This post is about my first trip on Megabus, roundtrip from St. Louis to Chicago.
In January 2012 I emailed Megabus asking about making online reservations for a trip that would include my wheelchair. At that time there was only one way to do it, as this reply indicates:
Currently the only way to reserve for a special needs request is thru our toll free # at 877-463-6342. I am sorry this is uncomfortable for you but the good news is that you will be able to make this request online in the very near future. My understanding is that the developers of our website have made this feature a priority.
I’d explained my uneasiness with making phone calls, they don’t have a station like Greyhound & Amtrak.
In mid-June I was able to make online reservations for myself and my husband to visit Chicago last weekend. As promised in 2012, the website now allows me to indicate I’d need room for my wheelchair. I’ve been on Amtrak & Greyhound with the wheelchair, I didn’t know what to expect with Megabus, neither of us had used Megabus before.
To make the most of a 3-day weekend in Chicago we booked a bus leaving at 3:05am on Friday, August 1st (his birthday). A week before we got an email saying the departure would be delayed 15 minutes.
Others waiting with us on 14th Street didn’t like the new St. Louis stop being located on 14th Street, it used to be west of St. Louis’ Union Station, because of a lack of a parking lot. We walked to the stop from our loft. Via email:
Until **Monday** July 7th 2014, the Megabus stop for all arrivals and departures in St. Louis will be located West of Union Station on the East Side of 21st St near the intersection of Clark St and 21st St. The bus stop will not be in use after this date.
From **Monday** July 7th 2014 onwards, the megabus stop will be located on the Northbound side of S 14th Street, between Spruce Street and Clark Avenue.
The bus to Chicago originated in Dallas/Ft. Worth, with stops in Little Rock & Memphis, before coming to St. Louis. As such, many seats were taken. The bus had two drivers, they switched during the break halfway to Chicago.
The return bus had only one driver, who returned to Chicago. Next trip I’ll book a bus that isn’t coming from Memphis so it’ll be empty when we board, allowing my husband to sit across the aisle from me. It seemed like the trip up the drivers were speeding while the return trip the driver stuck to the speed limit. Both arrived basically on time.
When we rolled up to both buses I was greeted by name, they were expecting me. I wasn’t expecting such personal service for a low-cost carrier.
I still prefer rail travel, but Amtrak costs more and they’re currently doing track work, so Amtrak is using charter buses.
The cheapest dates to travel on Megabus, like airlines, is Tuesdays & Wednesdays. Glad to have another option to reach Chicago, Kansas City, and others.
— Steve Patterson