has been riding the Megabus like a Mega Boss
since the low-cost bus service arrived in Cleveland in 2005. Our preferred route was the Cleveland-to-Chicago overnight special, but we took full advantage of offerings eastward and southward as well.
These days, local options are drastically cut.
Most recently, in January, Megabus cut its Cleveland-to-Atlanta route, which included intermediate stops in Columbus, Cincinnati, Kentucky and Tennessee. Chattanooga baby! Megabus officials say ridership has dropped off steeply because of low gas prices.
The enduring appeal of Megabus was its cheap tickets. A precious few were sold at $1 when schedules were released. But now that a tank of gas is a lot closer to $20 than $50, a $25 ticket to Chicago or Columbus might not seem worth whatever you sacrifice in convenience.
At any rate, Cleveland Megabussers can now only travel to Chicago or New York (with intermediates stops in Toledo and State College, respectively). Though the website lists
Columbus and Cincinnati as destinations, "no dates are available for the selected journey."
At its peak in 2013, Cleveland Megabussers were tapped into the bus service's national network. A route to Buffalo took one through Erie, PA. And Lexington and Knoxville were fun options en route to Atlanta. Pittsburgh was even briefly on the table. Weekend trips were so easy!
These days, cost-conscious regional travelers will have to suck it up and drive. (Or else flirt with mortal peril on the Greyhound or on soul-crushing delays on the Amtrak).