Tag Archives: Megabus

My Megareview of Megabus: Houston to Dallas

As promised, over the weekend I took my inaugural trip on Megabus. Here’s how it went…

Round-trip ticket between Houston and Dallas was only $4.50 when I purchased it. Much MUCH cheaper than gas to move between the two cities. I purchased the ticket online through the Megabus website, and it was as simple as that. BTW there’s no physical “ticket”. Just print out the page (or have your reservation number handy on your phone. That’s how the operators will check your reservation before you board the bus.

I’m a public-transit rider already. Since the Megabus stop is located in downtown Houston, it was a very quick Metro ride to get there from my house, so no need for parking. But in Houston there is no overnight parking area. If you are traveling via Megabus, you’ll need to ride public transit, take a cab or have a friend drop you off. To my knowledge they don’t provide parking spaces in any of the Texas area cities.

The bus picks up in a surface parking lot. As anyone in Houston knows, this could be a recipe for disaster if your bus is running late, because the heat can get to some patrons very quickly if you’re just standing outside. The attendants set up a tent for us and it was much appreciated, but the heat and humidity were quite stifling that day so the tent didn’t help too much. There were no chairs to sit in, so you need to be prepared for a potentially long wait. One of the ladies waiting for San Antonio almost fainted, and we had to get her some water. Luckily she was ok by the time the Dallas bus pulled up. But seeing as Texas heat will only get worse through the end of August, it would behoove Megabus to work out some better accommadations now before a more serious incident occurs.

After about 20 minutes, the brand-new double decker bus pulls up. Great styling and a wonderful, unique new fixture to Texas auto culture. Boarding the bus I immediately took a seat at the top. A/C was going full blast so it was cool and comfortable (and I was DEFINITELY glad to be out of the heat of the waiting area). I checked the lights, plugs and A/C at my seat… everything worked perfectly. Wi-Fi took a min, but it worked ok for about half the trip. It was a smooth, easy ride with no further issues. And my phone was FULLY CHARGED when we arrived in D/FW.

3 1/2 hours later, we pull into Grand Prairie’s bus stop. Since the Megabus is direct between sites, the drive time was right on schedule without any hold-ups. But as I was trying for an all-transit trip, Grand Prairie turned out to be painfully inconvenient. It’s a $35 cab-ride to downtown Dallas from there. But even that aside, the total trip cost was still only $40 at that point.

The final verdict: I will probably be taking Megabus again. The actual ride was first-class in my opinion. It’s a great tool for those that like to explore cities, or need a quick low-cost way to visit friends and family without the hassle of a car trip. If they can find some better stop accommodations, then Megabus stands to become a new Texas tradition. I hope they work out those last remaining kinks soon.

Megabus’ rocky start in Texas

For weeks, there has been a buzz going on in Texas, especially among the urban traveller crowd. Megabus, the low-cost intra-city bus line is starting service in the Texas Triangle on June 19th. With bargain basement fairs and chic new buses featuring wi-fi and chargers, the company has definitely succeeded in garnering some attention. Even for me, the new service was worth a try.

Perhaps the best feature of Megabus is chosen locations for pick-ups and drop-offs. For cities, the bus delivers you right to downtown… the center of transit connections, and everything else for the area.

Or so we thought. Apparently Megabus is having some trouble securing a downtown Dallas location, and have messaged ticket-holders that they will be dropped off in Grand Prairie…

This is no small change in location, especially to travelers whose purpose in using Megabus is due to cost. The Grand Prairie site is 13.3 miles from the original rendevous point. It isn’t connected to the DART metro system at all, so now the only remaining option is to seek cab fare from Grand Prairie.

Questions for the Megabus team now abound. Why wasn’t this settled with the city long ago? If people have already booked fares, shouldn’t there be a mechanism in place to get them at least to the appropriate CITY, if not the exact location? If “permission was granted” to Megabus, isn’t the city contractually obligated to keep that agreement? Was the permission ever actually granted?

For some potential riders, this is a big problem, and an indication that Megabus isn’t as professional as their ads portray them to be.