Now a long-distance coach service operated by Stagecoach Group, Megabus was launched in 2003 to provide bus services between London and Oxford. Stagecoach greatly increased their services by acquiring a number of popular routes from various other providers. Its no frills formula, low prices and early booking made Megabus an easy option for travellers looking to traverse the UK. The original fleet was designed mostly for short journeys with no toilets or luggage storage available, but has been updated to meet the needs of longer journeys. Stagecoach also operates Megatrain, which is a low cost intercity train option on select routes with South West Trains and East Midlands trains, as well as Megabusplus, which offers a combination of Megabus and Megatrain services on certain journeys.
Since its founding, Megabus has grown to be one of the biggest coach operators in the UK and Europe by providing connections to over 110 cities. Its main UK hubs being London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Cardiff, Plymouth, and Oxford. Bus services also extend beyond the UK and into Ireland, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The first routes operated by Megabus included London to Oxford, Edinburgh to Glasgow, Edinburgh to Perth, and Glasgow to Dundee but other popular destinations include Leeds, Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Newcastle, Aberdeen, Swansea, Carmarthen, Birmingham, Worcester, Plymouth, Nottingham and Bristol.
Bright blue Megabus coaches are easily recognisable with their yellow logo adorning each side. Their fleet is composed of a variety of Stagecoach vehicles ranging from double-decker Volvo Olympian and Dennis Trident models to Volvo B10M single-deckers, and in some cases Dennis Dart SLF midibuses are also in use. All buses in the Megabus fleet are air conditioned with onboard toilets. Select buses additionally provide free Wi-Fi and the company has announced that they are currently endeavouring to extend this service over all routes. Megabus has also introduced an overnight sleeper coach linking London and Glasgow to compete with the Caledonian Sleeper Train, where beds and additional amenities are provided for an express overnight coach trip.
Famous for advertising fares for as low as £1.00 (not including a 50p booking fee), Megabus runs a yield management model, making it possible for passengers who book early to travel for extraordinarily low prices. While there aren't any ticket classes on Megabus, in 2013 select Megabus Gold services began running luxury sleeper journeys between London and Aberdeen, and London and Edinburgh.