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BoltBus logo.png
BoltBus 0889 in Portland Oregon 2014.jpg
A BoltBus in Portland, Oregon, in 2014
ParentGreyhound Lines
FoundedMarch 27, 2008 (2008-March-27)
Ceased operationJuly 1, 2021
HeadquartersOne Dallas Center
350 N St. Paul St
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Service areaNortheastern United States
Pacific Northwest
Service typeIntercity bus service
Baltimore; Boston; Cherry Hill; Greenbelt, Maryland; Newark, New Jersey; New Haven, Connecticut ;New York City ; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.
Albany; Bellingham; Eugene; Portland; Seattle; Vancouver
Fleet101 units:
70 Prevost X3-45
31 MCI D4505
Fuel typeDiesel
OperatorGreyhound Lines
WebsiteOfficial Web site

BoltBus was an intercity bus common carrier that operated low-cost, non-stop and limited-stop, premium level routes in the northeast and western United States and British Columbia, Canada. It was owned by Greyhound Lines and used the company's operating authority, but operated as a distinct business with little advertisement of the corporate connection. BoltBus competed with other low-cost carriers such as Megabus and Chinatown bus carriers.

In the northeast, BoltBus provided service along the Interstate 95 corridor between Boston and Washington, DC. On the west coast, BoltBus service was offered in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, Canada.

The BoltBus branding incorporated a lightning bolt logo similar to the one used by the British Union of Fascists.[1] A spokesperson for Greyhound said in an interview that the resemblance was purely coincidental and not intentional.[2]

Routes and history[edit]


A BoltBus Prevost X3-45 in New York City.

Facing increasing competition from low-cost Chinatown bus carriers in the northeast, Greyhound and Peter Pan Bus Lines partnered to launch BoltBus as a low-cost, non-stop brand.[3][4][5] Service began over the course of a month in early 2008. The first route to begin operation was between New York and Washington, D.C., on March 27, 2008, followed by a route between New York and Philadelphia on April 10, 2008, and between New York and Boston on April 24, 2008.[3][6]

Over the following years service was expanded several more times, with stops in Baltimore and Greenbelt, Maryland added in 2009, a stop in Newark added on March 24, 2011.[7]

After a lengthy legal skirmish, Greyhound and Peter Pan Bus Lines announced that they would no longer be partnering together. As part of a legal settlement, Greyhound became the sole owner of BoltBus, effective September 27, 2017.[8]

The BoltBus network in the northeast radiated from New York City. Service was available between New York City and Boston's South Station Bus Terminal, Washington, D.C.'s Union Station, Baltimore's Penn Station, the Greenbelt Metro station in Greenbelt, Maryland, Newark's Penn Station and Philadelphia from both the 30th Street Station in University City and the Cherry Hill Mall in the suburb of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.[9]

Pacific Northwest[edit]

BoltBus service in the Pacific Northwest radiated from Seattle. Service was available between Seattle's International District/Chinatown station and Portland, Vancouver, BC's Pacific Central Station, Bellingham, Albany, and Eugene.[9]

BoltBus expanded to the Pacific Northwest on May 17, 2012, offering service between Seattle and Portland.[10] Unlike the service in the northeast, Greyhound operated its BoltBus service on the west coast without a partner bus carrier. Service in the Pacific Northwest was expanded to Vancouver, BC, and Bellingham on May 31, 2012,[11] and again on October 3, 2013, to Albany and Eugene.[12]


BoltBus expanded into California on October 31, 2013, offering service between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. The service originally operated between Los Angeles, San Jose and Oakland.[13] A stop at San Francisco's Transbay Terminal was added to the route on December 12, 2013,[14] followed by a stop in Hollywood on January 8, 2015.

A second route between Los Angeles's Union Station and San Diego was added on November 14, 2013,[15] but was discontinued in January 2014 due to low ridership.

BoltBus service was expanded outside of California on December 12, 2013, with a route between Los Angeles Union Station and Las Vegas with a stop in Barstow.[14]

BoltBus service was extended to Fresno, California, on October 19, 2017, with routes to Los Angeles, Hollywood, San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland.[16]

Suspension of operations[edit]

On July 1, 2021, BoltBus announced their operations would be discontinued and Greyhound would take over all routes. It was later clarified that BoltBus service would be suspended indefinitely rather than ceasing operations.[17][18]


BoltBus #0889, a 2013 Motor Coach Industries D4505 stopped at Pacific Central Station in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Unlike parent Greyhound, all tickets sold on BoltBus were for reserved seating and buses were not oversold.[7] On each trip, at least one ticket was sold for $1, with most pre-booked tickets priced in the $10–$20 range, via the yield management model.[19] BoltBus sold the $1 tickets at random within the first few seats sold.[7] The $1 fare was the basis for its slogan "Bolt for a Buck".[20] Since buses did not operate out of traditional stations with ticket windows, passengers were encouraged to purchase tickets either online or on the phone before heading to the bus stop, but drivers also accepted cash from "walk-up" passengers, if space was available (walk-up tickets typically cost 30% more than online fares).[7] When ticketed, passengers were assigned to a boarding group (S, A, B & C). Passengers who purchased their tickets earlier get a better boarding group assignment, allowing them to board the bus and choose their seats earlier. Passengers who were members of the Bolt Rewards program were always assigned to the A boarding group.[7] Passengers who had special needs were assigned to the S boarding group and were allowed to board before other passengers.


BoltBus interior with leather seats.

BoltBus routes used Prevost X3-45 and MCI D4505 coaches. All motorcoaches were equipped with wireless internet access and seats that had armrests, footrests, seat belts, cup holders. Most seats had a pair of 120-volt power outlets.[7] The motorcoaches used on BoltBus had 5 fewer seats than the industry standard, giving passengers additional legroom and eliminating the middle seat from the last row.

Manufacturer Model Year Fleet numbers Notes[21][22]
Prevost X3-45 2008 0800-0832 Powered by Detroit Diesel Series 60 14L. Equipped with Amaya Patriot PT seating.

2017 year models are powered by the Volvo D13

2009 0833-0837, 0840-0841, 0843-0851, 0854-0870
2017 0908-0922
Motor Coach Industries D4505 2012 0886 Owned by Motor Coach Industries, replacement unit for 0883.
2014 0887-0901 Powered by Cummins ISX12. Equipped with American Seating Premier.
Van Hool CX-45 2015 0902-0907


  1. ^ Cedotal, Andrew (January 25, 2010). "Is Bolt Bus Using the Logo of a British Fascist Party?". The Mary Sue. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  2. ^ Hopper, Tristin (January 28, 2016). "Fascist, schmaschist: Why a West Coast bus company picked the same logo as some dead British fascists". National Post. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Killian, Erin (March 4, 2008). "Boltbus starts from D.C. to New York City service". Washington Business Journal. Archived from the original on March 29, 2008. Retrieved April 15, 2008.
  4. ^ "BoltBus - FAQ". Retrieved April 10, 2014. BoltBus is owned by Greyhound Lines, Inc. and is operated in the Northeast region in partnership with Peter Pan Bus Lines, Inc. of Springfield, MA.
  5. ^ Kinney, Jim (March 11, 2008). "Peter Pan, Greyhound offer new bus service". The Republican. Retrieved June 9, 2008.
  6. ^ O'Neill, Xana (March 27, 2008). "Bus fare to D.C. a dollar, not a dream!". NY Daily News. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "BoltBus - FAQ". BoltBus. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  8. ^ "Greyhound, Peter Pan will split up and be rivals again - The Boston Globe". Archived from the original on September 14, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  9. ^ a b "BoltBus Buy Tickets". BoltBus. Archived from the original on August 16, 2009. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
  10. ^ "BoltBus to offer $1 fares between Seattle, Portland".
  11. ^ "BoltBus adds a Vancouver, B.C. line from Seattle".
  12. ^ "BoltBus To Expand Oregon Service To Eugene And Albany On Oct. 3". PRNewswire. September 10, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  13. ^ "BoltBus To Launch Service In California On Oct. 31". PRNewswire. October 15, 2013. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  14. ^ a b "BoltBus Expands From Los Angeles; Adds Las Vegas, San Francisco Service". PRNewswire. December 10, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
  15. ^ "BoltBus Continues California Expansion, Adds San Diego Service". PRNewswire. November 6, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  16. ^ "BoltBus Expanding Service in California, adding Fresno, CA". PRNewswire. October 12, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  17. ^ "RIP, BoltBus — the affordable, trendy bus company has discontinued service; Greyhound will take over its routes". The Seattle Times (in American English). July 1, 2021. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  18. ^ Wilkinson, Joseph. "Discount bus brand BoltBus indefinitely suspended, Greyhound taking over routes". NY Daily News. New York Daily News. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
  19. ^ "The Canadian Press: Greyhound's BoltBus offers cheap curbside service in the United States". May 2, 2008. Retrieved May 14, 2008.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ Anita Hamilton (June 6, 2008). "Beating $4 Gas with a $1 Bus". Time, Inc. Archived from the original on June 7, 2008. Retrieved June 8, 2008.
  21. ^ "Welcome to Truck Stop". Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  22. ^ "CPTDB Wiki - BoltBus".

Further reading[edit]

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