On Sept. 24, shortly after Megabus announced they would no longer be servicing Columbia and Kansas City, Greyhound Lines declared that it would be lowering its prices, effective immediately.
Depending on the route, fares now range from $10 to $30 one-way on weekdays, and $17 to $42 one-way on weekends. These prices apply to travel between Columbia, St. Louis, Kansas City and Chicago.
“We have always served the Columbia and Kansas City market, providing low fares to travelers,” Greyhound spokeswoman Ashley Sears said. “We wanted to remind customers that there is an affordable option, so we hope to get people to try us again.”
Although Greyhound’s fares were already lower than many local competitors, such as MO-X, before the price reduction, Greyhound always strives to be competitive. Sears said they will often adjust their prices to match the current market conditions, customer demand and the time of year, among other contributing factors.
“We wanted to continue to offer the best price for our service and attract new riders,” Sears said.
Sears said this drop in prices will not affect employee wages.
In order to improve bus service to Columbia and make transportation more convenient for students in attendance at MU, Stephens College and Columbia College, Greyhound hopes to be adding another stop at Wabash Bus Station. This location, off of Ash and Tenth streets, was a Megabus stop before the company ended service in the area.
Greyhound is currently working with the city to identify options for improving service, possibly adding this stop in the future.
Sears said Greyhound is hoping this change will not only make travel easier for college students but also improve their business.
“College students represent a significant portion of our customer base, and because Columbia is home to a number of colleges, there is an opportunity to grow our ridership as a result,” Sears said.
As of now, there is only one Greyhound stop in Columbia, located off of Highway 40. The reduced fares have already been applied to this site, and Greyhound representatives don’t see regular traffic flow at this stop being impacted by the addition of another stop in the area.
“We serve multiple locations in other cities, and it works well for us and the customers we serve,” Sears said.
Senior David Wallace, who started the petition to keep Megabus in service, has now changed his focus. According to Wallace, the current stop off of Highway 40 is not within city limits, making it difficult for students to access. He is now trying to bring Greyhound closer to campus.
“We’re trying to get accessible and affordable transportation for students,” Wallace said. “Those are the two goals.”
The petition has a little over 800 signatures.
Sophomore Zack Helland, who had been using Megabus as a way to return home to Chicago three to four times a year, said he is glad that there is now a cheaper alternative. He said knowing about Greyhound’s price reduction makes him more inclined to use their services.
“I’m going to be very quick to make the switch to Greyhound,” Helland said. “With Megabus being out of the picture, Greyhound is definitely the better option.”
Helland hopes other students will take advantage of the low fares as well.
Freshman Kyle Matl is one of these students, looking for an affordable way to travel home. He was pleased to discover that Greyhound provided cheap and convenient transportation.
“It makes it a lot easier for Mizzou students to travel to and from different places,” Matl said.