Friday, November 19, 2010

Megabus Creates DC Hub, Service to 10 New Cities

Downtown Richmond, VA. Looking north, Over the James.
Yes! I've been waiting for this for quite a while. Megabus has been my travel mode of choice when traveling to New York and Phila. But I've always taken Amtrak to my hometown of Richmond. I love Amtrak, but the primary station in Richmond is not at all close to downtown and the ticket prices can fluctuate wildly depending on time of day. With stops in Alexandria, Woodbridge, Quantico, Frederickburg, Ashland and the west end of Richmond, the trip is comfortable; but can take over 2 hours, about the the same as driving. Add another 30 minutes if you do manage to get one of the rare trains which travel to the downtown Amtrak station.

Enter Megabus. The company known for its double decker blue buses is making Washington DC a hub city for its bus operations. That means they'll be traveling to 10 new cities from DC on a daily basis. The total number of cities now serviced from DC is 13. In addition to current routes to Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York, you can now book Megabus trips to Boston, Buffalo, Charlotte, Hampton, Harrisburg, Knoxville, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Richmond and Toronto. 

What great news! For a limited time you can book trips to the new cities (for travel after Dec 15) for $1. Megabus offers $1 rates for early bookers in a pricing scheme similar to Boltbus, who prices the first ticket sold on each bus at $1. Otherwise the standard $20 one way fare is still less expensive than any Amtrak ticket to Richmond no matter when you travel.

From what I understand the Megabus will drop off on Main Street in Shockoe Bottom, ironically, near the underused Main Street train station. Can't wait! Already booking tickets for the winter holidays. Good job Megabus, keep it up!