Megabus also will offer service between these seven cities in Georgia and Myrtle Beach: Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Conyers, Monroe, Thomson and Washington.
Myrtle Beach will have one trip in and one trip out every day to each of those 10 cities. A full list of bus schedules and routes can be found online. For those willing to space out their trip, travelers could even take a bus from Raleigh to Columbia and then a second one from Columbia to Myrtle Beach, for example.
“For over 89 years Southeastern Stages has proudly served our communities with safe and reliable transportation. To better serve our customers we are proud to announce the partnership with megabus.com,” Southeastern Stages president Mike Dickson said in a statement. “Megabus.com offers connections to over 100 cities and a best in class e-commerce website that provides a great all around travel experience that our customers have come to expect from Southeastern Stages.”
Emberson said Megabus’ customer base ranges from college students heading out on vacation, or returning home from school, to families and business travelers who don’t want to deal with the hassle of driving or flying.
“What we’ve seen is there’s lots of folks that just like to leave the driving to somebody else,” he said. “They can pay for all the technology options, binge on Netflix,” he said. Or maybe, “they’ve been wanting to catch up with reading or just want to be able to spend time talking with family and just not have the distraction and the cost of driving themselves. That’s usually been the the big draw.”
There also isn’t as much preparation as when flying, Emberson said. Travelers just have to show up a few minutes before their bus leaves, grab a seat and relax.
And considering the way inflation has eaten into gasoline prices and airfares, Emberson said a lot of people just appreciate the affordability of taking a bus.
“We’re seeing a lot of people looking at buses as a good, cheap, reliable option to move around — getting out of (driving themselves),” he said. “With the cost of fuel, it becomes quite economical to travel by bus.”
There are some shortcoming for the services. The number of destinations is limited, and Megabus.com does not immediately offer connecting routes between more than one city. Those tickets would have to be booked independently, according to Megabus’ website. However, if the buses grow in popularity, Emberson said he could see the service increasing its travel options to Myrtle Beach.
“I’m in New Jersey, and we’ve driven down to the beach a couple times the last few years with some young children in the car,” he said. “And I certainly would have liked to have not had (to drive) and be able to entertain and keep (my children) occupied more so than they might be while we’ve been driving.”