Video: Midwesterners park cars in favor of bus

NBC News with Brian Williams
By Kevin Tibbles Correspondent
NBC News
updated 8/14/2006 7:41:39 PM ET 2006-08-14T23:41:39

With $3 gas, Midwest motorists are parking the car in favor of the Megabus.

"It's a whole lot cheaper and easier than driving yourself, so why not?" says Joe Platte, a passenger from Detroit.

How much cheaper? Depending on how early you book online, as little as a buck. Average fares range from about $8 to $39 each way.

"About 52 percent of the passengers we've had so far have gotten out of their car to take our service," says Dale Moser of Megabus.com.

"It was great leaving the driving to someone else," says Mary Platte of Detroit.

From its Chicago hub, Megabus' fleet of 18 buses services over half a dozen Midwest cities. It's cheap fares have already brought in more than $1.5 million since its launch just four months ago.

"And the interesting thing is that a lot of new users have been trying the bus, people who wouldn't normally use the bus," says Brian Souter with Megabus.com

"Rising gas prices, rising congestion on the highway, and blossoming downtowns," says Joe Schwieterman of DePaul University. "A lot of people want to go downtown to downtown. Airports aren't convenient for that."

After all, by the time you get to the airport, stand in line for a ticket, stand in line at security, empty your pockets, and wait for a flight, that may or may not be on time, is the bus really much slower on shorter hauls?

The new service has been so successful that Megabus is planning to expand nationally, so more American travelers will have the option between traffic jams and high gas prices, sitting on a bus, airline hangups or sleeping on the bus while someone else does the driving.

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