Megabus passengers stranded for 7 hours in Austin

Passengers who booked a ride on Megabus said they experienced one problem after another Tuesday night. About 30 passengers showed up at the Megabus stop on San Jacinto Boulevard to catch a 10:15pm ride to Houston, but only about 20 of them ever actually made it on.

“We're sitting out there blindly hour after hour after hour,” said Corey Freundel who was one of the Megabus passengers. Three passengers we spoke to said the bus they were waiting for broke down in Elgin. They were told a replacement bus would take about three hours to arrive.

“That brought us into the late 12 o’ clock hour and they shut down the bathrooms at the bus station, and said, ‘Okay, the bus is on Cameron Road. It will be here in 15 minutes. Everybody make a single file line outside,’” Freundel said. That bus never came.

Passengers said they were told to wait outside the bus station for their ride as the building was closed for the night. “Since they wouldn't open the bathrooms, people started urinating in bushes at the bus stop,” said Freundel. 

With the customer service line closed and live tracking on the app turned off, all they could do was wait.

It wasn't until 4:20 am that passengers said they got another update. “I mean we're not just talking about young people hanging out by this parking lot, there was a woman in a wheelchair,” Freundel said. The email told passengers Megabus was experiencing a 7-hour mechanical delay.

“What they did was irresponsible, it was completely irrational,” said Freundel. 

When the bus arrived, customers were told their driver was the original driver from the bus that broke down in Elgin. That means he would spend 15 hours behind the wheel.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, commercial drivers that carry passengers are limited to 10 hours at a time.

As for the bus, that came with issues too.

“It did not have any air conditioning, so that was miserable after waiting all night, and it didn't have seatbelts, which if a guy’s been on the job driving a bus for 15 hours, you can bet that I'm gonna wear a seatbelt and I'm gonna sit in the middle row away from all the windows,” Freundel said. 

The passengers who stuck around finally made it to Houston around 9 am.

Megabus sent out this statement about the incident:

"Megabus.com can confirm that one of our vehicles on May, 22 was delayed due to mechanical issues and passengers received refunds because of the delay. Megabus.com apologizes for the inconvenience that the delay may have caused to our passengers."

Passengers said they were only refunded for the base fare.

They never got refunds for other charges, like upgrades they didn't receive and service fees.

Customers we spoke to said they hope Megabus learns from the situation before someone gets hurt.

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