I am posting this while riding a bus.
No, not writing it while on a bus and posting it later-- there is wi-fi on this bus, so I am hitting "Publish Post" in the middle of the Jersey Turnpike somewhere in the vicinity of Newark. (And with my laptop plugged into the power outlet on the seat in front of me, too.) It is pretty darn cool, and just reinforces for me all the benefits of traveling by bus rather than driving whenever possible...
- Cheaper. I haven't run the numbers for all common bus routes, but DC to NYC (which I do a couple times a year to visit relatives) is about 450 miles round-trip. On gas alone that's around $50, not to mention about $40 worth of tolls, so $90ish out of pocket-- and if you use the IRS mileage rate to factor in wear-and-tear on the car, the real cost is over $250. Even the priciest round-trip tickets for this route are about $50 per person, and the BoltBus (which I'm riding now) and MegaBus (starting soon; I took this between Chicago and Milwaukee a few times) have tickets starting at $1 (!) depending on how early you buy. So taking the bus can save you over $200 if you're driving alone, and is still a good deal even for a packed car of people. The math may work out differently for your trip, but I'd bet that for a lot of routes you'll find similar results.
- More relaxing. I hate driving. It stresses me out and makes me nervous. I don't enjoy it emotionally or physically-- both the driving position and the stress leaves me sore and tense by the end of a multi-hour drive. So taking a bus is a no-brainer for me whenever feasible. But even if you're less anti-driving than me, it's still hard to beat kicking back on a bus and being chauffered to your destination. You have the ability to read, do work, take a nap, eat and drink, or nearly anything else your heart desires (car passengers can already do that, of course, but it's a bonus for the would-be driver.)
- Better for the environment. Fifteen gallons of gas for the DC-NYC roundtrip, versus 45 or so for the bus split among forty or fifty passengers.
- And now... better features! Okay, this is brand-new and not available everywhere, but I certainly can't get wi-fi access while driving up in the car!