Megabus (North America)
|Slogan||Low cost daily express bus service...stay connected|
|Parent||Variant Equity Advisors|
|Founded||April 10, 2006|
|Service area||United States|
|Service type||Intercity coach service|
|Fleet||Motor Coach Industries single-deck coaches|
Van Hool single-and double-deck coaches
|Operator||Coach USA subsidiaries:
|Chief executive||Linda Burtwistle|
Megabus, branded as megabus.com, is an intercity bus service of Coach USA/Coach Canada and DATTCO (under contract) operating in the eastern, southern, midwestern and western United States, and in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
Some tickets, if purchased well in advance, are priced as low as $1, with occasional free promotions, in addition to an online booking fee of $2.50 per transaction. Megabus follows the yield management model, typically used by airlines, where the lowest fares are offered to those who book early. Only one or two seats are sold for $0 or $1 per schedule, so the less popular schedules tend to be less expensive. Bus stops may be in public streets, bus stations, outside railroad stations or transportation centers in major cities, or on college campuses or at shopping centers in other cities.
Upon purchase of a ticket, passengers are given a reservation number to be shown to the bus operator upon boarding. In the United States, tickets are not available from the bus operator. In Canada, owing to franchise regulations, tickets are sold at stops but may be more expensive than those purchased online.
Reservations can be changed for a fee of $3-$7.50.
On April 10, 2006, Stagecoach Group, operator of Megabus (Europe), introduced the Megabus brand in the United States through its Coach USA subsidiary with daily routes between Chicago and Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, St Louis, Ann Arbor, Columbus, Louisville, Toledo, Detroit, Kansas City, Minneapolis and State College.
On August 8, 2007, Megabus introduced service to the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego and Tempe, Arizona, using Coach America as a contractor. In its first foray into California, ridership was sluggish and Megabus started to discontinue services from Los Angeles in early 2008. Service to the Phoenix area was discontinued in January 2008, followed by services in San Diego and San Ysidro in March 2008. In May 2008, Megabus made the decision to shut down service to/from Los Angeles and discontinue all related services. The final day for services from Los Angeles was June 22, 2008. Megabus re-entered the market in 2012 after reacquiring some of the assets of Coach America, which had been part of Coach USA prior to a major divestiture in 2003.
In late May 2008, Megabus began service to/from New York City, with service to/from Albany, Atlantic City, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Toronto and Washington, D.C. Further expansions included service to Syracuse, Rochester, Hartford and Niagara Falls, Ontario. Niagara Falls and Hartford were later withdrawn although service to Hartford resumed in 2010.
Megabus returned to the West Coast on December 12, 2012 initially serving San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, Reno, Riverside and Los Angeles. On its west coast routes, Megabus operates almost exclusively from either commuter rail stations or transfer stations for local transit buses.
Megabus announced service to in Atlanta, its first destination in the Southeastern United States, on October 25, 2011. On November 16, 2011, Megabus began operations out of Atlanta from the Civic Center station in Downtown Atlanta.
Initially, Megabus offered service from Atlanta to Chattanooga, Nashville, Knoxville, Montgomery, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Orlando, Memphis, Birmingham, Charlotte, Durham, Mobile, Richmond and Washington, D.C. Megabus now also serves Athens and New Orleans. In addition, passengers are able to link to northeastern US Megabus service through Knoxville and Charlotte, and link to Midwestern Megabus services through Memphis and Nashville.
Megabus also has a bus line linking Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville, started on March 14, 2012.
Baton Rouge service was added September 9, 2013, with service to New Orleans and San Antonio.
Megabus began operations in the U.S. on April 10, 2006, with routes between Chicago and Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and St Louis, from a stop on the curb next to Chicago Union Station. Megabus passengers are prohibited from waiting in the station unless they are using other companies' services. Services also began between Indianapolis and Cincinnati. A service that was initially offered between Indianapolis and Columbus was later withdrawn due to low ridership.
On September 11, 2006, a stop in Toledo was added on the route operating between Chicago and Cleveland. Additional services were added on April 2, 2007: a stop in Ann Arbor along the Chicago-Detroit route for travel to and from Chicago, new service between Minneapolis and Milwaukee, an extension of the Chicago-Toledo-Cleveland route into Pittsburgh (since withdrawn on the Midwest network, but later re-entered on the Northeast network), an extension of the Chicago-St. Louis route into Kansas City, reactivation of the Chicago-Indianapolis-Columbus route, new service between Cincinnati and Columbus, and new service between Chicago and Louisville via Indianapolis (since withdrawn).
On March 27, 2008, a new route was added, Chicago-Champaign-Memphis, offering 2 daily trips in each direction. In early 2010, Champaign/Memphis route was cut to one daily round-trip due to poor ridership, but the second round trip has since been restored.
On May 4, 2010, a route from Chicago to Des Moines via Iowa City began operating. On August 17, 2011, Megabus started service to Omaha, via Des Moines and Iowa City; twice-daily departures and arrivals from Omaha and an increase to four daily departures and arrivals from Des Moines and Iowa City.
On March 14, 2012, Megabus started service from Chicago to Nashville via Indianapolis and Louisville. Service was later extended to Atlanta via Chattanooga. In June 2012, Megabus announced service from Chicago to Detroit via Grand Rapids and East Lansing beginning July 12.
On February 2, 2015, Megabus discontinued service from Columbus, Ohio to Cleveland.
On March 1, 2017, Megabus added service between Chicago and Lincoln, NE thru Moline, Coralville, Des Moines and Omaha.
On May 31, 2012, Megabus announced new service to be effective June 19, 2012 to/from Grand Prairie, near the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. From Dallas, passengers had options to travel to Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Little Rock, Memphis, Norman, Oklahoma City, Springfield and St Louis. Passengers also have the option to connect to other Megabus routes in Memphis, from Dallas; and to New Orleans, from Houston. On November 18, 2012, it was announced that customers would also be able to be served in Dallas downtown area as well as the Grand Prairie location. Megabus received the necessary permissions to start on the following Monday.
On April 4, 2013, service was discontinued for the Oklahoma state and Missouri state stops via Dallas. Dallas-to-St. Louis is now only accessible via routing through Memphis.
Service was extended to Anaheim on December 6, 2014.
On May 30, 2008, Megabus began East Coast operations with service to and from Atlantic City (operated by Academy Bus), Washington, D.C., Boston, Philadelphia, Buffalo and Toronto. Service to Baltimore was added after negotiations over the usage of the White Marsh Park & Ride were concluded. On June 6, a once-daily service was added to Binghamton for travel to and from Buffalo and Toronto.
As of November 2008, the company was running 14 daily New York City-Washington, DC trips.
In December 2008, service to Binghamton, which had been operating only to Buffalo and Toronto, was dropped in favor of service to Syracuse, Rochester and Niagara Falls. A new route also began service to and from Albany. Both revised services offer four trips daily (up from two on the Toronto line), with a fifth Buffalo-Toronto express overnight trip also offered. All services were moved from the Royal York Hotel to the Toronto Coach terminal. Hartford was also added on the M22 route in December 2008, with service to Boston or New York available.
Service to/from Hartford was added December 4, 2008, but withdrawn on September 14, 2009.
On May 4, 2010, service between New York and Pittsburgh via State College began operating; Pittsburgh had previously been served by a route to and from Chicago earlier. In July 2010, Philadelphia and Boston were added as destinations. In August 2010, Providence to New York was added as a route.
On September 8, 2010, service was stopped between Philadelphia and Atlantic City due to low ridership. On December 15, 2010, service was added to Hartford and Amherst.Service between New York and Amherst began on December 15, 2010; extended to Burlington and Montpelier in 2014. A Brattleboro stop was added in September 2016.
In July 2018, Megabus restarted service between Cleveland and New York City.
On March 29, 2011, Megabus announced service to/from Pittsburgh, operating service out of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center underpass. Megabus routes from Pittsburgh included Pittsburgh-State College-NYC, Pittsburgh-Washington, Pittsburgh-Harrisburg-Philadelphia-Camden, Pittsburgh-Erie-Buffalo-Toronto, Pittsburgh-Columbus-Cincinnati, Pittsburgh-Akron-Cleveland (a restoration of an earlier cut), and Pittsburgh-Toledo-Detroit.
Megabus also announced a route between Pittsburgh and Ann Arbor, starting March 14, 2012.
On March 13, 2012, Megabus removed under-performing services from Pittsburgh, including Pittsburgh-Erie-Buffalo-Toronto and Pittsburgh-Columbus-Cincinnati and Pittsburgh-Akron, leaving Pittsburgh-State College-NYC, Pittsburgh-Washington, Pittsburgh-Harrisburg-Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh-Cleveland-Toledo-Detroit-Ann Arbor as the remaining services. On May 6, 2014, Megabus also ended the Pittsburgh-Ann Arbor route due to poor ridership, leaving Pittsburgh customers with no direct connection to points west of the city.
Starting July 21, 2010, Megabus began operating service to/from 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Service operates to the Pennsylvania cities of Harrisburg, State College and Pittsburgh, as well as to Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, New York City, Toronto and Washington, D.C.
Megabus began operating to/from Washington D.C. on December 15, 2010. Included was service to/from Toronto. In November 2011, Megabus began operating from the bus deck in Union Station. Service between Washington and Christiansburg, Virginia
Knoxville and Atlanta also started on December 15, 2010.
Megabus re-entered California on December 12, 2012, serving San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose Sacramento, Reno, Riverside and Los Angeles. Service runs on four routes (LA-San Jose-SF, LA-Oakland-SF, SF-Sacramento and LA-Riverside-Las Vegas).
In California and Nevada, Megabus operates almost exclusively from either commuter rail stations or transfer stations for local transit buses. In Los Angeles, the buses utilize Union Station's Patsaouras Transit Plaza. In San Jose, Megabus stops at Diridon Station. In the Las Vegas Valley, buses utilize RTC's South Strip Transfer Terminal.
- East Lansing
- Grand Rapids
- Iowa City
- Kansas City
- St Louis
- St Paul
- Atlantic City
- New York City
- Portland, Maine
- State College
- Washington, D.C.
The Megabus fleet has the megabus.com name on the front and sides in yellow against a blue base, and the Megabus logo on the left side of the coach (facing forward) and rear of the bus. The DATTCO fleet used for Megabus service also has Megabus logos, but with a DATTCO logo instead of a Coach USA logo for Megabus buses owned and operated by DATTCO. Buses on the M25 Megabus route operate with Academy Bus livery.
Megabus service began with used Motor Coach Industries 102EL3 Renaissance coaches, often transferred from other Coach USA operations, with some services utilizing Chicago- and Wisconsin Coach Lines buses. In 2007, Coach USA updated its Chicago-based Megabus fleet with new MCI J4500 single-deck and Van Hool TD925 double-deck motorcoaches.
In May 2008, Megabus expanded to the Northeastern United States with a fleet of mostly brand-new Motor Coach Industries D4505 coaches, several new Van Hool TD925-double decker buses, and some buses purchased secondhand or transferred from the Chicago fleet. This expansion came as Megabus exited from the West Coast market. Further expansion in the Northeast came in the fall and winter of 2008-2009, when additional double-decker buses were delivered, resulting in much of the single-deck buses being transferred to sister operation Eastern Shuttle, pushing many of the EL3s to retirement. The fleet transferred to Eastern Shuttle was eventually returned to mainline Coach USA duty following divestiture a few months later.
All Megabus coaches in the United States are equipped with Wi-Fi and electrical outlets.
In accordance with ADA regulations, wheelchair-accessible service is available on all lines (although most service is operated with true-low-floor double-deck coaches). This can now be done online or by phone.
The Canadian Megabus fleet consists of 15 2009 TD925 buses and are operated by Trentway-Wagar. All of the Canada fleet is equipped with electrical outlets and Wi-Fi. The Canadian buses are pooled with the US fleet for NYC-Toronto or Philadelphia-Toronto runs, with drivers swapping at Buffalo to stay within their certified country. On these runs the buses will typically only have Wi-Fi service available in the home country for the bus being used; i.e. Canadian buses will turn off their WiFi at the US border and American buses will turn off WiFi upon entering Canada. This is to avoid incurring roaming charges from the cellular carriers that provide the internet service.
Below is a list of notable incidents and accidents involving Megabus vehicles (not counting Megabus vehicles operated by DATTCO or Concord Coach Lines on services to and from Boston, and services on the M25, which are operated separately).
- On September 1, 2008, a Detroit-bound M1 coach was pulled over by Michigan State police after officers noticed the bus swaying and speeding outside Benton Township, Michigan. The bus's driver was arrested when he was found to have a blood alcohol level of .07, well above the .04 limit for commercial bus operators. It was the first drunk driving incident in Coach USA history. A replacement driver was brought in to bring the 30 passengers to their final destination.
- On September 11, 2010, around 2:30 a.m., a Toronto-bound M34 double-decker coach missed an exit to the William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center in Syracuse, NY, and hit a railway overpass carrying the St. Lawrence Subdivision along NY Route 370 2 miles (3.2 km) farther away. Four passengers were killed, all in the front of the upper deck, which was crushed into the lower deck in the crash, and 17 others were injured. Megabus settled the resulting lawsuits, including one for $3.1 million.
- On August 2, 2012, a St. Louis-bound M5 service Megabus coach with 64 passengers slammed into a concrete bridge pillar on Interstate 55 near Litchfield, Illinois. At least one passenger was killed and 30 were hurt. Police attributed the crash to a blown tire.
According to federal records, since August 2007, Chicago drivers have been cited 54 times by police: 21 times for not maintaining driver logs, 20 times for speeding, three times for following too closely, 2 times for improper lane changes, and 2 for windshield violations. There were 6 other violations of local laws. Also, New York drivers have been cited 29 times by police: 14 times for speeding, five times for not maintaining driver logs, two times for failing to obey a traffic control device, two times for defects (windshield cracked and other), and 1 time for falsifying a log book. There were 5 other violations of local laws. There have been four other accidents involving Megabus vehicles.
The safety of curbside bus services came under scrutiny after the World Wide Tours bus crash caused 14 fatalities. The National Transportation Safety Board conducted a six-month study and found that while bus travel was considerably safer than by car, curbside buses had seven times the fatality rates of traditional bus lines.
- "Changing Reservations". Megabus.
- Good morning America...meet megabus.com On Stage issue 62 April 2006 page 7
- Raine, George (August 2, 2007). "Bargain bus company riding into Bay Area next week". San Francisco Chronicle.
- "Megabus.com launches $1 bus service on West Coast" (Press release). Coach USA. August 2, 2007.
- Megabus drives ahead in States On Stage issue 68 October 2007 page 1
- Chang, Andrea (May 17, 2008). "Megabus to halt service in L.A." Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008.
- Roberts, Chris (November 28, 2012). "$1 Buses to Los Angeles Return". KNTV.
- "Megabus.com begins new service to/from Los Angeles, San Francisco and six cities" (Press release). PR Newswire. December 12, 2012.
- "Sale of North America Division for Estimated Enterprise Value of US$271M" (Press release). Stagecoach Group. December 19, 2018.
- "Stagecoach sells off North American division for $271m". Coach & Bus Week. December 21, 2018.
- "Megabus to open Atlanta Hub". American City Business Journals. October 24, 2011.
- Seventh USA hub for meagbus.com On Stage issue 88 November 2011 page 7
- "Megabus.com Expands Service to/from Atlanta and 11 Cities" (Press release). PR Newswire. October 25, 2011.
- Snyder, Eric (January 17, 2012). "Megabus.com expands Nashville service". American City Business Journals.
- "Megabus.com expands service to/from South Carolina" (Press release). PR Newswire. February 6, 2014.
- "Megabus.com adds three daily arrivals/departures to/from Baton Rouge". The Gonzales Weekly Citizen. September 9, 2013.
- BALOUSEK, MARV (February 28, 2008). "MEGABUS IS A NEW OPTION TO CHICAGO THE BUS SERVICE WILL LINK CHICAGO, MADISON AND MINNEAPOLIS BEGINNING MARCH 13". Wisconsin State Journal.
- Thorsen, Leah (September 15, 2015). "MegaBus ending service in Columbia, Kansas City; Mizzou senior petitioning to save it". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- "Megabus.com expands Chicago service to Omaha". Facebook. August 4, 2011.
- McMillin, Zane (June 22, 2012). "All aboard: Megabus unveils start date, ticket sales for new Michigan route". Booth Newspapers.
- Glaser, Susan (February 2, 2016). "Megabus cuts service between Cleveland and Columbus, Cincinnati, cites declining gas prices as the reason why". The Plain Dealer.
- Davis, Andy (February 21, 2017). "Megabus, Windstar Lines partnership brings bus service back to area". Iowa City Press-Citizen.
- "STAGECOACH EXPANDS MEGABUS.COM NORTH AMERICAN NETWORK TO TEXAS" (Press release). Stagecoach Group. May 31, 2012.
- "Megabus begins express service in Dallas on June 19". Dallas Morning News. May 31, 2012.
- "Megabus resumes service to Dallas | wfaa.com Dallas-Fort Worth". Wfaa.com. November 18, 2012. Archived from the original on May 10, 2013. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
- "Oklahoma business briefs for April 2, 2013". The Oklahoman. April 2, 2013.
- Forgione, Mary (November 19, 2014). "Megabus to begin Anaheim–San Francisco service in December". Los Angeles Times.
- "Megabus.com expands service to/from Mississippi" (Press release). PR Newswire. December 6, 2013.
- Megabus heads east in the USA On Stage issue 70 April 2008 page 2
- HARMON, SONIA (November 13, 2008). "DC to NYC: Which Bus Line Is Best?". Washingtonian.
- "New York to Boston is now express!". August 27, 2009 – via Facebook.
- "Stagecoach Group PLC and Coach USA, Inc., et al.-Acquisition of Control-Eastern Travel & Tour, Inc., 54202-54203 [E8-21733]". Justia. September 18, 2008.
- Novikoff, Josh (February 17, 2009). "Today's Bus Now Part of Eastern Coach/Coach USA". WAMU. Archived from the original on February 22, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
- McNally, Brendan (April 15, 2010). "MegaBus service offers cheap routes". Daily Collegian.
- "Megabus.com Expands Service in Midwest and Northeast" (Press release). PR Newswire. April 13, 2010.
- "Megabus adds Philadelphia service". The Boston Globe. June 11, 2010.
- Nickerson, Jef (August 4, 2010). "Megabus Coming to Providence". Greater City Providence.
- STACOM, DON (November 16, 2010). "Megabus Rolls Back Into Hartford Market". Hartford Courant.
- "Megabus.com Expands New York Service". Metro. November 19, 2010.
- "Letter: Megabus not all it's cracked up to be". Brattleboro Reformer. October 4, 2016.
- Swidler, Kim Stuart (July 23, 2012). "Megabus pickup location in NYC changing as of August 1st". Times Union.
- Glaser, Susan (July 23, 2018). "Megabus restarts Cleveland-New York route with some $1 fares". The Plain Dealer.
- "Coach Canada Offers $1 Tickets To Montreal". CityNews. January 2, 2008. Archived from the original on June 26, 2009.
- "MegaBus Names Pittsburgh As New Hub". KDKA-TV. March 29, 2011.
- "Here comes Megabus". Niagara Gazette. Associated Press. March 29, 2011.
- "Megabus.com ending service to Cincinnati, Columbus". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. February 29, 2012.
- Novak, Stephanie (April 18, 2014). "Megabus cancels route from Pittsburgh to Cleveland, Detroit". American City Business Journals.
- "Megabus.com Expands Philadelphia Service to and From Nine Northeast Cities" (Press release). PR Newswire. June 10, 2010.
- "NEW ROUTES FOR MEGABUS.COM NETWORK IN NORTH AMERICA" (Press release). Stagecoach Group. June 11, 2010.
- Shannon, Josh (September 6, 2012). "THE BUS STOPS HERE: Megabus to run $1 trips from UD campus to D.C., N.Y.C." Newark Post.
- "Megabus.com Expands Washington D.C. Service To and From 10 Cities" (Press release). PR Newswire. November 16, 2010.
- Miranda, Kristen (December 15, 2010). "Megabus rolls into Charlotte". WBTV.
- "Megabus.com Expands Toronto Service to/from Washington D.C." Judi McLeod. December 15, 2010.
- Thomson, Robert (July 29, 2011). "Union Station to become intercity bus center". The Washington Post.
- "MegaBus brings daily routes from Christiansburg to DC and Knoxville". Montgomery County, Virginia. November 24, 2010.
- Welsch, Adrienne (May 5, 2011). "Hop On the Megabus - to Frederick". WRC-TV.
- "Megabus.com Expands Service to Morgantown". January 6, 2012. Archived from the original on January 10, 2015.
- HANKERSON, MECHELLE (April 19, 2017). "Megabus is coming to Virginia Beach and a Norfolk stop is in the works". The Virginian-Pilot.
- Freedman, Emmy (October 8, 2018). "Megabus to Begin Express Service from Charlottesville to D.C." WVIR-TV. Archived from the original on April 26, 2019. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
- William-Ross, Lindsay (November 28, 2012). "$1 Express Bus Service From L.A. To Bay Area and Vegas is Back!". Gothamist. Archived from the original on March 29, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
- "Megabus returning with trips between Las Vegas and L.A." Las Vegas Sun. November 28, 2012.
- "'Megabus' Begins Daily Service From Burbank To Northern Calif". CBS News. August 15, 2013.
- SKOLLER, JENNA (September 3, 2008). "MegaBus driver arrested on DUI charges in Southwest Mich". The Michigan Daily.
- Lisi, Nicholas (September 11, 2010). "Megabus passengers awake to crash, blood and cries for help". The Post-Standard.
- Chen, Peter (September 11, 2010). "Canadians not among 4 killed in bus crash". The Globe and Mail. Associated Press.
- O'Brien, John (July 9, 2013). "Megabus settles lawsuits over crash that killed 4 near Syracuse". The Post-Standard.
- "Police: Blown tire likely caused Megabus crash". CBS News. Associated Press. August 3, 2012.
- JAFFE, MATTHEW (August 3, 2012). "Megabus Crash in Illinois: At Least 1 Dead, 30+ Injured". ABC News.
- McFadden, Robert D. (March 12, 2011). "Carnage on I-95 After Crash Rips Bus Apart". The New York Times.
- Grynbaum, Michael M. (October 31, 2011). "High Fatality Rate Found for Low-Cost Buses". The New York Times.
- Kille, Leighton Walter (February 27, 2013). "National Transportation Safety Board: Report on Curbside Motorcoach Safety". Journalist's Resource.
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