I always take the Ithaca -> Geneva -> Rochester -> Batavia -> Buffalo bus when I head home, taking a total of 3 to 3.5 hours. Yesterday I took this bus to head home for Thanksgiving, and it took a total of 7 hours to get home to Buffalo. It was the single most ridiculous trip I've ever taken.
I had my doubts when I got on the bus in Ithaca, and heard the driver outside saying that Geneva wasn't on his itinerary and denying people on the bus (despite people already Geneva-bound on the bus). Well things seem to be resolved and the bus chock full of people heading to Rochester, Buffalo, and points west took off. Here is the usual route, for reference. The bus took off, and headed east. Very strange, but I decided the bus must be headed up the east side of Cayuga Lake, because a portion of the road west was closed. Instead of heading up the lake, we continued east to Cortland. Well now I thought, we must be looping through Syracuse (see our actual route here), which was profoundly stupid and adds 1.5 hours to the trip. Oh well, I thought. I should mention at this point that the driver never once addressed the bus the entire trip.
We arrived in Syracuse and instead of turning onto the 90 west, we pulled into the bus station and the driver opened the luggage compartments. Sheer pandemonium resulted, as several people got out to question what the F we were doing at the Syracuse station and then the whole bus practically revolted. I caught snippets of the arguing outside the bus and basically the explanation was the bus driver forgot where he was going, and thought this was Rochester. Well we ended up staying at the station for nearly half an hour as the driver vanished for a while, leaving us in a state of near-panic, and he finally came back and quickly started to pull away (still not addressing the bus with a single word), before he was shouted down because there were still people outside (he muttered 'they shouldn't have gotten off').
Well we finally got to Geneva (a Geneva local on the bus had to guide him to the station) and Rochester (a Rochester native had to guide him to the station), and then Batavia. Along the way it was very apparent that he was a terrible driver, and the whole ride was taking its toll on us because he had the heat cranked, the vents didn't work, and the reading lights didn't work. In Batavia, we promptly got lost for 40 minutes looking for the station to drop off a single person (we let her off at a Rite-Aid after about 30 minutes). Now, Batavia is barely a city, so that means we were criss-crossing the main drag repeatedly.
Finally, we arrived in Buffalo at 9pm, after a 2pm start, giving a total transit time of 7 hours for a 3.5 hour trip. Absolutely. Goddamn. Ridiculous.