Back a week or so ago, I said I would write a tutorial on the Megabus site to make it easier for blinks to navigate. Here it goes. I’m using JAWS, so if you’re using a different screenreader, some of this may not apply.
Just so everybody knows, the Id de Chariotte de marchand was a no go. After I emailed them, they sent me a whole set of reservation numbers, one for the outbound trip and one for the returning, and those were big honkers.
The actual ride was pretty good, in fact, much better than the ride this bus load of passengers had. Eek. And the crash happened the same day we were coming back. Hmmm. Scary. The seats were comfy, and the Friday bus even had onboard Wifi! I saw the coolest thing that showed me just how much things are changing. A little kid was asking his mom why this and why that, and instead of having to make something up, she googled it! That kid is going to be a genius. He was asking complex chemistry questions at the age of 5. Woe man.
They put Steve and I in a four-seater so Trix would have lots of room. We were joined by a third passenger, and still Trix had lots of room. That third passenger was a very nice lady, but I learned way too much about the duties of a personal support worker in a nursing home.
Anyway, enough about the ride. I just wanted to briefly mention its non-sucktitude.
The first thing you have to do is not go directly to the megabus.com site. If you do, once you get to Canada, you get trapped in an infinite loop of death between an invisible language selection link and a remember my choice box. So, what you have to do is google out megabus Canada English. Once you have chosen this the first time, you will be able to go directly to the Megabus site without any trouble.
Now, on to the search and buy. For the outbound date, you have to use the calendar because you don’t know in what format they want you to write the date. Is it dd/mm/yyyy? Or is it mm/dd/yyyy? Or maybe it’s mm/dd/yy. So if you use the calendar for that one, then it appears you can enter data into the return field. I tried it today and it worked.
Now, you can go down to the heading that says trip results. Each choice is in a form all its own. So even if it says radio button one of one, it’s not your only choice. Look down. Also, do not arrow down once you’ve made a radio button selection and you’re still in forms mode, because they’re not in a list of buttons. Maybe that arrowing down was what caused it to think I spoke French. But it loaded a new page and I had to click back to get back to the trips. It sure didn’t let me see the next choice of trip times by arrowing down.
Once you choose your outbound and return dates and times, hit space on the add to basket button. Do not press enter, do not click, space is your only option.
While you are choosing your schedule, try not to hang around too long without performing some kind of action. The damn site times out after a few minutes. It’s really annoying when you have to connect with another service and you’re looking at their schedule in another tab.
Then, hopefully you will get an English screen that will ask for all the relevant info. I had to laugh that in the French I was being referred to as a détenteur. So I’m involved in a détente? Wow. I didn’t know this was so political! I know that’s probably not what it meant, but I had to snicker.
Hopefully you get the English email saying you’ve paid, and then you get the email with your reservation numbers in it. Do not print out the you’ve paid email and present it to the megabus driver. A lot of people had the wrong ID, and I don’t know what those poor souls had to do, because it’s not like your reservations are interchangeable with another Megabus that runs later. If you paid for the 9:30, that’s the only one your ticket’s good for. Oh sorry. It’s a ticketless system, I must remember that. That’s the only one your, ahem, reservation number is good for.
Every time I handed over our paper that was supposed to have the right reservation number, I would pray that I printed out the right thing. Thankfully, after a small grunt that seemed to indicate we gave the driver what he needed, we were given the ok to board.
Oh, I don’t know if this happens to everyone, but for some reason the return journey gets labeled as journey 1, and the outbound trip is labeled journey 2. So do not panic when you see that the return trip is labeled journey 1. Look down. You should see journey 2 below.
So there ya go. There’s my attempt at making that site a bit easier to use for the next blink.