Starting on May 11, a new Megabus route between Columbus and Pittsburgh will feature fares as low as $1.
Megabus, a nationwide provider of city-to-city transportation for more than 9 million passengers since its debut in April 2006, announced Pittsburgh as its newest hub on Tuesday. Pittsburgh, which already offers daily Megabus travel to New York, Philidelphia and Washington D.C., will now add nine more routes to the list, including stops in other Ohio cities: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Akron and Toledo.
The Pittsburgh-Columbus route will offer two daily departures from two different locations in Columbus. One will be departing and returning from Ohio State’s campus at the Ohio Union and the other will leave and return from downtown, at the corner of Nationwide Boulevard and High Street.
“We thought Pittsburgh would be a good hub city for travel,” said Dale Moser, president of Coach USA and Megabus. “We’ve had overwhelming ridership demand from Pittsburgh to New York, Washington and Philadelphia going for about the past six months, so we decided to go west and north to Columbus, Cincinnati and Detroit.”
Megabus officials have been monitoring social media sites over the past few months and have seen an increased desire from Columbus residents for affordable transportation between Pittsburgh and Columbus, a phenomenon that prompted the development of the new route, Moser said.
Angela Messina, a first-year in business and Spanish, is enthusiastic about the route.
“I think this Megabus option is an awesome idea. My entire extended family lives in the Pittsburgh area and this will allow me to visit them,” said Messina, who does not have a car on campus.
Sarah Uddstrom, a Pittsburgh native and fourth-year in speech and hearing science, said she also found it difficult to travel home without having a car on campus her freshman year.
“I have had a car on campus since my sophomore year, but I have a lot of friends from the Pittsburgh area who don’t, and I try to offer them rides home for the holidays,” Uddstrom said.
Although many students from the Pittsburgh area will now have another option for getting back home, other students are looking at the new route as an opportunity to visit different cities.
A.D. Jones, a second-year in music education, said he was sitting in class and got a text from his friend about using Megabus to plan an upcoming trip to New York City. Jones anticipates using Megabus to travel from Columbus to Pittsburgh and then from Pittsburgh to New York, a connection that is made possible by the addition of the new route.
“I think the Pittsburgh-Columbus route is a great option. It will get students to major cities for cheaper and a lot of opportunities go along with that,” Jones said.
Although the route will not be in operation until May 11, Megabus is currently allowing passengers to fare on the new routes for this and following dates.
“We encourage passengers to book early in order to get the lowest fares, as prices may go up closer to the departure dates,” Moser said.