Greyhound bus to launch in London with £1 fares to coast (Portsmouth and Southampton) with extra leg-room and FREE wi-fi , and free complimentary newspaper. £1.50
It is one of the most evocative names in transport, conjuring images of epic journeys under huge American skies.
Now the Greyhound bus is coming to Britain for the first time in its 95-year history although it will serve rather more prosaic routes between Victoria and the south coast.
FirstGroup, the British company that has owned Greyhound for the past two years, has decided to take on National Express and Stagecoach.
Hourly services between central London and Portsmouth and Southampton will start next month with prices starting from £1 plus a 50p booking fee. They will run from 5am to 9.30pm with a pick-up point just behind Victoria railway station.
Although the buses will not have the classic sleek aluminium lines of a vintage Silverside Greyhound they will be refurbished Skania coaches the operators promise a service to rival the train at a fraction of the price.
They also claim the vehicles will be more environmentally friendly than driving, with emissions per passengers more than 75 per cent less than a car.
The coaches will have extra leg-room, a power socket at each of the 41 seats, and FREE wi-fi to allow commuters to work, and free complimentary newspaper.
FirstGroup said the vast majority of seats on the two routes would be sold for under £10 one way, even at peak times, with a centre-to-centre journey time estimated at two hours. In the first months of operation about 10 to 15 per cent of tickets will be sold at £1.
If the Portsmouth and Southampton routes are successful a national Greyhound network is planned with longer distance London to Scotland services to rival the 317-mile New York to Pittsburgh journey which was the subject of Simon & Garfunkel's soulful ballad America.