eclectic_boy: (Zeno)
[personal profile] eclectic_boy
Lonnnnnnng day. First I put up the signs I'd made last night--recruiting for volunteers to join the Swarthmore neighborhood team for the Obama campaign, ending at McCabe library where I discovered what I'm going to do tomorrow: try to solve an Augean-stables-sized puzzle of hundreds of classical CDs, the booklets for those CDs, and the trays/inlay cards for those CDs, all available free for the taking, but arrayed in three separate, utterly random piles. Much assembly required!


The ride in to 30th St on SEPTA was great because I got into a long conversation with an English professor at Drexel, about how he sees declining frequency in reading physical books causing a serious dropoff in reading comprehension and the ability to structure a lengthy argument. I got to recommend Slings and Arrows to him, since he's a Shakespeare scholar and he'd never heard of the series.

I took Megabus, as usual. I'm normally on an earlier bus, so I wonder whether the afternoon buses are always this behind schedule: it left an hour late, and the buses several other queues of people were waiting for were also quite behind schedule. This wait was also enlivened by a great conversation, with a genetics grad student, about Darwinian vs. Mendelian paradigms, Portland game stores (she says I have to go to one near 3rd and Lakeside), Ayn Rand, and movies - she says the makers of Coraline (not Gaiman, though) have a new one coming out soon.

I got into NYC at 4:20, had good luck CD-seeking, and then met Abby for dinner at the Skyline Diner. We spent half the time talking, and the rest working on clues for our next cryptic crossword (check a SWAPA near you, hopefully in the near future). Continued good luck with interviews, Abby!

At 8:00 I headed a few blocks west to the (new) Megabus departure location. I got there at 8:10 for an 8:40 bus and was surprised at how long the Philadelphia line was, until I learned that most of it consisted of people waiting for the 7:40. I got to talking with the woman in line in front of me, also an 8:40er, who brought up the idea of bailing in favor of Boltbus, which boarded back next to the Diner. After waffling a little I decided that regardless of when the next Megabus for Phila came it'd probably be sold full with 7:40ers, so I wouldn't be getting on it, and so the two of us headed to the Boltbus area. (I couldn't get wifi working from the Megabuses on the site (to non-Phila destinations), so I wasn't able to see what Bolt's schedule was, but had decided that NJ Transit/SEPTA was another, more reliable, fallback.)

When we got to the Boltbus area it was almost deserted - just one other person, who was hoping there would be a Philadelphia bus at 9:00 since he had a ticket for 9pm for the wrong date, and he was hoping their weekday schedule was the same (and that they'd honor his future ticket). I was dubious, thinking that if nobody else was around there probably wasn't a bus coming soon, and even if there was there was no guarantee it wouldn't be sold out. So I headed to Penn Station (she stayed for Bolt). NJT was fine, and currently SEPTA is as well, Slower but actually here -- I checked a Bolt schedule from Penn Station, and there had been one at 8:15 and the next wouldn't be until 10:15, so I made the right choice. This way I'll be able to get the last Swarthmore train; taking Bolt I almost certainly would've missed it, meaning an extra delay as I took the El-and-109 route. (Does the El even run after midnight, or is it a surface bus?)

So a very long day that leaves me tired but happy, and a lot more to be done tomorrow (starting with meeting the new Obama field organizer for this part of Delaware County). Do any Megabus users know if these delays are common for later buses, and I should go back to my usual morning trips? Also, I swear the Megabus website two months ago had a new feature that let you see how far behind schedule its buses were; it definitely is not on the site now (maybe it showed too much dirty laundry?). Anyone else see that feature earlier in the summer, to prove I'm not crazy?

Date: 2012-08-17 05:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tirerim.livejournal.com
I think the El switches to surface buses around 0:30, depending on exactly where you're getting on.

My only experience with taking MegaBus from New York (to Boston) was horrid; I think we wound up leaving about two hours after originally scheduled, with a similar sort of domino effect, and employees who were rude and unhelpful about the situation. Bolt seems generally more reliable, though I have found MegaBus fine between Boston and New Haven (which is a much less popular route).

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