Megabus accident leaves passengers stranded for more than 24 hours without updates

  • Megabus riders traveling from Pittsburgh to New York City were stranded by a winter storm on Friday and Saturday.
  • They had no water or food and resorted to drinking melted snow off the side of the road.
  • Riders claim that Megabus didn't attempt to update them on their status the entire time they were stuck.

Nearly 80 people traveling aboard a Megabus from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to New York City have spent over 24 hours traveling, stranded on the side of the road and at an abandoned rest stop.

"It's complete chaos," Karen Kedem, a passenger on the bus, told Business Insider. "People are missing interviews and flights. We tweeted all night [at Megabus] and we didn't get a response."

Karen Kedem said the bus left Pittsburgh at 9 a.m. ET on Friday. After running into an accident on I-80 because of a winter storm that hammered parts of the northeast with more than 2 feet of snow, riders were informed that the bus had to stop overnight.

"A woman had a panic attack on bus," Emily Bertha, another passenger on board, told Business Insider. "We had to calm her down."

The bus, packed to capacity, got very hot, according to Kadem and Bertha. Megabus had no water available in the case of an emergency. Some riders became dehydrated and resorted to scooping snow off the side of the road into water bottles, which they shared among themselves.

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SCITUATE, MA - MARCH 02: A flooded out road with a stop sign as a large coastal storm bears down on the region on March 2, 2018 in Scituate, Massachusetts. A nor'easter is set to slam the East Coast on Friday, bringing coastal flooding, heavy snow and strong winds to the area. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 02: A person struggles with their umbrella during a large storm on March 2, 2018 in New York, New York. A nor'easter is set to slam the East Coast on Friday, bringing coastal flooding, heavy snow and strong winds to the area. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
QUINCY, MA - MARCH 2: Daniel Cunningham, 22, of Quincy kayaks out to check on a stranded driver in the flooded Squantum section of Quincy, MA during a nor'easter storm on March 2, 2018. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
MARSHFIELD, MA - MARCH 2: Waves slam into ocean front homes and surge down Ocean Street where an abandoned Jeep sits in a storm-created ditch at the intersection with Franklin Street in Marshfield, MA during a nor'easter storm on March 2, 2018. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
QUINCY, MA - MARCH 2: An evacuation takes place on Post Island Road in Quincy, MA during a nor'easter storm on March 2, 2018. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Rubble rests on top of a car after a partially burnt building collapsed due to strong winds in Northeast Washington, DC, on March 2, 2018. A major winter storm pounded the US East Coast on Friday, whipping up strong winds and dumping heavy rain and snow, forcing the cancellation of several thousand flights and the closure of federal government offices in Washington. Coastal flooding alerts were issued from New Jersey to Massachusetts with winter weather advisories, winter storm warnings and high wind warnings in effect from the Northeast to the Mid-Atlantic, the National Weather Service said. / AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
TAKOMA PARK, MD - MARCH 02: High winds downed a tree onto power lines, blocking the street and damaging a vehicle March 2, 2018 in Takoma Park, MD. Freezing temperatures and wind gusts up to 70 m.p.h. pounded the Washington, DC, area, downing trees, knocking out power and forcing schools and the federal government to close. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 2: A pair keep dry by standing atop a garden planter on a flooded Long Wharf in Boston during a nor'easter storm on March 2, 2018. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
MARSHFIELD, MA - MARCH 2: Water surges down Ocean Street in Marshfield, MA past an abandoned Jeep during a nor'easter storm on March 2, 2018. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
A worker cuts a tree that had fallen on to a house as a storm bringing high winds passes over Kensington, Maryland, U.S., March 2, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
American flags partially torn from their poles fly as a storm producing strong winds passes through Washington, U.S., March 2, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A flight information board shows cancelled flights as a storm bringing high winds passes over Reagan National Airport in Washington, U.S., March 2, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
SCITUATE, MA - MARCH 2: Waves crash against homes in Scituate, MA during a nor'easter storm on March 2, 2018. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Rubble rests on top of a car after a partially burnt building collapsed due to strong winds in Northeast Washington, DC, on March 2, 2018. A major winter storm pounded the US East Coast on Friday, whipping up strong winds and dumping heavy rain and snow, forcing the cancellation of several thousand flights and the closure of federal government offices in Washington. Coastal flooding alerts were issued from New Jersey to Massachusetts with winter weather advisories, winter storm warnings and high wind warnings in effect from the Northeast to the Mid-Atlantic, the National Weather Service said. / AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
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By Saturday morning at 7 a.m., the bus driver was able to start moving. But soon had to pull over again because he was over the maximum amount of hours he could legally drive. He pulled into an abandoned rest stop to wait for a relief driver to pick up passengers. They were still unable to buy food or water.

Emily Bertha said that throughout the ordeal, the passengers also said they received no information from Megabus about the status of the trip, despite attempts to contact the company. When the bus driver himself called corporate offices, he was placed on hold and then the line was disconnected, according to Kedem.

Kedem's mother waited on hold for 3 hours with Megabus before finally getting through. She was told that a driver would arrive at the rest stop soon.

But that also ended up being untrue. The relief driver went to the wrong rest stop, stranding passengers even longer. Family members started to tweet angrily at the company for failing to provide information to passengers and for allowing them to go without water for such a long time.

At 11 a.m., the relief driver finally arrived at the rest stop. Passengers still had another hour and a half aboard the bus before arriving in New York City.

Some riders on board have indicated they won't use Megabus in the future.

"I'm currently searching for a ride back to Pitt so I don't have to go through this again," Kedem said.

Megabus did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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