Finally, after considering various options, I was able to make the 3 hour trip from San Antonio to Houston for a total price of EIGHT dollars/USD 8/$8.00. That’s less than what you’d pay for a medium pizza or a coffee and pastry at Starbucks!
Even a freakin rideshare (I’ll talk more about those in a later post) would cost you at least 3 times that amount–and it’s not always easy finding someone going to your exact destination on the exact date and time you require.
How did I do the deed? Introducing America’s newest transport darling, the Mega Bus!
After living and traveling in Europe for over 7 years, I can’t help but complain about America’s joke of a public transport system. How the bus comes once an hour (or not at all), how people stare at you like you’re a crazy person if you dare to WALK down the sidewalk in the city, how the Amtrak system has left people reeling with such horrific experiences that no wonder Americans aren’t pushing for an extension of the railway network throughout the country.
But NOW, the American edition of Mega Bus (it also exists in Canada, UK and Europe) has given US-bound travelers something to talk about. Upon a Dallas-based friend’s recommendation, I decided to check this super duper mega bus out and give it a try. I did need to get from A to B somehow, and I preferred to do it on the cheap. I also wasn’t interested in another miserable Greyhound experience, which I’ve had plenty of.
The Mega Bus website is quite basic and easy to navigate, but when it comes time to pay, you don’t get a mega sense of security from the site. However, I reluctantly proceeded as I was running out time and options for my trip.
When the total cost of EIGHT dollars appeared on screen, I didn’t really believe it. Where were the extra fees and taxes and hidden add-ons? They were already all included in the EIGHT dollars, apparently. For this same trip on a Greyhound bus, I would have paid $32.00. Yes, I know that Greyhound does get pretty cheap if you book way in advance, but the amazing thing about Mega Bus is that even when you book the day before your trip, you won’t pay more than a few dollars over the original price.
And even better: if you book well enough in advance, you can actually grab a seat for ONE DOLLAR.
The most important thing is this: The value you get for your money with Mega Bus is quite high. The cleanliness, the efficiency and customer service on Mega Bus beat out Greyhound EASILY. And there was free wifi access, that actually WORKED, plus outlets to plug in your computer or charging device.
But the saddest part? There was barely anyone on this Mega Bus, with seats filled to about 20% capacity.
Oh and did I mention that the bus was a big fat double decker? 🙂 Yes, and I climbed up on top to catch dramatic views of the wide open Texas skies.