Tag: Bus Travel
by Eva Holland | 06.01.12 | 10:09 AM ET
A few years back, we posted news that the cheap and occasionally safety-challenged Chinatown buses—cult favorites among budget travelers in the Northeastern U.S.—were reportedly cleaning up their act. Turns out the effort fell short. After a year-long investigation, federal safety officials have closed down 26 carriers operating in the busy Northeast corridor—16 based in New York, and 10 in Philadelphia.
So R.I.P. Chinatown buses. But never fear, budget travelers—BoltBus is still kicking.
by Eva Holland | 07.27.11 | 10:54 AM ET
Over at Autopia, Jason Kambitsis breaks it down:
[A]ccess to transportation is key to connecting the poor, seniors and those with disabilities to jobs, schools, health care and other resources. It is essential to widening opportunities for all. Many of us take our mobility for granted, but getting around can be a real challenge for millions of Americans… According to the [Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights] report, the average cost of owning a car is just shy of $9,500. That may not sound like much until you realize the federal poverty level is $22,350 for a family of four. One-third of low-income African-American households do not have access to an automobile. That figure is 25 percent among low-income Latino families and 12.1 percent for whites.
We’ve been keeping tabs on a variety of proposed high-speed rail plans over the years. The Autopia piece offers an important reminder that less-flashy investments in public transportation—from buses to bike lanes to more pedestrian-friendly streets—shouldn’t be forgotten, either.
by Eva Holland | 10.22.10 | 9:46 AM ET
The new service, The Know It Express, will link Washington, D.C., and Brooklyn, NY, and cater to “young travelers looking to eschew Times Square and the National Mall for Brooklyn Flea and U Street’s indie music venues,” according to the New York Times. It’s already being dubbed the Hipster Highway or the Hipster Express thanks to its trendy start- and end-points and its “hipster-friendly amenities like bike storage, free Wi-Fi and on-board laptops riders can borrow for the trip.”
by Eva Holland | 10.15.10 | 1:51 PM ET
In The Smart Set, John Washington has a lovely dispatch from a bus ride between Nogales and the capital. Here’s Washington’s introduction to the vehicle where he’d spend almost two days:
The bus was set to leave Nogales at six in the evening. A few minutes past six a tall, skinny European delivery type van pulled into the wide, empty, dirt and gravel parking lot. A few of the migrants and I looked at each other, mumbling some concern that this would be the vehicle to take us all the way to DF, which is some 1,700 miles away, and, for a few of the migrants, all the way to Quintana Roo, another 600 miles. A rumor quickly circulated among those of us waiting that we would ride in this van to a full-sized bus, which was waiting for us downtown. In a few minutes, however, after some of the luggage was strapped to the roof, we were beckoned to present our thin paper tickets and enter. There were 17 of us, including two drivers. The bus had 15 seats, including a half-seat in the front, which straddled the radio and dashboard. One of the drivers unrolled a carpet scrap and one of the younger men volunteered to take the space on the floor, which, he was quick to recognize, would probably end up as the most comfortable and spacious seat in the van. I squeezed into the second to last row, in a window seat, and put my bag on my lap. It would sit there for the next 40 hours, though I didn’t know that at the time.
by Eva Holland | 08.11.10 | 1:06 PM ET
The airline’s been objecting to cracks about Steven Slater’s infamous emergency chute escapade via its official Twitter account. Of course, this only inspires the tweeting jokers to new heights; here’s comedian Andy Borowitz’s response: “At @JetBlue you have to pay $5 extra for a sense of humor. Exact change, please.”
Meanwhile, the New York Times has unearthed the 1947 story of a Bronx bus driver who got fed up with his job—and took his rig on a 1,300-mile joy ride. That sounds even better than a trip down the inflatable slide, no?
by Sophia Dembling | 07.16.10 | 10:26 AM ET
Sophia Dembling mines the archive of the cross-country journeys that changed her life
by Frank Bures | 04.08.10 | 10:18 AM ET
The author's new book chronicles his surface journey around the world. Frank Bures asks him about it -- and why he thinks air travel isn't really travel.
by Larry Habegger | 03.24.10 | 11:10 AM ET
Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news
by Carl Hoffman | 03.16.10 | 10:42 AM ET
In an excerpt from "The Lunatic Express," Carl Hoffman spends a sweaty, noisy, desperate 24 hours in Nairobi
by Jim Benning | 03.16.10 | 10:36 AM ET
Jim Benning asks the author about the joys and challenges of traveling in steerage
by Eva Holland | 09.15.09 | 12:47 PM ET
The iconic—or infamous?—U.S. bus company rolled out its first British service yesterday, and the Guardian went along for the inaugural ride. Writer Steven Morris, with visions of Route 66 and “gleaming metallic 1950s” style vehicles dancing in his head, was underwhelmed by the modern-day Greyhound reality. He writes: “The closest Peggy Sue—as this bus is rather jarringly called—got to swamps was a sewage works on the fringes of London. The Thames had to stand in for the Pacific Ocean. On a chilly morning, the desert seemed a very long way away.”
by Michael Yessis | 07.09.09 | 2:30 PM ET
by Eva Holland | 06.23.09 | 2:05 PM ET
Slate’s Noreen Malone offers up this amusing “snob’s guide to bus travel”—in which she compares the Northeast’s various discount bus lines, applying “the supremely useful, difficult-to-master art of distinguishing among the baser things in life” for the task.
I haven’t tried out Fung Wah, but I’ve ridden all the other lines mentioned—Megabus, Bolt Bus and good old Greyhound—and I agree with her choices for best and worst: Quasi-hip, wired Bolt comes in tops, while Megabus (whose glowing green ceiling lights kept me awake for the bulk of a 10-hour overnight ride a couple weeks back—honestly, who doesn’t dim the lights on an overnighter?) often makes me wish I’d shelled out for the train.
Got a favorite discount bus line? Or any budget bus horror stories?
by Eva Holland | 04.16.09 | 10:29 AM ET
It’s been almost a year since I grudgingly acknowledged that, train delays and airport security being what they are these days, taking the bus might sometimes be the most convenient and comfortable way to go.
Since then—one gruesome incident notwithstanding—I’ve gone from a still-reluctant bus user to a full-on regular. And I’m not the only one: new bus lines have been popping up everywhere (and particularly here in the U.S. Northeast), and now there’s even a dedicated bus carrier search engine, BusJunction.com.
by Rory MacLean | 02.02.09 | 8:42 AM ET
In an excerpt from his new book on the hippie trail, Rory MacLean hops a ride in Afghanistan
by Michael Yessis | 01.22.09 | 8:07 AM ET
- Revealed: confessions of a hotel housekeeper.
- No little bottle of lotion in your hotel room? No fruit in your breakfast buffet? Blame the economy. Hotels are.
- “Killer blueline buses” pose a dilemma in Delhi: They’re dangerous, but they’re needed.
- MediaShift looks at Phil Balboni’s vision for GlobalPost.
- GlobalPost asks its correspondents “What does the idea of America mean to the world?”
- Newley Purnell posts about Matt Gross and multimedia travel journalism—with a World Hum shout out, too.
- Theodore Dalrymple on the “disturbing reality at a Paris Metro stop.”
- Nathan’s says its flagship hot dog shop will remain in Coney Island. Glad to hear the site of some great childhood memories is being preserved.
by Emma Jacobs | 01.14.09 | 9:31 AM ET
The sight of the New York City skyline used to transfix Emma Jacobs -- until routine dulled her senses.
by Sophia Dembling | 01.12.09 | 1:58 PM ET
Growing up in New York City, I was deeply indoctrinated with the view of the world that Saul Steinberg summed up in his famous 1976 New Yorker magazine cover. As far as I was concerned, if you headed west, there was 10th Ave. and there was New Jersey (which you avoided as much as possible) and then there was a whole bunch of nothing worth mentioning until you hit the Pacific Ocean.
When I was 19 years old, I tagged along with a friend on a cross-country drive to deliver a baby-blue Plymouth Duster to her brother in Los Angeles. On that trip, I saw my first cornfields. My first hay rolls. I saw Chicago. The Great Salt Lake. (Yuck.) Cows. The Rockies. For real? I thought this stuff was just rumor and legend. We drove from New York to San Francisco and then down the jagged coastline to Los Angeles, where I dipped my toes in the Pacific Ocean and fell madly in love with America.
by Eva Holland | 12.15.08 | 1:17 PM ET
I have this theory about successful budget transit: that the key to surviving a cross-country Greyhound ride, or a bargain-basement flight with three changes (all in small regional airports without so much as a Starbucks, naturally) is to never, ever be caught without a snack. After all, the only thing worse than being forced to buy, and eat, that simultaneously-stale-and-soggy packaged tuna sandwich at the truck stop is not having the option of eating anything at all. Right?
I first started packing what I think of as my “emergency rations” on a trip to India several years ago. The granola bars I’d stuffed into every corner of my backpack were handy on long train rides—and after I (inevitably) got sick, they became invaluable, my sole source of nutrition until I could stand to contemplate curry again. That success led to more advanced efforts: I can still remember the looks I got from other passengers when I boarded a Halifax-Montreal overnight train with an enormous Tupperware full of cold stir fry under my arm. But my habit of packing lunch didn’t evolve into a full-blown theory until one fateful Amtrak ride, from New York to Montreal, around this time last year.
by Rolf Potts | 11.06.08 | 12:34 PM ET
Vagabonding traveler Rolf Potts answers your questions about travel
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