The end points seem a bit off for a sleeper - I drive between LA and SF about twice s a year, and it usually takes me about 6 hours. Even allowing for an extra hour or so for the bus, unless you fall asleep 5 minutes after getting on and wake up right as the bus pulls in at the destination, you’re still talking about < 8 hours sleep and stumbling around in LA or SF at 6am. Sounds terrible. And the long term pricing looks way too similar to a one hour flight on Southwest if you book it more than a couple of weeks in advance. An overnight bus might make sense for a longer trip though - say LA <-> Portland or LA <-> Phoenix.
It’s only a matter of time before this morphs into the next obvious innovation
Isn’t this just JK Rowling’s “night bus” with less magic? When Potterland gets built they might go for a tie in.
I am old enough to remember the kind of funky Green Tortoise sleeper bus that went up and down the U.S. west coast back in the 1980’s. This looks like a fancier version of that.
I remember something like this touring around Australia in the late 80s. For college students on a budget, Greyhound bus passes were THE way to go, although the idea of buying a beater car for cheap, tootling around in it for several weeks, then selling it at the end of the trip also appealed. daneel and kaibeezytentroy’s experiences, OTOH, are also quite accurate. Sometimes the best thing about the bus trip was being able to get off at the end.
I was just thinking, “You know what’s missing from most long arduous bus trips? Bed bugs. Finally away from you have a better chance of getting bed bugs while taking a bus trip. Awesome…thank you hipsters. Problem silved”."
If I’ve learned anything from 1980s-era hair rock videos…being on the road, luxury bus or no…ain’t easy.
We used to have something like this between our city in China and Beijing. The fast train would take four hours (it got a bit slower later when there were too many accidents), but the slower train took about 10. It was perfect, you would leave at 21:30 and arrive in Beijing at 7:30 the next morning. The beds looked like this:
Each cabin had a set of washbasins at the end and a free water heater, so everyone would bring tea, noodles or something similar. We took our kids a couple of times when the youngest was about 6 months, and didn’t have too many problems.
One time (fortunately without the kids) I took the wrong passport and we missed the train, so we had to take a normal train that was absolutely packed. There were no seats for us, so we bought a couple of foldable stools and tried to settle down in the aisle with the others (the train was so packed that some people had to stay in the single bathroom for the whole carriage - we were lucky). I tried to put my bag under a seat, but someone’s grandma was already lying down there trying to get some sleep. Every two minutes throughout the night, someone had to get past to go to the bathroom. After a night of very little sleep, we got to the outskirts of Beijing and were joined by much more cheerful commuters - including a kid who wanted to practice her English on us for the last hour or two of the journey. We’ve never missed a train since.
Oh, and we never took overnight buses in China - there were far too many accidents to ignore.
[quote=“eraserbones, post:15, topic:76951”]
As I understand it, the problem with air travel is it’s super fast so you can travel way more miles than you would ever think to drive[/quote]
True, at half the speed I might decide to travel only halfway to LA from my home in Honolulu.
That looks like a Bedford Viceroy at the bottom. I had one of those. Splendid machines.
Did I ever tell you about the time I was on a convertible train (two benches facing each other, seating 6 in total; at night, the other 4 bunks are folding into position so all can sleep…this way, they don’t have to figure out which train to use based on where in the schedule it falls) and so – as a young single woman traveling alone – I chose one of the very top bunks, the mirror bunk of which was unoccupied. At some point in the night, a very large man was suddenly on top of me. I shrieked, he mumbled something, and went away. In the morning, a very apologetic PRIEST (full garb) offered to take me out for coffee when we got to our next stop to make amends. Fortunately I spoke French fluently so we were able to converse. It truly was an accident: the train hit a deep curve right when he was climbing up the ladder to the only free bunk.
There’s a book that is probably not worth buying but if you can borrow it somewhere I remember it as being reasonably funny in parts: I Should Have Stayed Home (Amazon link), a book of stories written by professional travel writers about their worst experiences. If I remember correctly, the stories I liked least were the ones written by the most famous writers. Go figure!
BTW: what hit that bus in such a way that people were flipped upside down in the air and then sucked out the far side windows? Seemed more like a bomb than a T-bone crash.
That video looks remarkably like the video I saw on a Chinese bus warning you to wear your seat belt. I thought that in a crash of that magnitude the seat belt wouldn’t help much.
The bus missed an exit and started reversing back to reach it again, but a truck hit it at high speed and sent it skidding about 165 feet down the road.
It looks like the only person who was killed was the truck driver, although there were lots of injuries.
The last school trip I went on (in China) one of the school buses hit the other one.
I use sleeper trains whenever possible (which is rarely) and after the first night ever, with disturbed sleep (but still the sense of being rested), it’s always worked well for me. I’m gutted that most of the long-distance sleeper trains are being shut down. The airline industry is a massive con as far as I can see - heavily if indirectly subsidised and massive unaccounted-for externalities.
I had my backpack stolen on a similar overnight train in Italy; I didn’t realise what had happened until I felt the two men reaching into my pockets where I kept my wallet and passport. I sat up quickly, and they sat down on either side of me and asked for money. It was only after I’d kicked them out that I realised that they had taken my backpack, which was in the luggage rack above my friend’s bed. He slept through the whole thing. (I think they must have thrown it out of the window and then come back - they left empty-handed when I was awake).
One of the best things about bus and train travel over air travel is that the stations are in the center of town, not an hour or two away and requiring additional transportation to get into town. When you add in that additional cost of time to go from Point A to Point B, the trip needs to be more than about 6-7 hours of driving time to break even, and that’s not even taking into account the cost difference.
Except that in the U.S., long distance train fare can cost more than the equivalent airfare. But that’s an ENTIRELY different thread!