Megabus Quietly Discontinues Columbus Service
If you haven’t noticed one of the big blue Megabuses running through Columbus recently, it’s because they’ve ended the service. No official notice was given publicly, but a Columbus Underground reader tipped us off when an inquiry to customer service about the absent Columbus routes yielded the following response: “At this time the service has been discontinued until further notice.”
Columbus Underground followed up with Megabus customer service, which confirmed the end of the local routes as of January 9th.
“Megabus is restructuring our network to reflect the changing travel patterns that we are experiencing due to historically low fuel prices, growing private and government subsidized inter-city coach operators, as well as rail services and low-cost airlines,” stated a Megabus Customer Service Representative via email. “We are very proud of our decade success of moving more than 50 Million passengers to more than 100 cities around the country. Megabus.com continues to evaluate routes and will make the necessary future adjustments based on customer demand.”
Megabus service has always been in a state of flux in Columbus. After launching the service in 2006 and ending service after just two months, it resumed in 2007 with routes to Chicago, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. The service attracted rider’s attention by advertising that a limited number of fares would be as low as $1 on each trip. More destinations were added to the Columbus market over time, including Cleveland and Pittsburgh, only later to remove those routes citing low ridership due to low gas prices.
In 2014, a man with a history of mental illness took a Megabus driver hostage in Downtown Columbus as passengers were loading for a route headed to Chicago. The incident likely left some potential travelers concerned about safety issues when utilizing the service.
Additionally, Megabus has been required to move its transit pickup locations multiple times over the past decade. Most recently, it was forced to relocate in 2015 after COTA asked the agency to stop using existing transit stops where the parked Megabus vehicles were blocking traffic for extended periods of time.
For more information, visit us.megabus.com.
Update: 1/16/17 4:35pm — Added more clarification on the end of service from Megabus.