Maya Devereaux, Staff Writer
With Thanksgiving break quickly approaching, now would be a good time to book your tickets home. If you’re planning on taking the bus, but haven’t yet ventured into South Station yet, listen up! While the bus terminal boasts almost every possible bus company the country has to offer, that doesn’t mean they are all highly esteemed.
My bus company of choice happens to be Bolt Bus. Techincally one word, BoltBus is an offspring of Greyhound that has the motto: bolt for a buck. Of my 24 trips with them, I never paid just one dollar for a ticket. Nonetheless, I did receive three free one-way rides along the way after I signed up for their no-hassle rewards program. The bus isn’t anything special, but I do have to say that the outlets at each seat can be a lifesaver. If you read its review on Yelp, you’ll see that it has its fair share of lovers and haters (just as you would see with any bus company review). But as a heads up, don’t arrive late because your seat will be given away, and don’t expect to get two seats to yourself because they always manage to fill every seat. Also, they board the bus by three groups that are based on how recent you purchased your ticket, so book it early unless you want to sit next to the bathroom in the back. The prices will also go up as it gets closer to the date on which you want to travel.
To add another bus to the shuffle, I feel I should in some way defend Fung Wah. So, we’ve all heard those horror stories about how one of time the back wheels fell off the Fung Wah bus while in motion or how it crashed into a guard rail a few years ago, but much to my mother’s chagrin, I believe it is not quite as dangerous as she thinks. No, the driver isn’t zipping down the I-95 at 110 mph, and no, it doesn’t smell unbearable. Of course it’s no luxury limo, but it fits the bill. Unlike BoltBus, Fung Wah sells tickets for a flat fee of $15. This price never changes, and you can usually rely on them to bring you to New York very last minute. Most customers even buy their ticket on the spot at the Fung Wah ticket counter. On the downside, there are no outlets, however, they have recently introduced WiFi. A big difference between the two is that Fung Wah drops you off in Chinatown in New York City, while Bolt conveniently drops you off at Penn Station.
As for Mega Bus, its double-decker seating arrangement kind of freaks me out. It does travel to more cities than do Fung Wah and Bolt, but I’ve never taken it. In regards to comfort, safety and all that, you’re on your own.
All in all, the ride is pretty much the same. There’s always going to be traffic somewhere in Connecticut, you’ll always fight over the arm rest with the woman next to you, and the bus will always smell like fast food after it stops halfway for a ten minute break. So take it in and try to enjoy!