Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Follow up on Megabus
On the return trip, I arrived about half an hour before the scheduled departure time. There were two guys who were organizing the passengers. Our reservations were checked and then we were given an entry ticket. The bus was more crowded this afternoon, in part because after the stop in Sacramento it was scheduled to go on to Sparks.
This afternoon I chose to ride on the upper deck of the bus. You get an interesting perspective from the higher level. You are riding well above the traffic so you get a different perspective on the road compared to my low slung sports car. The upper cabin also has some sky lights which gives you a feeling of openness. At the same time the air pattern, at least where I was sitting has some cavitation which is a bit annoying - I was seated across from the front staircase - so that may have been a factor.
This afternoon I was able to get the WIFI to work at least part of the time - but I would still rate it as unreliable.
There was one other problem - the bus, which was coming from South San Francisco, was delayed by almost an hour because of an accident on the road it was coming from (presumably the 280). That meant we also got to Sacramento an hour late. Amtrak, in my experience is notorious for a fairly flexible definition of on time performance and even with the delay in traffic we were able to get back to Sacramento an hour late - the carpool lane did seem to help.
Megabus now offers four trips a day to Sacramento - the earliest is the one I took (8 AM) and four returns (about a half an hour after the run from Sacramento begins for each of the four times). That is less frequency than Amtrak but certainly some pretty good options.
One other pleasant surprise - Parking all day in Sacramento was only $16 not $23. So the total cost of the trip was $25, about what one way on Amtrak costs.
So would I do it again? Yes for many trips to San Francisco - this method would be very useful. The defects, including the delay, are minor and the price even at the highest increment - is still very good. Both locations (Sacramento and Sacramento) are handy. The bus is clean and efficient - what is not to like?