buses depart from the south side of 34th Street between 11 & 12th Avenues, convenient to 34th Street Penn Station train service and M34 NY Transit cross town buses. Most buses returning to NYC will stop at 7th Avenue & 28th Street. Service to Atlantic City, NJ; Binghamton, NY; New Brunswick, NJ; & Princeton, NJ depart and return to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Book your tickets at megabus.com.

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  • Fuckmegabus

    MEGABUS = MEGASUCK

    I am currently ON the megabus from nyc to dc, and am so mad at them that the best use of my wifi is to warn people against them.

    bus came over 2 hours late, there was absolutely no communication to us, the ushers were INCREDIBLY rude and would yell profanities at customers in line, and most seats on the ground floor of the bus are not secured and literally shift 5 to 6 inches each way every time the bus stops and starts.

    there are many better companies out there. please take a look elsewhere for your own good before buying megabus.

  • the most fun part for me when riding the bus is the time you get to chat with whoever is with you while on it. lol

  • the most fun part for me when riding the bus is the time you get to chat with whoever is with you while on it. lol

  • F salazar

    Megabus is a complete nightmare,the first time we use Megabus, the bus was 1hour and a half late,the bus was supposed to leave @0655am it did not get to White Marsh Park and Ride till 0830am and we did not get to leave until almost 9am,the ground Attendant was very apolegetic but the bus driver was nasty and rude telling us passengers all the rules whilst on board the bus,” no apology ” why the bus is late,my wife and I ignored that on ground of maybe the second time it will be different,so we purchased another ticket trip for October 22 trip,we met that same ground attendant at White Marsh ,as usual the bus was late this time almost 45 minute late,again she apologized,but nothing from the bus driver;on our way home from NYC ,Megabus had this 3 male ground Attendants who are complete “MORON ” they acted like 5th graders,we were at the pick up point in NYC West 9th and 31st at 10PM (1 hour before our departure )this Hispanic ground attendant checked our boarding ticket and directed us on the line ( we were 2nd on the line ),passengers started to come in at about 1020 a lot of them have missed their 8pm and 9pm buses back to D.C. and Baltimore,some did not have tickets at all ,one of the Attendants told these guys to call 1877-go2-mega,these guys got their tickets on the spot;the bus came in a little before 11pm ,but to my surprised those guys who were D.C. bound and were even late to arrived at the pick up point were asked to board the bus first,those who missed their 8 and 9 pm buses got the first priority to board the bus same thing as, those guys who did not have tickets at all, if I did not raise my voice ,my wife and I would not have been able to board the bus ,as there were only few seats left,it appeared to me Megabus reward those who missed their buses ,who did not have ticket reservations,whereas us ,who purchased our tickets way ,way ahead of intended use got punished..Boltbus never acted this way and so is Hunt Valley coach,but I guess when you buy Megabus ticket to NYC ,it is cheap as they advertise but you get your money’s worth..late bus,late departure, sloppy a nightmare customer service from the ground Attendants especially the ones in NYC pick up point..Megabus i do not think it will be in the travel industry for long.

  • Well, at least the free wifi works.

  • Rprosenstock

    Megabus has no procedure to deal with bodily emissions….at least our driver was unaware and unprepared. We had an unfortunate encounter with a puddle of vomit that was unseen by our seat. The bus driver initially refused to do anything about , having not seen it when he supposedly inspected the bus prior to taking on new passengers in Boston. He was extremely rude and finally cleaned it up after firm protestation. My letter to the company has yeilded no response thus far. Very disgusted with this company.

  • Megabus may have good prices. They may even have great prices, but the customer service is very poor, very unfriendly, and very inflexible. I have had the experience of riding with Megabus on 4 occasions, but, unfortunately, on the 3rd occasion, I was dropped off at the wrong stop and had to find my way to my friend’s house by traveling the rest of the way on my own otherwise. She lives in Lockport, NY; I was coming from NYC to Buffalo on Megabus, in order to connect to the other transit vehicles to get to her house.

    I called megabus and made a complaint, but was told that it would take 3 to 5 days for someone to get back to me. Another time, I called again, and I was told that it would take 7 to 10 days, then, to add insult to injury, less than 1 hour later (during a phone call to customer service specifically), I was told that it would take 4 to 6 weeks to have an investigation launched etc.

    Also, let me hasten to say, that on another occasion, prior to this 1, I reserved a ticket and inadvertently missed my bus by 5 minutes. The “curteous staff” were the most inflexible group of people to deal with as the bus I missed was the last bus of the evening for that particular trip.

    There was no effort of leniency AT ALL from the representatives, or managers at Megabus – especially considering that they dropped me off at the wrong stop (1 week before) and I had to leave the bus to find my way on my own. Fortunately, I was just 1 stop away, but at the time, 1 stop seemed like an eternity for someone who is not familiar with the region or the transit system in Buffalo.

    People, take my foolish advice, if you have poor customer service, then DO NOT go for the cheapest price. YOU WILL REGRET IT!!!

    P.S. I have lost a virtual $70 dollars for a one way trip to Buffalo from NYC, because I missed my cheap a**ed bus by 5 MERE MINUTES.

    Also, re: being dropped off at the wrong stop, I was told that (in so many words), that I cannot prove that I never reached my paid for destination although I know I didn’t. After all, the rep GPSed the bus’s route and saw that the bus made every stop. In other words, megabus was calling me a liar!!!!! Therefore, I would probably be wasting my time if I think that I would get any refund, whether whole or partial, from megabus any time soon…

    Megabus, I hope you shut down on your way to anywhere (for a week) and that you have to pay back every single customer in FULL. With an 8 million customer base, you aught to do better by your customers.

  • Richard Keiser

    Megabus is very inexpensive, and the vehicle was very comfortable.  But you get what you pay for in terms of service.  A 2-hour trip from Phila to NYC took 3 hours, and no explanation or apology was offered.  At the station for the return trip, there were no signs posted as to which line which passengers should stand in, and the staff made no effort to announce which buses were going where.  As a result, we missed our bus back, and it was the last one that night.  When we complained, the staff became abusive.

  • Bmoney

    If you enjoy being anal raped by anonymous forces that hide behind a thin veil of customer service than MEGABUS is for you.  I am speaking particularly about the DC to Philly route, but it is all the same.  And by the way, this company is a piece of shit.

  • Vadim

    As a frequent rider from New York to Philadelphia and back there’s no bus company worse than Megabus. You are literally better off taking the wretched smelling Greyhounds or Chinatown buses than this calamity. Their buses NEVER arrive on time, and by on time I mean within 10-15 minutes of estimated arrival time. Their own people claim that their estimated window due to traffic is 1 extra hour. Of course, they fail to mention there is no traffic on the 6:30 AM bus out of New York, or the 9:45pm out of philadelphia, but that really is a technicality.

    The buses, though maybe new 4 years ago, are now worn, old, and packed with unfriendly, boorish and unaccountable drivers. But that doesn’t even touch upon easily the worst part of Megabus – the new york city staff. The area is never packed with less than 5 to 6 Megabus staffers. During frequent times its 10. Except… only 2 of the 10 people actually work. The others stand and chat, and yell if you dare question where the bus is. They actually impede the process of loading busses – and they are all paid employees. Imagine what would happened if you used this money to actually renovate and make on-time service available. 

    My advice – stay away at all costs.

  • Natasha

    I missed Megabus from New York to Toronto by 2 minutes because my cab got stuck in traffic. Megabus offers no refunds, not credit towards future purchases; no sympathy, no flexibility on the part of the customer service. So I lost $59.50. (Plus, Megabus doesn’t have a luggage storage at Port Authority in NYC.) I will NEVER EVER take Megabus.

  • JackS.

    From all the complaints I’ve read, I guess the fares are the only thing attracting people to them. As long as people give them money to be treated like hell, the company will continue to operate as is. There are thousands of complaints against them. Don’t give the scum any more of your money.

  • Lars Folkerts

    This bus service has horrible customer service, who hungup with me in the middle of a call, and is ridden with hidden fees. It was $2 for a reservations, $0.50 for text message reminders, $7 to rebook online/$12 on the phone.

    So I arrived at the bus right on time as it was departing and the bus driver would not let me on the bus as he was just about to depart. i give them this one since this one since it does say to arrive 15 minutes early, so I needed to drive myself.

    I called them to get a refund for my return trip and the Customer Service agent hung up on me mid-call after saying they can reschedule my trip, without giving any further details. I called back, thats when they told me again they do not do refunds, and this time they told me and it was $7/$12 to reschedule my trip (and it needs to be done 3 hours before FYI).

    Not sure what the actual bus ride is like, but this is not a way to treat customers. Try another bus service.