Megabus gives cheaper travel options

Halley Smith – Copy Editor |

Megabus, an express bus service throughout the east coast, is reimagining the way students travel.  With tickets starting at $1, Megabus has a distinct advantage over the longtime titan of the bus travel industry: Greyhound.

Josh Allen, a senior religion major, said riding the Megabus was one of the best bus experiences he’d ever had.

“I sat by these two older women and got to hear about their travel experiences and where they’d come from,” Allen said. “The free Wi-Fi and AC plugs make doing any kind of work possible and easy without wondering whether or not your phone or computer will die.”

The typical Megabus is equipped with complementary electrical outlets and Wi-Fi for every passenger, which is more than the typical Greyhound.  Laura Lynn Williams, a junior management major, doesn’t think Greyhound offers the same perks as Megabus.

“I rode the Greyhound but I didn’t really like it,” Williams said.  “It wasn’t as friendly as Megabus and there wasn’t Wi-Fi, so I couldn’t be as productive.”

She also said Greyhound’s prices are driving away their potential audience.

From Birmingham, a trip to Memphis, Tenn. costs $18 with Megabus and $28 with Greyhound.  Although Greyhound has introduced a new express service to stay competitive, cheaper fares are what attract many people to the Megabus.

Each Megabus route starts at $1, then increases as the travel date gets closer, according to their website. Each transaction includes an additional $0.50 booking fee, making round-trip travel possible for as little as $2.50.

Greyhound still has a corner in the market for smaller cities that aren’t reached by Megabus. Greyhound has over 3,800 destinations across North America, while Megabus only has 80 which helps Greyhound maintain its relevance amid Megabus’s rapid rise.

“I wish Megabus went from Nashville to Birmingham because there’s a huge crowd that would use it,” Williams said. “I would if I could go to Nashville for $1 instead of $40.  I would use it all the time.”

Tickets for the Megabus can be found online at megabus.com, and Greyhound tickets can be purchased either online or at the Birmingham Greyhound station.

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