So, since Fung Wah and Lucky Star are both suspended, discovered some new services.
- GoBuses – just scored a ticket for $10. Midtown to Cambridge (&Newton). This is a rebrand of WorldWideBus. Midtown to Alewife.
- BoltBus – Greyhound & Peter Pan teamed up… prolly under Chinatown bus pressures and the terrible terrible Greyhound and Peter Pan bus services. Reasonable price, but beware of leather seats. Less comfortable than an iron maiden. Last minute bus seats are $25 if you can get one on standby. Otherwise they are starting to price-gauge at >$40 if you buy last minute on the web site. Started out strong. Now quality’s been steadily going down. Midtown to South Station.
- YoBus – also seems to be a child of Greyhound & Peter Pan. This time trying to “brand” itself as a “Chinatown bus”. Tickets even seem to have “Chinatown prices”… sort of. $25. Chinatown to South Station.
- Megabus – cheap. The one time I took it, it wasn’t very well organized and the experience was, overall, meh. But they are Chinatown-priced. So that’s good. Midtown to South Station.
- Actual Greyhound, Peter Pan, yada yada – expensive, crappy, late, terrible service, etc. Avoid.
Also, found out about a new web site: www.gotobus.com. Good start guys – aggregate and create competition. Next step – let small bus owners go back and forth. I’d do it.
As far as Fung Wah and Lucky Star, I find the whole “inspection” thing highly suspect. Fung Wah was forced to shut down by the “US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for inspections and repair services” a while back. About a week ago, Lucky Star was suspended. The girl at the counter at South Station said something about “bus drivers not being able to speak English”.
OK, two major operations fully suspended in a short period of time after operating for many years. Have the regulators been so bad at their job in ensuring that everything is in order as to need a shut down of two companies that provide a much appreciated and needed service?
Greyhound and Peter Pan are meantime increasing prices and trying to corner the market… Having taken Peter Pan, Greyhound, all of Chinatown buses – my personal experience is that Chinatown buses provide a superior service at a better price. Fung Wah ran like clockwork and its bathroom (far from pristine) still looked like an Operating Room next to Greyhound’s petri dish of facilities.
Something is afoot. IMHO, what we are observing is corruption and attempts by Greyhound and Peter Pan to force competition out of the market. Not cool.