I saw “Pacific Coast Sightseeing Tours and Charters” coaches painted in Megabus livery in San Jose this morning.
I chased these buses down and caught them at a light on Park Street, where I talked with the driver a bit.
He told me they’re on their final set of test runs between San Francisco and Los Angeles, but he couldn’t tell me when service begins. I sent inquiries to Megabus USA but haven’t heard back from them.
Megabus, which now operates through the American South, Midwest and East Coast, are known for their inexpensive fares, relatively quick travel, and clean, roomy buses. They began operating out of Los Angeles in August 2007, but abandoned California in June 2008 when ridership failed to meet expectations.
Instead of operating from bus terminals like Greyhound, Megabus is a no-frills curbside service. You’re allowed a single piece of luggage no larger than 62 linear inches in size (this excludes bikes, unless you can cram a folder into something that small) plus a carry-on. Fares are very reasonable — the first few seats for a trip are available for only $1 apiece on some routes. Because Megabus doesn’t stop at every tiny burg and town, the trip is almost as fast as driving on your own down I-5 without the hassle of actually owning and operating a car.
No info about California service on their website (yet?), but here’s the Megabus website.
Other Norcal to Socal curbside bus services
Right now, a couple of other curbside bus services travel between San Francisco / San Jose and Los Angeles. California Shuttle Bus runs coaches from San Francisco and San Jose to various locations in Los Angeles. Tickets are $40 each way if you reserve ahead of time, and pay $5 to the driver to stash your bike in the luggage area if space is available.
Xe Do Hoang (aka XDH) is a Vietnamese bus service, with a San Jose pickup at Lee’s Sandwich on King’s Road (where else?). For the $40 online fare, they provide a bánh mì sandwich and water for passengers in addition to the ride. You won’t see (or smell) live chickens and other livestock on board, but consider earplugs or earbuds to block the Viet-dubbed videos and SHOUTED CELL PHONE CONVERSATIONS on this bus. Luggage policy is, umm, inconsistent and seems to be if you can make it fit then go for it.