More turning to the bus for long, short distance travel
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- High gas prices have drivers seeking cheaper ways to travel. Many are hopping on the bus to get to their destination. The presence of national bus lines in Chattanooga is starting to boom. The Scenic City is quickly becoming a hub for both long distance travel and shorter trips.
We have all seen the big blue buses passing through Chattanooga.
"My mom didn't have to drive us all the way out to Atlanta. I think it was really nice and it was pretty cheap," says Megabus rider Tru Taylor.
"I just had a bunch of guy friends that went to Orlando for $39 from here and that is definitely cheaper than driving," says Caycee Ensign.
Both Ensign and Taylor are taking a ride on the Megabus for the first time.
Just this past week the bus company announced it had surpassed 16 million customers nationwide. Last November it added Chattanooga to its routes.
The bus line has free wi-fi and boasts fares as low as $1, if you book early.
Saturday it was 15 bucks round trip to Atlanta for Ensign.
"Having to pay for my own gas, it's been a struggle. So I definitely think Megabus and other bus systems like this is a great option for people who need to get to from place to place without having to dig in their wallets so much," says Ensign.
"The gas really is probably one of the biggest reasons we chose Megabus," says Trey Huffine.
Huffine and a fellow senior from University of Tennessee are making their way from Knoxville to Orlando for a spring break cruise.
"You don't have to deal with flying and gas is expensive. So it's pretty easy to get where you need to go," says Jonathan Weigand.
He says it is worth the 14 hour trip.
Only to keep up with competition, Greyhound announced this week it is expanding its Express Service to Chattanooga and more than 200 other cities, also featuring free wi-fi and fares as low as $1, starting March 28th.
"I think it's good. Gas prices are so high, I think it is a lot better for people," says Stefanie Long.
Long is picking up her daughter after visiting her dad in Texas.
It was her first time on the bus and a 30 hour trip at that.
"They had some people standing. Whenever we were leaving Houston, because they had so many people and they were trying to pack them on these buses and they overbooked a lot of them," says Jordan Matherly.
A popular way to travel but worth it she says.
"I could do it again now that I've done it," says Matherly.
These announcements come gas prices are averaging four dollars in six states now. According to AAA, the national price of a gallon of gas is about $3.84, up six cents in just a week.
In the Chattanooga area, drivers are paying about $3.60 a gallon.
Jumping more than 50 cents a gallon since the start of the year, gas is now the highest ever for this time of year.