Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: BoltBus – 3/5 Stars

BoltBus – CLOSED
800 N Alameda St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

I am breaking this down to the actual bus experience versus the Groupon experience:


Bolt Bus has one of the most craptastic systems for redeeming the Groupon. You have to do A LOT of emailing and then a lot of inputting of data in order to redeem the Groupon. I felt like I was really working for that three dollars I saved. They will NOT redeem the Groupon with you over the phone.

Groupon was $21, roundtrip bus without Groupon was $24. They claim the rides are worth $80. I asked myself if it was worth saving $3 to do three or four days worth of work.

Their system for redeeming the Groupon is first to sign up for an account. Okay. Then email their rewards department and let them know that you purchased a Groupon and give them your account information for both Groupon and Bolt Bus. Okay. Don’t forget to email them the 6 or seven digit number from the coupon that’s in your Groupon folder. Okay. Then once the guy on the email gets back to you, it took him two days in my case, he will tell you that your account is credited two rides. Whew, done. Hooray!

NOT SO FAST! The Bolt Bus website is down. I was taken aback. A google search for Bolt Bus Los Angeles comes up with Mega Bus Los Angeles. Weird. I call to double-check they didn’t go out of business in the past 24 hours since I contacted them last. My fear is a business on Groupon unexpectedly going out of business without notice. It’s a legitimate fear, see horror stories (with snarky owner comments) on AQIYL Photography.

No, they’re still riding from Los Angeles. And whew, we’re only halfway done. The site should be back up in less than 12 hours. More instructions after he emails me back!

In order to get these rides credited, set up your bus ride then once you get your roundtrip set up, a popup box appears. Enter 0-0-2 on the bottom right of the popup box in the white form box and over the underscore, but only after clicking on the white form box twice. It won’t work if you click on the white box once because it needs to be input over the ___ underscore, not before it. I didn’t click on the white form box twice and typed in ‘002’ before the ___ underscore appeared. So stupidly, ‘002’ was not properly entered and I purchased another ticket. I had to call them to refund my card.

On the line was a really unfriendly guy speaking in a Southern/African American dialect. He said that I ‘dones’ it wrong and he will reverse the charge card and I would need to redo it. I asked if he could just redeem the Groupon from the phone. “No.” “Okay.” No response back. I waited for about ten or fifteen seconds to see if he would say something else. He didn’t. It was dead on the line. So I hung up. (Bolt Bus, you really should screen your calls or at least make your employees feel like they are!)

I entered ‘002’ over the literal ___ underscore on the white box after clicking on it. I’ve taken and taught Computer Science courses and this was one of the crappiest and least intuitive methods of inputting data I’ve seen on an actual running business. It reminded me of a goofy project that a 19-year-old undergrad Computer Science major who is just learning how to create a form would make in CS 1 to prove that he or she can make something interactive for credit. Type ‘002’ over random underscore to make a smiley face appear or else a frown will appear.


I am writing this review on the bus’ wifi right now. The bus is big, fat and shiny and located in the left-hand side of the front of Union Station. It is NOT located where the other busses are at the back. There is no sign, which is disconcerting, but I made a phone call and the lady said it was “across from the Mosaic Apartments on the flat parking lot.” What the hell are the Mosaic apartments? I walk around and see some large apartment complex to the left of Union Station. Ohhhh.

The bus, unlike Megabus, is one story, but the seats are larger and more comfy. The bus is incredibly clean. Like new, perhaps. (This company began running out of Los Angeles 6 months ago.) There are two outlets per seating section, the rest stop is 30 minutes and located in Avenal (not Kettleman City like MegaBus, booo) and consists of one boxed in shopping-gas station complex with a touristy gift shop/bodega, Subway and a taqueria. All in all, this bus is all I could ever ask for.

Sadly, this particular bus stops in San Jose, and then San Francisco, and then Oakland. That is a lot of stops, but there are maybe 20 people on this bus so I guess it would be silly to have a bus dedicated to the one goofball who claims he is going to San Jose.

Useful:Funny:Cool: 0