Call us weird, but we spent our honeymoon traveling across the US by bus. In 3 months during the summer of 2016, we went from New York City to Los Angeles by bus, only taking 2 domestic flights from Chicago to Detroit, and from Houston to San Diego. We’ve crossed 31 cities from our bucket list in 12 different States. So it’s safe to say we have been taking our fair share of bus rides in the US and can now show you our Megabus vs Greyhound report! Just keep in mind this happened in 2016 so things might have changed a little since then.
Which is best? Megabus or Greyhound?
Booking online: Megabus vs Greyhound
We found the Megabus website to be easier to navigate than the Greyhound one. While the last one might seem a bit more sleek and professional, the Megabus one gave more informations and possibilities to easily check for the best itinerary. Which is important when you don’t have a set plan but instead are looking for the cheapest, most practical and easiest way to travel.
We also seemed to have less issues in terms of site responding and booking on Megabus than we did on Greyhound.
The main thing that we appreciated on Megabus compared to Greyhound was the possibility to choose reserved seats for a couple more bucks. On that note, we recommend you try to get the first row on the top of the double deckers. These are the most comfortable seats, especially if you’re on a night trip. Being able to make sure we would have attributed seats together and in the part of the bus we wanted was great with Megabus, and we would have loved to have that possibility with Greyhound.
Because of all these reasons, we always tried to book on Megabus instead of Greyhound when possible.
• Booking online: Megabus wins! – Click here in order to do Megabus tickets booking online
Which company did we use where? Megabus vs Greyhound report
NYC to Boston: Megabus
Detroit to Chicago: Megabus
Chicago to State College: Megabus
State College to Philadelphia: Megabus
Philadelphia to Pittsburgh: Megabus
Pittsburgh to Washington: Megabus
Washington DC to Atlanta: Megabus
Atlanta to Charleston: Greyhound
Charleston to Jacksonville: Greyhound
Jacksonville to Gainesville: Greyhound
Gainesville to New Orleans: Megabus
New Orleans to Houston: Megabus
San Diego to Los Angeles: Greyhound
Los Angeles to Santa Cruz: Greyhound
Santa Cruz to Sacramento: Greyhound
Sacramento to Oakland: Greyhound
Oakland to Santa Cruz: Greyhound
Santa Cruz to Los Angeles: Greyhound
• It’s a tie! As Megabus was practically non-existant in California at the time, Greyhound was practically our only option!
Although now Megabus has stops in Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco and a couple other places in California.
Prices : How much did we spend on Megabus vs. Greyhound? [Price per person]
NYC to Boston: 30$ (including 2$ for a reserved seat) | Megabus
Detroit to Chicago: 24$ (including 2$ for a reserved seat) | Megabus
Chicago to State College: 36$ (including 2$ for a reserved seat) | Megabus
State College to Philadelphia: 25$ (including 2$ for a reserved seat) | Megabus
Philadelphia to Pittsburgh: 13.50$ (including 2$ for a reserved seat) | Megabus
Pittsburgh to Washington DC: 6$ (including 2$ for a reserved seat) | Megabus
Washington DC to Atlanta: 41$ (including 2$ for a reserved seat) | Megabus
Atlanta to Charleston: 41$ | Greyhound
Charleston to Jacksonville: 33$ | Greyhound
Jacksonville to Gainesville: 15$ | Greyhound
Gainesville to New Orleans: 32$ (including 2$ for a reserved seat) | Megabus
New Orleans to Houston: 14$ | Megabus
San Diego to Los Angeles: 15$ | Greyhound
Los Angeles to Santa Cruz: 20$ | Greyhound
Santa Cruz to Sacramento: 23$ | Greyhound
Sacramento to Oakland: 8$ | Greyhound
Oakland to Santa Cruz: 14$ | Greyhound
Santa Cruz to Los Angeles: 31$ | Greyhound
Total: Megabus 231.50$ | Greyhound 200$
Total km: Megabus roughly 5500km | Greyhound roughly 3000km
• Megabus wins when it comes to price/km!
On that note, Megabus coaches seemed usually bigger than Greyhound, so it might explain some of the price difference (the service does not).
Which is more comfortable: Megabus or Greyhound?
We’re not going to lie, doing long bus rides are never a comfortable affair. Your ass hurts, you feel stuck, you can never find the right position to fall asleep – or not wake up with terribly sore muscles. I have honestly looked for “what’s the best position to sleep in a bus” on Google more times than I can admit. The honest answer: there is none.
However, all in all, we found the Megabus coaches to be newer and more comfortable. Especially the reserved seats which felt a bit cleaner than the others. In Megabus you also have some seats in squares, which can be interesting if you’re traveling with your family or friends and might not sleep or can deal with each other so you can get your feet (minus the shoes!) on the seat across yours – which might be your best bet if you want to catch some sleep.
• Megabus wins the comfort battle
Which company is better when it comes to service?
Staff & Drivers
We’ve had a female driver on Greyhound, which I’d like to highlight because it was the only one in 22 bus trips. I count that as a plus. However we’ve also had a flake on that same bus company on our trip from Jacksonville to Gainesville. Our bus was getting late, and we had no information about what the matter was or when the bus was expected to leave. Then we heard and understood what had happened: the driver just didn’t wake up (which can happen, reason why it’s good for the company to have a spare around!). So they had to replace him last minute (which took hours), and we almost missed our bus to New Orleans (the only one of the day – yay!). The staff and the drivers are not particularly nice or whatever, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be Miss Sunshine if I was paid what they’re paid (I’m guessing not much) to do never ending bus rides cross country.
It seemed to be a big deal on Internet when I was researching both companies online before booking our trips, but we honestly never had any problem concerning our luggages. So nothing to say about that!
These were rarely great experiences. Sometimes we had very long stops in-between two legs of a trip (Atlanta to Charleston, for instance) and the areas weren’t always the best. When it’s the middle of the night, it’s really hard to not be able to lie down to sleep, or to endure the bright lights of the stops. The informations about the time and place to take the next bus were often lacking or hard to get by at Greyhound stations. It didn’t happen to us, but we witnessed a couple people who missed their bus because of lack of clear informations. We’d recommend you to be extremely aware and curious of what’s going on around you! Also, Megabus stops tended to be random places and not proper stations, which can be a bit scary if you’re traveling on your own.
• Tie on service: they both are far from being incredible. It’s clearly not their main concern. If it’s a big deal for you, research more expensive companies that don’t have to cut costs on service to be the cheapest on the block.
Traveling on the East Coast by bus: Megabus vs Greyhound
Megabus is very present on the East Coast, and is pretty cheap. Because of what I’ve mentioned above when it comes to booking online and comfort, we often chose Megabus over Greyhound when possible, and didn’t regret our choice.
• Megabus wins on the East Coast
Traveling in California by bus: Megabus vs Greyhound
Megabus, where were you?!
• Greyhound wins – Megabus forfeited.
So, which is better? Megabus or Greyhound?
We can safely say we preferred to ride with Megabus rather than Greyhound, and would definitely ride Megabus over Greyhound in the future where it’s possible.
This post is not a sponsored post and only reflects our views and experience.