Yesterday I came home from the Sontagfest using NJ Transit to NY Penn station and then took the Megabus to Boston. Quick review with engineering notes.
Pro. Megabus is cheap ($25 one-way for peak times) and service was impressive. There was a long line for the 8PM bus, and a 7:45 for the people without reservations just showed up. The double deck bus is comfortable, and probably inexpensive to operate.
Con. It must be true that the IT department thinks very highly of their incompetent selves. Complaints, in decreasing order of importance:
1 - The bus turned off 300 yards from South station and the driver was not able to turn it back on. The bus was working fine, it was a software glitch that the "central" was not capable of fixing. The driver let us out, gave us our bags, and we walked on the ramp into the station.
2 - The Blaupunkt TVs were not working and produced a very loud electronic screech through a good portion of the trip, until the driver managed to turn the whole electronic junk off. Who needs TV on a bus, and who buys Blaupunkt TVs?
3 - The bus took a creative route to Boston and managed to get stuck in a 1 hour traffic jam on I87. I am sure that finding the worst route required a lot of computer dispatching and optimization. Thanks also to the NY State Thruway authority for scheduling repairs on the night before Memorial day!
4 - On board wifi is useful, but crashed after a short while, not to come back again during the trip. It's a minor point, but I'm including it here to persuade Megabus to keep their courteous service people and efficient mechanics, and fire their incompetent information technology managers. Yes, I'm sure they think their are geniuses and that they deserve their excessive compensation. Get rid of them and invest in safety, the company's record seems iffy.
In any case, the US really needs a Boston-NY-Washington train up to mid 1960s Japanese standards if it doesn't want to become a 3rd world country or a submerging market.