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  • FIRST POST
    • blindman
    • By blindman 25th Jul 06, 11:14 AM
    • 5,206Posts
    • 4,216Thanks
    blindman
    0 WOW
    China Bus Advice
    • #1
    • 25th Jul 06, 11:14 AM
    0 WOW
    China Bus Advice 25th Jul 06 at 11:14 AM
    China Bus Syndrome
    Some people may be aware of a cheap travel option between US cites using the so called ‘China Bus’ network.
    It is not without its pitfalls and is not suitable for all travellers or all times of day but with good planning can be a cost effective means of travel.

    Overall Advice
    You pay for what you get.
    This service is great if it all goes well, can be a nightmare if it doesn’t (like Ryan Air )
    If you are single or a couple (we’re over 50) and are flexible it can be a great deal.
    I wouldn’t advise this for families or the faint of heart!

    Some details
    The Good
    All US routes served by buses
    Possibly best resource to use for bus travel in US
    New York Specific
    Hover over bus info gives links to maps of pickups\departures.
    China Town Bus routes Between NYC and BOS
    Specific info re NYC and Bos travel

    Competitors
    Greyhound Service
    $20 single.
    It is now possible to book on-line using a non US credit\debit card.
    You then pick up the tickets at the office.

    Reply from CS at Greyhound
    If you have a non-U.S. credit card or a VISA/MASTERCARD debit card, you can purchase Greyhound Will Call tickets online (select the "Will Call" delivery option on our Ticket Center's (4) Fare page) and then pick up your tickets at the bus terminal before departure
    Amtrack
    Better than British Rail, airport style check-in (and security)
    Discount codes can be found over the net

    MegaBus
    Can have sale fares of 1$



    The Bad
    Safety
    Reliability
    Reviews
    Over 3 years old review
    Pros
    Can be very cheap, as low as $10 single, $18 return NYC to BOS
    Can be quicker than flying or taking the train comparing Total start and finish times of journey.
    Can be convenient for pickups drop offs
    Can be more frequent than the train or plane.

    Cons
    Language
    Expect Mandarin Chinese as a main and only language, may need to use handsigns to get understood.
    Advice
    Get all information you need before you travel.
    Getting a seat
    If the bus is full you may have to fight to get on as there will be no additional buses laid on and there are no seat reservations.
    Advice
    Avoid high capacity routes\days i.e. Fridays\Sundays or US holiday weekends.
    Sharpen those elbows…
    Greyhound allegedly add extra buses
    When Greyhound fills a bus with passengers, on the regularly scheduled departure, we "call-up" an additional bus referred to as an "extra section." In this way, we can accommodate passengers beyond the seating capacity of a single bus for any given schedule.

    Locations of pickups\drop offs
    Lots of street side pickups that are not that well marked.
    Even though there are maps on their site, some locations are well hidden!
    Or the bus may have to\feel like stopping a little further down\up the street.
    Advice
    Try to get a pickup location that is well lit\populated\obvious.
    May NOT be suitable for
    1) Late nights\early mornings when no-one is around but you and all your
    belongings on the sidewalk.
    2) Mid Winter when it’s snowing\freezing.
    Boston South Station is ideal as it is inside and has a ‘Platform’ number
    Drop off location is not as critical, just make sure you’re near a subway or be prepared to hail a Taxi. Again think of security.

    Greyhound bus locations can be in a dubious part of town

    Loading\Unloading luggage
    You have to DIY so pack light!
    Only ‘One luggage per person’ (means one case goes in the storage bin under the bus)
    You can take hand luggage on board.
    Advice
    Pack light
    Comfort
    Not exactly state of the art!



    My experience:
    I travelled on the Fung Wah line from Boston to NYC July 2005
    I picked this line over others because:
    1) The pickup point was obvious, well populated\lit and near a T stop (Boston Metro)
    2) I could travel at an off peak time, so no full bus!
    3) I could book the ticket on-line from the UK and use my UK card (not possible with Greyhound)
    4) The drop off point was OK for me, I planned to get a Taxi
    Fung Wah
    South Station Bus\TrainDepot
    On the RED LINE T Stop

    Fung Wah depot in NYC Near Manhattan Bridge
    139 Canal St China Town

    We arrived more than the 30 minutes before departure at the easily identifiable platform. Handed our email confirmation over and were put on the earlier bus that was about to leave. Language was not a problem, but we did not have a problem.
    Coach left on time empty, not a death trap nor unduly uncomfy. Definitely no seat back video!
    Stopped for a ‘rest’ after two hours, driver counted passengers before he left.
    We travelled as a couple so even though my wife was last on I was holding the fort JIC.

    Arrived on time and in the right place.
    Got a taxi within 2 minutes.

    We looked at the Washington to NYC on an earlier visit.
    The pickup time was very early on a lonely street, I tried to ask for fares and times from a woman who spoke no English, the drop off was on another street.
    We caught the train.
    Last edited by blindman; 22-02-2012 at 1:01 PM.
Page 1
  • DM2007
    • #2
    • 25th Jul 06, 12:36 PM
    • #2
    • 25th Jul 06, 12:36 PM
    Interesting.

    will bear this in mind for the future
  • lily the pink
    • #3
    • 25th Jul 06, 1:44 PM
    • #3
    • 25th Jul 06, 1:44 PM
    Not something I would venture to do with my 3yr old in tow but would have been an option a few years ago. I think this is an intesting tip for anyone looking to save a bit of money travelling overland in USA.
    • blindman
    • By blindman 26th Jul 06, 7:05 PM
    • 5,206 Posts
    • 4,216 Thanks
    blindman
    • #4
    • 26th Jul 06, 7:05 PM
    • #4
    • 26th Jul 06, 7:05 PM
    Update to the Greyhound Bus service.
    Reply form their CS 26th July 2006


    If you have a non-U.S. credit card or a VISA/MASTERCARD debit card, you can purchase Greyhound Will Call tickets online (select the "Will Call" delivery option on our Ticket Center's (4) Fare page) and then pick up your tickets at the bus terminal before departure.
    • hethmar
    • By hethmar 28th Jun 09, 11:53 AM
    • 10,399 Posts
    • 9,828 Thanks
    hethmar
    • #5
    • 28th Jun 09, 11:53 AM
    • #5
    • 28th Jun 09, 11:53 AM
    Thanks for that. I think the problem for us is that we arent near a large city - so choice is limited and its a one way trip.

    Its about the same cost on the greyhound as the amtrak train but the greyhound hours are better. The car hire was very expensive as there is only one car hire place and they need someone to drive the car back from Boston after we drop it off there.

    Difficult one. I can get cheap greyhound if I book 3 weeks in advance so Ive got about a week to fart about deciding. I spose in a car you can stop when you want and where you want but it seems a lot of money for hire for one day.
    • fifeken
    • By fifeken 28th Jun 09, 1:09 PM
    • 2,323 Posts
    • 1,208 Thanks
    fifeken
    • #6
    • 28th Jun 09, 1:09 PM
    • #6
    • 28th Jun 09, 1:09 PM
    Thanks for that. I think the problem for us is that we arent near a large city - so choice is limited and its a one way trip.

    Its about the same cost on the greyhound as the amtrak train but the greyhound hours are better. The car hire was very expensive as there is only one car hire place and they need someone to drive the car back from Boston after we drop it off there.

    Difficult one. I can get cheap greyhound if I book 3 weeks in advance so Ive got about a week to fart about deciding. I spose in a car you can stop when you want and where you want but it seems a lot of money for hire for one day.
    Originally posted by hethmar
    Remember, this written about 3 years ago - a lot may have changed since then.
    • blindman
    • By blindman 28th Jun 09, 1:34 PM
    • 5,206 Posts
    • 4,216 Thanks
    blindman
    • #7
    • 28th Jun 09, 1:34 PM
    • #7
    • 28th Jun 09, 1:34 PM
    Not a lot.:rolleyes:

    I used a China bus route from Philly to Washington in March this year. $15 each for a single.

    I then used a 'new' carrier from Washington to NYC. $22 each IIRC for a single.

    The information is still current.
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