The Megabus – What an Experience!
Riding the megabus to New York was an experience and thankfully we didn’t have any accidents, like the megabus did in Chicago!
I undertook the adventure of going with two of my best blogging friends and co-workers to ride the megabus from Pittsburgh, PA to NYC for the Blogher 12 conference.
Why in the World Did we Take the Megabus?
Because the tickets we got were only $10 each way! Yes.. really! My round trip bus fare from PA to NYC was $20.50. lol! I know I didn’t want to drive or park in New York City, and airfare was pretty hefty.
I was very concerned about getting sick on the bus, because I suffer from that lovely affection called motion sickness. That pain in the butt thing that keeps me from trying a cruise, doesn’t let me ride in the back seat of a car, and often people try to tell me is only in my head.
Kim has ridden the megabus several times back and forth from NYC… because she LOVES NYC and she is able to sleep the whole way. Because she was the seasoned megabus pro, I listened to her guidance (not that I didn’t grip about it… right Kim? lol)
We did get to sit in the front, on top.. both ways – so that pretty much solved that problem and I was ok. You can see Kim @CraftyMamaof4 and Mel @MamaBzz up in the front seats we had. We made it there at 5:30am so that we were the first in line for our 6:40am bus trip. Kim and I got on in Pittsburgh and we picked up Mel about 3 hours into our trip in another part of PA.
I drove to Pittsburgh the day before from my home in Ohio and spent the night at a hotel, since we had such an early bus.
The ride was very bouncy…. especially on the way home. (Different bus… different bounce). As we were coming into NYC, we hit a bump and the bottom of the bus evidently hit the ground. It was SO loud and scary… everyone on the bus screamed and you just waited for that moment that you knew the bus was going to lose control…. or pull over because we had a flat tire. Neither of those happened and we continued on our way…. a little more frazzled than we had before.
It took 8 hours from PA to get to NYC. I was not able to sleep at all. Even though we had a little more room in those front seats, I was not able to get comfortable enough to go to sleep. It was a LONG ride.
It was the funniest/scariest thing.. once we hit New York City, our bus driver turned into a NYC driver! We were laughing & screeching so hard! We were sure that we were going to either hit a car or run down people! Keep in mind the front of the bus is flat and we were looking straight down from the 2nd story of it. Our bus driver was beeping his horn like crazy… and was bound and determined that everyone should get out of his way!
Once we got to NYC…. you should have seen me (so pathetic) trying to lug my big suitcase and heavy backpack from the bus stop to the subway…. down all the stairs… maneuvering through the turn styles (thank you Kim for helping with that) … onto the packed, standing room subway…. then back up all the stairs (one … at…. a…. time…. lol) and to the hotel. OMG… I was dripping wet with sweat and bright red. I think it took me about 45 minutes to cool down once we hit the air conditioned lobby of our hotel. Now granted… if I was in better shape… it would not have been such a sorry sight!
Mel and I were bound and determined we were going to rent a car and drive home, rather than repeat the performance. It also didn’t help that we had just heard about a deadly megabus crash that happened in IL on August 2, while we were at Blogher. From one report I heard, the woman who was killed, when the bus blew out a tire and hit a bridge embunkment had been sitting in the top front seats (where we sat). But we soon learned, after multiple calls that you can not rent a car from a local company and drop it off at another local company going just one way. I think we could have done from airport to airport, but that wasn’t workable for us. So we finally gave in to the fact that we were going to have to return on the megabus to get home. As I looked for the article on the August 2nd bus crash in IL, I found this article from the Chicago Tribune that there was another accident and a pedestrian was killed by a megabus in Chicago. omg! That is so horrible… and yet, after experiencing our driver in NYC, I can very easily see that happening!
Plus, one of our good friends Beth, @plussizemommy and her family came in the day after we did on the megabus… from Pittsburgh to NYC. They were supposed to get in at 2:30 pm like we did… only their bus kept over heating. It finally broke down 2 1/2 hours out of Pittsburgh and they had to wait inside the hot bus (no air) and did not get to NYC until 11:30 pm that night!!! We felt so terrible for her!!
One of my requirements was that we were going to take a taxi from the hotel to the bus stop (not station .. remember). I paid for it… and it was NO big deal. $9 including the tip. I wish we would have done that one the way to the hotel!
Here we are…. at 5:30 in the morning, waiting on a “not so nice” street, near the Hudson river.. for the megabus. I took this picture and Kim said… “Put that camera away Sandy… we are NOT in a good area and I don’t want someone mugging us for your camera!” oops!
We were first in line again, and rewarded with the front top seats. We were praying we didn’t have a tire blow out! The return bus was a little newer, and somewhat nicer… but much more bouncy. Considering in 2010 there was another megabus accident (one of several in the last couple years) on it’s way to (or from… not sure) NYC.. where the bus driver went under a bridge that was not tall enough… and 4 people were killed in that bus accident…. we were just a little leery when we went under the bridges… and there were bumps.. and the bus would bounce!
We were able to get a few pictures (most of them were blurry because we were literally bouncing that much!) since we were in the “good seats”. It was a really cloudy, rainy day when we went home.
Going through the tunnels was a little scary, we just had to remind ourselves that the buses took this route every day…. and we would fit just fine.
We had a lot of rain on the way home…. and just like the bus driver on the bottom….. we had wind shield wipers on our window too!
I was SO excited to see the Pittsburgh skyline …. here is my tweet!
It is an experience that Kim, Mel and I will share….. laugh at and enjoy (now that it’s over)… and one that I don’t foresee ever having again!