cheap bus?
August 19, 2006 9:19 AM   Subscribe

A bus for students that goes to major cities?

A friend recently told me about a bus that is for college students or people who don't have much money that goes to major cities and, if reserved far in advance, can cost almost nothing.

I couldn't find anything about this online. Does this really exist?
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Probably MegaBus.
posted by lekvar at 9:24 AM on August 19, 2006

Is this in the US? I would think if this existed, I would know about it. The Green Tortoise used to do something like this on the West Coast, but doesn't anymore I think. There are discounts for students on buses like Greyhound, but otherwise, I do not think what you are describing exists unless you are not talking about the US.
posted by jessamyn at 9:25 AM on August 19, 2006

A bus that can be reserved far in advance for almost nothing? I haven't heard anything quite like that. There are Chinatown buses between the Chinatowns of many of the cities on the East Coast. These buses are cheaper than commercial lines like Greyhound [~$15 from Boston to New York, for example], and are much favored by students, but they can't really be reserved in advance. Ticketing is generally fairly informal, the prices are cheap but constant, buses don't have real stations in most of the cities, and if you're running late, you risk having your seat sold to someone else.
posted by ubersturm at 9:29 AM on August 19, 2006

MegaBus recently started advertising all over the place here. They claim fares as low as a dollar (each way), though of course not all of them are that cheap and you do need to book in advance to get the cheaper fares. It's also pretty much restricted to the Midwest as far as I can tell — Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis, etc.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:34 AM on August 19, 2006

AFAIK, the Green Tortoise still runs. I used to see them fairly regularly running between Portland, Corvallis and Eugene, and I'm assuming points south... but I haven't been there for a few years now.
posted by SpecialK at 9:50 AM on August 19, 2006

It does sound like your friend was talking about megabus. Unfortunately, it does not go to Kansas City (or Lawrence). The closest would be St. Louis. It has service between chicago and several midwest cities, so from St. Louis, you could get to Chicago, or any of the other cities it goes to, but all the lines are to or from chicago, so no direct service between any other cities.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 9:50 AM on August 19, 2006

ubersturm has it. chinatown buses. about 15 bucks one way; boston, new york, phillie, washington D.C. maybe other towns as well. I've taken them ny-boston many times. its quite an experience, but you just cant beat the price. unbelievable price. google for student's reviews of their experiences on it. some of them are hilarious. tho they've always gotten me there in one piece and fast.
posted by jak68 at 9:51 AM on August 19, 2006

NPR's Marketplace did a story on MegaBus on Thursday. I'd never heard of it before, presumably because they have zero presence on the East Coast.
posted by smackfu at 10:09 AM on August 19, 2006

FWIW on the MegaBus.... I took it last month from Chicago to Milwaukee. Because I booked the day before I left, it cost $8 each way plus a $.50 (booking?) fee. I was a Coach bus with a/c. When we arrived in Milwaukee a lady began chasing the bus thinking she just missed her ride. It turned out that she was waiting for another Coach bus to Chicago and she paid $37 one way. Another friend took it for $3 because she booked a week in advance.
I just wish they had MegaBus in other places. Like Texas.
posted by nimsey lou at 12:24 PM on August 19, 2006

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