Thursday, February 04, 2010

Megabus -- Baltimore to New York


I never thought I would be talking about buses on this blog, but life has changed!

I have lived in the Baltimore/Washington area for almost thirty years, and a delightful treat has always been going to New York.  So what are the options?  Amtrak!  Amtrak can be very expensive.  By international standards, the trains are slow, terribly expensive, and customer service is hardly friendly.  Going by car has its problems too.  Tolls cost a lot of money these days.  You have to consider the wear and tear on the car.   Once my car was broken into in New York, and everything and had to drive home with a broken window.  And, if you park at a New York hotel, you can easily pay as much as $50 a night.

A few years ago, we started considering the idea of taking buses to New York.  One trip worked out well, and another was a disaster.  Click here for an account of those trips.

More recently, a company called Megabus has begun to operate services.  They stop in Washington and at White Marsh area, and we have taken them several times.  I really find them to be excellent, and, in the future, this will be how I'll go to New York.

They are extremely cheap.  Fares are never more than about $23 each way, and, if you book in advance, can be as low as $1 -- plus a 50 cent booking fee.  In my experience, they run on time. They are comfortable, safe, and fast without being dangerous.  What more could you want?

Well, you get a little bit more!  They come with power outlets and Wi-Fi.  So, you can use your laptop while traveling.  Cool!

Our trips to New York last weekend were flawless.  We were booked on the bus that leaves at 8:25 in the morning.  (We arrived at White Marsh in very good time, and they let us go on the 7:55 bus.)  We got to New York by about 11:30.  On the way back (Sunday), we left at 4:00 pm and we were at White Marsh at about 7:15.

The Baltimore stop is in White Marsh (near Ikea).  There is ample parking, but you should print out a parking pass that comes with your ticket.  All tickets are electronic.  All you need is the code sent to you by Megabus when you book.

Click here for help on accessing the parking pass.

This is a strongly enthusiastic recommendation.  I paid my own way and do not have any connections, sponsorship, or freebies from Megabus.

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