KNOXVILLE (WBIR) -- WBIR Anchors Robin Wilhoit and John Becker along with photojournalist Tim Dale set out on a travel challenge.
Given the expansion of Megabus service in Tennessee they set out to test it.
The challenge became a quick trip to Atlanta. Robin took the bus, John hopped on a plane, and Tim drove a news car. All three left at the same time. They set out to measure the travel time, cost, and the overall experience.
The three met at 1:15 pm on Wednesday, January 18 in a shopping center in the Bearden area. John left from there bound for a 3:00 pm flight out of McGhee Tyson Airport. Robin headed to the Transit Center in Downtown Knoxville to catch the 2:00 p.m. Megabus to Atlanta. Tim hopped in his news vehicleand hit the road.
It took Tim right around four hours with traffic to drive Interstates 40 West and 75 South and park at the meeting point, Atlanta's CNN Center. The trip cost almost $46.00 in fuel one way.
John tied Tim on the arrival time. His trip to the airport, wait to board, flight, and mass transit ride on MARTA into the city took right around four hours. His trip cost $319 for a plane ticket and Marta pass.
From start to finish, Robin's trip on Megabus and a short ride on MARTA to the CNN Center took 5 hours 15 minutes. Her journey also included a 15 minute scheduled stop on the bus in Chattanooga. The cost of the bus ticket and MARTA totaled $20.50.
There are a couple parts of each experience worth noting. John did not have Wi-Fi access on the airplane; the connection did not work. In addition, the flight was so short that the flight attendants did not offerdrink service.
Robin had access to free Wi-Fi the entire way. Her stop also allowed the opportunity to fuel up on snacks and drinks before boarding the bus for the final leg.
Tim, like a well prepared photographer, brought his own lunch to eat on the lonely drive down.
In taking the comparison a little further to another city served by Megabus, consider this comparison for a trip to Washington D.C.
A flight to the nation's capitol from Knoxville will take 1 hour 30 minutes and cost $659 for a round-trip ticket.
A ride on the Megabus will take 8 hours 55 minutes at a cost of $20 each way.
And driving your own vehicle 972 miles to Washington D.C. will take right at 8 hours and cost $227 in gas.