Do the fares compare?
The express service that Greyhound unrolled earlier this year between Houston and Austin and Houston and Dallas was just the beginning: The Dallas-based bus company revealed Thursday that it will expand its routes even more at the end of the month.
Starting Oct. 31, Greyhound will add service between Houston and Beaumont, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Mobile, Montgomery and Birmingham, Ala., on a Houston to Atlanta route offering four daily round trips.
Greyhound Express buses provide the same caliber of nonstop service as Megabus, with power outlets and complimentary WiFi.
Greyhound Express buses provide the same caliber of nonstop service as recent United Kingdom import Megabus, with power outlets, complimentary WiFi and advance fares as low as $1, with the added benefits of extra legroom, leather seats and reserved seating. And, you know, an actual brick and mortar terminal.
Megabus, which keeps overhead low by setting up temporary tents and traffic cones at its departure points, only releases dates and fares for a couple of months out. The price of a one-way trip from Houston to New Orleans on Jan. 8, 2013, is currently quoted at $8.
Meanwhile, prices for the same route on the same day through Greyhound start at $27 and go up to $74, if travelers prefer to purchase a refundable ticket — plus, the bus makes stops at all of the cities added (Beaumont and Baton Rouge) between the departure point and the destination.
Other searches prove that prices on express trips and regular ones are comparable, so it's pretty unclear why anyone would opt for a longer travel time with more frequent stops if there's no premium to travel direct.
So we've got to wonder: Will the expanded Greyhound Express routes take a bite out of Megabus passengers, or will the company only be competing against itself?