24 September 2012

Athens to Atlanta for $3.50!

I originally wrote this post for Visit Athens, GA but I wanted to share it here, too!

The drive from Athens, GA to Atlanta is relatively short at roughly 70 miles and takes about an hour and a half. I'm sure I speak for a lot of you, however, when I say that the drive up 316 can be... painful. Sometimes, I'd just rather not drive. If that's the case for you, as well, you know the other options are relatively limited. The light-rail system connecting the two cities isn't coming any time soon and I sure don't have the time and energy for a bike ride.

So, when I needed to meet my family in Downtown Atlanta for an afternoon engagement, I rode the Megabus.
After spending the spring semester in Europe, public transportation and I got really comfortable. There was no other option. That mentality has made it's way across the Atlantic, but hasn't reached south of the Mason-Dixon. That's okay. If you want to spend $3.85 to go twenty miles down the road, I have no problem with it. that my one-way ticket to the Civic Center MARTA Station in the shadow of the W Hotel cost just $3.50 and saved me the stress of driving down I-85.

I bought the ticket on the Megabus website about five days before my Wednesday afternoon trip. I brought my ticket with a confirmation number to the Athens Multi-Modal Transit Center, about a block from the Classic Center on W. Broad Street.
The bus left on time at 1:30 pm., joined by about 25 other people on the bus from all walks of life. Some passengers carried suitcases but most had nothing more than a purse or backpack. There were older people, young people, students and even a baby. Yes, she cried on the bus. Glad I packed my headphones! A lot of the Megabus routes use one of their special buses with outlets, wi-fi and other creature comforts but because I traveled on a low-traffic day, we were in a classic coach bus. 

At 2:59, we pulled off the Downtown Connector, turned left on Ivan Allen Blvd. and made it to the MARTA station. I only took a one-way trip but from what I experienced, I would definitely take the Megabus again.

When Megabus Would Be Ideal...
  • If you'll be picked up or staying around Downtown Atlanta, maybe visiting friends at Georgia Tech or heading to Philips Arena for a concert.
  • If you don't mind the contraints of a departure time.
  • If you're heading to the ATL Airport. Get off the bus and walk down to the MARTA station for about a $5 commute, compared with a $40 shuttle. 
  • If your schedule works with their timetable. Most buses leave Athens around 8 a.m., 1 p.m., and 6 p.m.

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