I've only done it once, years ago, but it seemed fine to me at the time. Riders were no different than you'd find on Bonanza or Peter Pan. They let me put a bicycle in the baggage compartment, but I think they charged me extra for it.
I used to take it from Boston to Hyannis, never had any problems. The seats are just your standard bus seats, nothing too fancy. The drivers will wait for you to get on the bus, they will even put your bags underneath the bus, and take your bags out at your stop. The people are pretty "normal" no ex-cons or anything. I never saw it as too crowded either. I used to be able to get my own set of two seats with out any problems.
Hope I helped!
The few times I've taken regional New England buses, everything worked out fine. Even on holiday weekends they know how much service to provide so people don't get stranded.
Amtrak hasn't gone to Cape Cod in over 10 years. Plymouth and Brockton's prices ($19 to Hyannis, $34 round trip) seem just barely ok to me -- not cheap, but not outrageously expensive either.
Here's a hint for taking Peter Pan, which runs the Cape routes formerly run by Bonanza: if you buy a ticket at the bus station on a weekend it costs more. But the cheaper weekday tickets can be used on weekend buses. And you can ask to buy a weekday ticket even on the weekend. So anyone who knows what they're doing doesn't have to pay the weekend surcharge.
Thank you for the information. Re: Amtrak, yes you are correct, I was also looking up fares from Boston to Vermont and the two got muddled in my brain.
Can I ask you one more question about the Hyannis stop? Is it walking distance to nearby attractions (like the music tent?) and such or does one still need a car to get around the basic area?
It looks like the Hyannis bus terminal is at 215 Iyannough Road (Route 28), and the music tent is at 21 West Main Street. The shortest route is 1.7 miles, mostly along Main Street through downtown, so it should be a pleasant enough walk.
Some buses might stop at the ferry dock, which is slightly closer.
Hmm, it looks like the bus actually stops at the Hyannis Transportation Center, which is at the corner of Main and Center Streets downtown. For some stupid reason they list the Transportation Center's street address as 215 Iyannough Rd, even though that address is a good half mile away.
So it's only a little over a mile from the bus station to the Music Tent.
It's an old-school company that's been around for probably 100 years (literally), which probably explains the bad website. It's just fine. They use the same kind of buses as Greyhound and Peter Pan, and the buses are in good repair, and the drivers are competent and pleasant.
And also explains the odd name "Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Co." -- when in fact they run no streetcars and don't serve Brockton at all anymore.
I used to take the P&B fairly often when I was at college in Lowell before I had a car and wanted to go home to the Cape and my parents wouldn't come and get me. The buses are the same as pretty much every other bus company, but the clientele seems to be a little nicer than I've experienced on most Greyhound trips (i.e. relatively normal people and not crazy Filipino dudes trying to touch me all the way back from NYC when I want to sleep).
There are no ferrets or pie.
No pie?!?!?!?! NO PIE?!?!?!
(as an aside: I'm totally traumatized by Greyhound - I got felt up the whole way to Arizona from Ohio...first problem being I took Greyhound to Arizona. But I was in college....)
Regional bus travel is more mainstream in New England than in some other parts of the US. The South Station bus terminal is the most pleasant bus station I've been to, anywhere.
The worst bus experience I've locally had was a Bonanza bus that mildly sideswiped a car coming off an expressway about a half mile from downtown Providence. We passengers just got off and walked the rest of the way.
I met my ex-boyfriend on a P&B bus. He was completely insane.
P&B buses are fine. The first come first served thing isn't a problem as long as you get there a little ahead of time and join the line especially at Boston or Hyannis, two of the largest stops.. Watch out for the holiday schedule, I got burned on that one once - call ahead.
Just be aware of typical Cape Cod in the summer traffic, those arrival times you see on the schedule can vary A LOT. The way down on Friday night or Saturday morning isn't bad these days, thank you fly over. It's the way back on Sunday afternoon and night that suck three lanes of traffic two from route 6 and one from 28 into two tiny lanes on the bridge = traffic jams back to exit 5 on route 6. Leave OODLES of time for your return trip, like 2 extra hours.
As for the buses, there is indeed no pie, plenty of commuters during the week and fun seekers on the weekend. Leg room is eh, try to sleep if you can, it always makes any bus trip better.
Also know that downtown Hyannis where you get off is near a few hotels and is a generally good place to get dumped on the Cape, you will probably have to cab it to your final destination.
As for the website, it's the Cape they're still in like 1998 wrt website desgin.
Edited at 2008-06-25 10:56 pm (UTC)