The Never-Ending Bus Debate

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Thanksgiving is known for a couple of things. Turkey, stuffing, big family reunions, etc. One not as positive thing (I guess the family reunion detail is a case by case basis) is the horrible traveling conditions.

Luckily, this year I did not have to fly and get stranded at the airport. The fact is that I’m just not classy enough for the air. I took an overnight bus.

Now, I’m not sure how many of you have actually taken the infamous overnight bus from New York to Montreal. But if you have, you would know that Greyhound is not your only option.

Sure, going to Boston or Philly, you can take a Chinatown bus. Montreal takes it to another level though. Instead of the round trip $139 Greyhound ticket, you can save $20 and try your luck on “Chas Bus” or its (amazingly) official name, “the Hymen Bus.” Chas, if you didn’t catch it, stands for Chasidic.

I’ve never taken the Chas Bus but I have many friends who have and the lore of it grows every year. Searching on Google, I came across a Facebook group (you have to be logged in to Facebook to view it) where people share their stories of their adventures on this religious bus.

The bus has separate seating, stops in Monsey, Penn Station and Crown Heights, and the bus driver may or may not have a license.

On the Facebook group, there are some pretty hilarious stories of Chas Bus adventures. Some are simple, like being forced to switch to the back of the bus because women outnumbered men. Or a little crazier, like when the bus broke down and all the men on the bus davened Shacharit in a field on the side of the road.

Is it worth the $20? Even though the Greyhound makes you get off the bus at 4 am just to sit in the Albany bus station for 30 minutes, I’ll spend the extra $20 every time.

Posted on December 1, 2008

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