A startup in San Francisco has launched lie-flat seat service…on a bus between downtown San Francisco and west Los Angeles.
Fares on the new Sleepbus are $65 each way (currently discounted to $48). You can bring up to three bags (plus a bike if you want). There’s an attendant, free wi-fi, in-seat power, coffee and a bathroom onboard. And fog or rain won’t slow down this bus.
The southbound bus leaves San Francisco’s downtown Caltrain station at 11 p.m. sharp, and takes about 6 hours, 30 minute to arrive at the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles. The bus unloads as soon as it arrives, but Sleepbus says passengers may continue sleeping until “check out time” at 7:30 a.m. The northbound schedule is identical, picking passengers at the Santa Monica Pier North Parking departing at 11 p.m. and arriving in San Francisco the next day at around 5-6 a.m.
Each bunk has a privacy screen (hopefully a thick one to block snoring sounds) and fresh clean sheets from Casper (the popular online bedding company).
Sleepbus’s Tyler Gothelf told TravelSkills that the first trip to Los Angeles departed April 18th full from SF, and that seats are sold out on four runs over the next week. So far, he says, the company has sold 180 tickets.
Reminds me of the crew rest area on this Boeing 747!
Sleepbus has rented a rig from an Illinois company for the “pilot phase”, but Gothelf says the company has intentions to switch to Google-style double decker buses in the near future, with bunks upstairs and a lounge downstairs.
Given the hassles of flying the California corridor, what with warnings of longer-than-ever TSA lines, frequent flight delays or cancellations at SFO due to low clouds and fog, traffic hassles on both ends, this might be a good option for some– especially those on the techie neighborhoods that surround Sleepbus endpoints.
And an added bonus is that you could actually sleep on the bus both ways and avoid overly inflated hotel costs in both cities. (SF is now the most expensive city for business travelers in the country.)
Sleepbus Facebook page here.
In addition, let’s say you need to take a last-minute trip to LA for a meeting. If I booked a trip to SFO-LAX today departing tomorrow and returning the next day, that would run me a whopping $457 round trip. Sleepbus (if it’s not sold out) would run $130.
Check out the UK version of the Sleepbus– the MegabusGold.
If I did it, I’d be sure to pack my Mack’s earplugs and Bucky eye mask. Maybe I’d sleep like I did on my recent Qantas flight to Australia. Or maybe not. But I’m curious.
Would you try Sleepbus? Why or why not? Please leave your comments below.
NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: United’s newest, longest flight + Tipping Uber drivers + Qantas 747 Trip Report + Confusion over PreCheck policies + No-fee earlier flights