February 28, 2012 9:10 AM   Subscribe

Wi-Fi/power outlets on specific route. NY Penn Station --> Detroit?

I have to if at all possible get home to Michigan this weekend for a funeral. The airfare is so far out of my reach so my next thought was to drive...as I've made the drive before -- but right now I can't even wrap my head around being behind the wheel by myself for 700 miles.

I don't have anyone to drive with me... I have to travel solo.

So my next thought, even though I banged my head against the wall while considering it, is taking the Greyhound bus.

I've done it before. It was awful. Awful. Awful. AWFUUUULLLL..

But -- I really need to try to be home for this.

Upon looking into routes I found that some of the new buses have power outlets/wifi.

Called the customer service number and they said they can't tell me specifically which ones have these amenities... that I'd need to call the Port Authority to ask them. And no one is answering the phone there.

Does anyone have any idea how to get an answer to this? Is there an up to date list existing out there which would answer this for me? Please help.
posted by mittenbex to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (8 answers total)
Have you considered amtrak? NYP -> DET is something like $300, depending on your selections, and they clearly indicate wifi / power availability.
posted by jenkinsEar at 9:17 AM on February 28, 2012

Have you thought about taking the train? The cheapest and fastest option looks like $84 each way for a weekday, with train to Toledo and then bus to Detroit. No WiFi on that route per the Amtrak site, but definitely power and it'll be MUCH better than taking Greyhound. Also about equivalent price and time, and you can get a 10 or 20% discount for a bereavement fare if you call to make the reservation and ask for it. Note that you'll have to get the tickets from the ticket window at Penn Station, not the QuikTrak kiosk, and you'll need a printout of the obituary or some other proof when you're picking them up.
posted by The Michael The at 9:17 AM on February 28, 2012

I travel this route frequently:

- avoid greyhound! It will take forever, as you know.
- megabus travels this route, with wifi and frequentish stops (transfer/layover in downtown pittsburgh)
- the Amtrak is much more comfortable, similarly priced, and doesn't take that much longer. However the risk of a catastrophic delay (not very frequent but certainly possible) may inform your decision
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 9:43 AM on February 28, 2012

Seconding Amtrak. A bonus for being an overnight so you dont spend so much of it bored. Because of Amtrak's routings (there isnt one directly to the midwest, you end up going north and then west through New York State). 3:45p departure on Thursday ($106) gets you into Detroit at 7am the next day. Coming back on Sunday at 9:25pm gets you back at 7pm for $86. Not super speedy but not much worse than Greyhound and WAY more comfortable. You can buy food on-board too.

You can do it by Megabus, but there isnt an option to create a two-leg trip.

posted by waylaid at 9:52 AM on February 28, 2012

On Greyhound, if demand is higher than expected, you may end up with a bus that doesn't have WiFi and power outlets, even if one is promised.

By the way, if you take Amtrak, you will still be on a bus for an hour, from Toledo to Detroit. The only way to avoid buses completely is to travel via Chicago.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 10:15 AM on February 28, 2012

There's definitely no way to be sure ahead of time whether a particular Greyhound departure will have working outlets or working wifi. No one at Port Authority can tell you with any certainty either (because there is just too much variability in what vehicle's available at a given time).

Express buses theoretically have both (and mostly have both in practice), and non-Express buses occasionally have outlets; that's the most definitive answer you can realistically get.
posted by kalapierson at 10:28 AM on February 28, 2012

I fly from NYC to Detroit on a regular basis. The airfare got crazy after the merger of Delta and Northwest, but there's one exception: I just booked an LGA --> DTW round trip for $228 on Spirit, traveling next week. I think they have just one flight per day, and I'm sure you've already done your homework, but it's worth double checking.
posted by bassomatic at 10:30 AM on February 28, 2012

Might want to look at flying again.

Kayak is showing a $180 nonstop fare on delta for this:
Sat 3/3  6:00AM LGA ==> 8:03AM DTW
Mon 3/5  7:20AM DTW ==> 9:03AM LGA
That's cheaper than the gas you'd use to drive there....
posted by schmod at 11:58 AM on February 28, 2012

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