Low-cost bus service Megabus rolls into Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - When those who know about Megabus heard it was coming to Charlotte, you could sense their excitement. However, many in the Charlotte area have never heard of the low-cost bus service.

Megabus is trying to change that as the first bus rolled into town Wednesday.  The division of Coach, USA will now offer three daily trips to Washington, DC, stopping in Raleigh-Durham and Richmond, Virginia along the way.

However, it's not the destinations which are the big draw.  It's the price. Megabus claims its ticket prices start at $1, with prices increasing depending on how close to the date of travel you buy, as well as demand. "Our draw is low-cost, express trips and reliable service," said John Emberson with Coach, USA.

The bus is the same as any bus in which you might travel out of town.  There's free Wi-Fi on board, and outlets at every seat to plug in electronics.  In order to make money and stay in business, Megabus simply has to get a person in every seat for every trip.  That's why the price of a ticket is based on demand.

"Our goal is to fill up the bus," Emberson said. "So if the bus is busy we don't discount fares as much, but if its not busy we discount the fares."

Tom and Connie Richardson tried Megabus on its debut day.  They couldn't remember the last time they traveled by bus. "We're just recently retired and we're looking for adventure so this a new adventure for us and an inexpensive one at that," Connie said.

The total cost for the Richardsons round-trip tickets to Washington, DC was $18.50.

Tickets to ride Megabus can only be purchased online.  For more information about Megabus, click here.

The bus company is giving away 200,000 free seats for travel January 12 through March 1 of 2011.  Travelers will need to use the promo code WOW200K to book their free seats.

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