Jeramey Jannene

Megabus Unveils New Bus Schedules for Milwaukee

By - Dec 9th, 2009 10:48 am

Megabus, the no-frills intercity bus company with an intriguing pricing scheme starting at $1, has revised their service schedule between Milwaukee and Chicago.  Unfortunately two trips have been eliminated in each direction.  One can only assume it’s because of the economy and that January through March has always been a down travel period for Megabus (something they compensate for by giving away 100,000 tickets).

A Megabus bus loading in Chicago

Megabus buses loading and unloading in Chicago

It’s hard to fault Megabus for dropping the routes if they’re losing money.  The service survives without any direct public subsidy. To that end, Megabus has always been tuning service, whether it was dropping service to Pittsburgh and Louisville, adding service to Madison and Champaign, eliminating the entire West Coast operation, or installing wifi and power outlets on every bus. Sad as it is to see service cuts, the service appears to continue to thrive because of the constant eye placed on the bottom line.

Thankfully with the more-expensive, but quicker Amtrak Hiawatha in the mix there are still are numerous options to go from the Milwaukee Intermodal Station to Chicago Union Station.  The only true lacking in service options is a real late night train to be able to come back from events such as concerts, games, and festivals in either city.  Hopefully the KRM/Metra commuter rail service is one day able to bridge that gap.

Here’s to hoping that instead of getting reduced, service continues to improve between Milwaukee and Chicago. New Talgo passenger cars are on the way for Amtrak, and Megabus has wifi and power outlets on-board now. The technology is looking up, hopefully the service offerings follow.

Milwaukee to Chicago (runs that were eliminated highlighted in red)

  • 6:30 AM (arrive 8:30)
  • 8:30 AM (arrive 10:25)
  • 1:00 PM (arrive 3:00)
  • 2:30 PM (arrive 4:25)
  • 7:00 PM (arrive 8:55)
  • 9:45 PM (arrive 11:45)

Chicago to Milwaukee (runs that were eliminated highlighted in red)

  • 7:00 AM (arrive 8:55)
  • 9:30 AM (arrive 11:05)
  • 11:30 AM (arrive 1:25)
  • 3:00 PM (arrive 4:55)
  • 5:30 PM (arrive 7:25)
  • 9:30 PM (arrive 11:25)

Effective Megabus and Amtrak Schedule – Milwaukee to Chicago (as of December 1st, 2009)

  • 6:15 AM (arrive 7:57) – Amtrak – Monday through Saturday
  • 8:00 AM (arrive 9:29) – Amtrak
  • 8:30 AM (arrive 10:25) – Megabus
  • 11:00 AM (arrive 12:29) – Amtrak
  • 1:00 PM (arrive 2:29) – Amtrak
  • 1:00 PM (arrive 3:00) – Megabus
  • 2:30 PM (arrive 4:25) – Megabus
  • 3:00 PM (arrive 4:29) – Amtrak
  • 5:45 PM (arrive 7:14) – Amtrak
  • 7:35 PM (arrive (9:04) – Amtrak
  • 9:45 PM (arrive 11:45) – Megabus

Effective Megabus and Amtrak Schedule – Chicago to Milwaukee (as of December 1st, 2009)

  • 6:00 AM (arrive 7:29) – Amtrak – Monday through Saturday
  • 7:00 AM (arrive 8:55) – Megabus
  • 8:25 AM (arrive 9:54) – Amtrak
  • 10:20 AM (arrive 11:49) – Amtrak
  • 11:30 AM (arrive 1:25) – Megabus
  • 1:05 PM (arrive 2:34) – Amtrak
  • 3:00 PM (arrive 4:55) – Megabus
  • 3:15 PM (arrive 4:44) – Amtrak
  • 5:08 PM (arrive 6:45) – Amtrak
  • 5:30 PM (arrive 7:25) – Megabus
  • 8:05 PM (arrive 9:34) – Amtrak

5 thoughts on “Megabus Unveils New Bus Schedules for Milwaukee”

  1. Jeff Bedel says:

    What difference does it make if Megabust has a schedule? They can’t keep one anyhow. – signed, their former biggest fan

  2. Jeramey Jannene says:

    Have you used it since they added text message alerts?

    I’ve had my fair share of schedule issues with Megabus pre-text alerts, but none since. I’ve also never had an on-time issue on the Milwaukee to Chicago route. A couple not fun times on other routes though.

  3. Nick Aster says:

    I’m surprised there’s not a weekend late nighter… a midnight bus might get some riders, or even a midnight train during the summer festival season, though I guess at that hour you might as well grab a hotel.

  4. Jeff Bedel says:

    After several debacles last year I haven’t used them since, and have ignored all their emails. The perks kept getting better, but their reliabilty went from tolerable to inexcusable. If it was like, “hey buddy, what do you want for a dollar?” it was one thing, but I was always connecting in Chicago to somewhere else and it began to fail everytime, and not on the cheap either. I moved to Milwaukee because it was still connected to Indianapolis via Megabus, and now I had to find a more expensive transportation option to fill that gap. Without Zipcar I would have been screwed.

  5. Although I rarely use the service, I prefer it over Amtrak for the cost and WIFI feature and the elimination of the late night route is disappointing.

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