JOSEPH RANJAN

INDIAN BACKPACKER

Toronto to New York by Megabus

Mega bus – A reliable low cost bus transportation service in North America. They operate both in Canada & United States. I saw the online ratings of Mega Bus service is very poor. But in my trips i found they are very good and professional on their service. I use Mega Bus 4 times during my travel in North America and all 4 times they were very professional, very neat and depart punctually. The only issue i face is delayed arrival at destination but that is acceptable. There were huge traffic on the city at certain times and that impact arrival time for sure.

To book ticket for Canada : https://ca.megabus.com/

To book ticket for United States : https://us.megabus.com/

Please note though both links look very similar., it is different site actually. The beauty of Mega bus is they mostly operate 2 deck buses and sell those first row seats of top deck as special tickets with a additional fee. Am lucky enough to get first row seat on top deck on all 4 travel with them.

We have also an option to buy only tickets and not a reserved seat. This will save us some dollars but we have to find a best seat by entering as early as possible inside bus at the time of departure. Only few seats were available for reservation and remaining seats were taken by the people by them self based on how soon they enter bus and pick their favorite seat. The bus top section also glass so it was a nice view and experience to travel on the Mega Bus.

As the travel from Toronto to New York is International they wont allow the passenger without a passport. They did not asked about visa to me but still i showed the driver before i board. I did not see he asked it to anyone ! The bus started from ‘Toronto Coach Terminal’ at 610, Bay Street, Downtown Toronto. The bus started exactly at the departure time.

It took approximately 2.5 hours to reach American border. I thought the bus will cross the border at Niagara Falls. But it was not. It crossed border at the city of Buffalo, USA. Canada and United States were separated by Niagara river. One thing surprised me is no EXIT procedure on Canadian side. Bus crossed the checkpoint without anyone checking anything and crossed the border through the ‘Peace bridge’ and entered United States.

As soon as bus entered US Customs building we were left in the bus for about 15 – 20 mins until the driver unload all luggage and kept near the immigration office entrance. Once he done that he opened the bus door and asked us to clear the US immigration procedure. We took all our luggage and go and visit the immigration officer. As i come from Canada the immigration went super easy… I heard a lot about American visa officers being rude during immigration process at airport but thank god i did not face anything like that. Visa officer asked me if am flying back home from USA or Canada. I told i will be back to Canada after 4 days and fly back home from Canada only. Then he said i have to carry a card with me and handover it to Canadian officials when i exit USA and charged me USD $6 for that.

That surprised me because that means there will be no EXIT process in USA when i exit the country !!! Now i understand why in Australia they did not put a EXIT stamp when i came out. Because almost all countries put a departed stamp when i exit. Now i understand it may be a global procedure followed by this developed countries that they do log only ENTRY ! Exit is being tracked via passport swipe on airline check in or friendship countries network immigration check-in process only.

Then i put my luggage for scanning under a machine and then i took it with me to bus. It took nearly 2 hours for everyone to come back in the bus. A passenger kind of walked a little away from the bus just to see things around and a immigration officer rushed to him and warned him for doing that. He told to go inside bus and not to come outside. Then the bus started and moved inside USA. The first board i saw after that point is ‘Welcome to New York’. New York province of USA is the border of Canada (Ontario Province).

Then bus traveled though the National Highways of USA and super scenic visuals all the way to New York City. Just surprised to see the speed limit of the US National highway is 65KMS ??!?? Seriously ?? In India certain places the speed limit is up to 100KM. Mostly 80KM. Interstate Highways are more similar to Indian National Highways. In fact i can say Indian National Highways are super good than US Highways. Lot of tolls on the way and they had something called ‘EZ Pass’. Our bus had that EZ Pass so it entered the designated lane for EZ Pass holders and never had to stop on tolls. The tolls makes sense because the side path and center lane maintenance was tooo good in US High ways. Such a pleasure to ride through it.

Very rare to saw a vehicle which is polluting. I would say nearly NO. Even large trucks were so clean and packed well. This is something to learn from them. When bus was near to New York City before it enter the Manhattan via Lincoln bridge the superb stunning view of New York City will steal our heart in seconds.

Seats were little congested but not bad.There was a toilet inside the bus. It was very neat. The air condition was very good inside. Driver announced every stop arrival on a Mic. So people get to wake up when their stop comes. They stopped at 2 locations during the travel for 15 minute interval. So it was comfortable to get up from the seat and have a walk around.

They dropped us at “7th Avenue 27th Street” mega bus stop location. There was a ‘Link NYC’ machine near the stop so you can access free Internet on phone. It was a bit near to Empire State Building & Times Square and can go there by walk. There was a Subway train station near by to continue to our destination in NYC. I think the station name is ’28th Street’.

Overall the journey on mega bus was a super happy experience!