Which Budget Bus Line is the Best?

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  06.23.09 | 2:05 PM ET

Photo by Keyler Oliveira via Flickr (Creative Commons)

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?

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

6 Comments for Which Budget Bus Line is the Best?

Mike 06.24.09 | 9:31 AM ET

Budget buses are most definitely making a comeback. Seriously, who can afford Amtrak in this economy? I also enjoyed the Slate article but wish that the author had considered some of the smaller bus companies. Many of these companies are stepping up to offer $1 bus fares and wi-fi service. I usually search for tickets on http://www.gotobus.com and find lower fares than some of the other major competitors.

Matthew 06.24.09 | 1:16 PM ET

I usually search for tickets at http://www.busjunction.com, since it includes Megabus and Bolt Bus, which are two of the best lines.

Hasan Abdullah 06.24.09 | 2:36 PM ET

Cheaper bus fares are great for those on a small budget. I recently graduated from college and I depend on the bus a lot since I don’t a lot of money to spend on gas. The recent explosion in bus ridership will only increase as taking the bus becomes more convenient. I recently started interning at a company called TransLoc (http://www.transloc.com) and they create live interactive bus maps. The live bus maps has helped me and many others take the bus more frequently. It would be pretty cool to track buses on some of the bus lines that travel between states.

Busmart 06.26.09 | 10:23 AM ET

It’s nice that buses are making a comeback across the country.  I think more fuel efficient models will only encourage ridership.

wangming 07.12.09 | 4:08 AM ET

Mike 07.28.09 | 4:34 PM ET

I used the Bolt Bus when i was a student in the usa on the exchange visitor progam. The wifi was one of the things that convinced me to try it. Service was great and well worth the cash spent.

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