Could anyone let me know if there's a cheaper option than Amtrak for the return trip of GAP bike tour, please? The ticket for Amtrak including roll-on service is $71. I'm thinking about using Megabus, which costs only about $25, but the catch is that the bike has to be boxed and cannot exceed a combined length of length, width, and height of 62 inch. I think the size limitation would require boxing the wheels and frame separately, as well as removal of seatpost, handlebar, and pedals.
Do a round trip. Why turn a bike trip into a motor vehicle trip?
It's hard to get DC to Pgh for less than $71. Once I used the ride share on Pgh Craigslist to get a ride - there's a share of folks who work in DC during the week, then Thursday or Friday afternoon they drive back to Pgh. You're looking for a ride share with a bike rack. Still will prob cost $50.
(The folks leaving Dc on Thursday afternoon usually Work From Home on Friday, so they're in place at the end of the Friday workday)
@Mick: I would, but I couldn't spare 11 days just yet. I think I'll do the round trip after I graduate in fall.
@Vannevar: Thanks for the info. That sounds like an option, too.
Do you have your own car? Maybe you could get a friend to drive your car down and pick you up?
We did this last year where drove down to DC with a friend and all our gear, hung out with them for a night and then they drove our car back to PGH while we biked the trails back.
Between gas and tolls and compensating your friend with a nice dinner or something, it might not be cheaper but it may be easier, quicker, more fun, etc.
BikeFlights.com says you can ship your bike there for $33. And a bus ticket on Greyhound is $28, less on Megabus. So that would save money, assuming you could make the shipping / picking up your bike work.
BTW. megabus policy says
"Bicycles are not permitted on megabus motorcoaches."
But do they mean on like inside the bus?
From Megabus website:http://us.megabus.com/faq-item.aspx?faq_id=126
Q: Can I take my bicycles, skis, snowboards, golf clubs, or musical instruments on board the bus?
A: Unfortunately megabus.com buses are unable to carry these items unless they are in a case that does not exceed the dimensions stated in the megabus.com luggage policy. For guidance, this must not exceed 62 inches when adding the total exterior dimensions of the piece (length + width + height) and should not weigh more than 50 pounds. Megabus.com cannot store these items out of a case due to the potential for damage to other customers' luggage.
Comment: I believe the only way for a full size bike to meet Megabus' policy is to break it down to two boxes: one for the frame and fork, and the other one for the wheels. You could potentially get a full size box from bike shops, and cut it into two boxes for this purpose.
I don't think megabus really works for bikes.
If you are going solo, you won't find anything better than the convenience to cost ratio of Amtrak. If you are going with a few friends, rent a van one way to Reagan International. There is a bike path nearby.