The rubber may have finally hit the road for bus metasearch in North America.
Wanderu, which is like a Hipmunk for bus and train travel, has become the first aggregator to include listings from the largest US inter-city coach line: Greyhound.
Until now, no bus metasearch site was enough of a one-stop shop to be useful. Bus metasearch lacking Greyhound was like airline metasearch lacking United.
Now Wanderu, which has inventory from 25 transportation suppliers, covers most of the population-dense parts of the US. It has pulled far ahead of its erstwhile rivals.
At first, Greyhound will only be sharing its route network that is concentrated in the northeastern United States and Canada. But those routes are some of the most high-demand cities, such as New York and Boston.
Greyhound’s full route network serving 3,800 cities across North America will be added to Wanderu results over time, says the company.
To make its backend system more robust, Wanderu is hiring technical help in Boston. The site recently closed a $2.45 million round of funding.
There's still a long stretch of highway ahead for the startup, which was founded two years ago (see our TLabs profile from the time).
The Canadian and Mexican markets are underserved by metasearch.
As for rail, Amtrak is not yet playing ball with Wanderu the way it has been with Hipmunk and Silverrail.
Still, the Greyhound move is a validation of CEO Polina Raygorodskaya's business plan.
Last summer, she wooed Craig Lentzsch, Greyhound's former CEO, to move from being an informal advisor to joining its board of directors. His insights presumably helped give insight into the deal-making process.
With many inter-city buses now having on-board wi-fi and leather seats, it is perhaps time for the online booking experience for long-distance buses to be modernized, too.