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Is it the dawn of the golden age of bus travel? With companies like Cabin driving buses with lie-flat beds and free Wi-Fi onboard carriers like BoltBus, these new amenities are making bus travel more and more attractive.
But what buses have really been missing is something to keep you distracted from your seatmate’s BO. Megabus, a large bus company that serves the US and Canada, has announced something that might do just that.
The company will be rolling out its own system for what we might call IBE, or in-bus-entertainment, using a rider’s personal device. The free onboard entertainment app called Megabus RIDE is available for download and is already available on a majority of routes. It will be fully rolled out across the fleet nationwide by the end of the month.
RIDE stands for Recreational Innovative Digital Entertainment, although it isn’t actually super innovative considering Greyhound released a similar service in 2013, on some routes.
Once Megabus riders download the RIDE app they will have the option to stream from 30 choices of movies, 10 hours of TV shows, 50 audiobooks and music albums and five games. The content is streamed over the buses’ Wi-Fi and will change periodically throughout the year on a rolling basis. Although it doesn’t have as many choices as many of the airlines’ entertainment systems, it’s definitely better than what the bus offered before, which wasn’t much more than slow and unreliable Wi-Fi.
Megabus told TPG some of the current offerings will include newer movies like Moonlight, Rogue One, The Lego Batman Movie, Moana and Suicide Squad plus the popular TV shows Blackish, Big Bang Theory and Community.
Some airlines are moving to a model of IFE similar to Megabus, American Airlines decided not to install screens in seatbacks on its new 737 MAX but to instead provide flyers content to stream onto their phone or tablet.
If you find yourself looking to buy a Megabus ticket, make sure you use a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or Bank of America Premium Rewards card — bus tickets will code as travel, meaning you’ll receive bonus points for these purchases.
Will this improve upon a TPG contributor’s experience on a Megabus trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas route? It remains to be seen.
Featured image by Jonathan Ernst/The Washington Post/Getty Images.
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