If you live in one of these cities, and need to get to another one of these cities, you might consider taking the bus.
I know what you're thinking. Greyhound. And Greyhound probably conjures up images of grime and long hours and funky smells, like traveling in a developing nation or something. It means multiple stops in out of the way towns. And costs that compare to driving your own vehicle.[a] But there is a new bus in town. It's MegaBus and here's why it's worth considering:
1. Speed - MegaBus travels directly from city to city without stopping except for a short food break. I have taken MegaBus on several different routes and each trip took approximately 15-30 minutes longer than a car. Not bad when you consider how much easier it is to read, watch The Office on your iPod and stare out the window while riding on the bus.
2. Costs - Ticket prices are unbelievably cheap on MegaBus. And I mean the kind of prices that we paid for public transport twenty years ago - especially if you book a couple of weeks in advance. For point-proving purposes, here are a few one-way examples I just plugged in over at MegaBus.com (vs. car costs @ .30 cents a mile):
3/13/08 :: LA to San Diego - $1 ($36.30)
3/13/08 :: LA to San Francisco - $10 ($114.60)
3/13/08 :: LA to Las Vegas - $8 ($81)
3/13/08 :: Chicago to Minneapolis - $15 ($122.40)
3/13/08 :: Chicago to Indianapolis - $15 ($54.90)
3/13/08 :: Chicago to Milwaukee - $1 ($27.60)
3/13/08 :: Chicago to St. Louis - $10 ($89.10)
3. Cleanliness - Each bus is clean, has a bathroom and the seats are nice and comfy. Plus Megabus targets a younger crowd and that usually translates into a pretty laid back atmosphere.
4. Green Friendly - Even if every bus trip meant ten less vehicles doing the same trip, the environmental effect would be more than noticeable.
We may not be up to European standards, but this is one step in the right direction. Next time you're thinking about getting in the car for a road trip to Wrigley or a weekend in Vegas, take the bus instead.
[a] Now to Greyhound's credit, they seem to recognize their reputation and seem to be going in a new direction. In fact, their new slogan is "We're On Our Way" but truth to be told, they're still a long way off.