Megabus Experiences: Is Cheaper Better?

High airfares and high gas prices have had many people feeling like they are stuck in a corner. Or at least stuck at home. For me, a Twin Cities resident with friends and family in Chicago, the $100 round trips of the past (AirTran and NW) made it easy to call The Windy City a second home. Likewise, my Cubs-loving acquaintances were only an hour or two away from watching a team that has actually won the world series in the past 100 years.

But, rising fares have recently made the two neighboring cities seem farther away than in the past. A drive is still doable, if you have a car that gets good mileage. But there is an even cheaper alternative: Megabus. A ride between MSP and Chicago averages around $25, depending on when you buy your ticket. That’s cheaper than one tank of gas. But is it worth it?

Most college students and budget travelers had a certain reverence for the bus line, which is owned by Coach USA. You can’t beat the price. But there were a few negatives:
1. The buses arrived later than scheduled. Every. Single. Time.
2. They offered free wi-fi but it often didn’t work.
3. If you don’t have headphones, you’re in for a noisy ride.
4. The drop off point in Minneapolis is a bit dodgy, especially late at night. Basically, it’s under a bridge, next to a vacant lot.

And, to be fair, the good:

1. Price
2. Dropped off in central locations
3. Price
4. Reasonably comfortable
5. Price