Bus hits campus for cheap

Students may be able to travel to the northeast for as little as one dollar.


Megabus, an express bus service, has expanded its daily bus route from Boston, Mass. to Burlington and to both New Haven and Hartford Conn. as of Aug. 17.


There are two daily departures from Boston’s South Station to Burlington and four daily departures to New Haven and Hartford, according to the Megabus website.


Students can catch the bus to Boston on University Place in front of the Royall Tyler Theatre.


A subsidiary of Coach USA, Megabus was launched in 2006 and operates the three different routes in a partnership agreement with DATTCO Coach & Tour Group, the website stated.


Megabus is known for offering low fares, free Wi-Fi and power outlets. Fares always begin at one dollar and increase as the traveling date approaches, according to their website.


Megabus’ will be competing in Burlington is the Greyhound line, which charges $45 to $85 per ticket for its daily service to Boston.


To promote their arrival in Burlington, Megabus is offering 1,000 free seats on the Boston to Burlington route through Nov. 15, which customers can redeem using the promo code BURL1K when booking their tickets on the company’s website.


An article on Car Free BTV, a blog about living car-free in the Burlington area, stated that it was about time Megabus made an appearance on the Burlington transportation scene.


“After hitting the low point around 2007, alternative transportation is now on the upswing,” the article stated. “The arrival of a respected, low cost, intercity bus carrier marks another giant leap forward for Burlington.”


A forum on City-Data.com had mixed opinions about what Megabus has to offer.


“[It was a] comfortable ride, safe driver, right on schedule both ways. Seats are roomier than on a plane, and recline more,” one user posted on the forum.


Another user stated that the price was in a reasonable range.


“Non-stop service and you can’t beat the price. You pay less for the round trip ticket then you would for gas so what’s not to love?” the user said.


Some, however, said they feel that Megabus is almost too good of a deal to be true.


There have been some news stories about inexperienced drivers and accidents involving the New York City-bound Chinatown buses, which charge prices similar to Megabus.


“I’ve used them before and had no problems, but we’ve all heard tales and it makes you wonder how they do it,” another City-Data.com user stated. “They must be cutting corners somewhere.”


It appears that the biggest complaints of Megabus have to do with an unreliable arrival/departure schedule and Wi-Fi service that is sporadic at best, nonexistent at worst, according to reviews on the City-Data forum.


University students who have used the bus line offered their own thoughts on the Megabus.com experience.


“It’s definitely the best deal. I traveled from Burlington to Boston and back for less than ten dollars,” first-year Stephanie Rogers said. “If you order tickets early enough they’re really cheap, but it is somewhat unreliable. It really depends on how much you value your time.”


First-year Akeisha Jackson takes a bus home nearly every weekend and said that problems can occur.


“Be aware that it may not show up,” Jackson said. “Last weekend, the bus never came, and I had to switch to Greyhound.”