megabus.com launch new Euro network
From next month, Stagecoach owned megabus.com is to launch a new network of services in the Benelux region, in addition to opening a dedicated base in Belgium. It is to run the new daily service linking Brussels with Luxembourg and Rotterdam from 6 October, offering fares from €1. The new depot, located near Brussels at Sint-Pieters-Leeuw in the province of Flemish Brabant, is the existing depot owned by Belgian coach company Bell Tours. The operation will be headed by a General Manager and will house a €2m fleet of six Van Hools.
As well as serving Luxembourg for the first time, megabus.com plans to increase the frequency on some of its existing Europe services from the same date. This will include more services a day between Brussels and other key European cities. There will be five return journeys per day between Brussels and Paris; four return journeys between Brussels and Amsterdam; and four daily return journeys between Brussels and Cologne. In addition, the new timetable means that Antwerp will now have a link to Cologne for the first time, operating one service a day in each direction. Elsewhere in Europe new services are planned between Paris and Cologne and between Amsterdam and Cologne with an increased frequency between Amsterdam and Lille.
The number of passengers using megabus.com’s growing coach network in Europe increased by over 50% between 2012-13 and 2013-14. The operation already carries more than 15m passengers a year across Europe and North America. In addition, subject to final route authority being granted, the company also plans to operate services between Brussels and Luxembourg and Brussels and Lille.
megabus.com MD, Elizabeth Esnouf, said, ‘This will be our first base in mainland Europe and gives us scope to operate these new services, as well as increasing the frequency on a number of our existing routes to and from Brussels. We have been operating in Belgium for a couple of years now and we are seeing an increasing number of people choosing coach travel for long journeys. We’re pleased to be able to offer even more travel options to people living and working in Belgium, and visitors to the country, and we look forward to attracting even more people on to our greener, smarter coach services.’