Megabus return to California?

I saw “Pacific Coast Sightseeing Tours and Charters” coaches painted in Megabus livery in San Jose this morning.


Megabus San Jose California

I chased these buses down and caught them at a light on Park Street, where I talked with the driver a bit.


Megabus San Jose California

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 San Jose California

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.

14 Comments

  • Anonymous
    October 25, 2012 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I’ve used Megabus to go from STL to Chicago. Not a bad way to go. I still think I like Amtrak, despite the expense, a little better because you can take your bike with you on most STL-Chicago trains and the much more comfortable seats. But Megabus is an option for me because my sister has enough bikes that I can ride should I find the time.

  • Erik Griswold
    October 25, 2012 - 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I am foggy right now, but I recall that the MegaBus parent (Stagecoach of UK) bought the remains of Coach America in the BK auction.

    Here:

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Stagecoach+buys+Coach+America+assets

  • October 25, 2012 - 2:20 pm | Permalink

    that red pink face cartoon is uber creepy. eek.

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  • Robert Prinz
    October 26, 2012 - 10:18 am | Permalink

    At least they have fixed the unfortunate “Li’l Hitler” mascot design: http://www.belaldesign.com/blog/801

  • October 27, 2012 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    They’re waiting for the permit to be granted from the California PUC. They applied in June but it usually takes 4 to 5 months to process (I know because I have a similar permit myself). They can only start advertising for the service once the permit has been granted.

  • October 27, 2012 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    Greyhound is also a serious contender with its express service between Norcal and Socal. Other than the fact that it has its own terminals and waiting rooms, the vehicles and amenities are competitive to the curbside services.

  • October 27, 2012 - 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Youll find very limited information about the service on the corporate website (ie, just that buses were ordered for California) but Ive been unable to find any new info on cities and such.

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  • Anonymous
    November 23, 2012 - 10:49 pm | Permalink

    I was dropped off at San Jose Diridon Station on Wed morning 11/21/2012 around 8:15am and saw a MegaBus there. Hopefully this means they will resume service in California.

  • November 26, 2012 - 11:13 am | Permalink

    Still not advertising California service so they must still be testing this. I think they’re still awaiting PUC approval.

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