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Leisure-travel service adds Millbrae stop to coastal route

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A $1 trip from the Bay Area to Los Angeles sounds fishy, but it is possible to make the trip down for such a stingy fee.

Megabus, which added a Millbrae stop Thursday, uses a similar business model to discount airlines: The first four to 10 people who book a trip get on for just $1. Then, prices gradually go up as more riders book tickets and the travel date nears. A last-minute ticket from San Francisco to Los Angeles costs $35.

The downside, of course, is that the 56-passenger bus would take significantly longer than a plane. A trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles would last 6½ to 7½ hours.

Megabus.com is not being promoted as a commuter option but rather as a leisure travel service, said President/COO Dale Moser.

Its West Coast route includes nine cities, such as Oakland, San Jose and Las Vegas.

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The company had success when it launched in the United Kingdom in 2004, Moser said, and began a Midwest United States route in April 2006 that now serves 14 cities.

mrosenberg@examiner.com

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