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Traveling Around By Train Or Bus?

Discussion in 'North America' started by Ava, May 6, 2016.

  1. Ava

    Ava Member

    I don't drive, so when I travel in the US I choose between the bus or train. These days buses are very competitively priced and you can travel between cities with some planning for a couple of dollars. I use Megabus whenever I can, and went from Boston to New York for a $0.50 booking fee a couple of years ago (ticket was free).

    Getting the $1 fares are possible if you book early and are flexible, and most companies release a limited number. I have had cheap fares on Greyhound, and Bolt Bus, and they also do loyalty schemes so you can get upgrades, free tickets and also priority boarding. Don't dismiss the bus, because it can save you a lot of money.

    I do use the trains if the timetables work out with my plans. Some journeys are affordable (specials or traveling off-peak) but are less flexible than the bus. Often on the bus, if you miss one, the driver will let you on the next one if space permits.
  2. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    I use busses quite a lot in Europe as some of the trains are just too expensive. I didn't know it was used in the USA too.. I always thought that's very rare.
  3. Norjak71

    Norjak71 New Member

    I prefer trains for a few reasons, and one being normally you aren't that close to people in trains and most have rooms that you can buy so you can be seperate from the majority of people. I like the commute and you just kick back and read a book and enjoy the scenery. I've taken quite a few trains to Chicago from Detroit and they all have all been pleasant experiences. The one time I took a long bus-route was from Mississippi in Biloxi to Detroit on leave from the Air Force. It was the longest trip of my life.
  4. djordjem87

    djordjem87 Member

    I never went anywhere by train and I really want to. It seems way cooler than a bus because of the space in the train. You can rent some private car and enjoy in peace and quiet with somebody if it is a long trip. Buses for me were always a bad experience. It is not for me although I really like travelling so I rarely choose. I just go with whatever they offer me. I have a plan to go to Montenegro by train and that is like a 15-hours trip. I really can't wait the summer.
  5. Valerie

    Valerie Active Member

    I'll do either, depending on the situation. In America, I used buses because there wasn't any trains where I lived. The closest was the subways in Manhattan. Buses were far more accessible. That said, I had my own car and bike in America, so the bus was only for group tours and stuff.

    Now in Japan, I absolutely refuse to ride the bus. Some people swear by it. Me, I'd rather deal with the canned sardine events every rush hour than have to deal with the bus-riding customs Japan has. Besides, the train system is uber convenient and rarely has a hiccup in scheduling. Unless someone decides to do something rash or the rail yard is doing maintenance.
  6. Miya

    Miya Active Member

    I prefer trains. Buses are cheaper, but trains are convenient and fast. Plus I hate sitting for a long time on a bus because the seats are so uncomfortable. Train seats are a lot better. I would only take a bus if there was a huge difference in price...
  7. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Trains for me too - I find that especially over long distances they're way more comfortable - you can get up and move about so much easier. Buses tend to be more cramped and confined and have less amenities on board too.

    Plus, I'm kind of partial to the history that trains have - they just seem more "adventurey"!

    My favorite are the Shinkansen (bullet trains) in Japan. So clean, so fast, so efficient - I really couldn't ask for more!
  8. Miya

    Miya Active Member

    Yes, but unfortunately also SOOOOO expensive. I missed my flight once and had to take the Shinkansen back home... the Shikansen ticket cost me as much as my roundtrip flight!
  9. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Yes...that part is definitely true. I think for a tourist it's not so bad, because you can get the JR pass and use the JR lines unlimited for 2 weeks...so it's actually cost effective if you really plan out your trip and maximize how much you use the pass! But if I was living there and was just doing a one off trip, I think in some cases it definitely would be cheaper just to fly (depending on the airline and how far in advance I booked the trip, of course!)
  10. Rachel

    Rachel Member

    I would always choose the train over the bus, even if it meant paying more money. As others have said, at least on a train you can get up and have a wander around, go to the buffet car and move about the carriages freely. Plus, if you are lucky enough to secure seats with a table you've got a nice little area to spread out on for the duration of your journey. Coaches are cramped and once you are in your seat, there's not much chance to get up and stretch your legs until you hit a rest stop. Also, and this is a big consideration if you are going on a long journey - in my experience, the toilets on coaches are literally a cupboard-sized space which in some cases, you almost have to back into because there is so little space. And if you end up sitting near the loo then the stench can be horrendous. Nope, coach travel is definitely not for me!
  11. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    It's cool to travel by train or bus not just because it is cheaper than taxi or car but it gives me the experience of how is it to be a local. Like in Hongkong during rush hour, I experienced the big crowds in the train station. In Singapore, we also take the train or bus depending on where we are going. But there are times that it is more convenient to take the taxi like in the early morning when I am still lethargic and we are going to Universal Studios, taxi is it for me. In Bangkok, we also took a taxi in going to the temple although we were advised against it because most taxi drivers do not use the meter and would just haggle a fixed price. So to be safe, just take the bus when in Bangkok.
  12. Novelangel

    Novelangel Member

    I wish I'd known about the dollar fares when my now-husband and I took our engagement trip to Chicago back in 2010. We paid through the nose for our Amtrak tickets, but at least we enjoyed our trip, which didn't take all that long. It was the first time I'd ever gone any kind of distance on a train, and I really liked it, although getting there was only half the battle. Once in Chicago, we were faced with the problem of how to get to our motel, which was a few miles out of town to save us some money. We ended up on the "L" train, and I had no idea what to do, I was such a rookie. There were friendly folks on the train, luckily, who were willing to help us find our stop point. I would ride the train again in the future, but would definitely want to take advantage of the cheap fares next time.
  13. maxen57

    maxen57 Member

    I've never travelled far by train before so I'd be wondering which will be cheaper if it's travelling the same distance from point A to Point B. I think a train would be more expensive if it can go faster and there were amenities such as a toilet. I'm not sure if all trains are equipped with such but maybe perhaps those that only travel great distances or far reaching places. The journey would be a great experience and not just the destination.