So I farewelled WMU on Friday. Yes sad. I don’t want to go into it (too much to say now) – but what lies ahead is travel and adventure to say the least – and a lot of it by bus. My path now takes me to Toronto, Ontario – Canada. My Grandfolks and cousin live out in Mississauga so I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to pop up there after being in Michigan. But moreso, it’s my first time actually travelling.
Here in the North West Megabus provides an affordable way to travel in relative comfort. Greyhound also provides a more connected network, although comfort levels vary. Me being le typical college student is on a budget. I could have flown, but that’s too pricey and in my opinion too easy.
So what did I do? Took a series of busses. Why? Well I should have booked an Amtrak train to Detroit earlier, but no, so I took a bus. It was via Lansing – I wanted to see it, albeit briefly.
- Kalamazoo – Lansing (15:25 – 17:15) (~ 30 min layover) on Indian Trails (Greyhound Codeshare)
- Lansing – Detroit. (17:45 – 19:45) (~ 4.5hr layover) on Greyhound
- Detroit – Pittsburgh (00:15 – 5:30) (~2hr layover) on Megabus
- Pittsburgh – Toronto (7:15 – 14:00) on Megabus
Kalamazoo – Lansing was pleasant enough on Indian Trails. I don’t believe the wi-fi was actually working. But leg room was decent. Clean enough, and a load factor at around 0.6.
Lansing – Detroit was interesting. Bus was packed, and this Greyhound was fairly aged. Some seats unclean – not dirty though. Heating was nearly burning my foot. Legroom was shocking – even for me a not-so-tall gentlemen. But nonetheless, I was fine – it was a short hop. Got to see Michigan State also.
But then I was back in ‘The D.’ Chilled for an hour in the Greyhound terminal, trying to plot my next move. I walked to the Rosa Parks Bus Terminal. Not bad, but with nothing to do, I decided to do some exploring. Baggage storage was not available at Rosa Parks, but there was some back the the GH terminal – NB: not for a large duffel though. I ended up having dinner at Luci and Ethels Diner – it’s genuine, and the food was affordable and tasty – topped as an American experience. Locals are known, and the service is as expected. Free wifi!
00:15 the bus departs for Pittsburgh – not from actually within the terminal but just outside – this could stump you. Megabus was clean on the inside, and much more comfortable. Leg room, power-points and wifi was provided onboard.
Pittsburgh: We arrived at an early 05:30. I asked if there was anywhere to go – McDonalds is about a 5 – 10 minute walk into town, and they’re open by the time arrived. Wifi there, and breakfast before my next leg. Back at the bus station (which really it isn’t – it’s just the road portion under the convention center) a line for the Toronto bus was already formed. No problem, I was going to sleep – sorry for the poor girl who sat next to me. I kept moving between states of sleep and minor alertness nearly leant onto her. So I’m the one playing the ‘weird bus guy’ stereotype.
About 20 minutes out from Buffalo when we hit a snow-storm. I’ll upload the video soon.
Border security is interesting. Get everything off the bus – go through immigration/customs clearing (just think of it like passport control at an airport), then reload the bus. International Exchange students! Remember to hand in your ‘Departure Card’ or ‘I-94.’ I had to run back in to hand mine in…
I arrived into a strangely sunny Toronto, then figuring out how to get to where I needed to be. More in my next blog post!