to start service from Union Station on Dec 12, tickets go on sale today

Photo by Jose Ubaldo/Metro

Starting Dec. 12, will be running bus service to/from Union Station to San Francisco and Las Vegas with tickets starting at just $1. And to celebrate the start of service, ALL tickets will be $1 for the week of Dec. 12 – 19. Ticket sales begin today.

Buses will be leaving from Patsaouras Plaza Bus Bay 1. Read the full press release from after the jump. expands service to/from Los Angeles
Daily express, city-to-city bus service with free Wi-Fi from $1
All seats for travel during Dec.12-19 to/from newest cities will be $1
Company returns to California and Nevada based on customer demand

NEW YORK, NY (November 28, 2012) –, the first city-to-city, express bus company with fares from $1, today announced expansion to California and Nevada with services to/from Los Angeles.
Los Angeles residents can now travel to/from San Francisco, Las Vegas, Oakland, Calif. and San Jose, Calif. for as low as $1. Service will begin Dec. 12, and customers can begin booking travel at today. will offer frequent daily departures from its arrival/departure location at Los Angeles Union Station’s Patsaouras Transit Plaza, Bus Bay #1, near the Plaza entrance from Vignes Street.
Fares start as low as $1 every day and increase gradually as the traveling date gets closer. Customers are encouraged to book early to secure $1 fares.
“Express bus service from our new hub in Los Angeles is another way keeps Americans connected,” said Mike Alvich,’s vice president of marketing and public relations. “As California residents continue to look for ways to stretch their dollar, is committed to safe, affordable travel during this holiday season and beyond.”
To celebrate the new service, during the first week of travel, Dec. 12-19, all tickets will be $1. After Dec. 19, will continue to offer fares as low as $1, with many other affordable fares on all of its services. 
“, which previously served Los Angeles in 2007-2008, has returned based on customer demand,” said Alvich. “We’ve seen impressive growth throughout North America and are confident that our 21st century double-decker buses with Wi-Fi and power outlets combined with our outstanding prices will be a success among Los Angeles residents.”
The company’s new service will make it possible for 247,000 travelers to visit the Los Angeles metro area during the company’s first year of serving the region. Additionally, more than 80 new jobs will be created with’s expansion into California and Nevada.
“Tourism is a leading industry in Los Angeles that has enjoyed solid visitation growth over the last two years,” said Don Skeoch, Chief Marketing Officer, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.  “There is tremendous demand for the LA experience and provides travelers with an affordable and accessible transportation option.  We look forward to welcoming more visitors through the new, convenient hub at Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles.”
In addition, has partnered with Clean Air-Cool Planet, a national nonprofit organization that works to reduce carbon emissions and help create a sustainable environment. For every new Facebook friend and Twitter follower added on Nov. 28, will donate $1 to Clean Air-Cool Planet; will present a check to Clean Air-Cool Planet in December., a subsidiary of Coach USA, launched in April 2006 and has served more than 22 million travelers. In addition to affordable fares, offers customers state-of-the-art, green-certified double-decker buses with free Wi-Fi, power outlets, seat belts, restrooms and are wheelchair accessible.

Visit for additional information about the service, schedules, arrival and departure times and fares.  
ABOUT MEGABUS.COM is one of the largest privately funded providers of city-to-city express bus transportation and serves more than 120 cities in North America, including routes operated by other Coach USA subsidiaries. is the first express bus line to offer high-quality travel for as low as $1 via the Internet. operates service from 10 hubs in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Texas Triangle (Dallas, Houston, San Antonio), Washington D.C. and Toronto – creating more than 1,000 new, professional jobs. Visit for a complete list of cities served.

Service for operates daily. Fares shown are one-way and include all government taxes. Since its launch on April 10, 2006, has served more than 22 million travelers. For the latest news and travel deals, follow on Twitter at @megabus and Like us on Facebook at is a subsidiary of Coach USA, one of the largest transportation companies in North America, and maintains the highest safety compliance rating (Satisfactory) from the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Paramus, N.J.-based Coach USA owns and operates 30 local companies in North America, some that have been in business for more than 70 years, which operate scheduled bus routes, motor coach tours, charters and sightseeing tours.

Additional safety information can be found in the video here.

Categories: Transportation News

40 replies

  1. I think the whole discussion is missing the point.

    The whole point about making a transit oriented city is to make a dense city living so that one doesn’t need to travel 20 miles to get anything done.

    The city is already scrapped for land so in order to make room for increasing population we need to start building upwards with taller multi-family buildings like condos and apartments. We need to get rid of stupid height restrictions and stupid laws that says structures need so much parking spaces.

    We need to be building businesses and residences more than 3 storeys tall which is the norm here in LA. And we need to make these tall condos and multifamily complexes affordable instead of them being in the $450,000+ range or with $2,000 per month rents which the average Angeleno can’t afford.

    In order to encourage that kind of land development, we need to look into making fares higher for those who want to travel longer distances. We need to look at city development and transit development together. Encourage getting things done over shorter distances and encourage living closer to work than way out in the suburbs. They way to do this is make fares expensive for those living way out in the suburbs and make fares cheaper as an incentive for people to change their habits to getting their needs done within a short distance and move closer to where they work.

    Besides, in this day and age, one doesn’t need to travel that far to get things done in LA. You don’t need to be driving 10 miles roundtrip to BestBuy to get a deal on Black Friday when you can have it shipped for free to your workplace with on Cyber Monday.

  2. Frank M.

    You are attributing quotes to me that I never made. Where did I say “Asia doesn’t count” or “no transit agency in the US uses distanced based fares”? You owe me an apology for falsely trying to attribute statements to me that I did not make.

    In fact if you actually read my posts from the thread, you will see me bringing up the fact that no one ever sites Metrolink as a model for distanced based fares even though it operates right here in So Cal? You cite Washington as an example of a higher recovery rate to emulate as they use distanced based fares. Should I assume you would be in favor of adopting their fare policy of a $1.95 base fare plus more for longer distances. A trip from No Hollywood to Downtown would cost $3-$4 using that fare model. Is that what you advocate?

    As far as Asia, if distanced based fares were the holy grail, wouldn’t all systems use them? Why do major bus systems in Tokyo and Kyoto not use them? Are the people running these systems just not bright?

  3. That’s an interesting article Frank.

    I like UTA’s director’s comment “I think our industry is stuck in the past with always charging a simple and easy flat fare.”

    It’s time to move on. Those that are stuck with the flat rate mindset and making up nonsensical excuses are getting old and annoying. We need to move forward with this like UTA distance based plan.

    Can Metro hire the consultants UTA hired to do this?

  4. @ Frank M, Y Fukuzawa, others

    I believe what Matt is trying to get at is not the distance based bus fares are not effective, they are plenty of examples that they do bring higher fare box recovery, but rather to dispel the notion that distance fares inherently make transit cheaper for short distance riders, which does not seem to be the case with Washington DC., SF Bay Area, London, Seoul and Tokyo, where the shortest distance is charged about the same as Metro’s current base fare.

    If anything distances fares will make Metro more expensive for long distance riders and about the same for short distances ones. But fare box recovery will up which should be a good thing

  5. Matt,

    I’m confused. You keep saying Asia is completely different than the US. Yet transit experts often cite Europe as example. Isn’t Europe completely different than the US too?

    “Asia has completely different land use policies that strongly discourage the automobile. I have to laugh when others cite places like Singapore and say they have 100% recovery and LA does not solely because of distanced based fares and ignore other factors like land use and the fact that there is electronic road pricing and you have to pay a separate fee to enter Downtown Singapore. Does that sound anything like Los Angeles to you? Of course not.”

    So does Europe. London is a dense city with lots of people living in a small area. London for uses zonal fares on their Underground. They discourage the use of cars too with expensive toll roads and high fees to get into London proper which is completely different from Los Angeles. However, when talking with pro-transit riders, they say “let’s copy Europe” when it’s they are completely different from the US. However, when others bring up other examples from across the Pacific, it is dismissed because it’s so completely different from the US.

    I don’t understand. Why is European methods preferred over Asian methods? Because they are the same white brethren? Is that the underlying cause? That we only want to learn from white people and not from the yellow people? That’s what I’m getting here.

    Britain, France, Germany = good
    Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore = bad


  6. “Bottom line is no one can offer any examples of distanced based fares in the US resulting in full recovery.”

    Basically you’re just trying to cover your rear end because all your rebuttals were shot down. See that’s with you conservatives.

    “No transit agency in the world makes any money”
    Umm there are mass transit agencies in Asia that achieve over 100% farebox recovery?

    “Asia doesn’t count”
    You just said “no transit agency in the world.” So Asia is not part of the “world?”

    “Well that’s because they discourage the use of cars”
    And yet Japan’s one of the biggest automakers in the world and their people also own cars?

    “Tokyo doesn’t use distance based fares on buses”
    Looks like you’re wrong on this one too. Y Fukuzawa showed us several routes that do.

    “Well no transit agency in the US uses distance based fares”
    BART? Metrolink? Washington DC Metro?

    “You think the higher fares might have something to do with their fare recovery possibly?”
    Have you considered how Asian transit agencies achieve over 100% farebox for rates as low as $0.60 to $2.00 through high ridership numbers? Have you considered that possibly low fares + distance based model + high ridership (encourage from low fares) = over 100%?

    “There are no US agencies that does that”
    So that’s your end argument? No one does it so we shouldn’t try it? How is this any different from those naysayers saying “nobody in the US runs high speed rail, let’s not do the CAHSR plan.”

    Admit it, you’re just a Party of No.

  7. Bottom line is no one can offer any examples of distanced based fares in the US resulting in full recovery. All the other examples are Asia, where I have actually spent quite a bit of time despite my non-Asian name and there are sharp differences between their transportation systems and ours other than just distanced based fares, which others frequently ignore here. Asia has completely different land use policies that strongly discourage the automobile. I have to laugh when others cite places like Singapore and say they have 100% recovery and LA does not solely because of distanced based fares and ignore other factors like land use and the fact that there is electronic road pricing and you have to pay a separate fee to enter Downtown Singapore. Does that sound anything like Los Angeles to you? Of course not.

    Frank M. says on one hand Metrolink should be ignored because they charge too much but then cites Washington’s fare recovery where their fees are much higher than Metro’s. You think the higher fares might have something to do with their fare recovery possibly? Since I lived in Northern Virginia it is also worth noting that to use the freeway into Washington DC during rush hour you must have at least 2 other passengers. This means the Orange Line is packed of course with people paying much higher fares than in Los Angeles.

    But go on and ignore these other factors as nothing but distanced based fares matters for any subject. I think readers who actually enjoy commenting on the relevant story would appreciate if other commenters would just start their own blog on distanced based fares or Asian Transportation.

  8. In the case of Hong Kong, most of the distance based fare is charged to all riders on where they board, regardless of where they get off. So if you board a long distance bus departing downtown, you’ll have to pay the long distance fare even going for a few blocks. You can however pay a local fare for inbound buses.

    The problem with that is it requires a lot of route duplication so that some routes are for local riders and some for long distance riders. The good thing is that Hong Kong has enough population and density to do both most of the time, but some bus companies are losing money because it is not very efficient. Riders often decide to wait for the local bus because they don’t want to pay a higher fare for the same ride.

  9. Also Matt,

    There is no problem in using distance based fares no matter how crowded it is. Buses in Japan are crowded too but I never see the chaos that you state.

    Fumbling of change is a non-issue. I already know beforehand what the price is before I get on the bus because the distance fare rate like the pdf files that I listed are posted at all bus stops. I want to get from point A to point B, I find the box where they meet, oh that’s the price I have to pay. Look at wallet, yep I have exact change, put 300 yen in pocket. Get on board, take ticket, ride the bus, at the bus stop I’m supposed to alight, hand over 300 yen in exact change.

    In a way, it’s like calling Dominos for a pizza and the price comes out to $10.57 and having exactly $10.57 ready by the time the delivery person knocks at your door.

    Tapping out is a non-issue. In Japan, all the subways and rail lines are on a distance based system. People already are used to tapping in and tapping out their Suica and PASMA cards at the fare gates when they travel by rail. It’s no different when riding the bus; the tapping out procedure is already in their head. And unless majority of the people have ADD, you’re pretty much bound to notice and understand what’s going on just by following what other passengers do. Tourists to Japan do not have problems using the bus or rail lines under a distance based system because of this; it’s not too hard to look at what others are doing: tap-in and tap-out.

    Perhaps you just need to experience the distance based fare scheme in person. I suggest actually visiting these countries that uses distance based fares on buses before making comments that they will never work. You can’t say “it’s impossible” when you haven’t seen and experience them in action first hand.

  10. To be fair, there are actually there are Toei buses in Tokyo that do use the distance based fare system. They are usually bus routes that link the suburbs to the inner city. Flat rate 200 yen is predominantly used for routes that serve the urban core, more commonly known as “within the 23 district/wards of Tokyo.”

    Here are the fare diagrams of the distance fare Toei Buses:

    Toei Bus Ume 01: fares range from 170 yen to 550 yen depending on distance

    Toei Bus Ume 70: fares range from 170 yen to 560 yen depending on distance

    Toei Bus Ume 74: fares range from 170 yen to 620 yen depending on distance

    Toei Bus Ume 76: fares range from 170 yen to 430 yen depending on distance

    Toei Bus Ume 77: fares range from 170 yen to 260 yen depending on distance

    So Matt, you too are wrong on this one. Not all buses in Tokyo uses a flat rate system either. There are buses within the same agency that use distance based fares where they are viable.

  11. Matt,

    I think you need to cool off. Not everyone thinks the way you do.

    The fact is that there is fare inequality in Metro, there is a big budget gap in funding, and there is a very low farebox recovery ratio problem. All these problems exist today and we need to find solutions to them now. And we need to start thinking outside of the box than the usual higher tax, higher fares, massive service cuts choices that are always presented.

    Seeing that transit agencies in Asia solves these problems with distance based fares while no transit agency in the US running on flat rate fares achieves this is good enough argument for me to say that we need to try something different and move to distance based fares set upon a fair per-mile value.

    Metrolink and BART could be much more successful if they lowered their distance fare rate to something more fair than the high price it is. Implementing distance based fares is one thing, but settling on a fair value of a mile is another key step into getting transit right in America.

    All the transit agencies in Asia does this; they set a rate and agree to it. You cannot have one agency like Metrolink say it costs $1.00 per mile while another says it’s 7 cents a mile deal that you get on the Metro 720.

    And Washington DC Metro uses distance based fares. They may not have 100% farebox recovery ratio, but they achieve one of the highest in the nation at 62.1%, a farebox recovery ratio that’s higher than NYMTA’s 55.5%. How do you explain that? So there, that’s an example of an US transit agency running on distance based fares making close to 2/3rd of its operation costs just from the farebox alone. It may not be 100%, but I’d gladly take a 62.1% farebox recovery ratio compared to the pitiful 27% that we have in Metro.

  12. Steven P.

    To correct a bunch of the false statements you made.

    1. No where did I state distance based fares don’t work. I said it is not the panacea that you state. If it were I would assume Metrolink and BART would be perfect systems. Yet, they are both far more expensive than Metro and don’t have full farebox recovery. Can you explain that?

    2. Not all Japanese buses use distanced based fares. In fact, Tokyo (by far the largest city in Japan) buses do not use them. This is true for Kyoto as well.

    3. You cite all Asian cities in your example but none from more applicable examples here in North America. There are other factors that distinguish Asian transit systems from American ones. Taking one aspect of them is like saying all those systems have riders who have black hair. Maybe if we banned blondes and redheads on our systems, we’d have a successful system like them. As an occassional rider on the 720, the last thing we need is slower boarding and exiting because of tapping out and fumbling for change to pay a certain fluctuating fare.

    Anyway, I think I speak for most readers that we are tired of distanced based fare rants on every post, especially when it has nothing to do with the post as in this article.

  13. I was disappointed when Megabus ceased west coast operations a few years ago; I thought their business model was viable. Fortunately, Greyhound Express stepped up, and even copied the $1 fare promotion. Megabus, welcome back!

    You can’t compare long-distance intercity buses to local and regional transit, but you can compare them with each other.

    California Shuttle Bus

    Greyhound Express

    Low Fare Bus / Xe Do Hoang



  14. Matt,

    And you keep saying distance fares don’t work. If they don’t work, why are countries like Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan using the “confusing and mind boggling system?” And yet, why do all of them have 100%+ farebox recovery ratios? You never really answer this. And no, high population density isn’t a major factor. If it were, why is NYMTA or MBTA running on flat rate fares in the two most densest cities in the US, still deeply in the red?

    Singapore buses uses distance based fares. Singapore’s population is 5.3 million. I assume 5.3 million Singaporeans on a “strange” distance based fare scheme is not good enough?

    Hong Kong buses also uses distance based fares. HK’s population is 7 million. I assume 7 million HKers on the “weird” distance based fare scheme on buses is still not enough data?

    Taiwan buses uses distance based fares. Taiwan’s population is 23 million. No, 23 million is not enough. We need more data.

    Then how about Japan? Japanese buses uses distance based fares. Japan’s population is 120 million. Is 120 million people on distance based fares not enough data points to see that it’s not workable?

    Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan totals to 155 million people used to the distance based scheme and they move that many people everyday perfectly fine. I’d say that’s more than enough data points to prove that it works.

    LA, we’re only talking about 12 million people living in the metropolitan area. If countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan can move 155 million people under distance based fares day in and day out everyday and sustain on its own with 100% farebox recovery, I’d say that’s more than good enough data to show that it can be done in LA.

    • To be fair, not all Taiwan buses run on distance-based fares. Many municipal carriers still use a flat-rate, though I do acknowledge that the muni buses don’t travel that far to begin with. For the record, I personally think distance-based fares would be great, but I don’t see it happening for Metro any time soon because, as you know, changes often take time with government agencies. Which is not to say it is right, but it is the reality here in America.

      Either way, let’s try to keep any further comments about

      Anna Chen
      The Source, Contributor

  15. The 720 wouldn’t be as crowded if we could just get the Subway to the Sea built.

    But I agree we need to start looking at other fare models. I do not see it fair price if one can go all the way from Long Beach to Downtown LA because they’re lucky to have one line that goes there when another person has to pay $3.00 if the trips involves transfers and the distance is so short because there’s no direct line or bus serving it.

  16. Steven P.,

    Distanced based fares are rarely used on busses anywhere in the world.

    The post was about Megabus. It would be nice if the comments were actually about that instead of the constant distanced based fare rants and how that will solve every problem and people will pay next to nothing and Metro will suddenly have a 100% recovery. Distanced based fares may make sense on the rail system when TAP is fully implemented and the gates are locked (although some light rail stations will never have gates and that will always be a major problem), ridership is much higher, and the Regional Connector is built. However, that will be at least 10 years from now. For now, just enjoy Metrolink and their distanced based fares and try to actually make a comment relevant to the actual post.

  17. Robert,

    Metro 720 is actually the best place to start distance based fares. As I mentioned earlier, making people pay more for longer rides is a form of congestion pricing. And if the Metro 720 is so crowded, it makes sense to implement a congestion pricing scheme like distance based fares to increase turnover rates.

    As it stands now, the Metro 720 gets you at max distance, 4th/Colorado in Santa Monica past DTLA to the City of Commerce for $1.50. That’s 21 miles of transit for $1.50, which translates to a fantastic deal of 7 cents a mile. That is encroaching upon the fuel efficiency of a scooter. So why would anyone want to do short rides on the Metro 720 if it costs the same where one has to pay $1.50 just to go 5 miles on the 720 when they can go 21 miles on the 720?

    Per market force, everyone wants the best bang for the buck. Very few will do short hop-on and hop-off trips in the mid sections because everyone wants the 7 cents a mile deal. Therefore, the Metro 720 remains congested.

    Once you make fares more variable where if one wants to travel the full 21 miles from 4th/Colorado to Commerce to fork over $5 under a tap-in/tap-out scheme, you’ll definitely see Metro 720 less crowded.

    But at the same time, you’d probably see all those people living along the Metro 720 corridor to go shopping to nearby places like Farmers Market, the Plaza at Fairfax/3rd, The Grove and Beverly Center instead of driving their cars there because now it’s cheaper for them to make shorter runs to these places.

  18. “will everyone really remember to tap out”

    This is an easy fix too.

    Just add big signs or make constant announcements reminding them to tap-out or they will be deducted full fare, like how you guys have those no eating and drinking signs or face $500 in fines.

    Instead of running useless high volume ads on TransitTV, you can remind people to TAP off when they get off the bus using TransitTV. That’s what TransitTV should be used for: to make public service announcements, not cheesy ads that look like ancient Super Mario Bros.

    People will learn quickly that they need to TAP out now if they don’t want to end up paying more for something that they could’ve gotten cheaper with.

    It’s like getting a traffic ticket. People do stupid things when driving until they get caught. Once they get caught, they’re reminded of that fact to never do it again. Think of that in smaller scale: “Aww man I got deducted the full fare of $1.50 when I could’ve gotten by for only a $1.00 because I forgot to tap out. Oh well, that’s serves me a lesson to remind myself to TAP off the bus.”

    See, Metro overthinks too much. Answers to these things are simple.

  19. “I’m doubtful that distance-based fares will be used on buses because of the tap-in, tap-out issue — will everyone really remember to tap out or do so in an honest manner (i.e. tapping out five stops before getting off the bus)?”

    Tap-in and tap-out distance based fares on buses aren’t new. They are being used all over the world (except backward America, oh yeah we still use pounds and feet, figures) and they work perfectly fine. Anyone can Google and see Youtube videos on how distance fares on buses work if you don’t believe it can’t be done.

    And are you implying that majority of Angelenos are not trustworthy to tap-out from the bus at their correct bus stop? And yet, for all this time Metro had an honor system for Metro Rail implying that Angelenos were trustworthy enough to pay their fares without high rate of fare evasion.

    Come on, Metro which is it? Do you trust riders or you don’t? It’s like one guy says one thing while another person says a totally contradictory statement.

  20. Civic Rider, have you ever been on the 720 during rush hour? Imagine a rapid bus filled passed the max and people who are ridding in the back have to push their way to the front to tap out?

    And adding a bus conductor? Just to “create” jobs? Man, no wonder why we are in trouble. The whole idea is to keep cost and spending in check, while giving a good service at a good price for the riders. Adding more steps for the riders isn’t good. Like my football coach always said, “keep it simple stupid”.

    And adding a bus conductor will only raise prices not lower them. You know how many buses there are on the roads for Metro at one given time? A lot…

  21. I think #2 would be an easy fix.

    Get onboard from the back of the bus and TAP in, get out from the front of the bus and TAP out in plain sight of the bus driver.

    That would be the best way to ensure people will honestly TAP out because they will now have exit from the front of the bus in plain sight of the bus driver, not from the back where the bus driver cannot control dishonest riders.

    Adding in bus conductors into every bus would also help. That would create new jobs and a more sense of security rather than just having the bus driver alone who can’t control all the nasty things some people do inside the bus.

  22. Frank M brings up some good points, yet I don’t really think your going to see that much drop off in fare for shorter trips then the already reasonable price of $1.50. I take the purple line from the Wiltern to 7th and Metro, Frank M how much is a reasonable fare? I find 1.50 is a pretty good value (3.00 round trip). Fast, no cost in parking, and leave the car behind. With distance based pricing is that going to be 1.00? I doubt it. Maybe 1.25.

    I get your point, yeah someone pays the same price of my fairly short trip (basically 4 stops) to go from DTLA all the way to DT Long Beach. So what is that trip going to cost in your system? 3.50? 4.00 each way. Maybe 5.00. Now we are talking your are making more people think twice about getting on the train and back into their cars.

    Anyways, just found out Mega Bus doesn’t drop you off in DT Vegas but on the South End of the Strip by the airport. So Frank M, let this fry your noodle, to take one of their DUECE Buses in Vegas to Mandalay Bay (prob a mile or so) is 6.00 fare for 2 hours worth of riding. See looks like Vegas does hours not distance. Its cheaper for me to jump in a cab which I will gladly do. Be careful what you wish for as Metro might not go distance based but time base (as people complained about no transfers anymore). Come on, $5.00 to ride all day…stop complaining.

    So, our 1.50 is a great value even if you are going on a short trip. Yeah, I know what’s next, Motorcycle, yet not everyone likes those things. Works for you, not for everyone else.

    • Hi Folks;

      I’ll make two points I’ve made in the past when the distance-based fare argument resurfaces on this board:

      1. I think it’s unlikely that the base fare will drop as Metro continues to try to increase its fare recovery ratio.

      2. I’m doubtful that distance-based fares will be used on buses because of the tap-in, tap-out issue — will everyone really remember to tap out or do so in an honest manner (i.e. tapping out five stops before getting off the bus)?

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  23. Metro is already committed to move to distance based fares. They mentioned several times that they’re looking into ending the flat rate model. That’s why they installed those gates that have proximity card readers on both sides of the gate.

  24. “Alll metro systems live by farebox recovery, city, county, state, and federal grants, etc. That is the way the system works.”

    If we continue to follow failures just because “that’s the way the system works,” we still would have slavery and Jim Crow laws because “that’s the way the system works.”

    Should we keep marriages between man and women because that’s the way the system works? Should we keep fighting useless wars because that’s the way the system works in America?

    That’s what you are saying. “That’s the way the system works and there’s no other way.” This makes you no different than those conservatives who say no to everything.

    See, you claim to be a liberal, deep down inside, you’re just a backward thinking conservative because you really don’t want change. You only want change when it benefits you (you must be one of those people enjoying $1.50 rides for 20 miles) but don’t want it when it hurts you (you must hate the thought of paying more for 20 miles and hate the idea of poor people in the city of LA paying less for shorter rides).


  25. Rob Durchola hit the nail on the head. Most of the trips on Megabus are way more than $1.50 (despite the promotions trying to imply otherwise) and it only runs a few times a day. Still, it’s good to see they’re trying California again. Hopefully they’ll stick it out this time.

  26. Private rail companies disappeared from Los Angeles largely because they found it impossible to make a profit when their fare was regulated by California Railroad Commission. The companies were also required to maintain the street that their cars ran on. This encouraged them to abandon rail lines and switch to buses as quickly as possible throughout the 30’s.

    After Angelenos took to cars the rail companies were in a state of desperate decline, with the exception of the World War II years. Their main competitor, the freeways, were new, toll-free, efficient, and paid for by the State of California. General Motors, Standard Oil, etc. were opportunists at worst. They did not cause the death of the rail companies, but picked over their carcasses.

  27. Rob,

    Half true, but half misleading.

    One key difference between a long distance bus and an urban bus route is that the latter has multiple stops with multiple passengers getting on and off at any given point. Hence you can’t expect a total of 600 passengers at any given time.

    A more accurate picture would be like a Metro Bus where they pick up 10 passengers at one bus stop, but at another bus stop, five people get off and ten more get on, and so and so forth.

    So it is possible that urban transport can become profitable by encouraging high capacity loads AND high alighting rates. But you rarely see this happening with any of our bus routes or rail lines. Look at the Wilshire bus: it’s is always crowded because very few people get off in between.

    If ten people get on the bus and no one gets off, and ten more gets on board at the next stop, the bus fills up quickly to max capacity. Say the max capacity of a bus is 100 people. If it fills up to 100 and all 100 people don’t get off until toward the end of the bus route, the bus only recuperates very little from the farebox.

    Bring along distance based fares and you introduce variety of markets. Fewer people will be willing to ride the bus longer if prices ranges from say, $0.50 to $5.00 depending on travel distance. This encourages riders to use the bus to make cheaper and shorter trips which urban transit is better suited for. Ten people getting on, eight people getting off. Ten people getting on, six people getting off. And so on. This keeps the bus space open and less crowded, in which the bus is able to gain more fares from more passengers instead of skipping them over because the bus is too crowded.

    Hence, the distance based fare logic is used in many highly densly populated cities like those in Asia. They’re like congestion pricing for crowded bus and rail lines.

  28. i am ok with mega bus from LA to LV for now, but the other routes compete too much with Amtrak. I guess they asked to serve from union station as Greyhound would not let them use the bus depo? These guys run from the curb, why bother with LAUS? Maybe they too need the subway, light rail, Metrolink and other buses to feed them also ?
    $1 fare is all eye-candy. What is their ‘real” fare to the bay area ?

    • Hi Mark,

      The price does increase if you book closer to the departure date, but it caps around $40.


      Anna Chen
      The Source, Contributor

  29. @Steven P – The types of service and the cost of providing that service between a long distance carrier (such as Megabus) and a local transit operator are quite different. For example, the long distance carrier offers only a few trips a day whereas many local transit routes provide frequent service throughout the day.

    But the big difference is that Megabus (and the airlines) practice yield management. Whereas there is always one $1 dollar seat on Megabus, most seats are much more expensive. I read that Megabus has an average yield per seat (on some of its east coast routes) of $15. Assume a load of 60 people per trip at that yield and a trip yields $900, more than sufficient to make a profit on an L.A. to San Francisco trip.

    Now consider an urban bus route. An individual bus would have to handle 600 passengers at $1.50 in the same time period to generate $900. And, with senior discouts, passes, and other reduced fares this is almost impossible to do.

    Put another away, comparing long distance bus service to local transit is like comparing apples to oranges. They are both public transit/fruit; but the comparison stops there.

  30. I think Metro would be better off under a distance based fare structure. It makes more sense and would encourage more riders to use Metro for shorter trips not just long trips into Downtown.

    Once the regional connector is built, our existing fare structure would create unfairness where one traveler could go all the way from Santa Monica to Ontario for $1.50, while another switching who gets on at MacArthur Park from the Red Line and transfers to the Expo Line to Staples Center ends up paying $3.00.

  31. Steven P. needs to relax a bit. The above mentioned $1.00 fee wont last very long, and then you will see the REAL fare soon. Running a bus system is much easier then running a Muni rail/bus system. Steven P. talks about politicians running Metro, and thats not really true, at all. He also believes private industry should be running AMTRAK, and, I guess all the metro systems of the U.S. If he would read a history book instead of listioning to Fox news, he would learn over a hundred years ago that nearly all rail systems started out private, went bankrupt, and most disapeared. Any metro system operating in the U.S. today would go bankrupt if their finances were provided soley by farebox recovery. Alll metro systems live by farebox recovery, city, county, state, and federal grants, etc. That is the way the system works. I have riden MegaBus, loved it, and will continue to use it. But comparing MegaBus to LA Metro is like comparing a newborn to an adult. Could Steven P. still be upset about our election? I wonder?

  32. Awesome!

    The bus drops you off right across the street from The HP Pavillion in San Jose. When and if the NHL comes back, this would make for a really fun road trip for either Kings or Sharks fans to go see their team play at either Staples or HP!

    And would be even better if they extended the service to San Diego and into Mexico!

    • Hi Ryan,

      I like the way you think! Once the lockout ends (fingers crossed) hockey road trips will be a lot cheaper and easier. You could hypothetically take Megabus from HP Pavillion to LA, Metro to Staples Center, then back to Union Station for Metrolink to the Honda Center.

      Anna Chen
      The Source, Contributor

  33. The Megabus is a good example of a privatize mass transit company which can actually make profit without taxpayer subsidies. And they can get a person from LA all the way to San Franscisco and Vegas starting for a buck and they provide better service too.

    And in sharp contrast Metro charges $1.50 per ride that’s only good within LA. And if you happen to need to take two buses just to get a short distance, you pay $3.00. And it makes no money, is deep in the red, and is highly dependent on taxpayers.

    Isn’t this a fine example of where private enterprise knows what it is doing versus an overbloated government agency that can’t get anything done except suck up more tax dollars?