The New River Valley is losing the Megabus service beginning today. Megabus currently connects Washington, DC to Christiansburg to Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tennessee. This locally popular service provided two north-bound and two south-bound trips daily.
“While ridership met expectations for our region, ridership was not high enough in Washington or Tennessee,” Elijah Sharp, deputy executive director at New River Valley Planning District Commission wrote in a news release.
Northward travel alternatives to Megabus service include Amtrak passenger rail service to Roanoke and a new bus service, the Virginia Breeze, which began in December 2017.
The New River connection via Smart Way bus to the Amtrak service in Roanoke is available Monday – Friday at 5:40 am and Saturday – Sunday at 7:45 am. Train passengers can expect to arrive in Charlottesville in about two-and-a-half hours or DC in five hours.
Train ridership on the new Amtrak system is targeting 38,000 boardings/alightings for 2018 and is, reportedly, on track.
“More than 2,000 customers boarded the Amtrak Northeast Regional train since service launched in Roanoke, Va. Ridership at 2,770 reflects passengers who boarded at the platform stop (RNK) from Oct. 31, the first day of service, to Nov. 30,” Kimberly Woods, an Amtrak spokesperson said in an email.
As an alternative to the train, the bus service replacing the Megabus northern travel is the Virginia Breeze. Described as a new intercity bus service that connects Blacksburg and Christiansburg to several stops in the Shenandoah Valley, Northern Virginia, and DC including Union Station, as Megabus had.
Virginia Breeze service departs Virginia Tech’s Squires Student Center in Blacksburg at 8 a.m. and the Kenneth B. Gibson Memorial Park and Ride in Christiansburg at 8:25 a.m.
“While it is too soon to tell how the new service is performing, the later start time might make this service more appealing for some. The Virginia Breeze also provides a stop at the Dulles International Airport,” Sharp wrote.
For more information contact Chief of Public Transportation for the Department of Rail and Public Transportation Jennifer DeBruhl at [email protected]