North America’s inter-city bus network has come a long way in the past decade. Today’s buses aren’t just cheap and convenient, they’re comfortable too.
With a journey time of 1 hour 10 minutes and rock bottom prices, it might be tempting to book a flight, but once you’ve factored in travel time, security checks, extra fees for baggage and carbon footprint, the reality is a little less glamorous. Buses, on the other hand, make the 240-mile journey in as little as 3 hours and 15 minutes. Most operators allow customers to bring two or three pieces of luggage on board and some even allow bicycles. Services run throughout the day and are offered by several operators, but which to choose? If you’re considering travelling between two cities, we’ve compared the best bus services based on price, journey, duration, customer reviews, onboard facilities and ease of booking.
In the past decade, FlixBus has grown to become one of the best-known bus companies in Europe and the USA. The company offers 19 services departing throughout the day, making it the best option for those looking for more choice and flexibility. Journey times range though, at just 3 hours and 15 minutes, the 09:40 am service is the fastest we’ve found online. Travellers with bikes can book a dedicated bike slot for an additional fee too, though you’ll need to book these in advance as spaces fill up quickly. Free WiFi, power outlets and a toilet are also available on board. According to customer reviews, FlixBus offers an extremely reliable service that rarely departs later than the scheduled time.
Red Coach is an excellent option for travellers looking for premium bus service. There are three classes to choose from: First, Business and Economy class. In First Class, travellers are treated to 140-degree reclining seats and a 21-inch wide seat. Business Class ticket holders will have a slightly slimmer seat, with a fully reclining chair, while Economy Class seats measure a standard 16 inches wide without reclining. All tickets give customers access to WiFi and electrical power sockets. There are eight services daily, ranging from 3 hours 45 minutes to 8 hours 20 minutes. Longer services make stops at Austin and San Antonio.
Megabus operates around eight services between Dallas and Houston per day. Journey times range from 3 hours 50 minutes to 5 hours 10 minutes, depending on the number of stops and time of day. Travellers can choose from morning buses, which depart between 10–10.30 am, and afternoon services, which depart between 4–4.30 pm. Passengers can bring one piece of luggage up to 20 kg and one small piece of hand luggage too. There’s free onboard WiFi, charging points and a toilet, and those with longer legs can pay a small fee for extra legroom. Travellers can also track journey updates with a nifty tracker tool. You can pick up a one-way ticket for as little as $1 if purchased in advance, making it the cheapest way to travel between the two cities.
Greyhound is North America’s iconic intercity bus service, though FlixBus acquired the brand at the end of 2021. Greyhound still operates its own fleet of buses, but you can now choose to book your service through Greyhound or FlixBus. Greyhound is the only company that offers an early morning service (departing at 04:50 am) and a late night service (11:00 pm), making it the best option for those looking to arrive in Houston as early as possible. Most journeys take 4 hours and 20 minutes, though there is a longer seven-hour service that makes six stops along the way. The latest buses offer free WiFi, power outlets, extra legroom, seat belts and cup holders; a far cry from the buses most people might remember.