Wow $500 or more a month for bus rides seems expensive
You can buy a roundtrip plane tix out west for around $300 from NYC/Newark
If you go with 2 or more friends it seems cheaper to rent a car...
We have been able to rent SUVs for 30 per day including taxes non-holiday weekends with unlimited miles, that plus discounted lift tix. Divide that by 2 people of more... Better if some of you own a car...
We wanted to do the buses but they were too expensive for 2+ people plus we have to wake up at 2 or 3 AM to catch the bus at 3 or 4 or whatever.
Maybe the buses are a cheaper option when going by yourself or if you do not like driving for several hours