Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Personal safety on Megabus; my thoughts

I was just asked how personally safe I feel as a Megabus rider. My daughter and I have taken the Knoxville to Washington, D.C. together and individually. So far, so good. Except for navigating Union Station, I've not had a safety problem with this type of travel . This may not be true for other routes and solely reflects my thoughts on the Knoxville to D.C. bus.

You always have to take personal safety precautions. This State Department article talks about safety tips for travel abroad but the suggestions can apply anywhere. Don't leave a laptop unattended. Don't flash cash around that you want to keep. Make sure that your purse or backpack is zipped and where you can see it. (I've used mine as a pillow. It's not the most comfortable but it got the job done.) Do all the usual proactive things to prevent theft that you would do anywhere else that you travel.


Megabus at the Union Station bus stop
There's always the chance that you'll sit next to a creep or that one will sit next to you. My self-defense classes have always said that if you feel uncomfortable, there's a reason. I'd probably get up and find another seat pretty quickly.

This route only makes two stops. There is the meal break at a truck stop and a 5 minute stop in Christiansburg, Virginia to load more passengers. When I get off the bus, everything that I want to keep gets off the bus with me.

Megabus stops at the top bus deck at Union Station. Usually, my daughter is there to meet me so I don't have to navigate the steps and metro tickets. There is a line of cabs out of the main front entrance to Union Station. If you aren't taking the metro, then it should be no problem to get a cab.

I do keep a close eye on my backpack when I get my suitcase off of the Megabus. Pickpockets tend to strike when you're distracted. It can get hectic when everyone's grabbing their bags. Everyone's usually pretty nice, it's just hectic. I try to take it slow enough to not be caught up in the frenzy and quick enough so my suitcase doesn't sit on the curb long.

So far, I've felt safe on the bus line but other routes may be different. Things can always change so riders on Megabus should keep that in mind.

Has anyone had a different experience that you want to share? Click on "comments" and let us know. Your answer may be what someone else needs.