What time does your MegaBus arrive? Hard to give specific advice without that info.
In any case I think you will need to go to the airport first. There aren't really any rental car offices near the Civic Center Station, and the ones that are in the area have limited hours (usually weekdays plus Saturday AM). Depending what time the MegaBus gets in, you may have to spend the night somewhere before you can leave town anyway. I do not recommend trying to find a place near the MARTA Station - most of the hotels downtown are pricey and many of the ones that are less expensive are not in good areas (especially if walking in the wee hours).
If you wind up renting a car and driving, then I would just rent it in Columbia and drive the whole way (and stop for the night somewhere to break it up, since you may have to do that anyway). The cost of renting a car in Columbia will probably be less than renting it in Atlanta, and I am sure you can find a less expensive hotel to stay in, somewhere along your route.
-JimGEdited: 18 September 2018, 20:10
"No need to spend the night anywhere along the way"
It's only about 5 hour drive from Columbia to Columbus. I would personally do it straight through but I wasn't sure how the OP felt - just pointing out that if they are going to have to spend the night in Atlanta anyway on account of taking MegaBus, then they could also do that driving straight through if they wanted to break up the trip (for example, leaving after work on a week night), and probably for a lot less money.
Everything hinges on the time - if arriving during the day then it's a no brainer to pick up a rental car or arrange other transportation from the airport. If it's in the wee hours then that complicates the situation a bit - could still rent a car, but would definitely have to pick it up at the airport.
I really wish people would provide more details in their initial posts - would make it a lot easier on the folks giving the advice.
"I really wish people would provide more details in their initial posts - would make it a lot easier on the folks giving the advice."
I don't understand. The OP is very clear.
What "more details" are needed?
He's getting off the Megabus at the Civic Center.
He wants to go to Columbus GA.
It seems like a very straight forward situation and question.
MARTA to the airport -
Rental Car Center -
Hertz info to be used as an example. They are open 24 hours -
Depending on when the Megabus drop off is, you may have to wait (probably about an hour) until MARTA starts running again. Or take a cab to the airport.
omr, the Megabus drop off is Civic Center Marta station.
Stevedec, I don't know when the Megabus drops off riders at the MARTA Civic Center station but they DO drop people off in the wee hours of the morning. If that is the case with buses arriving from Columbia SC, the poster may have to wait until the MARTA train starts running again in the morning (4:45 am). If they don't want to wait there for an unknown (to us) period of time, they could take a cab or Uber/Lyft to the airport. Hertz (and probably other agencies) are open 24 hours and they could be in Columbus 1.5 hours later.
Or take the Groome's van to Columbus.
omr, you're right about the times. I seem to recall that at least one their routes drops off at 3 or 4 am, way before Marta runs. I tend to agree that, if possible, the OP should just get a car and drive, but since, not surprisingly, we haven't heard back from them, we can't be too helpful.