BoltBus, Favorite of Frugal Riders, Suspends Service Indefinitely

by Msnbctv news staff

BoltBus, the bus service known for offering its passengers Wi-Fi and $1 lottery seats, is shutting down operations indefinitely after months of low ridership during the pandemic, according to Greyhound, its parent company.

The discount bus operator announced last month that it was transferring most of its routes to Greyhound so it could “undergo renovations.” BoltBus had suspended service earlier during the pandemic, but its parent company said this week that the operator had no plans to put its buses back on the road.

“Currently there is not a timeline to return BoltBus operations,” Emma Kaiser, a Greyhound spokeswoman, told The Seattle Times.

Greyhound did not respond to emails or phone calls seeking comment on Saturday.

Greyhound, which operates the largest intercity bus fleet in North America, teamed up with Peter Pan Bus Lines in 2008 to start BoltBus. The companies wanted to offer an affordable ride to people put off by grubbier alternatives on the market.

At least one seat on every BoltBus ride sold for $1 plus a booking fee. Passengers could reserve seats, unlike on Greyhound. BoltBus offered passengers Wi-Fi, individual power outlets and extra legroom, according to its website.

The company shuttled riders among cities in the Northeast and in the Pacific Northwest. Greyhound took sole ownership of BoltBus in 2017.

In May, Greyhound announced that it was shutting down its remaining Canadian operations.

Other cheap intercity bus operators that are still running, including FlixBus, Peter Pan and Megabus, may see a surge in riders, because domestic travel is on the rise as pandemic restrictions loosen.

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