Last February when UTC student Katie Christie stumbled upon Megabus.com, a website that was offering round-trip bus travel from Knoxville to Washington, D.C., for less than $10, it seemed too good to be true.
The only downside was the drive to Knoxville, said Christie, but that won't be an issue when Megabus.com begins providing service out of Chattanooga starting Nov. 16. Service will include four trips daily to
Atlanta and two trips daily to Knoxville and Nashville, seven days a week.
"We've had such success with service in similar markets, we felt the service would fit perfectly in the Southeast," said Coach USA Megabus.com President Dale Moser.
Moser said he describes Megabus.com as an "efficient and affordable bus travel service" with prices starting at $1 and increasing based on availability or day of travel. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, electrical plug-ins, reclining seats, A.D.A. accessible restrooms and heating and air-conditioning, he said.
Christie, who traveled with seven other students to attend a conference in Washington, D.C., described her Megabus.com experience as "awesome."
"The bus was comfortable, clean, practically deserted for the Knoxville to Blacksburg leg and the power outlets made using all my devices really easy," she said. "The Wi-Fi was a little spotty, but other people I traveled with had no problems."
The main factor in choosing Megabus.com was the cost, and Christie said she plans on using the service again, especially as an alternative to reaching the Atlanta airport.
"The only bad thing was we ran ahead of schedule so we had stop for over an hour in Blacksburg to make sure no one else was getting on," she said.
According to Moser, Megabus.com is working to reinvent the perception of bus service by eliminating the need for bus travel terminals and offering inner-city travel, express service, an online purchasing platform and plenty of new, routinely inspected busses to travel on.
The combination of Megabus.com being a service of the larger company Coach USA, launching it first in the United Kingdom and using an online purchasing platform means that Megabus.com can continue to offer prices that may seem too good to be true, he said.
"We're getting people out of their cars, saving people money, doing a good thing for the environment," said Moser. "All of these are good things."
For more information, visit www.megabus.com.