Newark residents will soon have a new, nearby, inexpensive option for getting to New York City and Washington, D.C.
Megabus, a curbside bus company that has gained popularity with its $1 promotional fares, announced last week it is adding a stop in Newark.
Service to the new stop, located on the University of Delaware’s Laird Campus, will begin Sept. 19. Currently, the company’s closest stops are in Philadelphia and Baltimore.
Richard Rind, director of parking and transportation services at UD, said Megabus officials approached him earlier this year with the idea of adding a stop on campus.
“The thought process is that UD is halfway between New York and Washington, D.C.,” Rind said. “I see them all the time (on Interstate 95), so they might as well stop and pick up a few more passengers.”
The university agreed to allow the buses to stop at an existing bus shelter near Clayton Hall and the Christiana Towers, off of New London Road. Rind said the school sees Megabus as a boon for students, many of whom do not have cars with them on campus.
“It’s just great to have another option to get home or to a city they might want to visit,” he said. “It gives them very inexpensive way to get there.”
However, the bus is also open to the general public. Parking is available at a nearby university lot for $3 per day, Rind said.
Once the Newark stop is operational, buses will run daily to Union Station in Washington, D.C., the corner of 7th Avenue and 28th Street in New York and the White Marsh Mall near Baltimore. From there, passengers can transfer to dozens of other cities, including Pittsburgh, Boston, Buffalo, Toronto, Memphis and Richmond.
The buses, some of which are double-decker, all have restrooms and free Wi-Fi service.
Founded in Europe and brought to the United States in 2006, Megabus is one of several inexpensive, curbside bus lines that have rose in prominence in recent years. Unlike traditional transportation companies that operate out of a permanent station, curbside companies typically pick up and drop off passengers on a street corner.
The companies lure in customers by offering a limited amount of $1 fares, while charging higher fees for most other tickets. Customers who book a trip well in advance during off-peak hours have the best chance of getting a cheap fare.
A search of the Megabus website shows that most one-way trips from Newark to Washington, D.C. and New York are approximately $8, though they range from $1 up to $19.
However, even at $19, Megabus is cheaper than or at least on par with most other modes of public transportation.
MARC trains run from Perryville, Md. to Washington, D.C. for $11, but no regional rail service is available to New York.
Greyhound bus service from Wilmington is available on for $20 to Washington, D.C., or $21 to New York.
Amtrak trains are available from Newark to Washington, D.C. and New York for $29 and $44, respectively.