Students who use Megabus services will have to walk a bit farther than usual to get to the service’s new terminal located on 15th Street and San Jacinto Boulevard.
Megabus spokesperson Sean Hughes said the new location opened toward the end of December and is an upgrade over the parking lot behind Dobie Twenty21, where the buses originally picked up.
“Our new facilities are temperature controlled, there’s seating [and] we have Wi-Fi,” Hughes said.
The terminal is the only location where Megabus picks up and drops off in Austin. In other cities such as Houston, there are terminals spread throughout the city for greater access.
Chemical engineering freshman Ramya Parthipan uses the services to get home and said her experience with the Dobie pick-up spot was far from perfect due to the lack of shelter provided.
“It’s nice that they have an actual building that you can wait in, but it’s a lot further,” Parthipan said.
Parthipan said when she returned from the holidays at the new location, the walk to her dorm was approximately 30 minutes, a longer walk than usual.
Megabus received approval from Austin City Council in 2015 to make the move, but Megabus needed to make renovations and acquire permits before the move was complete, Hughes said.
One obstacle the company faced was an appeal of their permit to operate in the new location by owners of a neighboring apartment complex, who cited concerns over loitering and illegal parking.
The owners were also concerned the hours of operation would disturb the peace and quiet of their apartment complex. As a result, no buses will run between 4–6 p.m., before 7 a.m. and after 11 p.m., according to the Austin American-Statesman.
Austinites for Urban Rail Action, a local organization advocating for accessible transportation and housing, fully supported the move to the new location. Member Dan Keshet said Megabus provides a superior service to other affordable bus services because of its location and pricing.
Greyhound is another cost-efficient bus service, but it operates out of a terminal near U.S. 290 and Airport Boulevard, a much farther distance for students and those who live downtown.
“Having a central location is really important for a bus depot,” Keshet said.