Megabus.com to start BR service Monday

Megabus.com, a national express bus company with fares starting as low as $1, will begin offering daily service to and from Baton Rouge beginning Monday with one-way prices ranging between $14 and $27 for New Orleans and Houston.

The bus will pick up passengers at the old State National Life Building at 224 Florida St., with three trips per day to and from both New Orleans and Houston. Passengers will be dropped off on Bienville Avenue in New Orleans, near the French Quarter, and in downtown Houston. It will take passengers less than two hours to get to New Orleans and less than five hours to get to Houston.

Mike Alvich, a Megabus spokesman, said Baton Rouge was added because of increased demand in the South. New Orleans has had Megabus service since early 2012, offering routes to Houston, Atlanta, and Mobile and Montgomery, Ala.

Megabus, a subsidiary of Coach USA, has been in operation since 2006. The company offers express bus service to more than 100 cities in the U.S. and Canada, offering passengers amenities such as free Wi-Fi.

Baton Rouge officials said they were pleased to see Megabus enter the market. The LA Swift commuter bus service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans was halted at the end of July after the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced it would no longer provide a match for federal funds.

“We recognize a strong demand for transportation options connecting Baton Rouge to New Orleans and beyond, and it is great to see a company with a unique service model moving into this space,” said Adam Knapp, CEO and president of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.

Davis Rhorer, executive director of the Downtown Development District, said he was very excited about Megabus’ entry into the market. The area where bus passengers will be picked up will be shared with taxi operators.

“We need more taxi cabs downtown, so by staging them in this place it will work out great,” Rhorer said.