Megabus Review – How to use Megabus USA

A Megabus Review

If you are living, working, or will soon travel between the U.S., United Kingdom, or Canada, then MegaBus can be a good resource for you.  Especially if you are a budget traveler and do a bit of planning to get tickets at an early bird price.

Traditionally, Americans have always been somewhat budget shy when it comes to topics like transportation.  What I mean is that we are taught to believe that anything sounding too good to be true probably is.  Not a bad defense mechanism to have, but people can occasionally miss out on good deals.  For example, what if I told you that you could get a bus ride between select major cities in the United States for $1.50? Likely, you would be skeptical.  Heck, I was too.

The fact is you can.  If you are planning a trip at least a few weeks in advance MegaBus offers really good deals.

Little known in the Americas, mainly because it originates across the pond in the United Kingdom, is MegaBus.  MegaBus has recently stepped into the U.S. and Canadian markets posing a challenge to the traditionally more expensive methods of transportation that we are accustomed to using.

How does Megabus work?

As far as I can tell, MegaBus plays the numbers game using a bell curve type operation.  What that translates into is that the people booking several weeks to months in advance will capitalize on extremely cheap tickets.  The people who buy tickets a week or two before will pay slightly lower to average ticket prices.  Finally, the people who buy tickets a few days before will pay normal bus fares.  Essentially, the early bird gets the worm.  They are able to do this because they offer more seats than traditional Greyhounds or Coaches because they use double-decker buses.

Where can you go?

The majority of their tickets in the Americas connect the New England region’s cities.  However, their market has recently crept into more locations in the mid-west, Appalachian region, and even into the southern United States.  MegaBus also connects Canada to the US through Toronto and Buffalo.  You can travel between several cities in Canada between Montreal and Toronto.  Additionally, you can travel between most major cities in England.

Check their site map here, that shows all of their locations in the Americas.

Click here for the United Kingdom/England. 

Who should use it?

Anyone who is considering or open to traveling by bus should use Megabus.  You can likely benefit from their services if you will be traveling in any of the regions that I listed above.

What you need to know

When you purchase a ticket from MegaBus they will send you a confirmation email.  In that email, there is a long number.  That number is your ticket number, which you need to have to board the bus.  The driver will ask for it when he/she is checking you in.  It is acceptable if you just have it written in a notepad or on your phone.

MegaBus also uses affiliate bus companies.  Therefore, depending on your route, you may not always be going via an actual MegaBus.  However, you will be still paying MegaBus prices.  They effectively just reserve you a seat on an affiliate bus.

My Megabus review in short

I have used MegaBus multiple times.  I have been on their buses multiple times as well as on their affiliate buses.  MegaBus, like all budget companies, is exactly what you pay for.  It will get you from your departure point to your destination, and save you some money.  You will not be traveling in style.  The wireless internet that they advertise rarely works well, and the seats are snug meaning that you do not have much room to stretch.

The design and look of the bus is nice as they are typically double-deck English-style buses, and it is hard to miss because the bus is designed with bright and colorful graphics.


  • MegaBus does not always leave from an actual bus station, look for the bus sign picture below.
  • For great prices, look at least 3 weeks in advance.  A month or more is better if you can.

In conclusion

MegaBus is a company that I am happy to see enter and expand in the US market.  They have given budget conscious travelers, students, and others, new opportunities for getting around the Americas cheaply.

As Americans look for solutions and alternatives to driving or flying, I look forward to seeing MegaBus’s presence continue to grow.  I think that the economy has done wonders for the company as people are now more than ever, looking for good deals.


Glad to have you as a reader! You’re the reason that I write!


Tell me what you think!

Have you heard of them before? Are you more likely to use MegaBus after reading this article? Tell me what you think below! 


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  1. Kim Smith via Facebook

    You can find these in China Town area of DC!!!

  2. I love the Chinatown buses. I took one from Boston to NYC for $1.50. It was a great deal!

  3. Treksporter via Twitter

    @HeyJerGo @Bpack_Diplomacy #MegaBus is pretty sweet! I actually had no idea it expanded outside of the UK. Thanks for the tips!

  4. Jeremy E. Hahn via Twitter

    yeah great write up by @bpack_diplomacy

  5. Is there a mega bus that goes to South Carlina?

    • Carol,

      As far as I know, Megabus currently operates in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia, but not South Carolina. In North Carolina the cities are Durham and Charlotte. Athens and Atlanta for Georgia, and Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville, and Memphis for Tennessee. Hope that helps!

  6. I’ve noticed these a few times in the UK in recent years and have always been curious to try them. We did consider them for a trip last year however since the route was not direct and involved a change the journey times were just too long for us. That’s not to rule it out for the future, I’m always mindful of them.

    Thanks for sharing your experience Andy.

    • Megabus can be really beneficial for a traveler, especially someone who is trying to save a few dollars. Most of the buses are new and actually not bad at all. Most claim to have wi-fi, but unfortunately they don’t always have good connections. I’ve looked at prices before from London to Scotland for just a few quid, but as you mention, that might be the long route.

  7. They have service from LA to Vegas now too!

  8. I take Megabus round trip at least once a month. Years ago the wifi seemed to work reliably. NOW NEVER WORKS. On ones laptop it will show connected to an excellent wifi signal but trying to sign in beyond the Agreement Terms page doesn’t work. NEVER, I called Sweden, Megabus’s Swedish wifi provider, ICONERA technical dept is Megabus’s wifi provider and they said Megabus never contacted them about work orders that their wifi systems weren’t working. They said they would approach the problem from their end to fix it. Megabus COULD NOT CARE LESS that their wifi doesn’t work. Their customer service receives enough complaints. Bolt Bus wifi is 10 for 10 and the driver asks before taking off if the wifi is working properly. If it isn’t he will reboot the wifi router to get it to work. I am tired of Megabus’s I could care less service and will take BOLT BUS FROM NOW ON even though more expensive because there is such a demand for quality. Megabus is just a step up from the Chinatown buses.

  9. Thank you for the info on Megabus. I plan on taking my first Megabus trip and have been looking for good information. I am worried about missing connecting buses; how much time would you leave between buses

  10. Melissa Williams

    I am a professional artist and I traveled from Toronto to NYC for a concert. The bus left Monday 12am, it would arrive around 11:45 Tues, and the concert was at 7pm. The bus broke down at a halfway McDonald’s stopping point for 5 HOURS. We were not provided with an explanation as to what was happening as the driver was as clueless as we were. Around 11:45 (the time were were supposed to arrive in NYC) the bus continued stopping again only at another McDonald’s for a short break. WE ARRIVED IN NYC AT 7PM and I was so late I was unable to attend the show I came for. They refunded the initial ticket, but refused to pay for my return. A complete waste of time, money, and energy. Horrible service with “WiFi” that never works. They will never see a dollar from me again!

  11. I had such a horrible experience, Atl to Cincinnati, The bus was 3 hours and 1/2 late,Leaving Atlanta to Cincinnati , in the hot sun with know where to sit no restrooms, even made it worse.Every one was callling, the Mega Bus customer service, the customers was so upset, they told the customer they didn’t know where the bus was.There was one man at the Mega Bus said had been there since 7:00a.m. that morning.It was sad.It was my first and last expereince. They promise they would return the money.Bad experence.Eddie Cincinnat

  12. Well, I paid high prices because I did not book early… that comes in at just over $10!
    I first looked at booking a rental, but this is a one way trip and the drop off charge is crazy. So even if I find a different way to get from Houston to Austin, I can afford losing the cost of the non-refundable ticket. I am a little scared… I am leaving this in God’s hands, so I will relax.
    Kitty Smith recently posted…You’re Not the Boss of Me!My Profile

  13. I would be very wary about booking on Megabus. We booked a NYC-DC trip about a month ahead for my niece. On the morning of the trip, weather was inclement, and the icy road conditions caused the roadways leading to the bus stop to be closed, making it impossible for us to take her to the bus. We called Megabus and were told to pay to rebook for the next day, and that they would issue a refund on the first itinerary. Then, instead of a refund, I received three different emails from them all letting me know that they refuse to issue refunds for any reason unless they are notified 24-hours ahead. With weather-related problems, this is impossible, of course. I won’t be booking with them again, because it is impossible to know ahead of time what the weather will be like.

    All I wanted was to rebook, Megabus.

    • Hey Kathryn,

      Unfortunately, that is the thing about budget services, you cannot expect them to have great customer service. In effect, you get what you pay for. Sorry that you had a bad experience. I can completely understand your frustrations, I’ve been there before with a flight. I had to pay a lot more than I was planning. That being said, I’d say that MegaBus can still be a good resource for budget travelers albeit issues with customer service. It is much like RyanAir.

  14. Hi Andy,
    I recently won a pair of tickets from Mega bus in the Los Angeles Marathon Expo. It was my first time hearing of this company and in was very excited. However I am a little confused on whether the only places I can travel are
    ‘San Jose
    ‘San Francisco
    Do you happen to know if this is true?

  15. I booked a 7/6/2015 noon bus to travel from San Jose to Los Angeles. After being dropped off at the San Jose “station”, I couldn’t find any signs or map to show where the location of the Megabus “bus-stop”, after running around, a kind lady at the atation told me that it was under a roll of trees by the parking lot about 150 feet away from the station building. No Megabus sign over there either, but there were already four people standing around a sign that says “Boltbus” who assured me that it “is” the Megabus stop. More people came over and each asked us the same question, it was funny but also frustrating. Around 11:45, a man wearing very dark glasses and a hat walked over and murmured that the noon bus was not a regular scheduled bus, so it would NOT be served by a Megasbus–this was not indicated on Megasbus booking site. Sure enough, a white bus that says COACHUSA showed up at noon, it’s already half filled with passengers from San Francisco, the seats were cramped, hardly any leg room, no flip-down tray, not even a drink holder. If I knew in advance, I would have taken the 1 p.m. bus instead.
    Not a happy experience.

  16. I am starting to look upon my first time experience with Megabus tomorrow. I am traveling from the DFW area to San Antonio. The ride to the bus station is costing more than the bus ticket so I can handle any other conditions, 20 years in the Marines and I have traveled around the world in some horrible conditions. I can’t imagine Megabus being any worse.

  17. I totally agree, I love them and they make it very easy to travel inter cities. Loved your tips. I’ve also shared my experience on using Megabus 😀

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