Greyhound will soon face an upstart competitor in Sacramento.
Megabus.com, an international, low-cost bus carrier, has announced it will offer express service connecting Sacramento, San Francisco and Sparks, Nev., starting today with first-week fares of only $1.
Company officials said the move into Sacramento is a response to what they believe is growing demand for bus service in California and Nevada. The 6-year-old company also will launch service next month in Los Angeles, San Jose, Oakland, Riverside, and Las Vegas.
Megabus offered service in California in 2007, but backed out after a year due to lack of business. Company officials say the potential bus ridership market has grown since then.
The company hopes to capture a piece of the busy I-80 corridor travel market, which has long been served by Greyhound. The corridor between Sacramento and the Bay Area also is served by the Capitol Corridor passenger train system.
Megabus' Alvich said his company isn't competing with Greyhound.
"Our biggest competitor is people's concern they cannot travel, their concern about the economy," he said. "Because of the cost of gas, tolls and parking, (bus service) is very competitive with the car."
Megabus officials said their double-decker buses offer free Wi-Fi and have electrical outlets.
As part of a special promotional offer, tickets for travel on the new route will be $1 from Dec. 12 through Dec. 19. The $1 offer will continue after that date for a few seats on each bus, for riders who book far enough in advance, Alvich said.
The Megabus Sacramento pickup and drop-off site will be in Old Sacramento at 1020 Front St. The company will start with four buses a day to San Francisco and two a day to Sparks.
Megabus.com, a subsidiary of Coach USA, was launched in April 2006. It serves 120 cities, a company press release said. Hubs include Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Washington, D.C., and Toronto.
The company predicted it would handle 44,200 riders in Sacramento in its first year, and add 80 jobs.
For more information, go to www.megabus.com. For information about Greyhound, go to www.greyhound.com. For information about Capitol Corridor trains, go to capitolcorridor.org.
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