BedWetterBetter
BedWetterBetter
Joined: Oct 20, 2012
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October 27th, 2014 at 7:49:59 PM permalink
It's been a while, but I'm back!

My gripe is with the Academy Bus Line and their awful service to Atlantic City Casinos.

Over the past 2 years their service has deteriorated to the point that it has become a joke!

It used to be a real blessing to not have to drive over 2 hours each way from my home in North Jersey, paying $11 in tolls and 30-40 dollars in Gas on top of wear and tear on your car. But things have just gotten so bad, I need to call this once reputable company out.

Here is a list of complaints from just this year alone.

1) The drivers seem to think they can just leave early, regardless if there are passengers en route to the bus stop at the designated departure time. On numerous occasions, buses slated to leave at either 10:45 AM , 11:45 AM or 12:45 PM & other times have left 3-4 mins early with a half empty bus because "the driver didn't think anyone else was coming." When a complaint was filed to a dispatcher or supervisor, the response was "we'll look into it," only for it to happen again by the same driver with no repercussion. If the printed schedule says "Departure time XX:XX," then I expect it to leave at that time and not earlier because the driver can't wait a few minutes for someone to park their car or buy a ticket and still make it by the designated time. I was once victim to this at 12 30 AM in AC, when the driver opted to leave at 12 27 AM with a less than full bus and forcing me to wait until 4 am for the next bus.

2) The evening buses are either arrive completely full, arrive 10-20 mins late and/or have no restroom, causing an additional 10 minute delay for a bathroom break(which some use to buy food and drinks at the parkway rest stop) Making it impossible to arrive promptly for check in or events at the casinos. I understand that NYC traffic will cause delays, but it seems like they don't even attempt alternate routes and go the same route every time despite poor traffic conditions that they are aware of.

3) They have continuously cut buses from their weekday and weekend schedule. A few years ago, there was a bus leaving every hour during the week and every half hour during weekends. But now, it is just one bus every 2 hours and one bus per hour on weekends. This causes buses to be overcrowded during holiday and summer time, and even having fights break out from people cutting in line. Just recently they cut out the last bus leaving at 8:45 pm, and departing AC at 12 30 AM during the week. Which means there is no Academy bus leaving AC from 10 pm until 4 AM! (I understand with budget cuts and the effects of Sandy there is less rush to AC, but it seems like they are just exploiting that to the point of absurdity)

4) Raising ticket prices while reducing service and cashback. You once paid $28(or less) round trip and received $20 cash from the casino. Then they changed it to $25 slot play. However, they started increasing the fares by $2 every few months it seemed and used the Gas prices as reason for it. Yet when gas prices dropped to under $2 per gallon in NJ, they didn't bother to reduce fares to what they were. The current ticket price is $36 from Cheesequake rest stop(where I park and ride) and up to $40 in NYC where the bus originates from.

5) WI/FI hardly works, not a huge deal for me, but would be nice to use if it is supposedly included in the ticket price.

6) Inadequate parking at the park n ride on the Parkway. There are not nearly enough commuter spots and they expect you park all the way down the parking lot and walk nearly 5-10 mins back to the bus stop. They should either add spots closer to the bus pick up or simply have the bus make a 2nd pickup at the auxiliary parking lot. Oh and heaven help you if you park in the wrong spot (WHERE it is only 2 hours allowed) and an eager state trooper leaves a wonderful ticket on your windshield for overnight parking, eventhough you clearly have your parking pass displayed in the windshield of your car!

So that's my return rant, most of you may not like it, but it's all I got!!!
Dieter
Dieter
Joined: Jul 23, 2014
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October 27th, 2014 at 9:28:25 PM permalink
Quote: BedWetterBetter

The drivers seem to think they can just leave early, regardless if there are passengers en route to the bus stop at the designated departure time.



Quote: link

To ensure your seat on the bus online ticket buyers must report to the dispatcher at Gate 1 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure.



Academy bus website

The flip side is that passengers think they can show up as the bus is pulling out of the station and get on board. This is always a trade-off with shared transit; lower expense for less convenience.

Every bus service I know of suggests that people be early, so as not to miss the bus.
May the cards fall in your favor.
NokTang
NokTang
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October 28th, 2014 at 4:10:24 AM permalink
Thanks for the good summary of the typical Atlantic City patron. It actually makes me miss the place less and less. The time it took me to get to Las Vegas vs. going on an Atlantic City junket was well worth it because when I got there, everyone was happy, on vacation, and great food at reasonable prices.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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October 28th, 2014 at 5:28:54 AM permalink
Here's a direct link to the schedule from Cheesequake.


I agree that it's been cut way back from what it was a few years ago, but that just matches the downward spiral of AC visitors in general.

Busses leaving half empty? Get there earlier. Also note that busses that leave AC at :15 and :45 do a pickup at a second casino before heading north.

WiFi has never been a problem for me.

Parking at Cheesequake? It's a commuter lot. Most of those cars are for people going to work in NYC.


Also note that matching supply and demand for this type of bus service is a logistical nightmare.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁 Note that the same could be said for Religion. I.E. Religion is nothing more than organized superstition. 🤗
FleaStiff
FleaStiff 
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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October 28th, 2014 at 6:13:30 AM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

Also note that matching supply and demand for this type of bus service is a logistical nightmare.

True but no matter how bad that job is done one fundamental question remains and it remains just as valid for Atlantic City as for the entire state of Oklahoma.

Is it better to endure an unpleasant day-trip's inconveniences and get to Atlantic City or is it better to have a nice relaxing trip and get to Las Vegas?

I've often looked at the "deals" offered in Oklahoma and told people to save up their quarters and make a once a year trip to Las Vegas so as to get a decent bang for their buck?

Perhaps the question is how does the journey affect your performance and your enjoyment.

Several months ago some gamblers near South Carolina had a choice to make. Go on the Gambling Boat's Maiden Voyage or not. It seems the Captain had forgotten that there would be a difference from the "dry run" he had already made: weight of passengers, weight of dollar coins in the machines, weight of food and weight of booze. On the dry run his shortcut was just fine; but on the real thing he was riding lower in the water and grounded on a sand bar.

So the passengers wound up with free food and free booze as they awaited a Coast Guard rescue, but the only gambling they had was the bets they made amongst themselves about sinking, the captain's employment status, etc. Yet at least they had sunshine, salt water and fresh air. It sounds as if the bus won't ever be offering much of that.

But questions is the same, whether you are in Oklahoma, New Jersey or South Carolina. Perhaps its just better for you to save your money and get a decent deal once a year?
BedWetterBetter
BedWetterBetter
Joined: Oct 20, 2012
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October 28th, 2014 at 4:26:32 PM permalink
Quote: Dieter

Academy bus website

The flip side is that passengers think they can show up as the bus is pulling out of the station and get on board. This is always a trade-off with shared transit; lower expense for less convenience.

Every bus service I know of suggests that people be early, so as not to miss the bus.



I won't argue that is always best to plan accordingly and arrive ahead of schedule(which I do), but it is still wrong for the drivers to just leave because they are tired of waiting. Especially when the next bus doesn't come in for another hour(if it is even on time) or 2 hours if it is during the week. That is just a nightmare waiting at a rest stop when it could have all been avoided if the driver simply departed when the company has authorized it.

I've seen and heard dispatchers telling drivers in AC to wait 5 or 10 mins after the listed departure time to "see if any one else shows up" when the driver radios in to them I've got " 8 from Taj and 3 from Harrahs."
teddys
teddys
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October 28th, 2014 at 7:35:07 PM permalink
Sounds gross.

I used to love the Detroit casino bus. You would pay $15 and get $30 in freeplay. It was almost always on time and a nice ride. Plenty of parking.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
onenickelmiracle
onenickelmiracle
Joined: Jan 26, 2012
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October 28th, 2014 at 8:42:53 PM permalink
Around here, our casino buses require reservations to get a guaranteed seat and they know who is supposed to be there. I'm guessing you're not letting them know or they don't require a reservation. Generally speaking many in the northeast are rude like you're complaining about and how nobody tries stopping this business wise amazes me.
#FreeNATHAN #Paytheslaves
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
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October 29th, 2014 at 6:49:32 AM permalink
Not only does Academy not require reservations, but it's open-ended. You get the schedule linked above, and can return on any bus in the next four days.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁 Note that the same could be said for Religion. I.E. Religion is nothing more than organized superstition. 🤗
BedWetterBetter
BedWetterBetter
Joined: Oct 20, 2012
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October 31st, 2014 at 6:17:59 AM permalink
Quote: onenickelmiracle

Around here, our casino buses require reservations to get a guaranteed seat and they know who is supposed to be there. I'm guessing you're not letting them know or they don't require a reservation. Generally speaking many in the northeast are rude like you're complaining about and how nobody tries stopping this business wise amazes me.



It's really only been a problem for the past year and a half.

Obviously Hurricane Sandy affected service and commuting to AC. That is when they cut the weekday service in half to just One bus every 2 hours after 12 pm until 8 :45 pm.

It's only been this year that things have gotten THIS bad and drivers in the morning are just taking off early, despite numerous complaints from dozens of passengers. It just further shows lack of concern for long time commuters and management's unwillingness to accommodate.

And there are no reservations needed, which caused hours of long lines and fights during the summer from Rowdy New Yorkers who cut the line departing AC. You think THAT would give them incentive to add more buses to the Summer schedule, but no they kept on as if it was an isolated incident.

Only now to reduce service even further by removing the last bus at 8:45 pm from the weekday service, making another inconvenience for people who work late and want to catch an evening bus to AC during the week. In addition to removing the Midnight bus leaving AC, causing a 6 hour gap between Academy buses departing AC on non-weekend days/

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