Bargain bus line debuts in the U.S.

Good news for America-bound vagabonders: New discount bus line Megabus is now offering one-way fares on routes between major cities in the Midwest for as little as $1. Jack Kerouac, eat your heart out.

Megabus works like the discount bus and air lines in Europe. Tickets are only bookable online, and are cheaper the earlier you buy them. I clicked through a quick fare search on Megabus’s Web site and turned up a $1 ticket (Chicago to Kansas City) towards the end of the available booking period (early May) on the first try. But even the priciest Megabus fares are cheaper than the best deals on other carriers, says a Megabus spokesman.

It’s hard to argue with that, but if you’ve flown Ryanair you know that with discount transport, what you save in price you often sacrifice in comfort. So how is a ride on a Megabus? In an AP story, Megabus customers say they’re satisfied:

On a recent day at the Megabus stop in Chicago, two University of Minnesota students, Sean Klontz, 21, and Emily Garber, 20, were returning to Minneapolis after participating in a Chicago-area bicycle race. Klontz said he paid $30 for the same round trip several months ago, but only $20 for this one, since he booked well in advance.

Garber said it was her first Megabus trip, and it was comparable to Greyhound — only cheaper. Both said the seats were narrow, and there was little leg room, but Garber added, “I’ll sacrifice the leg room for more money in my wallet.”

Spoken like a true traveler. A transportation analyst also quoted in the story predicts intensified competition in the low-fares bus game in the future; if he’s right, new routes and carriers are bound to spring up. Keep an eye out.

Posted by | Comments (1)  | March 21, 2007
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

One Response to “Bargain bus line debuts in the U.S.”

  1. Brian Says:

    Not bad, if you don’t mind traveling by bus. It’s certainly better than the 250 I paid for a Greyhound trip from San Diego to NYC.