Leisure-travel service adds Millbrae stop to coastal route

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.

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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