Seattle to Portland for a $1? That’s the promise of BoltBus

I just spent $5.25 getting from Sea-Tac Airport to my home in Seattle, using Link Light Rail and King County Metro Bus service. I thought $5.25 was a pretty good value.

That was until I learned of BoltBus, a new bus service between Seattle and Portland that’s offering fares for as little as $1. Yep, you read that right. I had to do a double-take myself when I saw Rick Turoczy’s post on the Silicon Florist blog.

But it turns out that the one-way promotional rate of $1 is for real. Service begins May 17th, and BoltBus does plan to charge a little bit more on a regular basis, including full fares for walk-ups. But not much more.

I looked into a trip later this month, and one-way prices ranged from $6 to $10. That’s far cheaper than Amtrak, which advertised its lowest-priced fare at $32 for the same time period.

And here’s the cool thing. The BoltBus, a division of Greyhound, offers leather seats, free Wi-Fi and electrical outlets so laptop hounds like us can geek out along the way.

Now, at that rate and with those amenities, there’s no excuse for anyone to miss out on some of the cool startup activities taking place in the two cities. I am looking forward to giving it a try.

Here’s the full release:

BoltBus, a bus line focused on providing exceptional service, luxury and convenience at an amazingly low price, today announced it will launch service between Seattle and Portland on May 17. BoltBus is the first premium bus service offered in these markets, with fares as low as $1 for amenities typically found on more expensive travel. This is the first West Coast route for BoltBus which provides daily express service between major cities along the East Coast. The service between Seattle and Portland will be exclusively operated by Greyhound. Tickets are now available for purchase at BoltBus.com.

At its launch in March 2008, BoltBus revolutionized curbside bus service by being the first to offer on-board amenities such as comfortable leather seats, extra legroom, free Wi-Fi and power outlets. Millions of passengers have experienced BoltBus between Baltimore, Boston, Greenbelt, New York City, Newark, Cherry Hill, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

“BoltBus is pleased to expand our premium service to Seattle and Portland, introducing West Coast residents to a wholly new bus travel experience,” said David Hall, general manager, BoltBus. “Whether you’re a commuter or a leisure traveler, we know customers will love our modern amenities, environmentally friendly buses, affordable pricing and express daily options.”

In Seattle, BoltBus will operate from 5th Avenue South and King Street, which is adjacent to the International District Station. In Portland, BoltBus will operate from 647 SW Salmon Street.

BoltBus tickets are available for purchase in advance at BoltBus.com or from a driver before boarding. One-way fares start at $1, plus a booking fee. The highest fare will adjust based on market demand. The earlier passengers purchase their tickets, the lower the fare will cost. A ticket purchase guarantees a seat on the selected schedule. Walkup tickets will be purchased at full price. All tickets are nonrefundable. A loyalty program, Bolt Rewards, is also available to reward frequent riders with free travel. Riders who take eight trips on BoltBus are eligible for a free one-way ticket trip.

For fare and schedule information, or to purchase tickets, visit BoltBus.com.

About BoltBusBoltBus provides fast, frequent and safe transportation with unmatched amenities for an amazingly low price. BoltBus is a division of Greyhound Lines, Inc. The division is headquartered in Secaucus, N.J. For fare and schedule information and to buy tickets, visit www.BoltBus.com.

  • Michele

    First time I’ve ever forwarded one you Geekwire’s articles to my mom! That’s a cool thing:-) My parents hate driving and this will make it easy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=400167 Kevin Barmish

    I just booked a round trip for two for $5… If we decide not to go, it’s only $5! Very cool!

  • Guest

    Welcome, BoltBus, to Seattle! In the Northeast, on-line “Chinatown bus” routes have forever changed the paradigms of mass transit. I’m glad to see that this disruption of Amtrak has come to the Pacific Northwest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=400167 Kevin Barmish

    Just bought two round trip tickets for $5 total for a Friday–>Sunday. If I go, I go. If not I’m out $5. Pretty cool!

    Their website is absolutely awful- it’s borderline unusable. I barely was able to get through the purchase process.

    Their site indicates a Seattle –>Vancouver route… but no mention of Vancouver in the press release. Was that accidental? Launching soon? 
    https://www.boltbus.com/app_themes/Default/images/advertisements/SeattleVancouver.gif

  • azzcatdesign

    Sounds awesome. Just wonder how the economics of it work.

  • Ben Schiendelman

    How did you manage to spend $5.25 on transit? Did you forget your ORCA?

  • http://PhoenixRealEstateGuy.com Jay Thompson

    You had me at leather seats, wifi and outlets… 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jkittell John Kittell

    Damn, I just spent $110 bucks to ride my bike from Seattle to Portland, when I could have just boarded a bus for just a buck!