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Megabus Expands Service to L.A. With $1 Fares

The express bus service begins Dec. 12. The first arrival and departure location will be at Union Station with the possibility for future Los Angeles area stations, say company officials.

Eager to find an affordable way to get to San Francisco or Las Vegas on a double decker bus with Wi-Fi and power outlets?

Megabus.com, a city-to-city express bus company with fares starting from $1, announced Wednesday its return to California and Nevada with services to and from Los Angeles.

Starting Dec. 12, Megabus.com will offer frequent daily departures from its arrival/departure location at Union Station's Patsaouras Transit Plaza in bus bay No. 1, near the plaza entrance from Vignes Street.

Megabus.com, a subsidiary of Coach USA, operated in Los Angeles for about a year, starting in 2007, but ended its service because of a lack of demand.

"We've seen impressive growth throughout North America and are confident that our twenty-first century double-decker buses with Wi-Fi and power outlets, combined with our outstanding prices, will be a success among Los Angeles residents," said company spokesman Mike Alvich.

The company estimates 247,000 travelers will visit the Los Angeles metro area during the company’s first year serving the region.

L.A. residents will be able to travel to and from San Francisco, Las Vegas, Oakland and San Jose. Fares start at $1 every day and increase to up to $40 traveling date gets closer.

During the first week of travel between Dec. 12 and Dec. 19, all tickets will be $1. Alvich said after that the fares revert to the normal yield management system, comparing it to JetBlue airlines, where on "non-peak travel days" there will be more $1 seats available. He suggested booking your bus trip 30 to 45 days in advance to get the $1 ticket, and as the days get closer to the day of travel, ticket prices will move to $4 and gradually increase closer to the peak demand days. Under the normal yield management system, Alvich said you'll pay $25 to $30 maximum for a bus trip if purchasing close to a peak travel day.

"We're a private enterprise and receive no subsidies," he said, touting their 81-seat double decker buses.

Megabus.com will also stop in Riverside, and company officials said they will consider additional stops in Los Angeles and county areas in the future.

"Tourism is a leading industry in Los Angeles that has enjoyed solid visitation growth over the last two years," said Don Skeoch, chief marketing officer for the tourism and convention board, in a press release.

"San Francisco's our number one visitor to L.A.," said Carol Martinez, spokeswoman for the tourism and convention board, talking to Patch Wednesday afternoon. "So anything that makes it easier for people from San Francisco to get from that city to L.A. is wonderful. We think that with more travelers being conscious of their impact on the environment [and] to travel green, that Megabus is a good alternative for travel."

For more information on schedules, services, times and fares, visit megabus.com.

To find your Metro stops and schedule to get to Union Station, click here.

George Vreeland Hill November 29, 2012 at 04:25 PM
I may try this. S.F. here I come.
BigB November 29, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Be afraid. Be very afraid. I took a MegaBusted once from Boston down to NYC and back. Talk about a white-knuckle ride. Very erratic drivers both ways, WiFi didn't work in either direction (read the fine print - "not guaranteed"). Cattle call boarding, like SouthWest, so expect to stand in long lines. One of their death machines went off the road last summer in the midwest and hit a bridge, killing at least one. Never. Again.
Yami November 29, 2012 at 06:37 PM
$1 fares? How is this possible, is it subsidies?
Jenna Chandler November 29, 2012 at 07:05 PM
@BigB: yikes! Was it worse than a New York City taxi ride? I bought a ticket ($1.50 because of a .50 cent service charge) to San Francisco for mid-December. I'll let y'all know how it goes.
Yami November 29, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Well, there's aggressive drivers (ugh!) & ....then, there's passive defensive drivers(yay!), in all of transportation. The buses seem like their new state of the art, type ones
Steven Burkholder November 29, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Sounds like this could be a great service! I'll check it out.
Sara Fay November 29, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Two words: live blog.
tiny November 29, 2012 at 08:24 PM
www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJfDWtbioEM
Janet Chabola November 30, 2012 at 04:27 PM
We have used this company several times on the East Coast and and loved it. Can't wait to try it here.
Matthew Sanderson (Editor) December 01, 2012 at 12:44 AM
I added a paragraph about their pricing model after the megabus.com L.A. launch period ends on 12/19. It's a yield management system similar to JetBlue's.

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