Megabus (Boston to Philadelphia)

That $1 advertised offer written all this bus, that’s what I paid, a bargain. Irritatingly, in the UK Megabus aren’t allowed to advertise their £1 fare because the advertising authority said it was misleading, even though they offer £1 fares. Madness. Anyway, that’s a different matter and I’m pleased I didn’t mention Brexit given that I’m writing about things written on buses.

I decided to go from Boston to Philadelphia by Megabus not just because of that price, although that was a helpful factor. I like Megabus, they’re efficient and everything makes sense to me.

Flixbus would have been shocked and appalled at the service offered by Megabus, as the bus was advertised as going from gate 25 in the bus station, it was signed as going from gate 25 in the bus station, there was a staff member reassuring people they were in the right place and the bus left from gate 25 in the bus station. Flixbus would have proudly left from some random stop perhaps vaguely in the same approximate area as where they said they would. Anyway, enough of my dislike of Flixbus.

I said that I paid $1, but this is actually a lie, I accidentally booked seat 8 which cost me an extra $1. The reason for this is that the web-site was struggling when I booked it (mainly because they release all the $1 fares at the same time) and I remember just trying to get the ticket booked. This meant that I was near to the front of the bus though, which was about 80% occupied.

There are two sets of steps, I was seated by the front set. The journey was uneventful, other than when the driver got lost for 45 minutes. She admitted she was lost and got a Megabus supervisor to get her back on track, but she otherwise did a great job and got us to Philadelphia just a little earlier than advertised.

A lady near to me had booked three seats, but her son wanted to sit at the front. I liked this, as he was meant to be in seat seven next to me, and I thought that was a marvellous idea to send him somewhere else. So that was a win-win, although the guy who had paid to sit at the front seemed less pleased that he had a new seat companion. The seat next to me stayed free all the journey, so I was very pleased with the lady’s actions.

And, one more story. When I was already boarded an initially pleasant woman wanted to pay cash to get the bus. However, Megabus don’t work like that, so the driver told her to book on-line. With two minutes until the bus left, this added some extra excitement into the arrangements, so half of the bus was really getting into this drama. I think I speak for the bus that we were disappointed when she got off and didn’t try and book as she said her phone didn’t work.

We weren’t disappointed with how this drama progressed though, as she found someone with a phone in the terminal who would book her ticket using his card and she would pay him cash. The excitement was mounting now, the driver helpfully telling them that she would give this one go as she wanted to leave. The man agrees to give it one chance and tries to book the ticket. Anyway, he couldn’t as the bus had technically already left so the Megabus website wouldn’t let him book it.

The woman made a final plea to give the driver cash as she needed to get the bus desperately. Not so desperately she didn’t book it before like everyone else, but I don’t judge. Well, I do, as did the woman opposite who was very excited by this late night turn of events. The outcome of this story is that the driver told the customer (not really a customer I suppose though) to get off the bus, so the customer swore and got off.

And with that, the night bus was ready to go, about a 7 hour journey. I did get sleep, although there was a mid-way stop at a 24-hour McDonald’s. I didn’t get off, but I rather regretted that, as the woman with two kids bought half the restaurant and then promptly made me hungry with her bags of food. So, I went back to sleep in a mood.

Also, I woke up to see the New York skyline, which I hadn’t expected as I didn’t think the bus would go that way, as it only had one stop at Syracuse before Philadelphia. It was beautiful to see the Freedom Tower at night, quite inspirational.

As for whether I’d book Megabus in the US again, absolutely I would.