America’s iconic Greyhound buses are heading to the UK. FirstGroup, the British company that took over Greyhound Lines in 2007, will start operating next month with hourly services from London to Portsmouth and Southampton.
The launch follows the purchase of Greyhound’s parent company Laidlaw International by Scottish-based FirstGroup two years ago for more than $3 billion. The company is setting its sights on taking on National Express and Megabus in the UK budget transport market.
FirstGroup is aiming to emulate BoltBus, an American division of Greyhound targeted at younger travelers who might not want to pay extra to travel by rail. Fares start from approximately $2.50, and include free Wi-Fi on the buses. The new Greyhounds will be refurbished Scania coaches rather than the classic Silverside buses. Each of the coaches will take their names from American songs dedicated to women, such as "Sweet Caroline," "Barbara Ann," "Jolene" and "Peggy Sue."