For the better part of a century, the Greyhound name has been associated with low-cost, no-frills travel. But with its new premium Express service, launched in late 2010, the fabled bus line is hoping to redefine America's notions of what it means to travel by land.
On Thursday, the Dallas-based company announced it will be adding a special non-stop Greyhound Express route between Austin and Houston that features free Wi-Fi, power outlets, leather seats, guaranteed reserved seating and extra legroom. The service will start March 28.
In the past year, the company has experienced a 20 percent jump in its overall ridership with nearly two million passengers taking advantage of the new upscale service, which is currently available throughout the Northeast and the Midwest.
“Considering the expense of flying, driving or taking a train, Greyhound Express offers customers a more afforda ble travel option," said Greyhound president Dave Leach.
Greyhound Express wants to combine affordable prices with luxurious amenities typically found in more expensive modes of transportation, the company says.
All tickets will be available online, where travelers can to take advantage of discount pricing with select fares starting as low as $1. As with any airline trip, passengers can print boarding passes from home or picked up by way of a self-serve kiosk at the terminal.
“Considering the expense of flying, driving or taking a train, Greyhound Express offers customers a more affordable travel option," said Greyhound president Dave Leach in a statement. “Customers will be able to travel in style to more major cities with more frequency across a significant portion of the United States — a revolutionary service our competitors simply don’t offer."
Certain bus stations throughout the United States will get the royal treatment with private Express waiting areas and dedicated guest services associates. As of yet, it remains uncertain whether the Houston terminal is on the makeover list.
"Our legacy service may stop in a multitude of different towns over the course of the trip," Greyhound spokesperson Maureen Richmond told CultureMap Thursday, noting that the current Austin-Houston route can include as many as five stops along the way. "The trip from Austin to Houston on Greyhound Express doesn't stop once."