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Trip report for Bolt Bus to Vancouver

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Maryland
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556 posts
18 reviews
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Trip report for Bolt Bus to Vancouver

Thanks to all of you who suggested taking the Bolt Bus to Vancouver. Someone asked for a report upon return, so here goes.

We, a family of 4, disembarked Friday from our cruise at Pier 91 and grabbed a taxi to the Bolt Bus terminal at the train station. We boarded the Bolt Bus at 1000 and departed exactly on time at 1015. At the border, we bypassed a line of cars and parked behind a Greyhound bus for about 5 minutes. When the Greyhound bus pulled out, our bus pulled in, and we all got off the bus, retreived our luggage, and proceeded through C&I. We were allowed to use the restrooms after passing through C&I. We then reboarded the bus and arrived 15 minutes early at the train/Bolt Bus station in Vancouver at 1330.

The return departed from the Vancouver train station at 1330 on Sunday. As we neared the border, a sign noted that the wait time was about 60 minutes, but our bus once again bypassed the long line of cars and pulled right into the bus area of C&I. We followed the same procedure, except that there were no restrooms to use. The bus arrived in Seattle early again, at 1645.

Total cost for 4 people round trip was less than $100. I highly recommend the Bolt Bus for transportation from Seattle to Vancouver. The bus was clean, comfortable, relaxing, and efficient.

seattle
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for Seattle
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1. Re: Trip report for Bolt Bus to Vancouver

seems great. Was the bus full? did you try the wifi?

Maryland
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556 posts
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2. Re: Trip report for Bolt Bus to Vancouver

davidgmg: Yes; the bus was completely full each way. We did try the wifi, and it worked really well. Note, though, that it does not work during the Canada portion of the trip, but that was a minority of the time.

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Trip report for Bolt Bus to Vancouver

I just tried them over the weekend to Portland and will be writing a quick review sometime soon. They are alright, but I found the seats pretty uncomfortable (the base seemed to be tilted slightly forward) and that the wifi was very slow. The seats also don't have a pocket or table to work on/store your electronics, which gets annoying.

Also, not every seat has a plug. The seats at the front and by the handicap lift both do not have plugs.

Maryland
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556 posts
18 reviews
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4. Re: Trip report for Bolt Bus to Vancouver

I agree about the seat positioning and lack of comfort, but we thought that the wifi speed was quite reasonable (for a bus). We didn't need a plug because the trip from Seattle to the border was only about 2 hours. Anyway, I'd ride it again in a minute for the price we paid.

Seattle, Washington
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for Seattle
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5. Re: Trip report for Bolt Bus to Vancouver

Thanks for the report. I will be trying it out next week on a trip down to Portland. Good to know about the electrical outlets as that makes a difference when picking a seat.

Vancouver, British...
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6. Re: Trip report for Bolt Bus to Vancouver

Just came back from a weekend in Seattle. Took the Bolt Bus from Vancouver/ round trip. All in all a very positive experience. Bus departure and arrival times were on schedule; with the exception of being 10 minutes late on the return to Vancouver due to the delay at the border crossing. The bus interior was comfortable and WiFi worked fine. My regret was not having my phone cord and not being able to use the AC outlet.

The bus was full leaving Seattle so it was a bit of scramble for seats. Boarding is determined by the ticketing code (A/B/C), and probably based on the cost of the ticket. e.g. A passengers board first because presumably they paid a higher fare. Also if you're stowing your bags under the bus, better to position them close to the hatches. If you put them in the back (as I did) you might have to crawl in later on. I would use this service again.

Seattle, Washington
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for Seattle
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7. Re: Trip report for Bolt Bus to Vancouver

Boarding groups are based on when you buy the ticket (not price) and whether or not you join their frequent rider program (free to join). Early purchases are in the 'A' group and everyone who joins their rewards program supposedly is also in the 'A' group (first to board).

I've taken 3 or 4 one way trips with them so far between Seattle & Portland. It is supposed to be non-stop, but one driver stopped 3 (?) times to use the on board restroom. We were still arrived on time. One return trip from Portland they didn't go by boarding groups and it was pouring rain. The bus wasn't full, so I still got to pick the seat I wanted.

Early boarding lets you pick your seat (aisle or window) as well as ensuring an a/c power plug (1 per pair of seats). Not every seat has them.

I found the WiFi signal to be okay. It really depends on how many people are online as band width is limited. There were at least 2 spots on I-5 where the signal dropped to nothing for 15-20 minutes at a time.

If you're tall (over 6 foot) or have long legs, then you might find the knee room rather tight. You can opt for an aisle seat and put your feet/knees into the aisle, but then people are climbing over you for restroom access.

If you put baggage underneath and it's out of reach from the curb, then the driver should be able to retrieve it for you. You can also crawl under and grab it yourself.

I noticed that Amtrak prices have dropped a bit, so I think Boltbus is giving some serious competition.

vancouver
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for Vancouver
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8. Re: Trip report for Bolt Bus to Vancouver

I only bought my 2 days ago and got "A" and I am registered so I believe as long as your have joined you will always get "A"

Redding,CA
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9. Re: Trip report for Bolt Bus to Vancouver

Have read about the different ways to get from Seattle to Vancouver. Bolt bus sounds like a good option. Can anyone give me approximate costs of cab fare to bus station from Seatac and fare from Vancouver station to pier?

Also, I'm sure August will be busy. Is a 2:00 arrival cutting it too close for a 4:00 sail?

seattle
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for Seattle
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10. Re: Trip report for Bolt Bus to Vancouver

Bolt stop in SEattle is next to the train station. You can take lt rail to Amtrak and then stop at the corner where the bus meets. Look on top right for info on getting to Amtrak from Seatac. In Vancouver its maybe a $10 cab ride. Yes I think you'd be cutting it too close. The border is the great unknown and buses must totally unload all pax and luggage and go thru immigration. if there are multiple buses arriving it can take a while.