Megabus - New IA Service - Omaha next?

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles (and Streetcars!).

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StreetsOfOmaha
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Megabus - New IA Service - Omaha next?

Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Sun May 09, 2010 11:35 am

For anyone unfamiliar with Megabus (http://www.megabus.com), you probably won't be able to believe the fares.

Here's an excerpt from their web site:
Megabus.com is the first, low-cost, express bus service to offer city-to-city travel for as low as $1 via the Internet. Since launching in April 2006, megabus.com has served more than 4 million passengers throughout 28 major cities in the Midwest and Northeast.

Our luxury double deckers offer free wi-fi, panoramic windows and a green alternative way to travel. Meticulously maintained with professional drivers at the wheel, when you travel with us, you will be riding in comfort and confidence. We provide low-cost and reliable bus services serving 28 cities from two hubs at New York and Chicago. We offer the highest level of comfort and safety and look forward to serving you!


On May 4, Megabus introduced new Des Moines-Iowa City-Chicago service, with non-stop service between those three cities. You can get from Chicago to Iowa City or Des Moines for $1.00 (plus the $0.50 online booking fee), and you can do the round-trip for $11.00.

Megabus has hubs in Chicago and New York City. With Midwest service extended to Kansas City and Minneapolis, this new service to Des Moines makes me think that Omaha is the next logical extension.

This service is an amazing and logical precursor to expanded passenger rail, and eventually, a wonderful complement to it.

My girlfriend and I would use Omaha service often, as her parents are in Iowa City, and we may end up in Chicago for my master's program.

If you get the opportunity, use this service! They extend or cancel routes based on ridership!
"The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city."
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Seth
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Postby Seth » Sun May 09, 2010 1:47 pm

I haven't used them, but they have service out of the intermodal transit hub here in Champaign.  They actually had to modify the skywalk from the building to the Amtrak platform to add clearance and allow them to drive underneath to reach the bus platform.  Apparently Megabus really does use mega-buses!

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Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Sun May 09, 2010 2:03 pm

A lot of my friends on the east coast used this service to travel between cities. Apparently the buses are incredibly nice with leather seats and wifi. I believe that prices start at $1, but as the seats fill up or as it gets closer to your travel date (I forget which) prices get more expensive.

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Postby Stargazer » Mon May 10, 2010 11:09 am

Image

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Seth
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Postby Seth » Mon May 10, 2010 11:36 am

Mega-bus, mega-driver!

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Postby iamjacobm » Mon May 10, 2010 2:40 pm

I would be all over this Greyhound is way to expensive.

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Postby skywalker23 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:53 am

Hey everyone, Megabus just added a service that goes from Omaha to Des Moines, Iowa City, and Chicago.
Or rather, they simply extended the Des Moines-Iowa City-Chicago service to Omaha.

I want to believe that my email (sent in early July) convinced them to do it, but knowing big corporations that probably isn't true.

It picks you up at Crossroads Mall. I found it tonight when I was planning a trip from Chicago to Memphis.

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Postby Uffda » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:06 am

Too bad they don't have a Omaha --> DesMoines --> Minneapolis   I don't feel like going thru Chicago to get there

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Postby Stargazer » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:45 am

Looked up a weekend trip in September... nice $25 roundtrip rate... but realized by the time I add tickets for my wife and youngest son... it ends up being $15 more expensive than if I were to simply drive my Prius there.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:47 am

This is a snapshot from a promotional e-mail that Megabus sent out.

Image

That's the |expletive| American Cemetery in France near Omaha Beach!!! Not to mention the Des Moines skyline for Iowa City. Man, do they do ANY research before they come into a city and start promoting their service?

Also, Jeff, you're not taking into account the 8+ hours of wasted time while you drive, wear and tear on your vehicle, depreciation, oil and other fluid depletion, and the cost of parking your vehicle during your stay in Downtown Chicago (and not to mention insurance, and the potential costs of accidents--damages, medical bills, etc.). Like most Americans you've conveniently overlooked all of those costs and reduced the cost of car travel in your mind to merely the cost of gasoline... and you even feel better about that because it's a Prius.
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Postby Omababe » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:55 pm

NovakOmaha wrote:A round trip drive to Chicago does take 6-8 hours, I'll give you that.  Of course, these days a plane trip from the time one leaves for the airport to the time one arrives at his or her hotel or wherever can also take many hours, sooooo.....


I travel to Chicago semi-frequently, and I've done the time and cost comparison.

It's a good 500 miles from my abode to the Loop. It's easily a 9 hour trip counting a lunch break and necessary breaks, more if the traffic on the Stevenson is nasty if coming via 80, or on the Eisenhower if doing the Tollway.

Cost? $60 or so for fuel each way. My car does 30mpg.  Not bad, but not terribly economical. I have no clue how to accurately price depreciation and incidentals.
At $59 to $79 each way for air fare, very close to a wash.

Time? Even if I figure an hour to get to Eppley and park, 2 hours checking in, security, waiting for the plane, one hour in the air, one hour to get bags and get out of either Midway or ORD, and an hour on the train/taxi/shuttle, that's 6 hours max.

Air wins! Depending on the nature of the trip, I have either 3 more hours each way to enjoy things or inspect the inside of my eyelids. :) :)

Now, comparing the bus, and throwing out the $1 teaser fare, using more like $30 each way, the bus is more attractive for a pleasure trip I admit.

Big Burning Question: Is the management of Crossroads gonna tow you away for parking for a weekend bus trip to Chicago? Do they allow this?

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Postby NovakOmaha » Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:26 pm

Omababe wrote:
NovakOmaha wrote:A round trip drive to Chicago does take 6-8 hours, I'll give you that.  Of course, these days a plane trip from the time one leaves for the airport to the time one arrives at his or her hotel or wherever can also take many hours, sooooo.....


It's a good 500 miles from my abode to the Loop. It's easily a 9 hour trip counting a lunch break and necessary breaks, more if the traffic on the Stevenson is nasty if coming via 80, or on the Eisenhower if doing the Tollway.

Time? Even if I figure an hour to get to Eppley and park, 2 hours checking in, security, waiting for the plane, one hour in the air, one hour to get bags and get out of either Midway or ORD, and an hour on the train/taxi/shuttle, that's 6 hours max.

Air wins! Depending on the nature of the trip, I have either 3 more hours each way to enjoy things or inspect the inside of my eyelids. :) :)


I either took 80 to the Stevenson or 88.  I avoided the Ike as it seemed that whenever I hit the Ike it was a parking lot.  The Stevie could be pretty busy too.  It seemed that 88 was taken care of better than 80, less bumps and all.  

I did like the el from Ohare or Midway.  You could pay $1.50, transfer at state street & hop the bus to my sisters place at Lake Shore & Belmont.  

Yes, air usually wins if you aren't shlepping a bunch of stuff or if you have a family of 4 & need a last minute ticket.  

Here's a good one.  I'm taking my mother to Baltimore to see a doctor at Johns Hopkins.  Her ticket from Omaha via DTW is $200.  I'm on the same plane with her from DTW to Baltimore and my ticket is $375.  Explain that to me.  I know DTW is Deltas hub but thats crazy.  The upside is that DTW has 1200 flights a day and Spirit Airlines has fares starting at $9.00  We went to Orlando, 4 of us, for $60, round trip.  Woof.  Sometimes, tho, fares to other destinations can be pricey.

I do like the double decker buses Megabus has.  Very cool.

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Postby Stargazer » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:24 pm

54mpg driving between Omaha and Des Moines... I don't expect to see that number change to Chicago... 'pulse and glide'.

The little extra in 'wear/tear/parking'... is more than offset in convenience/freedom/additional travel options.

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Postby HuskerDave » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:40 am

I think this bus service is a great thing.  Busses (yes, that's the correct spelling.. double S) are an economical way for people to travel, and - so far - you don't have to be groped by a TSA agent to board one.

However, when I travel to the Chicago area, as I do about four times annually, I drive.  This is because my destination is not at or near the bus station.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:18 am

HuskerDave wrote:This is because my destination is not at or near the bus station.


Whose is? As has been noted, Chicago has fantastic ground transportation options.
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Postby S33 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:29 am

Not sure why this is even up for debate, it's all about personal preference. If it were me and my friends, I would have no problem taking the bus, maybe even for a game at Northwestern someday. If I were traveling with my family, I would prefer the privacy and flexibility of my own vehicle.

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Postby Omababe » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:10 pm

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:Whose is? As has been noted, Chicago has fantastic ground transportation options.


In general, the Chicago area does have good public transit, which makes Omaha's Metro-Whatever look like the Pine City Stage by comparison.

However, there are many "holes" in coverage and hours.

Try getting back from Blue Island or Hammond at night. An ex$pen$ive taxi ride is about the only option!

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Postby omaja » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:10 pm

HuskerDave wrote:Busses (yes, that's the correct spelling.. double S)


Just thought I'd chime in on this because it's about the only thing interesting posted in the last page or so... but, both spellings are correct.  Double "s" is usually given as the alternate, however. :lol:
Last edited by omaja on Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Omababe » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:58 am

Here's a question that came up yesterday.

Does Megabus allow smoking?

If so, do they have an isolated non-smoking section?

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Postby Uffda » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:58 am

Streets, I feel you have some good thoughts on where transportation and cities need to go in the future BUT I hope that grad program you are in has courses on how to present your ideas to the general public without offending them with words or attitudes.  Yes you might feel you are in the right but if can't present your ideas without offending people in the general public you are going to find yourself a liability to the office trying to make the change and they will either rein you in or stick you in a back office.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:12 pm

Uffda wrote:...how to present your ideas to the general public without offending them with words or attitudes.


There's a time and a place for that, and this forum isn't it. That's what I've learned from the participants here over the course of the last few years.
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Postby skywalker23 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:25 pm

Omababe wrote:Here's a question that came up yesterday.

Does Megabus allow smoking?

If so, do they have an isolated non-smoking section?


I rode from Chicago to Des Moines in early July. No smoking is allowed anywhere. Which is good because to be honest, the airflow in the bus is not impressive.

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Postby Uffda » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:02 pm

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:
Uffda wrote:...how to present your ideas to the general public without offending them with words or attitudes.


There's a time and a place for that, and this forum isn't it. That's what I've learned from the participants here over the course of the last few years.


The participants here aren't going to be much difference from what you are going to find in the 'real world'  I have been a public servant (teacher) for 30+ yrs and I have seen plenty of people crash and burn because they didn't know how to bring their message across without offending the majority of the people. As I said before I hope your grad program teaches their students how to bring their ideas across to the public without offending them.

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Postby Omababe » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:07 am

skywalker23 wrote:I rode from Chicago to Des Moines in early July. No smoking is allowed anywhere. Which is good because to be honest, the airflow in the bus is not impressive.


Thanks.

The web site was no help at all in answering that question.

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Postby MTO » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:05 am

I'll just have to invest in a portable vaporizer.

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Postby Bosco55David » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:30 pm

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:Also, Jeff, you're not taking into account the 8+ hours of wasted time while you drive, wear and tear on your vehicle, depreciation, oil and other fluid depletion, and the cost of parking your vehicle during your stay in Downtown Chicago (and not to mention insurance, and the potential costs of accidents--damages, medical bills, etc.). Like most Americans you've conveniently overlooked all of those costs and reduced the cost of car travel in your mind to merely the cost of gasoline... and you even feel better about that because it's a Prius.


It's clear you know about zero when it comes to cars.

Wasted time? Unless you're flying (and even then) that time will still be wasted. What difference does it make if it's in the driver seat of my car or a seat on a bus?

Wear and tear? What wear and tear? Quality cars these days can last hundreds of thousands of miles on a single drive train, and highway/interstate driving actually produces less "wear and tear" than in city driving.

Oil and fluid depletion? If your car is burning oil or losing fluids at any noticeable rate, you have a problem on your hands.

Insurance? Generally reasonable for anyone with a clean driving record. I pay under $100 a month to insure my car, and I own a "sports car" with a V-8 engine.

Potential costs of accidents and medical bills? I could step outside tomorrow and get struck by lightning or have my appendix rupture or any one of god knows how many problems. That's a basic of life and the fact that you'd try to factor it into this discussion just shows how you will go to the absolute limits of absurdity in your anti-automobile diatribes.

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Postby S33 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:00 pm

Bosco55David wrote:Wear and tear? What wear and tear? Quality cars these days can last hundreds of thousands of miles on a single drive train, and highway/interstate driving actually produces less "wear and tear" than in city driving.



Exactly. I have a 2006 Mazda that I decided to keep around after I payed it off for no other reason than I know, if I ever need it, it will start and run perfectly. It has 135K on it without a single major repair. Other than brakes, oil changes and filters, I have only had one electrical issue, and it turned out to be a 1.00 fuse.

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Postby Bosco55David » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:51 pm

S33 wrote:Exactly. I have a 2006 Mazda that I decided to keep around after I payed it off for no other reason than I know, if I ever need it, it will start and run perfectly. It has 135K on it without a single major repair. Other than brakes, oil changes and filters, I have only had one electrical issue, and it turned out to be a 1.00 fuse.


That's pretty good! My Mustang has about 250k on it now and the drive train (save for the transmission I broke at the drag strip) is all original without any serious repairs. I also just saw a story recently of a lady who had an all original 1980's Mustang with over 600k on it.  :o

A quality, properly maintained vehicle would last darn near forever.

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Postby HuskerDave » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:08 pm

Bosco55David wrote: your anti-automobile diatribes.


Bingo.  nailed it.

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Postby Big E » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:36 pm

NovakOmaha wrote:Go get yourself a tasty beverage.


Use it to wash down your Big Kahuna burger.

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Postby Zilla » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:45 am

NovakOmaha wrote:What the heck, I've got some time and Streets isn't coming back so I'll yammer.


Uh oh....did I miss something??   :popcorn:
Equal Opportunity Hater.

Proudly oppressing the rest of Omaha with my suburbia lifestyle since 1999.

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Postby skywalker23 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:10 pm

Zilla wrote:
NovakOmaha wrote:What the heck, I've got some time and Streets isn't coming back so I'll yammer.


Uh oh....did I miss something??   :popcorn:


Some internet fighting broke out and some posts got deleted. I don't remember what they said but I guess that's one of the things they said.

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Postby Brad » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:04 am

skywalker23 wrote:
Zilla wrote:
NovakOmaha wrote:What the heck, I've got some time and Streets isn't coming back so I'll yammer.


Uh oh....did I miss something??   :popcorn:


Some internet fighting broke out and some posts got deleted. I don't remember what they said but I guess that's one of the things they said.


Here was is goodbye quote after an f-word lased arrogant post: "Now I'm going to get back to my break from this forum. Nobody says anything meaningful and it's seriously a [f word] waste of time."
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Postby HuskerDave » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:39 am

Brad wrote:
skywalker23 wrote:
Zilla wrote:[quote="NovakOmaha"]What the heck, I've got some time and Streets isn't coming back so I'll yammer.


Uh oh....did I miss something??   :popcorn:


Some internet fighting broke out and some posts got deleted. I don't remember what they said but I guess that's one of the things they said.


Here was is goodbye quote after an f-word lased arrogant post: "Now I'm going to get back to my break from this forum. Nobody says anything meaningful and it's seriously a [f word] waste of time."[/quote]

Golly, I miss him already.

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Postby Omababe » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:07 am

Not to get back to the subject, but Megabus got quite a glowing report last night on the local news.

I forget which station, it was whatever was on at the time.

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Postby Brad » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:13 pm

Omababe wrote:Not to get back to the subject, but Megabus got quite a glowing report last night on the local news.

I forget which station, it was whatever was on at the time.


It was on WOWT.
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Postby S33 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:33 pm

Brad wrote:
Omababe wrote:Not to get back to the subject, but Megabus got quite a glowing report last night on the local news.

I forget which station, it was whatever was on at the time.


It was on WOWT.


Therefore very few people knew about the report.  :)

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Postby Omababe » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:01 pm

S33 wrote:
Brad wrote:It was on WOWT.


Therefore very few people knew about the report.  :)


MEOW!

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Postby Hawkeye » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:46 pm

As luck would have it, Ol' Hawkeye found pics and a vid of the bus.  Impressive.  

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPpBGsFddao

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Postby Big E » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:07 pm

That's a rig.  I'm surprised I don't see more people around here driving them to the grocery store.
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