One-Buck Boston Bus Rolls Out

Thomas MacMillan PhotoOn the first day of bargain bus service from New Haven to Boston, Neil Pandora found one good reason to head up for a Red Sox game.

“It was a dollar,” Pandora said, as he waited to board a new blue MegaBus outside Union Station.

The international bus company Thursday started offering trips to Hartford and Boston for as little as $1; prices vary by day and by trip.

It’s a service that New Haveners have long been clamoring for. Two years ago, bus advocates tried unsuccessfully to get discount operator Bolt Bus to add a New Haven stop to service between New York and Boston.

Beginning Thursday, at least half of that dream has come true. MegaBus is now offering four-times-daily non-stop service to Boston by way of Hartford. Prices on the website range from $1 to $8 one way.

Dennis Lyons, a spokesman for Dattco, the company that operates the MegaBus franchise in New England, said the current average price from New Haven to Boston is $1.83. The company always has at least one $1 seat on all trips. After the $1 seats are taken, prices go up as more seats are booked, he said.

For the first 15 days in New Haven, prices won’t go above $15, Lyons said. After that, they may rise but will remain below the lowest competitor price, he said. “We always make sure we are the cheapest.”

Lyons said MegaBus service to New York is a possibility in the future, but won’t happen for at least six months since Metro North already offers fairly affordable transit to the city.

Pandora, who lives in Branford, said he used MegaBus for a round-trip journey to Washington D.C., for $2.50. It’s a “no frills” way to travel, he said.

“They know their demographic,” Pandora said. The company clearly caters to college students, he said. You can see that from the “goofy logo” and the free wi-fi and outlets at every seat, he said.

On Thursday 10 a.m., Pandora was boarding the second bus of the day. With a few taps and swipes of his iPhone, he had his reservation number ready to show it to bus driver Danny Colon.

On Pandora’s heels were two of the college-aged kids he had been talking about. Jonathan Dilger and Aryanah Haydu were on their way to Boston to look at Boston College, where Dilger will be a freshman in the fall. He said they’re making the round trip for a total of $16, the best price he could find anywhere.

Colon, the driver, said he thought he’d be driving an empty bus the first day, but the service is already filling up. “We’re getting a lot of people coming from Boston” and going back, he said. “That’s great.”

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posted by: J.T, on August 17, 2011  2:24pm

this is pretty good. How many stops does it make though?

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on August 17, 2011  3:18pm

Read before you board.

Megabus settles accessibility violation with feds
by David DeWitte 17 May 2011

AUGUST 8, 2011, 6:12 P.M. ET.Pa. woman files suit over fatal NY Megabus crash .

I am taking my car.

posted by: Ben Berkowitz on August 17, 2011  3:24pm

I started this issue on SeeClicKFix and am really happy to see that Megabus has responded to the call from hundreds of SCF users.

Can’t wait until they travel to Philly and DC.

posted by: Anderson Scooper on August 17, 2011  4:04pm

I remain dumbfounded that via Amtrak, the cheapest round-trip to Boston is $98.

Something really wrong there….

posted by: JCP on August 17, 2011  8:48pm

Is Ben Berkowitz really taking credit for this? Two years after an issue was started on seeclickfix we now have discount bus service and he sees a connection….

posted by: Ben Berkowitz on August 18, 2011  7:16am


I was not taking credit aside from the one vote I placed on the site asking for Bolt Bus but I do see a connection. 365 people voted for the issue. Bolt bus responded that they were unable to add more routes at the time.  Another company posted that they were starting service and then failed later on. And ONLY two years later we have a new public transportation option.

Someone posted a Comcast problem on the site the other day and it was responded to within 24 hours from Corporate.  Major corporations are listening to what the market is saying through social media.  Why would it surprise you that Megabus would listen to 300+ people on SeeClickFix?

posted by: Chris on August 18, 2011  8:54am

This is great, getting to Boston has never been cheaper!

posted by: Cyclist on August 18, 2011  12:13pm

Per the website, Megabus won’t let you bring your bicycle, so for a number of us it’s completely irrelevant.

posted by: anon on August 19, 2011  5:02pm

I agree with Ben on that. Companies definitely monitor that stuff. 

I also agree with Cyclist, it is too bad if true that bikes are not allowed on the bus. SeeClickFixers requested bikes on board. Bolt Bus and Greyhound often allow bicycles to be stowed underneath with no problem. What is the point of a transit system if it isn’t multi-modal? It just generates dozens more unaffordable car and taxi trips.