Friday, March 8, 2013

Tripper Bus Review


Today's Workout: 40 min tempo run, 6 hills, and some arm work


This time last week I was getting geared up for a weekend in the big city.

Our mode of transportation: Tripper Bus.


The bus goes from Arlington, VA/Bethesda, MD to New York City, and back. They have departures about every hour to two hours and cost about $27 each way. The bus is a "deluxe coach bus" with overhead bins for baggage (similar in size to overhead bins on airplanes), free wifi, on board restrooms, and they provide you with a complimentary bottle of water.

The bus stops are located right by the Rosslyn Metro in Arlington and right next to Penn Station in NYC. You can find details about the stop locations here.

You do not need a reservation, but they are recommended to guarantee a spot on the bus.

An added bonus, each time you reserve a trip with them online you earn a "coupon" for each one-way segment of your trip. When you collect 6 one-way coupons you'll receive a free one-way ticket.

If you do make a reservation online, the ticket is non refundable, however you can change your date/time of departure if it is at least 12 hours prior to travel.

There is no assigned seating on the bus, it's first-come first-serve.

There are electrical outlets on the bus. No pets are allowed. No smoking, no drinking. Cell phones use is allowed (more on this later).

Our Experience:

Getting to the stop is Rosslyn was easy. As soon as we exited the metro we only had about a 2 min walk to the stop. However, the bus didn't show up until about 15 min after the intended departure time. Knowing that we were about to be met with some serious New York traffic, we knew every minute mattered.

The bus makes an additional stop on both trips in Bethesda, MD. I'd say only about 10% of the bus used this stop, the majority had gotten on/off in Arlington.

The staff, although they were late were very friendly, and the crowd on the bus for the most part were well-behaved as well, of course with the exception of the couple sitting directly behind us. This couple insisted on having a loud conversation as if they were in the middle of a bustling restaurant with a bunch of background noise, when in reality they were on a silent bus where people were trying to read/work/sleep. My friend turned around and asked politely if they could at least speak more quietly, and the man rudely told her no. No amount of dirty looks or heavy sighs from the surrounding passengers were going to deter this couple. It always seems to surprise me how many people lack common social decency. My grand plans to get work done for school were foiled.

On the way back, we were prepared. We purchased ear plugs and were good and tired - we thought this would drown out any commotion. Just as we were about to leave the New York stop, a group of drunk girls, having just finished a self-declared boozy brunch, boarded and proceeded to make a raucous. Once we were underway, some of the girls actually left their seat to sit in the aisle right next to us so they could be closer to their friends.

One of the girls, again, sitting right behind us, decided to become best friends with their stranger neighbor and loudly tell this woman her entire life story (she is a quarter Hispanic, but they don't really speak it but she wishes they did. Also, her parents were really strict about money growing up in case you were wondering). Luckily, the booze really kicked in and she feel asleep. Not  as sound asleep as the man in front of us who was snoring away. Even ear plugs could not drown these folks out. Finally, I was able to get some work done. The outlet kept my laptop charged, the wifi was fast enough that it was worth using, and traffic was light so we made good time home. Weighing the pros and cons, I really don't know if I would take it again. Honestly, you get what you pay for. It's a really affordable way to get to New York. Not driving yourself saves you gas money, tolls, and allows you the time to rest or do other things while the bus driver does all the work. Flying and the train are great, but tough on the bank account sometimes. However, it seems that 99% of the time, you have to deal with rude and inconsiderate people. The ride takes about 4 and a half hours. I suppose if you know what you're getting into when you book your trip, you won't be disappointed. This is definitely an ideal way to get some trips in if you are strapped with a grad school budget like myself.

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