How to Use the Megabus

Travel for $1? Is that possible? Yes, it is—in more than a dozen U.S. states served by the bright blue and yellow MegaBus. The bus pulls up to a local stop, finding you waiting with a computer printout showing that you purchased a ticket online, probably weeks ahead of time. You board the bus, perhaps choosing a seat on the top level of a double-decker, and then sit back, relax and forget about rising gas prices.

Step 1

Start by checking out the MegaBus website at megabus.com. You'll find everything you need to plan your trip.

Step 2

Have a credit or debit card handy, because you'll need one of them to pay for your tickets.

Step 3

Plan your trip as far ahead of time as possible to get the lowest price—and secure a seat.

Step 4

Check the drop-down schedule menu to find out if the MegaBus travel times will work for your purposes. In many cities, there are only one or two buses leaving on any given day.

Step 5

Select your city of origination, your destination and the dates on which you wish to travel. After you enter this information, you will be shown the price for that particular trip. The price might be anywhere from $1 to $40 as of June 2008, because the sooner you book (in most cases), the less expensive your trip will be. There are only so many $1 seats. When they fill up, the next price category applies.

Step 6

Be flexible if possible. If you're able to select an earlier (or later) date, you might be able to find a cheaper ticket.

Step 7

Plan your boarding spot and drop-off stop (if you are traveling to a city with more than one of these).

Step 8

Book your trip and print out your receipt, which will serve as your ticket. You must have the receipt or the number of your booking to board the bus.

Step 9

Pack snacks and a bottle of water to take with you, as stops along the route are not set in stone. In fact, if a driver is running behind schedule, he might decide to not stop at all. (The bus is equipped with a bathroom.)

Step 10

Arrive at the bus stop at least half an hour early to ensure the best possible seat. Seats are not preassigned. On double-decker buses, the bottom level has a couple of seats with tables; however, this area is fairly dark and can seem oppressive. The top of the bus feels airier.

Step 11

Bring along your cell phone. However, conversations can be quite annoying to your fellow passengers, so speak in a low voice if you must use the phone. Notify friends or relatives that you will call them as you near your destination, as arrival times may not always be exactly as predicted.

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