City Paper is not for tourists
Getting to New York City is a pain in the ass. Amtrak’s too expensive. Peter Pan buses are overpriced, and air circulation and clean seats don’t seem to be a company priority, in my experience. Reviews of all those Chinatown lines have been so mixed, I’m afraid try them.
But last summer, I thought I found my solution: Vamoose Express Bus Service. At $25 for a one-way ticket, the rides were cheaper than Peter Pan’s, the buses were cleaner, and service was pretty much on time. What a godsend.
This past Saturday morning, as I waited in Bethesda for my Vamoose bus to arrive, my good fortune seemed to be coming to an end. According to a company representative, Vamoose drivers had gone on strike. There were still buses running, but not as many. A few people had seats, and to everyone else: enjoy your weekend, and best of luck getting to NYC.
I got a spot. But I figured my future stress-free travels to Manhattan were over: Vamoose was joining the ranks of the unreliable.
Well, maybe not. When I called Vamoose today to inquire about said strike, I found out it never existed in the first place, according to company spokesperson Florence Bluzenstein. The company representative made up the strike to cover for a driver who simply forgot to make a second stop in Bethesda, she said.
Seriously? I asked. Bluzenstein’s response follows.
“I don’t understand it either. I was in Florida…This was an employee we hired just temporarily for the weekend. He messed it up. He thought it was very funny, he didn’t realize that it wasn’t funny. We had two buses, and a third was supposed to come from the other stop…instead of just telling people the truth, he thought it would be very funny to say the drivers were on strike. He thought it was a cute option. We found out about it when the e-mails started to come in. I was horrified because I had no internet connection in my hotel for a day. I called the office and said ‘what is going on? Why are people asking about a strike?’ That’s when I found out about it. There’s nothing to worry about. It was a mix-up on the dispatchers end…but instead of calling someone up, (the company representative) just took it upon himself to make that kind of a statement…But, there was no strike. No strike at all.”