May 16, 2014

Washington Deluxe should show Megabus how it's done

Ah, New York City.  So many things to see, and so many ways to get there.  There are probably thousands of planes, trains, and buses that I can choose from to ferry my butt up there from DC.

But planes are expensive, often delayed, and require getting somewhat naked in order to get there.  Nope.

Trains are comfortable and not usually subject to delays, but they're still expensive.  Nope.

Buses are cheap.  So am I.  We have a winner.

And that's how Chris and I found ourselves suffering through a ridiculous ride on Megabus this past December.  We swore that was our first and last trip with Megabus.  I did not forget this declaration as I made plans to go to New York last weekend to hang out with a friend.  After checking rates and schedules with some other, generally less crappy bus companies, I settled on Washington Deluxe.

Let's just say that Megabus could learn a thing or 20 from Washington Deluxe about how to run their operation.  Buses were on time.  Employees were not only competent and informative, but (gasp!) friendly.  Electrical outlets actually worked.  Wi-fi actually worked.  People with reservations actually got seats.  I could understand the driver when he spoke.  I kind of wanted to hug him.

There were some other definite pluses to taking Washington Deluxe:

  • They went directly from DC to Manhattan and vice versa.  They did not pass Go. They did not collect $200.  They did not pick up people in other cities (or stop in another city just to leave people stranded because they can't figure out how a reservation system is supposed to work).  
  • The buses are normal, garden variety sized buses that hold about 50 people.  No double deckers.  Fewer people meant less chaos and confusion and faster loading and unloading.  This was fabulous.
  • Some of their scheduled trips also offer a drop-off and pick-up in Brooklyn.  Since I was staying in Brooklyn, this was also pretty darn fabulous.
The only minor negative was some cramped leg room on the bus up to New York.  But I'm tall, and that's just something that happens in some group seating situations.  I allowed my limbs to spill out into the aisle.  Problem kind of solved.

I have to admit, it was a relief to realize that not all bus companies run a sh*t show like Megabus.  I mean, if I'm only paying $50 for a ride to and from New York, I'm not going to be that picky.  I can barely fill up my gas tank for that amount of money.  I don't expect to be served club soda and peanuts or sit in a cushy nap-inducing seat.  But if you're going to run a business of any sort, you have to do right by people.  And I'm happy to report that Washington Deluxe does just that.

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