Monday, July 19, 2010

Up to the Big Apple Again

I headed up to New York City again yesterday to attend a bike event, and this time, I took the Megabus, which is my first time. The bus pulled up on schedule and the line of people proceeded to board. I had my small Brompton folding bike, which I had folded down, and the driver said to set it next to the bus tire and he would put it in. We got on the bus and we left on time and the driver high-tailed it out of the city lickety split! The Megabus makes a stop at the White Marsh park & ride lot near Baltimore, where we picked up some additional passengers. We zipped up 95 and believe it or not, for the first time, the bus actually arrived in New York City 5 MINUTES ahead of schedule!!! I was quite surprised and pleased. I got my bike and enjoyed a day of riding in the city, which is always a fun time.

However, the return trip wasn't as pleasant....I arrived at Penn Station a few minutes before we were supposed to be there to board. There was a GAZILLION people in various lines - since a few different bus lines pull up to that same place. Why don't they assign buses to different blocks or something??! So, when I determined what line I needed to be in....we were told the bus was going to be a bit late.... Not quite what you want to hear while standing in the 90+ degree heat, with the sun shining on you..... Then, one of the Megabus personnel walking around the buses and helping, saw me and asked me if that was my bike. I said yes, and he said, "That has to go in a bag." I told him when I got on the bus that morning, the bus driver didn't say ANYTHING about that being a requirement. This guy said, "Well, it has to be in a bag, or you can't get on the bus!" WHAT????! Here we are, getting ready to board soon, and I have to come up with a bag????! There's no way I was gonna miss that bus, not at almost 8 p.m.! So I went across the street to ask the ticket sales lady if it's true I have to have the bike in a bag. But then the guy called me back over and had a Hefty bag in his hand to give me to use. I told him again that it wasn't a problem that morning - and this guy said, "Well, he could have been fired for letting you get on the bus like that." Well, I guess every employee makes up their own rules, huh?! So I told him I would check the website about this later, as I put the bike in the bag. Good grief.

In the end, even though the bus left 30 minutes late, we managed to make up the time and arrive on time in D.C., thank goodness.

(Note: I checked the Megabus website regarding bicycles on the bus as luggage. It says no bikes are allowed. However, evidently, a folding bike isn't a problem....but looks like the drivers have different rules regarding that. I have sent an email to Megabus to tell them about the situation and asked to be advised regarding their policy, so I can know whether to ride with them in the future. I guess in any case, I could just put it in a bag, and it won't be a problem.)