Ten years of Megabus
Image by wirewiping
To celebrate ten years of operation, Megabus has applied unique vinyls to a single of its new Volvo B11R Plaxton Elite i coaches. 54201 swings out of Semley Spot, London Victoria, on the 15.00 M17 departure to Edinburgh by way of Manchester and Preston on Monday 11th February.
The Plaxton Elite i was launched at the 2012 Euro Bus Expo in Kortrijk, Belgium, in November. The ‘interdeck’ design and style gives a 20% increase in capacity more than a regular 15-metre single-deck coach and the lower saloon has space for a wheelchair user, without the want for a ramp into the saloon. There are also 3 seats behind the driver which can be utilized by much less mobile passengers who could not be able to climb the methods. The seats straight above the lower saloon are on a raised platform, which tends to make receiving in and out a bit difficult nevertheless this is presumably not such an concern on extended-distance journeys.
Megabus operations commenced in 2003, with a London-Oxford route starting in August that year and routes in Scotland a month later. Main expansion occurred the following year, with a rapid development of a network of routes centred on London these tended to be to locations close to where Stagecoach already had a presence (and for that reason depots). The model in those days was defiantly low-cost-and cheerful totally-depreciated coaches had been utilized, including a batch of dual-purpose Leyland Olympian double-deckers from Hong Kong roadside pick-up points have been used in preference to paying fees to use bus and coach stations and the booking method was based on the low-price airline model – web only, with the cheapest fares (starting at a headlining £1) promoting out first.
Ten years on, it is clear that Megabus is right here to remain. The Megabus web site now sells discounted Advance fares on other Stagecoach express coach routes, as effectively as on some Stagecoach operated rail franchises these are in addition to development on the core Megabus network. From October 2007 Megabus moved its London operations into Transport for London-owned Victoria Coach Station the ‘internet-only’ rule was also relaxed a tiny as tickets could then be bought over the counter at the Coach Station. The Megabus notion has also spread to North America through Stagecoach subsidiary Coach USA, and there are now considerable networks based on Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Toronto, Dallas and a number of other cities in the North-East USA. Megabus broke into Europe in April 2012 with routes from London to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, which includes a wholly non-UK Amsterdam-Paris route. Rugby-based coaches operate these routes on a three-day cycle.
Megabus’ vehicle policy has moved on as well the "pile ’em high and sell ’em cheap" method still holds, but the success of the operation now justifies investment in brand-new, state of the art higher-capacity vehicles rather than relying on depreciated coaches 54201 is just a single of eleven Elite i that have not too long ago entered service. Also, Megabus no longer sources all its vehicle and driver requirements from inside Stagecoach organizations a quantity of independent operators are now contracted in to operate Megabus journeys, specifically duplicates and Friday/Sunday timetabled ‘extras’.
Interestingly, Megabus does not seem to have had the effect on National Express loadings that may have been expected, which suggests that there is space in the market place for each operators. Of course coach services are fairly recession-proof, and have a tendency to hold up nicely as travellers appear for approaches of saving cash on the journeys that they require to make. Also, it is feasible that the arrival of Megabus has awakened awareness of coach travel typically some of the strongest development on National Express routes has been on corridors exactly where Megabus also has a presence.
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