D.C. to NYC: Twice the Bus
MegaBus has doubled its seating and, yes, doubled the fun. Yesterday, the U.K. operator, which last month kicked off cheapie service to Manhattan, unveiled a double-decker bus -- you know, the kind that is usually seen toting around bug-eyed tourists, not driving 65 along the interstate.
The two-layered bus will join its single sisters on 11 daily routes between the two cities. Seats will start at $1 (plus 50 cents for online booking, $3 by phone). Its schedule is not yet set, and currently there is no way of knowing which type of bus you will be riding. (Also in flux: the pick-up point in D.C. It is currently at 11th and G streets NW, but may eventually move to L'Enfant Plaza.)
If you are lucky enough to get one of the 80-odd seats on the DD, here are some reasons why you can sit back and enjoy the ride. First, the buses are eco-sound. According to data from the Department of Transportation, double-deckers can potentially supplant 79 cars from the highway. In addition, they only use .46 gallons of fuel per passenger (20 percent less than a standard bus), and emit 10 times less carbon dioxide per passenger miles, as compared to cars. Second, the buses come with free WiFi, movies shown on overhead video screens and bud headphones that you can pocket without guilt.
Best of all is the seating. On the bottom level are two tables with cup holders and places for four. The loo is also on the lower level. Two staircases lead to a brighter, airier section, with the best seats in the house: A foursome in the front, with a large windshield, cup holders and sun shield you can pull up and down all the way to Penn Station.
Don Carmichael, senior VP of operations and safety, said sitting upstairs in the front was like a carnival ride. Indeed, you do feel like you're in a stalled Ferris wheel cab, towering over the Smurf-scale landscape below. In addition, because you're so high up and the bus is so outsize, when coming around turns, it looks like Godzilla the Bus is crushing the little cars. Cool.
Personally, during my mock ride, I liked pretending that I was the bus driver. If I ever ride it for real, I might have to bring along a steering wheel, just to freak out the people on earth.
By Andrea Sachs |
June 18, 2008; 6:21 AM ET
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