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Todays Bus Now Part of Eastern Coach/Coach USA- DCist
2009-02-17
Before 2 p.m. on Monday, I stood at Todays Bus’s New York stop at 3 Pike Street in New York City's Chinatown, waiting to return to Washington. But my bus was nowhere to be seen. At 2, Eastern Travel came and went. New Century sat around the corner filling up. Hawkers for both stood by slinging tickets. BoltBus and Megabus, which I wish I had booked instead, were miles uptown and probably sold out anyway. And after nearly an hour and not even a representative for my carrier in sight, I put my return ticket in my wallet, pulled out another $20, and grabbed the next New Century coach back to D.C.

It turns out that Todays Bus wouldn't come that day, didn't come the day before, and won't be there tomorrow. Todays Bus, as a separate entity anyway, is no more. The leader of DC-NY Chinatown travel when the phenomenon was in its infancy merged with Eastern Travel, a subsidiary of Coach USA, over the weekend. Passengers looking for one of their dirty, plain white buses (Todays was perhaps the only carrier left that regularly ran buses sans any logo) were supposed to get on an Eastern coach yesterday. But good luck figuring that out. In the chaos of yesterday's Chinatown bus scene, no one from Coach USA or Todays Bus was on hand to fully explain the situation to the confused and growing masses. Eastern Coach ticket slingers were on hand, but had little to offer in the way of information. As 3 p.m. neared and I pulled away on my bus, nearly 100 people, presumably a mix of Eastern and former Todays riders, were on the sidewalk waiting. It turns out that Todays tickets were and will be valid on the Eastern buses. However, it is unclear whether Eastern added service over the weekend to accommodate holiday weekend passengers.

Eastern Travel, which had grown to rival Todays Bus in recent years when both were independently operated, was acquired by Coach USA in September. It is still run as Eastern through D.C.'s Chinatown, with an office and pickups at 715 H Street NW. The acquisition was made with little fanfare or publicity. But Eastern tickets are now sold on handheld credit card machines printing Coach USA receipts, and the WiFi runs on the Megabus network. Megabus is also owned by Coach USA.

Todays's website makes no explicit mention of the latest acquisition. However, their times and locations now match completely with those of Eastern. They will no longer run from their long held 610 I Street location or share an office and alley way with newcomer MVP Bus there. On the intercity bus clearinghouse website GoToBus.com, entries are now listed as Eastern/Todays.

In other weekend intercity bus news, newcomer Tripper Bus kicked off Rosslyn/Bethesda - NYC service on Friday. The independent carrier touts “deluxe coach services” with amenities including free wireless (a requirement to compete these days), electrical outlets (a relative rarity aside from BoltBus), and professional, friendly drivers and staff (hit or miss with pretty much every bus company). Standard fares are $25 each way, though $1, $5, and $10 tickets can be had for the first three advance purchasers on each departure, respectively.