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Old Jun 24, 11, 1:27 pm   #1
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With Megabus now providing service between NYC and Binghamton via Short Line, and Short Line offering a $12.50 one-way fare between Binghamton and Ithaca, it is now possible to travel between Ithaca and NYC for less than $20 each way, if one books the Megabus portion far enough in advance. And since the Short Line bus between NYC and Binghamton is the same one that serves Ithaca, there is no need to change buses, and no risk of a mis-connection.
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Old Jun 24, 11, 4:17 pm   #2
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Cornell students (and Ithaca too) must be happy with that one.
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Old Sep 13, 11, 12:09 pm   #3
 
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I am going to employ this tactic, as I already have with Greyhound and Peter Pan to get cheaper fares on routes that have "transfers" in NYC - whether same seat or not, those transfers are often cheaper as separate A-B and B-C segments than if booked A-C.

I know you said there is no risk of missing the connection in terms of time -however, what is the boarding and reboarding procedure? Is there a risk of getting outted by the driver for trickery and booted off the bus at Binghamton, or sent off into the standby queue while the legit ticketholders take my seat?
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Old Sep 14, 11, 8:33 am   #4
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I am going to employ this tactic, as I already have with Greyhound and Peter Pan to get cheaper fares on routes that have "transfers" in NYC - whether same seat or not, those transfers are often cheaper as separate A-B and B-C segments than if booked A-C.

I know you said there is no risk of missing the connection in terms of time -however, what is the boarding and reboarding procedure? Is there a risk of getting outted by the driver for trickery and booted off the bus at Binghamton, or sent off into the standby queue while the legit ticketholders take my seat?
You are a legit ticketholder.

I used this strategy just last week, and got the roundtrip for $40.50. Even though one Short Line bus is normally used for the entire trip, even "full fare" customers will have two separate tickets, as the NYC-BGM leg is operated by Hudson Transit Lines, and the BGM-ITH leg is operated by Chenango Valley Bus Lines. There is a change of drivers at BGM as well. On the way up from NYC, you can buy your BGM-ITH ticket at NYC (or during the stop at Monticello, as I did) and just stay on the bus. When the new driver comes on, he collects the BGM-ITH tickets from through passengers. On the trip from ITH to NYC, I did have to get off the bus, go into the station, and get my Megabus ticket. The whole transaction took two minutes, and there was no reboarding issue, as the bus was not full. (I even let the ITH-BGM driver know that I was using Megabus from BGM to NYC, and when he radioed BGM to let them know how many through passengers he had, I heard him say that one passenger has to get his ticket in BGM.)

If the bus had been oversold for BGM-NYC, I presume -- but do not know for certain -- that those with a Megabus reservation would be given priority over walk-ups with no reservation.

If you are traveling on a late-night bus when the BGM ticket office is closed, I believe that the bus driver processes Megabus reservations.
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Old Sep 15, 11, 7:27 pm   #5
 
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You are a legit ticketholder.

I used this strategy just last week, and got the roundtrip for $40.50. Even though one Short Line bus is normally used for the entire trip, even "full fare" customers will have two separate tickets, as the NYC-BGM leg is operated by Hudson Transit Lines, and the BGM-ITH leg is operated by Chenango Valley Bus Lines. There is a change of drivers at BGM as well. On the way up from NYC, you can buy your BGM-ITH ticket at NYC (or during the stop at Monticello, as I did) and just stay on the bus. When the new driver comes on, he collects the BGM-ITH tickets from through passengers. On the trip from ITH to NYC, I did have to get off the bus, go into the station, and get my Megabus ticket. The whole transaction took two minutes, and there was no reboarding issue, as the bus was not full. (I even let the ITH-BGM driver know that I was using Megabus from BGM to NYC, and when he radioed BGM to let them know how many through passengers he had, I heard him say that one passenger has to get his ticket in BGM.)

If the bus had been oversold for BGM-NYC, I presume -- but do not know for certain -- that those with a Megabus reservation would be given priority over walk-ups with no reservation.

If you are traveling on a late-night bus when the BGM ticket office is closed, I believe that the bus driver processes Megabus reservations.
Thank you for your help. As a first timer I was just skeptical because of my experiences with the big dog bus that isn't so customer friendly. Thank you for settling it and putting my mind at ease.
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Old Sep 15, 11, 8:01 pm   #6
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Last edited by guv1976; Sep 16, 12 at 10:50 am.
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Old Nov 22, 11, 9:27 am   #7
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Happy to report that I just booked a NYC-BGM mid-December trip for $1.50 on Megabus. With the BGM-ITH add-on, the NYC-ITH one-way will cost a whopping $14.00.

No luck on the ITH-NYC return, however, as all of the BGM-NYC trips are pricing at $41.00 (probably due to the end-of-semester exodus).
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Old Nov 23, 11, 8:35 am   #8
 
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.601 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/417)NYC-BGM mid-December $1.50 on Megabus. With BGM-ITH add-on, the NYC-ITH one-way $14.00.

No luck on the ITH-NYC return, all of the BGM-NYC trips are pricing at $41.00 (probably due to the end-of-semester exodus).
Nice, those are still bargain basement prices - I remembered paying way more than those on Greyhound back in the mid-70's when I was @ SUNY-B, Shortline was cheaper then but had to put up with local stops along Rt. 17 and even campus charter buses departing from the student union parking lot costed more. Gasoline was 39 cents a gallon & it took $5 to fill up the 72 Dodge Demon, ahhh ... must be getting old.

Now, if only Megabus would extend the route for that extra 75 to 90 minutes run up to Cornell at a "favorable" & competitive rate - maybe with continuation service to Syracuse & Buffalo ?? (haven't look at their routes lately since my frequently visiting niece (via MB) relocated back to SFO)
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Old Nov 23, 11, 11:24 am   #9
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Well, Megabus already serves SYR, ROC, and BUF from NYC -- just not via ITH.

I was able to find a $44 ITH-NYC fare on Greyhound, using the 15%-off discount code found in the Entertainment 2011 coupon book. So all in all, the roundtrip will run $58 this time around. Not too bad.
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Old Sep 15, 12, 4:52 pm   #10
 
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Happy to report that I just booked a NYC-BGM mid-December trip for $1.50 on Megabus. With the BGM-ITH add-on, the NYC-ITH one-way will cost a whopping $14.00.

No luck on the ITH-NYC return, however, as all of the BGM-NYC trips are pricing at $41.00 (probably due to the end-of-semester exodus).
Where did you find tickets to Ithaca? I've been on the Megabus website and they don't say they have a stop in Ithaca. And which day were you traveling on when you got the ticket from NYC to BGM for $1.50? Was the add-on from BGM to ITH through Megabus? I'm a broke college kid trying to get to Ithaca for the cheapest price possible and I don't want to stop until I get tickets for the price you got them for. Thanks!
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Old Sep 16, 12, 9:40 am   #11
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Happy to report that I just booked a NYC-BGM mid-December trip for $1.50 on Megabus. With the BGM-ITH add-on, the NYC-ITH one-way will cost a whopping $14.00.

No luck on the ITH-NYC return, however, as all of the BGM-NYC trips are pricing at $41.00 (probably due to the end-of-semester exodus).
Where did you find tickets to Ithaca? I've been on the Megabus website and they don't say they have a stop in Ithaca. And which day were you traveling on when you got the ticket from NYC to BGM for $1.50? Was the add-on from BGM to ITH through Megabus? I'm a broke college kid trying to get to Ithaca for the cheapest price possible and I don't want to stop until I get tickets for the price you got them for. Thanks!
Megabus does not sell tickets to or from Ithaca; they sell tickets between NYC and Binghamton (in both directions). The Megabus trips are operated on a Coach USA/Short Line bus that runs between NYC and Ithaca, with stops at Monticello and Binghamton. You buy the BGM-ITH ticket directly from Short Line in BGM or Monticello (the bus from NYC to ITH stops for five to ten minutes at each place). My earlier post indicating that you can buy the BGM-ITH ticket at the NYC Short Line ticket office was in error: I tried to do that once, and was informed that that office only sells tickets to or from NYC.

From ITH to NYC, you buy your ITH-BGM ticket directly from Short Line at the State Street Bus terminal. When the bus gets to BGM, you get off, go into the bus station, collect your Megabus ticket at the Short Line ticket window, and then re-board your bus. (The bus lays over for about ten minutes in BGM, and there will be a change of drivers.)

To get the $1.50 fare from NYC-BGM or from BGM-NYC, you must be the first one to purchase a ticket on a particular bus on megabus.com. Megabus uses a bucket system to price its tickets: tickets sold first are cheaper than tickets sold last. And it's possible that on dates when high demand is expected (like school breaks), no cheap fares will be offered at all.

Try checking mid-week fares about four-six weeks in advance, and you'll probably find a $5.50 fare (and maybe even a $1.50 fare) on at least some trips.

Last edited by guv1976; Sep 16, 12 at 10:52 am.
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Old Sep 16, 12, 9:46 am   #12
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If you have a Cornell affiliation, there's a bus between the Ithaca and NYC campuses. It fills, so you must make a reservation.
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Old Sep 16, 12, 10:05 am   #13
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If you have a Cornell affiliation, there's a bus between the Ithaca and NYC campuses. It fills, so you must make a reservation.
Unfortunately, that bus costs a small fortune: $87.50 one way last time I checked! It's a little faster than Short Line or Greyhound, and has some frills, but it's not for those who are looking to economize.
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Old Jun 26, 13, 9:57 am   #14
 
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Cool The Hack

Thanks guys. I'm about to plan a trip to Ithaca, and this helps me immensely. $107 off peak for the shortline? Hah!
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Old Jul 30, 14, 11:30 pm   #15
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For those still interested in this method of getting to/from Ithaca, it appears that Megabus starts selling seats on the Short Line runs between NYC and Binghamton exactly six weeks in advance of travel date. (Note that Megabus has raised its ticketing fee from $.50 to $1.50.)

Another option to consider -- though not as cheap as a trip with the cheapest Megabus fares -- is Greyhound's Internet fare between NYC and Ithaca. Looks like a fare of ~$32 one way is offered. And Greyhound's 2:45 PM departure from NYC's Port Authority Bus Terminal to Ithaca's State Street Terminal takes about 20 minutes less time than the typical Short Line trip. But, unlike Short Line, Greyhound does not offer any stops on the Cornell campus.
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