Los Angeles to San Diego for a dollar? And LA to Las Vegas for a dollar, too? Chicago to Detroit for $15? This must be too good to be true. But it’s not! A dollar gets me gas to the grocery store and back. But MegaBus is running a promotion where at least two seats on every bus will be offered for a dollar. That’s “at least”. There were several on the LA-SD route. If I wanted to take the time to put in different dates, I could probably find a dollar deal out of Chicago as well.
The only downside is that they’re fairly new in the USA. They’re a British company expanding. That means they don’t have too many terminals yet. They’re only in major cities, but if you live near San Jose, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, or thirty other major cities across the nation, it definitely pays to check them out. You’re more likely to find the dollar fares mid-week, though there was one from San Francisco to Los Angeles for next Friday.
Even their regular fares are so far below their competitors that I predict the Hound’s market share is going to drop significantly along those routes. How do they do it? Simply, they fill their buses. The overwhelming majority of a bus line’s costs are fixed. The gas in a bus with fifty people is not much more than in a bus filled with twelve. Additionally, with promotions like this, they don’t have a need to advertise. Their passengers will do it for them. So they can consider the fare difference part of their advertising budget. Their buses are not fancy, but they are reliable and get you from point A to point B safe and on time. I wish there was a closer terminal because, for a dollar, there are a lot of places I’d like to see!
It’s a win-win situation – well, for everyone but their competitors!