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Old 09-19-2011, 11:56 PM
 
353 posts, read 1,152,959 times
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And all this time I've used Amtrak.

I need to take advantage of these buses. They sound like a good deal.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Great Falls, VA
771 posts, read 1,204,197 times
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I have taken these several times, some are great, some are not, but they all get the job done.

I find it more convenient to take the ones that leave at 2 am. They are usually not crowded and you can spread to the seat next to you, and since you beat traffic, you get there quickly: usually before 6 am.

Anyway, these are the ones I've tried:

Gotobus

Leaves from Chinatown. I find them to be the worst and try to avoid them. Their buses are dirty, the service is poor and a lot of the drivers / ticket agents don't speak English (which is why customer service is so bad, I guess). On a side note, I took one of their buses to NYC on Thanksgiving Day two years ago, and it was quite an adventure getting a seat! Not even half the people waiting outside for the bus to arrive got a seat. They usually only stop once in Baltimore.

I used to always use them until I discovered Vamoose, and then there was no looking back.

Vamoose

Leaves from Rosslyn. They are my favorite. Good buses, good customer service, and guaranteed seats! Also, back when I used them they had a promotion in which you could get a free ticket after pruchasing four. I remember they stopped once in Baltimore, and once in Maryland.

I haven't used Vamoose in over a year since I have stopped going to NYC, so some things may have changed. However, I still use 'em cheapie buses to go to Canada...


Megabus

Leaves from Union Station. I haven't used them to go to NYC, but I do use them to go to Toronto. Sometimes you get a double decker bus, which are ok. But I've also had some regular and very uncomfortable buses for such a long trip (but so cheap ). They stop in Baltimore, Harrisburg, and Buffalo. If you get a regular bus, make sure you are not in one of the middle seats with limited leg room.

I also took one to Montreal a while ago, but I don't remember which company I used. But it was the most comfortable bus I've ever been on. And that made me really happy, since it was a >15 hour bus ride.

Last edited by Hesky; 09-20-2011 at 11:31 AM..
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Virginia
8,106 posts, read 12,646,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hesky View Post
Vamoose

Leaves from Rosslyn. They are my favorite. Good buses, good customer service, and guaranteed seats! Also, back when I used them they had a promotion in which you could get a free ticket after pruchasing four. I remember they stopped once in Baltimore, and once in Maryland.


Where do you park your car?
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:02 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,831,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgbwc View Post
Where do you park your car?
Vamoose gives you a discount to park at the Kimpton Hotel, right across the street from the pick up point. It's underground parking with attendants 24-7, so a safe place to leave your car for a week or so.
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Great Falls, VA
771 posts, read 1,204,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgbwc View Post
Where do you park your car?
I live a small bus ride from the Dunn Loring metro, so I park my car home, ride the bus to the metro and then I take the metro to Rosslyn.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:06 AM
 
4,711 posts, read 10,861,826 times
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If you ride these buses on weekends or during the summer...A Fairfax County school bus driver might be driving. I have some colleagues that do it on the side.

Makes sense I suppose...school bus drivers already have a properly endorsed CDL license and DOT health card.

A guy once asked me if I wanted to drive a motorcoach back and forth to Atlantic City. I told him, Heck no, I'm not getting stuck on a bus with 50+ blue-haired ladies! LOL
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,831,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hesky View Post
I also took one to Montreal a while ago, but I don't remember which company I used. But it was the most comfortable bus I've ever been on. And that made me really happy, since it was a >15 hour bus ride.
Do they make you stop for an hour or so to check passports at the border? We were thinking of taking the train to Montreal, but have been warned that the wait at the border can take 1-2 hours these days. If they check passports before you even get on the bus, that might be a better way to go.
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:33 AM
 
2,728 posts, read 7,348,256 times
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You can park your car at any of the VRE stations over night, plus parking at most VRE lots is free. So my suggestion would be take the VRE to Union Station, then ride the El Cheapo busses to NYC.
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Great Falls, VA
771 posts, read 1,204,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
Do they make you stop for an hour or so to check passports at the border? We were thinking of taking the train to Montreal, but have been warned that the wait at the border can take 1-2 hours these days. If they check passports before you even get on the bus, that might be a better way to go.
They usually have two drivers, one for the US leg of the trip and one for the Canada leg. When going to Canada, as soon as you get to the border (Buffalo) the new driver makes sure everyone on the bus has a passport (he goes to every seat, and this is slow). Then he drives to the border. Once there, everyone needs to get off the bus and you need to take all your possessions with you. Then you go through immigration and customs, and get back on the bus. The process can certainly take a while.

When coming back to the US, the driver checks everyone's passport before letting you get on the bus, which makes the border crossing process much quicker. Regardless, you still have to get off the bus with all your possessions, go through immigration and customs, etc.

I've always wondered what would happen if someone has to go through secondary screening? Does the bus wait and for how long? What happens if entry is denied? Luckily, when I've made these trips, everyone has been accepted without issue and it usually takes about an hour.

I've never taken Amtrak (because its more expensive), but it seems to me like the bus gets there a bit faster although its probably a lot more uncomfortable. The last time I took the bus from Toronto, we hit Baltimore / DC rush hour traffic + lots of rain because of Lee, and it took us three hours to go from Baltimore to DC. It was torture!
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Old 09-24-2011, 12:20 PM
 
1,196 posts, read 1,862,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
Do they make you stop for an hour or so to check passports at the border? We were thinking of taking the train to Montreal, but have been warned that the wait at the border can take 1-2 hours these days. If they check passports before you even get on the bus, that might be a better way to go.
They always check at the Canadian border because it must be done by canadian officials. Does anyone know of an express bus that leaves from DC to Montreal or at least NYC to Montreal. I never knew that this existed.
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