One more reason to skip the airlines: free movies and TV shows on the bus

Megabus, the low-cost, long-haul bus service, doesn’t consider itself a serious competitor to the airline industry in California.

At least, not yet.

But Megabus may soon convert some fliers into bus riders by providing the kind of amenities typically found on commercial flights.

The bus line has long offered seats with power outlets, wireless Internet service and onboard bathrooms. In 2014, Megabus began to sell assigned seats, for an extra fee.

In July, Megabus added its latest extra: free movies, television shows, audiobooks and music on buses from Anaheim to the Bay Area and from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

Riders must upload and open an app on their laptop, tablet or smartphone to get access to the free entertainment. The app gives riders access to 30 movies, 10 hours of TV shows, 50 audiobooks or albums and five games.


“Our biggest motive was to improve overall customer experience,” Colin Emberson, commercial director of Megabus, said of the new entertainment service.

Although the bus service between Southern California and the Bay Area or Las Vegas may lure a few travelers away from commercial airlines, Emberson said most Megabus riders are students and millennials who are giving up their cars to save money and cut carbon emissions.

“Our biggest competitor is the car,” he said.

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