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Megabus to offer more $1 seats for fall

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  August 6, 2009 10:05 AM

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Megabus, which guarantees at least one $1 seat per bus trip, says that it will free up an additional 50,000 $1 seats for travel Sept. 14 to Nov. 19.

What does that mean to you?

Amanda Mullin, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail that "the added seats will make it so there is upwards of 10 $1 seats per bus.'' To improve your chances of getting a $1 seat you'll need to use the promo code HOTDEAL when booking your trip online.

Megabus currently provides service between Boston and Hartford and New York City. On the run to New York, Mega faces heavy competition from Boltbus and the so-called Chinatown lines, Fung Wah and Lucky Star.

Currently, Megabus fares to New York run from $1 to $18 and from $1 to $14 to Hartford.

The company announced in May that it was rolling out double-decker buses on the Boston-New York route. Besides offering 25 more seats than a regular buses, the double-deckers offer amenities such as free WiFi, electric outlets, and TVs.

Photo by Jennifer Taylor for The Boston Globe

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25 comments so far...
  1. check it out

    Posted by skip darmody August 6, 09 10:59 AM
  1. Hi, all. Can we start a little email chain on the best way to travel between Boston and NYC. I avoid the airport like the plague. Amtrak, actually, has worked quite well for me. In fact, sometime I opt for the Regional train rather than the Acela; the Regional is usually only about 30-45 minutes longer, is pretty reliable, and is about half the price. Both trains generally run on time and are fairly comfortable. I'm nervous about taking the bus because they can get stuck in traffic, don't have a great reputation, and may be noiser and less pleasant. How do people feel about the bus versus the train, and if you like the bus do you have specific recommendations, in particular for buses that are relatively quiet and allow passengers to read and work without lots of talking, music, etc. Thanks.

    Posted by Frisbie August 6, 09 11:42 AM
  1. I've taken the megabus and it's a JOKE. I will NEVER do it again. Yes, it's cheaper than, for example, Lucky Star, and doesn't smell bad - BUT, service, organization and delays were horrendous. First, the bus arrives early, we get on, wait for about 45 minutes, then are told the bus has a problem and we have to take the next one. Wait another 30 minutes, get on the next bus, we go to leave, the driver turns around to get more people because we weren't heavy enough on the top. We stop to pick up more passengers in Connecticut - but they don't let them all on because there aren't enough seats (even though those passengers had tickets for that bus). Besides that, the bus drivers were rude AND those nice flatscreen TV's - they don't use them. I'll never take it again.

    Posted by Nicole August 6, 09 12:02 PM
  1. I've never tried Limoliner, but that's what I'd do - take a look.

    Posted by MJ August 6, 09 12:36 PM
  1. Boltbus was great . Left on time in fact able to get on an earlier bus as we got to station early. very comfortable took about 4-5 hours to NYC and the return (again able to get on an earlier bus without any difficulty). I highly recommend it. 17.50 one way when I went.

    Posted by Steve August 6, 09 01:03 PM
  1. Agree with Nicole, megabus is awful. Last Friday my gf and I were going to take the megabus to NYC leaving at 6:30 pm from Back Bay. We arrived at 5:15 hoping to jump on the early bus if possible. The 5:30 showed up at 6:30, they tell us our bus will be an hour late, 7:30. At 7:20 they tell us the bus will be another 45 minutes and that "this is the busiest weekend of the year." HUH?? So you knew it was busy and didn't plan accordingly or you have no idea what you are talking about and just moved to America and have never experienced Thanksgiving? We decided to drive our to NYC because they said the bus would arrive in NYC "around" 2:30am. When we called to get a refund they told us traffic isn't their fault and wouldn't refund our tickets. So I called and made up some sob story about a connecting train in NYC and having to cancel our hotel reservations because we wouldn't have made the connecting train and had to wait on hold for 45 minutes only for them to tell us a manager would call us back later. The manager called and refunded our tickets after I replayed the sob story for them. Lesson... no mega-bus.

    Posted by Aaron August 6, 09 01:34 PM
  1. My experience is quite different than Nicole's. I have ridden Megabus about ten times in the last few months from Boston to NYC and have been a satisfied customer. The worst things were once we left 5 to 10 min. late and another time we had a pretty loud and assertive bus driver, but on the other hand he was enforcing the "keep your voice down on the cell phone" rule pretty vigorously which I appreciated. Other than that it is an amazing deal for Wi-Fi on a bus that is rarely crowded and usually has nice drivers.

    Posted by Brucester August 6, 09 01:36 PM
  1. Just don't do it. I haven't heard of anyone having a positive experience with them. take bolt bus or chinatown instead, it's work the extra couple dollars.

    my experience- the bus was almost an hour late, and wasn't even a real megabus (they were overbooked so they borrowed one from another company, which meant no wifi or plugs or anything). Then after getting on the bus we had to wait for about 20 minutes while they figured out standbys... I have no idea why they couldn't do this during the HOUR we were waiting before. That plus a slow driver and traffic meant that we were back about 3 hours late... after the t stopped running. awful experience. take the chinatown bus or something else instead.

    Posted by k August 6, 09 01:46 PM
  1. megabus is horrible. it's soooo disorganized and never on time. I will NEVER take them again. it's Chinatown all the way for me!

    Posted by angel August 6, 09 01:58 PM
  1. megabus is horrible. it's soooo disorganized and never on time. I will NEVER take them again. it's Chinatown all the way for me!

    Posted by angel August 6, 09 01:58 PM
  1. I have taken both megabus and boltbus between NYC and Boston and have been totally happy (traffic notwithstanding). I paid anywhere from $4 to $14 a seat. Anyone who drives the 95 corridor regularly knows that Boston to NYC can take anywhere from 4 hours to 6 hours, so delays as the day goes on will multiply. That said, nearly all time slots prior to 10 am depart on time because you are not waiting for an incoming bus. If you are not flexible or need to be there at a certain time to make connections, don't use these bus lines. Especially on holidays, near holidays, school vacation weeks, or late in the day.

    Amtrak takes the uncertainty of traffic on 95 out of the equation, but it hardly has a stellar on-time record of its own and costs 10X. Recently, I rented a car for a one day 1-way rental with another person from NYC to Logan for $100. Then you can drive the Merritt pkwy through CT to 91 to 84 to the Pike. That worked pretty well.

    Bottom line = avoid 95.

    Posted by cheap traveler August 6, 09 02:08 PM
  1. I've taken bolt bus several times, most recently with connections on to Philly, and I've never had an issue. A few times, everyone was in their seats early, and we were able to leave early. My buses have always arrived on time if not up to 30-60 min ahead of schedule. The only really bad part about bolt/mega bus is having to wait outside for the bus, since twice I've had to stand in a deluge. And it sure beats taking the Chinatown bus and having your bus flip over and/or burst into flames.

    Posted by btmitch August 6, 09 02:36 PM
  1. I've taken both MegaBus and BoltBus to NYC in recent months and strongly feel BoltBus is the better option. As 'k' posted earlier, I had the same experience where MegaBus was overbooked and I boarded a borrowed bus out of South Station. Not to mention the boarding experience was a disorganized mess.

    On this return trip from NYC, the boarding process was just as messy (as it was for other buses headed to Philly, Baltimore, and DC). The driver apparently decided to take the 'scenic' route from NYC to Hartford to avoid traffic, and took 3.5 hours to get to Hartford! Thus I finally arrived back in Boston 1.5 hours later than scheduled!

    My BoltBus experience was great. Even though it cost a little more, it was a nicer, cleaner bus (with leather seats no less). Boarding the bus was smooth, plus the driver on both legs of the trip constantly kept us informed of potential traffic and possible delays.

    Posted by BoltBus > MegaBus August 6, 09 03:24 PM
  1. I taken 5-10 trips to NYC in the past year using Megabus or Bolt. I have found every aspect to be more enjoyable on both lines than the other bus lines out there. I have heard of others having issues, however, my bus has always been relatively on time and I always end up sitting with pleasant people. This is radically different than my experiences riding greyhound which used to be my method of transportation. I will never set foot on a greyhound bus again. Bolt is a little pricier but the you have more space in your seat. Unfortunatley, they tend to sell out so if you need something last minute I'd highly recommend Megabus.

    Posted by Melissa August 6, 09 03:30 PM
  1. I drive to southern CT (also avoiding 95 - Merritt, etc) and take the Metro North from Southern CT. It works out well.

    Posted by Rider August 6, 09 03:33 PM
  1. Limoliner is excellent! Like first class airline seats on a bus.

    Posted by Jill August 6, 09 04:00 PM
  1. I've taken Megabus twice to NYC (round trip). All 4 trips arrived within 15 minutes of schedule (including the Monday 6:30AM trip). The seat was fairly comfortable, and the seat next to me was empty every time. Not bad for $18.

    Posted by brick8952 August 6, 09 04:16 PM
  1. I've rode on MegaBus approx. ten times in the last year. No (major) problems; no complaints. Now, Chinatown? Hey, I got a long, long, long list o' gripes wit dem. . .

    Posted by tightwad August 6, 09 04:20 PM
  1. Limo Liner is great. I've taken it twice and have been very happy with the experience. Great service, friendly staff and plenty of space.

    Posted by Shelley August 6, 09 05:36 PM
  1. I take amtrak and pay the higher fare. Amtrak in the northeast usually runs fairly on time. The biggest problem btwn Boston and Washington is the traffic which is avoided by taking the train. The NE Regional isnt that much more than the bus if you get one of the cheap fares. I agree that Amtrak's full price is very high. On the train you can get up and stretch your legs. Also, I hate being trapped with the riff raff on the bus.

    Posted by Steve B August 6, 09 08:54 PM
  1. Boltbus: My girlfriend road the Boltbus recently from NY to DC, her 4th trip on the line. The bus driver spent time talking on her cell phone on th NJ turnpike, which is illegal. The driver at first refused to stop talking when she was asked to stop but finally did stop talking after further complaining. Off the bus in DC another passenger noted that on previous trips the drivers had spent time on their cell phones

    Posted by edthefed August 6, 09 11:09 PM
  1. Limoliner?? Amtrak?? You can fly from JFK to BOS on JetBlue for $79 one way, and it's a 45 minute flight!

    Posted by Alex August 6, 09 11:27 PM
  1. GO BOLT...I travel by bus because it is better for the environment. Trains are very bad and forget the auto. I like BOLT'S customer service and their safety stats. Very nice people!

    Posted by bob schwarz August 7, 09 09:28 AM
  1. I've taken Greyhound several times over the last couple years. Rates aren't as low as Bolt or Mega, but service was fine. Bus broke down in hartford last year, but we were on a new one within 15 minutes and ended up being in NYC on time. They have some internet fares that are about $15 each way so not bad. Amtrak is too expensive for me

    Posted by DC August 7, 09 01:24 PM
  1. Megabus is the WORST! And their customer service is horrible. Use Bolt Bus!

    Posted by Davey February 19, 10 11:34 AM
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