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Old and Busted: The Jet Set; New Hotness: The Bus Set
There's nothing like flying to cover long distances in a flash, and train travel is a smooth, hassle-free way to get around as well, but for many Americans, it's time to take another look at the bus. Long the preferred mode of transport for bums, winos, and the recently paroled, the economic meltdown has made Greyhound and other bus lines a serious option for the traveling masses whose transportation budgets have evaporated along with so many jobs. Seeing an opportunity to capture a new market, Greyhound has rolled out what it calls a Travel Stimulus Package, with serious savings on service to its more than 2,300 destinations. The package includes a variety of deals, from Friends and Family Companion Fares, where up to three companions can travel at up to 50% off with the purchase of one standard walk-up fare, to Deeply Discounted Advance Purchase Fares, with savings of up to 75% with a ten-day advance purchase.
Take it from me, a notorious cheapskate and bus aficionado: these are good deals. But I've got to warn you, if you've never before stooped to taking an interstate bus trip, your ego might take a hit at first. Bus stations like New York's Port Authority are notoriously scuzzy places, and your seatmate's personal hygiene habits might not measure up to your high standards. In many ways, however, Greyhound is competitive with the more elite methods of travel. The cheapest Amtrak ticket between New York and Washington, D.C. is about triple what you'd pay for the bus, and it barely saves you an hour. Flying is a lot faster, of course, but both airports are far from the city center. So swallow your pride, collect the change that has slipped beneath the couch cushions, and get traveling. You can use the money you saved to drink away the unpleasant memories of the journey when you get to your destination.
[Photo: Bargain John]
· Greyhound Introduces New 'Travel Stimulus Package' [PR Newswire]
· Greyhound [Official Site]
· Bus Travel Coverage [Jaunted]