Megabus.com Offers Low Cost Bus Travel

Megabus offers low cost bus transportation in North America and Europe.
inverness_trucker/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Megabus.com offers low cost bus travel in both North America and Europe. began service in the U.S. in 2006 with just a few routes and has served about 40 million customers since that time.

Megabus.com, owned by Stagecoach Group (which owns Coach USA and Coach Canada), offers a fleet of single- and double-deck buses equipped with wi-fi, electric outlets and panoramic window views. But the main attraction is low cost inter city travel that is reserved on the Internet, sometimes for as little as $1 per trip.

The service has become extremely popular with budget travelers in Europe, who find the low cost fares a pleasant alternative to more expensive (but sometimes more efficient) train and air travel options.

Megabus.com in Europe

Megabus.com has operated in Europe since 2003.

If you're simply looking for the cheapest way to travel between London and Paris, Megabus.com will be difficult to beat. Notice this does not necessarily say the most efficient or time-saving, but only lowest cost.

Megabus.com frequently offers low fares between London's Victoria Coach Station and Paris' Porte Maillot Coach park. The bad news is that this trip will take nine hours and and tap into the heart of one of your travel days (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Although the Paris station is not in the city center, it is served by a Metro line of the same name that makes a trip to Central Paris quickly and cheaply (under two euros).

Megabus.com offers another option that is more expensive but more time-efficient. A bus leaves London at 9:30 p.m. and arrives the next day at 7 a.m. If you're able to sleep on a bus, this will save you the cost of a hotel/night and the ticket is still reasonably priced.

For means of comparison, a ride on the Eurostar train service starts at $70 USD and quickly increases from there for a one-way trip between St. Pancras and Paris Nord stations. Note that the train service cuts travel time significantly (roughly 2.5 hours one-way vs. 8.5 on the bus).

Other Megabus.com fares from London: Amsterdam €39.50 ($45), Brussels €17 ($20), Edinburgh from£13 ($17) and Manchester £4.50 ($6). There are times when £1 fares are available. Those generally come to people who book well in advance. The same is true of $1 fares in the U.S. and Canada.

 

Megabus.com in North America

 

As with Europe, Megabus.com in North America operates on Internet reservations and offers fares as low as $1 (USD or CAN) to riders who are willing to book early.

Another opportunity to snag such low fares is when Megabus.com ads a route. For example,when new routes between major cities in Texas were rolled out, $1 fares were offered to highlight what were new destinations at the time.

In the U.S., Megabus.com offers service to most states east of the Mississippi (exceptions are Mississippi and South Carolina) and states that border the Mississippi on the west, as well as Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Nevada and California. Megabus.com operates in Ontario as well.

All buses operating in the U.S. offer wi-fi and electrical outlets for each passenger.

Keep in mind that lots of heavy baggage on a Megabus.com trip is just as unwelcome as it would be aboard an airplane. Passengers are entitled to one suitcase and one carry-on item that can fit under the seat in front of you (sound familiar?) If you have more than one large suitcase, you must buy an additional ticket.

Although Megabus.com fares are usually quite competitive, it does pay to check other sources such as Greyhound, Trailways or even Amtrak to see if travel times are more efficient or fares are lower (those carriers have sales, too).