Washington DC to New York on Megabus!

I was excited from the time I saw photographs of megabus! Travelling on the upper deck of the double decker bus was high up on the bucket list as I prepared travel plans. Unlike Greyhound, Megabus offered only point-to-point bookings. The return journey from Washington was the last choice I had, to try the megabus. We (I and my colleague) decided to book our return journey from Washington with a break at New York. We finally decided to book on megabus from Washington DC to New York, and on Greyhound for the last leg from New York to Rochester.
My first spotting of a Megabus! Its so huge!
Megabus had around 20-odd departures from Washington DC to New York - some of them operating non-stop, and some with a pick-up point at White Marsh, Baltimore. I looked at all the departure leaving between 1700hrs and 1830hrs - we had to connect to a 0045hrs departure from New York to Rochester. Finally, I booked seats for the bus departing at 1800hrs. I opted for seats on the second row in the upper deck - the first row was terribly expensive, and I had my reservations about leg room.

May 14, 2017:
Terribly tired, we took a WMATA bus on route #X2 from a stop near White House to Union Station Garage. After getting to Union Station, we headed straight to the Megabus gates to find when our boarding would begin. We did not receive a response, except a blunt answer - "wait near the podium". I left my colleague there, and walked out of the garage to click some pictures and returned by around 1715hrs. Boarding was yet to begin for our bus. Boarding commenced a little past 1745hrs. We were asked to queue up. The queue was short, however, and moved very soon. The gate agent marks passengers present on a boarding chart, and also allots seat numbers for passengers without a pre-booked seat.
Megabus occupied portion of the Union Station Garage.

This was my bus!

My bus just before boarding started. The door opened is for the luggage stowage area.

Boarding happened from the rear door, this was probably because the luggage bay was at the back, and it was convenient for passengers to leave their luggage there and then board the bus. We did not have any bags to leave in the bay, and just walked to the bus. I was quite excited about the bus, and just hurried up stairs to my seat at the front of the upper deck. There were no overhead racks to leave bags, and we had to leave them under our seat. The mobile charger points were also placed in a very awkward place. The airconditioner was not turned on, since idling of engines was prohibited at the boarding area (probably due to the low roof). We started off from Washington Union Station a little past 1810hrs. The bus was quite empty as we left from Union station. There was slow moving traffic on Route 95 quite most of the distance.
The lower deck. 

Stairway from the top to the bottom. This one is the front stairway.

The upper deck. The seats having numbers printed are reserved seats.

The skyview roof..

We did not enter downtown baltimore and continued on Route 95. We transversed Fort McHenry Tunnel and rushed towards White Marsh. After some time, we turned off the highway and headed towards White Marsh Park-and-Ride lot, for the only enroute stop this bus had. We reached the pick-up point at 1930hrs. A large crowd was waiting here to join the bus. I got off the bus through the front door and took some pictures. The bus was full in no time, ad we got moving again at 1937hrs. We joined the freeway soon later, and continued our journey towards New York. The ride was getting interesting as it got dark. We did not stop for a break anywhere, but I did spot other operators like Greyhound and Boltbus stop for break on the way. I dozed off for a while - there was nothing to do, nothing to see, and it was one very tired day. It began raining a little past 2130hrs - I woke up hearing water droplets crash on the glass. The rain was quite heavy, and could see vehicles slowing down a bit.
Waiting at White Marsh..

Boarding in process..

I kept moving in and out of sleep. I realised we were near as we descended a flyover and entered a toll gate lane. That was the toll gate before the Lincoln Tunnel. We entered the tunnel soon later and rushed towards New York. We ran past the flyovers that lead to Port Authority bus station, and rushed towards 7th Avenue, where megabus services terminate. We were quite early. The bus finally dropped us at the megabus "arrivals" bus stop on 7th avenue at 2237hrs - a good 23 minutes before schedule.

Notes: The bus, DD717, was a VanHool TD925 Double Decker coach, owned by Stage Coach USA, and operated on the Megabus banner. Megabus was a game changer in the US, offering low cost, no frills bus services on intercity routes. Unlike Greyhound, megabus doesn't own bus station, or offer transfer services. The reviews on the internet about megabus were quite mixed, and I felt the same as well. While the bus did depart on time, arrive before time, and offer us non-stop ride from one place to the other, I was quite disappointed about the boarding experience. It felt quite disorganised - there were no clear instructions about queuing - although there were lots of people queuing up for buses to New York. I was excited being in a double decker bus, but I was quite disappointed with the lack of storage space inside the bus. The power plugs were placed very oddly between the two seats, protruding into the already limited leg room. Overall a "good" experience - the bus seemed great for short rides. I would not prefer them for very long rides.

Amenities:
Blanket: No
Water: No
Snacks: No, Did not stop for a break
Charging Point: Available, Worked.
Entertainment: Available, Not used.
WiFi: Yes, Worked throughout

Ratings:
Bus Quality: 4.75/5 (Good bus. No storage inside)
Maintenance: 5/5
Cleanliness: 5/5
Amenities: 5/5 (all promised amenities were present, and worked)
Driving: 5/5
Crew behaviour: 5/5
Punctuality: 5/5

Overall: 4.95/5
Good One!

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