In an effort to remind the public that traveling doesn’t have to be expensive, discount bus company Megabus launched a massive $1 fare sale today that runs for two months this fall.
The company is offering 50,000 seats at the rock-bottom rate between September 14 and November 19, with the hope that it will encourage wary travelers to hit the road again.
“The economy still has individuals and families hesitant to spend money, especially on leisure items such as travel,” said Dale Moser, president and COO of Megabus.com. “Megabus.com’s low fares make travel very affordable and at $1, there’s no reason to stay home.”
Though Megabus routinely offers one or two seats on each bus for $1, this sale will boost the number of such seats available to as many as 10 or more per bus. Non-sale fares usually average a reasonable $20-$45 each way, depending on the length of the trip, with prices rising the closer you book to your departure date.
Learn about more budget buses with Budget Travel Buses Keep on Truckin’.
A Megabus spokeswoman said that the company is trying to promote the idea that bus travel is a viable, comfortable option for shorter trips, particularly among those who may have never tried it.
Megabus’s new double-decker coaches include amenities such as free Wi-Fi, on-board restrooms, reclining seats and video entertainment. Half of its fleet currently has power outlets for laptops, and other half will be fitted with them by October 2009.
The company operates in 30 cities in the United States and Canada including New York, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis and Toronto. Unlike many other bus services, all Megabus services are intercity express, so they don’t make numerous time-consuming stops at small towns.
While other modes of transit such as airlines and trains are seeing a decline in business, Megabus has seen its ridership triple to 3 million since its inception in 2006.
Across the United States, intercity bus departures in the last quarter of 2008 grew a record 10 percent from the same period a year before, while airline traffic decreased by 10.3 percent in first 3 months of 2009, and Amtrak dropped 7 percent.
In the U.S., 774 million passengers travel by motorcoach every year, outpacing domestic commercial airlines and Amtrak combined. In fact, motorcoaches carry more passengers in two weeks than Amtrak moves in one year.
Get more info on Amtrak with Amtrak’s Top 5, and Bottom 5, On-Time Train Routes. Or get the latest Amtrak news with President Obama Makes Effort to Improve America’s Train System.
The cost savings and convenience of a bus makes sense in the current recession, when so many people are literally counting their pennies and fed up with the nickel-and-diming tactics of the airlines.
Trips fewer than 400 miles are when the bus offers the greatest value for money. For example, flying from Washington, D.C. to New York takes almost the same amount of time as a bus (if you include getting to and from the airport), and costs five about times as much.
In addition, buses are greener than air travel. According to the American Bus Association, motorcoaches are the most fuel-efficient and least energy-intensive mode of commercial passenger transportation.
Motorcoaches are more than four times more efficient than airplanes or cars, with 148 passenger miles per gallon of fuel.
To take advantage of the Megabus $1 promotion, go to www.megabus.com and enter promo code HOTDEAL when booking.
By Karen Elowitt for PeterGreenberg.com.
Learn more about bus travel:
- Evaluating One-Dollar Bus Fares from NYC to DC
- Bus Travel in our Driving & Car Rental section
- Budget Travel Buses: Peter & Harry Get on the Bus