The 380 Express Corridor Rides is a bus service that recently started at the beginning of October. The service provides charter buses that transport between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City with a couple stopping points in between.
On Oct. 25 members of the Washington journalism department, (members from the Surveyor and Monument staffs,) Kyle Phillips, two chaperones and two members of Phillips’ Intro to Media class took the bus down to Iowa City for the annual Iowa High School Press Association state conference. Below you’ll find some of their reviews.
Seth Keppler (Surveyor A&E editor): My experience with the bussing service was luxurious. The bus really is the full package. It has clear rows of silky carpeted seats complete with footrests, a reclining function, charging ports, and seatbelts in case of emergency. The bus also has a free wifi available and television sets that hang over every couple of seats although I don’t know if they will actually play anything on them.
The ride was comfortable and quick! I barely noticed the time in between the trip. Within ten minutes of sitting down in the plush seats I fell asleep and woke up in Iowa City. Even with a person next to me the seating was spacious for a snooze. The windows of the bus were something that I personally loved. They were grand and clear, and had I not been asleep I would’ve been gazing at the sights along I-380.
Overall my time with the 380 Express Corridor Rides was a pleasure and with a round trip fare of just $7, I might find myself in Iowa City more often.
Kyle Phillips, CJE (Surveyor and Monument adviser): The 380 Express was definitely the nicest charter bus I’ve ever been on and I would recommend it for those looking to relax between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. Every seat is equipped with a usb charger for your mobile device, and there are seat belts for the safety inclined.
I would say that the couple downsides I encountered were the on-board wifi, which is a major focus of the advertising for this bus. I ran two speed tests on the way down to Iowa City in the morning and both times Google came back with the reading that the internet was “very slow.” It took a long time for the bus to load Twitter and my Instagram feed would not load properly unless I switched over to data.
The other negative was the timing. We caught the 7:20 a.m. bus down so that students would have a little extra time to sleep rather than having to wake up for the 6:50 a.m.. The bus arrived about four minutes late in Iowa City due to heavy morning traffic. If your arrival time is close to when you have to be someplace make sure you catch the bus one time slot earlier than anticipated.
On our return to Cedar Rapids the wheelchair ramp was not functioning properly, resulting in our bus being nearly 30 minutes late- at one point I looked back when the bus stopped at Kirkwood (one of the five stops the bus makes) and the bus that was supposed to run 30 minutes after our’s was sitting directly behind us.
Overall the bus cost was less than it would have been for us to get a school bus to the conference, but if I had a choice I would still stick with transportation where I had more control over the arrival and departure schedule. It’s a great idea that would definitely work well for those who work in downtown Cedar Rapids or Iowa City, or at the University Hospitals.
Miguel Jacobo (Surveyor Webmaster): Though many people sing the praises of the 380 Express, I personally feel that it’s overrated for people that have the ability to drive through 380. I felt that the seats were uncomfortable in terms of only legroom (I am about 5 foot 6 inches) and the cupholders were extremely flimsy as my water bottle had fallen on me on several occasions. The bus ride itself felt very bumpy on the interstate as well. All in all, the 380 Express is a good amenity for people that don’t already have a means to get to Iowa City, but for the common individual, you’re better off driving.
Matthew Gearhart (Surveyor Co-Opinions Editor) Time spent picking up people at other stops didn’t linger too long as many buses that have multiple stops do. The seats were comfortable to me, considering I don’t take up too much space in the first place. Windows stretched down the bus, very large in surface area giving me a huge open peer outside. Our bus offered a shading curtain to pull down in case you needed to catch up on sleep. Buses that don’t have bathrooms are always a noticeable negative, so it was nice to have a bathroom there in case. The ride went a bit long but nothing too major. As a high school student it was an overall enjoyable trip.
Kaden Fields (Surveyor Multimedia Editor) Typically riding on buses can be a hassle for many who want to simply get to one place to another. Many people would think of dirty seats, uncomfortable people, and other uncomfortable factors that interfere with your travels
The 380 Express had none of these stereotypes though. It was by far the cleanest, friendliest, and most welcoming bus I have rode on. Not only did we depart on time but we had traveled in a swift manner and was able to arrive with a comfortable amount of time. Would definitely recommend this travel service to others.
Bryan Ennis (Business Manager) I was highly impressed when I stepped onto the 380 Express for the first time. I was expecting a very run down sketchy bus filled with a unpleasant stench, but was pleasantly surprised. The bus was very clean, quiet, spacious, and very comfortable. I was able to feel comfortable and relaxed as soon as I sat down and enjoyed the whole ride there and back. The only issue I had with the whole experience in general was waiting for the bus to pick us up. It was very unpredictable in the sense that at one point we had thought we missed the bus because it hadn’t arrived when it was supposed to.
Jessie Koozer (Copy Editor)
I very much enjoyed my experience on the 380 Express. The seats were very comfortable and overall it was a nice ride. The WiFi was spotty at times which was an inconvenience at times but I was still able to use it for the most part. I liked how the stops were quick and concise. There weren’t very many passengers so it was very quiet and peaceful, which would be nice for people who are taking the bus to get to work. I would definitely take the 380 Express again and recommend it to others.