Bus Guide in Chinatown
The word is out – the cheapest way to get from one big city to the other US city is "Chinatown bus". In recent years, this option has become the option of travel for travelers in New York, Washington DC and Boston and recently on the West Coast. Students, backpackers and many other savvy travelers have long loved the low-mile prices offered by these bus companies. Despite the popularity of these bus lines, it is still difficult to find information on bus transportation in Chinatown.
What exactly is "Chinatown Bus"? Read and you'll have an inside footprint on this great budget travel option.
Chinese Bus History
The Chinese bus phenomenon began in the late 1990s when a businessman in Chinatown, New York, began operating a daily bus service from Chinatown, New York, to Chinatown, Boston. The service was aimed at Asian immigrants who wanted to buy or visit relatives in both cities and needed cheap and convenient transportation. The service was bare bones – no advertising, customer service or bus station. Customers simply arrived at the bus stop, waited for the bus (or van) and paid the driver on board. For those who are willing to do it, they offer virtually the same service as traditional bus companies at a considerably lower price. The word has long spread and all people started to use the service. This has become especially popular with students in budget or people for whom service was easier.
Soon more bus companies duplicated this model and began offering services in other cities. You will now find this type of bus transport in Philadelphia, Virginia, Baltimore Washington DC, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco. At this point, the term "Chinese bus" is used freely to describe this type of low / low-floor service. Many, if not most, do not have Chinatown as their main place and do not even deal with the immigrant population at all. These operators are also sometimes referred to as "curbside" operators.
How can tickets be so cheap
$ 15 between New York and Boston? $ 25 from Las Vegas to Los Angeles? It seems difficult to understand. Chinese bus companies are able to maintain low prices because they operate fundamentally different from traditional carriers. Especially the service is very basic. There is little in the way of customers or equipment. Most of these operators do not have a formal station, instead they get on buses. Avoid traditional advertising in favor of the oral word. In addition, many operators play a very practical role in the operation – with a small, independent bus company, you can not see idle leadership. Finally, these operators will make sure they fill their buses. This is why Chinese bus operators usually operate only on heavily traded routes. Some companies actually run buses only at peak
Are they safe?
When these companies first started to work, concerns were raised about safety standards. There is still a controversy in the bus industry as to whether these new adherents follow the same rules as traditional companies. However, a federal government working group dealing with security issues has found that Chinese bus companies are no better or worse than other types of bus companies (ie Charter, buses). All bus companies operating in the US must be subject to the same control standards and must follow the same rules. Realistically, there are probably a number of qualities among Chinese buses. Some are night flying operators trying to make a quick buck, while others are legitimate entrepreneurs who want to grow and run long-term business
What You Should Expect
- No Leisure Service – The driver can be a ticket collector; there will be plenty of customer service.
- Comfortable buses. Despite the low tariffs, buses are generally quite nice. Most buses are comparable to Greyhound, and many of them are actually more luxurious.
- Communication Challenges. Drivers are required to speak English enough to help passengers in case of emergency. In fact, it is often relatively free. At least expect your driver to have an accent.
- Maybe a delay. Many of these bus lines are on heavily congested roads. When the roads are busy, expect a delay.
- Afternoon stops. The buses will have a toilet on board, but it is usually a 10 or 15-minute break on trips for 4 hours. Do not forget to go back to the bus, the driver does not count before leaving at the specified time.
- Full buses. Buses are definitely sold at peak times (weekends and evenings). Book ahead or go early if you want to make room.
- Plastic bags. The special little spell on Chinatown buses is that each aisle's saddle usually has a plastic bag that is tied to the shoulder. I think it's the best way to keep buses clean.
How Do I Find Chinatown Bus?
Again, "Chinatown bus" is a term used to describe the type of operator and not a separate bus company. This category includes many unrelated bus companies. Since most buses in Chinatown do not spend money on advertising, it may be difficult to find out details of timetables and bus stops. Many of the carriers are becoming smart on the internet and relatively few websites with information. Usually by searching the internet, you can get links to the bus to your destination. There are also several directories, such as chinatown-bus.org, which contain links for most bus companies in China and the author's employer, GotoBus.com, is a centralized reservation site that has schedules and sells tickets online for most bus companies in China  Chinese bus is not for everyone. If you want a structured American-style customer service system, you would probably have to keep traditional carriers. However, if you know what to expect and come prepared with adventure and humor, you should enjoy a trip in the cool. You will also enjoy the money you will save!