Thanks to our fearless leader in Sacramento, it will probably be some time before we ever see that magic bullet train become a reality, if ever.
Until that point if you need to make the trip between LA and SF, your options are pretty standard and not always that cheap.
Flying is about as quick and easy as spending the day at the DMV these days and the golden era of train travel ended right about the time we were blessed with the introduction of Amtrak.
Driving is pointless unless you’re doing it with a lot of people and making that drive down the 5 can be brutal.
The mere mention of taking the bus usually gets the same response from people as the prospect of using an outhouse, which isn’t wholly undeserved as that the only bus line we had to choose from was Greyhound.
Apparently, the dog bus is doing some big overhaul that is going to include new snappy buses, but so far that only pertains to a few cities on the Eastern Seaboard and beyond that booking a ticket with them is confusing and tends to end up with getting the priciest and longest trip for the uninitiated.
Fortunately, there’s a little company called the California Shuttle Bus.
It’s a pretty small time operation run by an older gentleman who answers the phones and tends to hop on the bus at some point during the trip to say hi and thank you for your patronage, peppering the patter with wise cracks.
If you’ve ever traveled by bus in Mexico, it’s kind of the same thing. The buses are usually in pretty good shape, have air conditioning/ heat and the drivers are pretty good at getting the trip in under six or seven hours. They also have multiple drop off/ pick-up points as opposed to the scary terminal aesthetic.
If that wasn’t enough, you also get free entertainment. What trip would be complete unless it included being treated to such cinematic triumphs as The House Bunny or Madea’s Family Reunion?
The only downsides are that sometimes the details can be a little fuzzy, depending on how busy they are. If the passenger count was low, they would downgrade to a large van a few years back, which was a little awkward, but now it seems they cut days that they operate so its best to call instead of just booking online.
California Shuttle Bus
P.S.- To get the $25 deal, make sure to book in advance. Regular price is $35, with last minute at $40.