There is a fairly new player in the transportation industry that I knew nothing about until recently. I love innovation and change, so I find this company encouraging in numerous ways.
It’s called Megabus.
Have you seen them?
Megabus is basically an updated Greyhound. When I was young, people didn’t fly as much as they do today. Instead, many people used the Greyhound bus system (and others) to get from city to city. I bus transportation is still popular traveling from big city to big city, but I see far less of them on the roads these days. I once rode a Greyhound bus from my home in Tennessee to visit family in Kansas. It was a long trip, but I enjoyed keeping a record of every city we in which we stopped along the way. Over the years, as airline competition made prices more reasonable, bus transportation seems to have become less popular. That may change with companies like Megabus.
Last week, while traveling to Chicago to pick up my son Nate from college, I saw several Megabuses on the road. I wasn’t familiar with them, so I asked my son. He knew all about them. Apparently, many students from his school use them to get to and from home.
What makes Megabus different from Greyhound? Well, the good looking modern fleet, double decker buses come equipped with comfortable reclining seats, courteous drivers and free Wi-Fi. Each seat is equipped with outlets to charge your phone or plug in a DVD player. Tickets must be purchased online in advance, which means most customers are often students or professionals. I passed numerous Megabuses on my trip and they were neatly painted, attractive and easy to spot. The couple Greyhound buses I passed honestly needed a paint job. Megabus is able to provide their services at a very reasonable rate, certainly cheaper than air travel and some seats starting at less than $5.00 if bought far enough in advance.
Megabus as a company is encouraging, because I see innovation working to save an industry. I’m not sure I’m up for a long bus ride anytime soon, but I see where it could be an alternative for many people. I don’t think about bus transportation often, but if you had asked me about it a few weeks ago, I would have said the bus industry was not a place where we were likely to see growth or change…almost a dying industry. Megabus reminds me that sometimes you simply have to think outside the norm and do something different and better than others are doing them. My suspicision is that the folks at Greyhound are paying special attention to Megabus and the competition will encourage positive changes that are good for all customers.
Just curious…can you think of any other industries/organizations that could use some “Megabus” innovation?
Did you ever take a Greyhound bus ride? What about a Megabus ride? Share your journey with us!