Company Leaves New York Group Stranded In Pouring Hudson Valley
A group of New Yorkers were left stranded in the pouring rain in the Hudson Valley. Has a travel nightmare like this ever happened to you?
It felt like the opening scene of the movie, "you may be wondering how did I get here." A group of friends and I were left stranded in the Hudson Valley far from our car or my home.
How did this happen? Well, let me try and explain.
The group and I went on a cruise. Rather than pay around $500 to park a car near the port in New York City I figured out a plan for free parking in Tuxedo and then we would take Coach USA ShortLine to port.
We had no issues arriving at the port. After a fun cruise, we made it off the ship in record time.
This meant we could make the 9 a.m. bus back to Tuxedo, rather than waiting for the next bus.
We thought this was great news! Boy, was that wrong.
During the bus ride, I responded to a message from a coworker. He informed me that there were some road closures across the Hudson Valley due to flooding.
I checked my GPS and it didn't appear we would be impacted. However, I didn't know the bus's route, as the bus had to make other stops in New Jersey and Rockland County.
Not far from Tuxedo, my GPS suggests we turn onto the New York State Thruway, go up to exit 16 (Harriman), and take Route 17 back down to Tuxedo.
This would be a detour adding about 15 minutes or so to the trip.
Turns out my GPS suggested this because of a road closure on the Orange Turnpike.
Soon we got stuck as crews cleaned up the road. For about an hour we waited, barely moving an inch.
All while there was an option to hop on I-87. The option my GPS said to take to get to our destination.
I didn't say anything because I knew the bus had other stops to make in Rockland County before my stop.
Hours later I learned there were no passengers for any other stop in Rockland.
The bus was going to drop off my group in Tuxedo and then head towards Middletown.
After a long delay, the road opened and we were on our way. Or so we thought.
On Route 17, near the Orange-Rockland border, our driver appeared to miss a turn. The driver then decided to go in reverse on Route 17!
He continued to drive in reverse down a steep road and eventually made a 9 to 12-point turn.
During this, the bus ended up blocking traffic on Route 17. Thankfully, cars heading towards the bus stopped and didn't drive directly into the bus!
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The driver, apparently following the advice from a passenger, then drove down a small windy road.
We ended up driving through a flooded road near a golf course.
Water on the road didn't stop the bus. But a gate did because, turns ou, we were driving onto a private road.
We were then stopped from continuing on that road by that gate.
Because it was a private road. We overheard the police would come to help the bus turn around.
We then overheard either the bus driver or passenger say his phone was "dying" so we weren't gonna wait for the police to help. Yes, that was the reason.
After another dangerous 9 to 12 point turn we successfully turned around.
One rider later told me he expected "the bus to flip" over on the private road and wondered what "the residents who saw us were thinking."
I then overheard the passenger who was helping the driver tell the bus driver the only way to get us to Tuxedo was to head north on the New York State Thruway, go up to exit 16 (Harriman) and take Route 17 back down to Tuxedo.
Yes, what my GPS was suggesting over an hour ago.
We overheard the bus wouldn't do this for only four passengers.
The passenger who was trying to help the bus driver navigate asked me if we had anyone who could pick us up. I said our car was in Tuxedo and I live in Newburgh, others in my group were heading to Rochester.
Clearly, we took the bus because it was a Monday morning/afternoon and we didn't have a pickup option.
The bus driver didn't want to take the I-87 detour, instead trying to take the streets to Tuxedo. But we hit another closed road.
At this point, my group was told we had two options. Get dropped off somewhere near the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets or in Middletown.
I asked about getting dropped off in Newburgh but was told that wasn't an option because it wasn't on the bus's route. Which was understandable.
I pleaded with the bus driver to try what my GPS was suggesting. The above mentioned Thruway option.
He refused saying all the roads were closed. That turned out to be incorrect. I noticed the driver didn't appear to have a GPS. I'm sure drivers know their areas well, but a GPS probably helps in terms of weather-related road issues.
Passengers then began to scream at me to get off the bus. Saying we were wasting their time. I fully understand why they were annoyed about the situation, but it was out of my control. A passenger later apologized for screaming at me. That was nice of him.
We were soon forced off near the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.
The driver stopped somewhere in the Central Valley area, near the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. I still don't know officially where we were dropped off, because I was never told.
Google tells me it was the Central Valley Park and Ride, which, by the way, wasn't a stop on this bus's route.
While outside in the rain, the driver said he could leave us here, somewhere else in the Central Valley area, or in Middletown, where the bus was heading.
We decided to stay there because we didn't want to get back onto the bus and hear more passengers complain and because it was closer to my home in Newburgh or our car in Tuxedo.
We were scheduled to arrive in Tuxedo at 10:15 a.m. We were forced off the bus at 12:30 p.m. in Central Valley.
With nowhere to turn, we eventually ordered an expensive Uber to Newburgh, got my brother's car and eventually made it to our parked car in Tuxedo, taking the very path my GPS suggested prior, the one I asked the driver to try.
I contacted Coach USA and hoped to at least get a refund. I was initially told of their "no refund policy."
After explainin, again,what happened, I was updated saying a refund would be processed.
However, I asked the company for comment on all that I mentioned above. I've yet to hear back. After multiple requests for comment. I'll update this article if a statement is sent.
Road closures caused some of this nightmare, and I appreciate the driver doing all he could to try and get us to our destination. But I believe a lot of what happened could have easily been avoided.
What would you have done in my situation? Has anything like this happened to you?