I would like to make you an offer: You will pay me ten dollars. Do not hesitate - it is less than the cost of eating at Chipotle. In exchange for your ten dollars, I will drive you to any major city in the northeastern United States. That’s right – Boston, D.C., Buffalo, Philadelphia, you name it.
On the ride, I will provide Wi-Fi, electrical outlets – heck, maybe even a movie! We can leave any time of day, and all this can be yours for only ten dollars.
Sound familiar? If you’ve taken Megabus, Boltbus or a similar low-cost transport, you’ve accepted this offer before. Of course, if you have had the “opportunity” to ride one of these buses, you know that their services should be filed under Too Good to Be True.
What’s that? You haven’t experienced the horror of the buses Mega or Bolt? Well, you must have heard that Megabus drivers regularly drive drunk. No, missed that one? Surely you heard about the driver who slammed into a bridge, killing four? Or the bus that caught on fire as it cruised down the highway?
With thousands of NYU students hailing from cities in the greater Northeast, these low-cost buses have been at once a cost-saving boon and oft-cursed burden. Here are NYU’s worst experiences on the buses from Hell.
Melissa Cronin, CAS Senior
I was sleeping soundly, dreaming about the Brawny man, when I was awoken by a huge gob of drool dripping onto my neck. I looked up to see a baby reaching over the seat and staring at me with his black marble eyes, goopy mouth wide open. I screamed and then he cried. Closest I’ve ever come to punching a baby.
Ben Zweig, Steinhardt Senior
I once sat near a huge black woman who, at the top of her lungs, was providing overly detailed explanations to someone on the phone about how to breastfeed. No idea whose child it was.
Alec Steinfeld, Steinhardt Senior
About an hour into the bus ride, everyone in front of me turned around, looking shocked. I noticed three people in the back holding down a man having a seizure. The bus stopped along the side of the highway, while EMTs took the man off the bus into an ambulance; after about 15 minutes, the EMTs brought the man back on. I was unsure as to why the man was allowed back on, but the bus began to move anyway.
… That is, until about 30 minutes later, when the same man started having another seizure. The same process then took place: EMTs arrive, take the man off the bus, return him to the bus, and then we go on our way again.
Then, of course, the man had another seizure. The man ended up having four seizures total, and each time encountered the same process with the EMTs. My bus was late a total of two and a half hours, all thanks to Megabus not knowing how to properly handle this guy.
Hostage in New Jersey
Aaron Marks, CAS Senior
After our bus’ brakes began to fail in New Jersey, the driver pulled over to the side of the road. The garage was supposedly sending a new bus to finish the trip to New York. As if being stuck on the side of the highway in a Megabus wasn’t bad enough, the driver wouldn’t let anyone off the bus to have a cigarette or get some air, claiming “insurance reasons.”
After half an hour of twiddling our thumbs, we passengers were getting pissed. Some called family members to drive them the rest of the way – but, alas, the bus driver would not let us off the bus. Insurance reasons.
This continued for a full hour and a half. At this point, most of us were sure that being kept in the bus like this could be classified as imprisonment, and decided to get the authorities involved. A quick call was made; ten minutes later, police sped up to the bus and yelled at the driver to open the door. They instructed her that forcing people into a stuffy bus on the side of the highway in New Jersey against their will is indeed illegal. Then, as if by magic, a new bus arrived five minutes later. It was the last Megabus I ever took.
Large and In Charge
Danny Chang, Steinhardt Senior
As the bus was filling up, I had two seats to myself. It seemed like the stream of people had slowed down to the point where no one else was going to board the bus. However, right as we set off to depart, an abnormally large black man approached and asked if the seat was taken. Out of obligation, I told him it wasn’t, and he proceeded to sit next to me for the entire ride, most of which I spent sitting on the third of my seat he didn’t spill onto, while the behemoth of a man fell asleep and drooled all over me.
Leah Clancy, CAS Senior
On a trip from NYC to Buffalo, an Indian businessman that I was sitting next to talked loudly on his phone in a mixture of Punjabi and English … for four and a half hours. It was especially awkward because everyone kept looking to me to ask him to quiet down. Screw that – I wasn’t with him; that’s not my responsibility.
Everyone around us was getting really angry, so when we stopped in Syracuse, someone complained to the driver. Before we left the rest stop, he came up the the top of the bus and made a general announcement saying he was told someone had been on their phone and hadn’t gotten off since we had departed the city. It was SO obviously the guy I was sitting next to, as he hadn’t even hung up while the driver was making the announcement, but like all other Megabus employees, the driver incorrectly assumed that his job was done and went back downstairs.
My seat partner STILL didn’t hang up, so finally the lady in front of him turned around and yelled, “You NEED to STOP” and gave him the dirtiest look I have ever seen. To this, he only held up his one finger to her face. Ever angrier, she commanded, “NOW.” It was only then he finally shut the fuck up. It was past midnight. It was miserable.