For those who loved BoltBus, with its cheap and quick trips to Portland and Vancouver, B.C., mourn this day: Greyhound Lines, its parent company, has scuttled the BoltBus brand and has no plans to get it going again.
Greyhound teamed up with Peter Pan Bus Lines to create BoltBus in 2008. By 2017, Greyhound acquired full ownership. BoltBus, with its Wi-Fi and $1 seats — chosen by lottery — was presented as a more playful and stylish alternative to traditional intercity bus companies. By 2013, it had become a strong Amtrak competitor, with quick service and lower fares from Seattle to Portland, Eugene, Bellingham and other Pacific Northwest cities.
But, a Greyhound spokesperson said this week, a drop in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic led the parent company to suspend BoltBus routes. Now Greyhound has dropped them altogether.
“Currently there is not a timeline to return BoltBus operations,” a Greyhound spokesperson said. “But we are committed to serving the community by providing transportation through Greyhound.”
Now that BoltBus is gone, how do you plan to get around the Northwest?
Update, Tuesday, July 6: Greyhound issued a clarification via a spokesperson, saying that BoltBus may return at some point, but no details about the timeline are available. “At this time the team is focused on service renovation,” the spokesperson said including but not limited to updated technology and internal processes.”