Break Transit Summary: BusNovember 24, 2007
This is the second post of a 4-part series evaluating my varied travel experiences over a week holiday.
I have to admit, thinking about bus travel usually causes me to flashback to the 22-hour ride from Florida to Ohio with my high school band. After incurring a delay, we got in hours late and approximately 2 days since any of us had seen a shower. And somewhere in the process of generally occupying 3.75 square feet of space for almost a day I managed to pick up a freshman stalker that followed me around for the rest of junior year. Overall, the experience doesn’t make my top ten favorites.
Even with that as prior experience I was looking forward to my 7-hour Megabus ride to Chicago, mainly because it was 7 hours I could sleep instead of drive. The bus was pleasantly empty, with only 12 passengers the first leg of the trip and perhaps double that for the second. Our chariot was a late-model coach liner that seemed very clean and provided appropriate temperatures, lighting, and a restroom that didn’t even smell bad. Even with a 20-minute stop for lunch, one passenger stop, and a driver smoke break we made it to Chicago on time, early even. Perhaps that’s just good estimating, but I have great appreciation for transit that gets me somewhere when it said it would. The only sour note is that since Megabus has not paid for an indoor waiting area in Union Station all passengers must wait outside unless they patronize one of the shops within. While this was no inconvenience during drop-off, if one were waiting for a ride in winter I could see a slight problem.
In terms of cost, financially this trip set me back a whopping $20.50, saving at least $10-15 in gas costs. A carbon footprint calculator says 63 lbs of CO2 were released with my journey, although my share is probably much higher given that the bus was sparsely populated. However, it still doesn’t reach the 190 lbs of CO2 that would have been released had I driven.
Overall, if you are a single traveler with a slightly flexible schedule, I highly recommend utilizing inter-city bus transit. If you’re part of a couple it’s still probably worth it. Not only will you save the environment and cash, but you’ll free yourself from the hassles of driving and the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. If you are traveling with a group, the cost benefits decrease, so it’s important to look at what works best in each situation.
Other posts in this series: