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Old 09-01-2008, 05:31 PM   #1
JimboJones
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One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

Has anyone else taken Bolt Bus or MegaBus from Boston to New York City?

I have, three times this summer.

The fares were between $16-$18 each way. It varies based on when you sign-up; they start selling them at $1 a ticket then increase the prices as the buses fill up.

The buses are in good shape, and clean. Bus drivers seem to know what they are doing, focused on the job.

Buses leave on time from Boston. Return trips were delayed anywhere from five to thirty minutes.

They take different routes to and from NYC. Yesterday, on the trip down, I think we went 95. We made it to NYC in three hours, forty minutes (!). That's damn good time. Going back to Boston during rush hours, it's been more like five.

The clientele is 20-30 year olds. We are always the only 40+'s on board, I think. There's a question about whether or not you can bring food and drink on board, but I have every time. No one has yet had stinky food, fortunately. Bathroom is always stinky, but only if you sit next to it. It always has that disinfectant smell.

Bolt Bus has wifi on each bus. MegaBus has it on many buses. Don't know about Fung Wah. Seats are first-come, first-serve. There are buses almost every hour during weekdays and weekends.

The buses go from South Station to right next to Madison Square Garden, on 31st Street, in midtown Manhattan. You have to wait outside in line in NYC, which can be a drag.

If you live in downtown Boston, you have four options to get to NYC: Car, plane, bus, or train.

Here's what I think about the other options:

* Plane is fastest, but if you add in the travel time to and from the airport (especially if you rely on the f-ing Silver Line) plus the time you have to wait to go through TSA, and the time on the tarmac, and the high possibility of delays, and the time it takes you to get from JFK to downtown NYC, then you're probably saving an hour. Plane is most expensive, most of the time (I get a buddy pass, so I don't know the fares).

* Bus (see above). In addition to Bolt Bus, MegaBus, and Fung Wah, you have Limo Liner, which is classier and geared toward the business traveler. I've taken Limo Liner (actually, LimoLiner) maybe a half-dozen times in the past, but not in over two years. It goes from in front of the Hilton hotel in midtown Boston to the Hilton hotel in midtown Manhattan. Usually makes the trip in a typical 4.5 hours. There is a stewardess on board, and I seem to remember snacks being served. Cost is $80 - $100 and you can reserve a specific seat, online, ahead of time.

I like LimoLiner, but with all the other options, I can't see any overwhelming reason to use it. There are two or three buses leaving Boston and two or three leaving NYC, every day, from what I remember.

* Car. Why bother? Traffic, ugh. Parking lot prices, ugh. Gas prices, ugh. I would never, given the other options.

EDITED - I knew I forgot something:

* Train is always the best. Amtrak Acela is clean and fast. It also is very convenient. You can pick it up at South Station, at the Back Bay / South End station, or at the Rte 128 stop. It drops you at Penn Station, in midtown Manhattan. There is no wifi on board, which is a real negative. The seats are very comfortable. Cost is anywhere from $79 one way to $151 one way, depending on time of day. There is a higher-priced ?First Class? ticket, but why bother? They sell snacks on board (not too expensive), and liquor, too. There?s a quiet car, which means no talking or cell phone use (or loud music on your headphones, either) (and no loud ?clicking? on your keyboard). I haven?t had a delay in months. Which is good, because if you do, you?ll probably swear to never use Amtrak again. It can be that annoying. At least if you?re driving, you can take a detour or stop on the side of the road for a snack. Not on a train. Regardless, using Amtrak (even the slow trains) is the best option, Boston - NYC.

I guess that's it.

Last edited by JimboJones; 09-02-2008 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:56 PM   #2
BarbaricManchurian
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

Fung Wah is on average cheaper, so I'd prefer it. Lucky Star's drivers are too safe, I don't want to spend an extra hour on the road because they're afraid of lawsuits, though of course Fung Wah drivers are reckless (not always a bad thing), but you know, I like speed!

You forgot train on the options, Amtrak finally is expanding Acela, however, the national subsidies are still way too low.
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:09 PM   #3
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

I've taken Bolt Bus and I highly recommend it. I never trusted Fung Wah.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:09 PM   #4
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

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the time it takes you to get from JFK to downtown NY
Simple solution ... LaGuardia.
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Old 09-02-2008, 12:17 AM   #5
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

I've taken Fung Wah four times and never had a problem, but all the safety issues do have me concerned. Unfortunately, this was all pre-Bolt/Megabus, which I would likely take the next time around.
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:51 AM   #6
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

LaGuardia has no public transportation, though, other than a bus line or two.
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:30 AM   #7
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

Simple solution #2: Taxi.
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:16 PM   #8
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

Megasbus is launching Boston > Philadelphia. Fares are going between $1-$3 right now.
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:20 PM   #9
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

Too bad there's no Fung Wah train on the NEC. That would be interesting.
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:42 PM   #10
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

I recently took the Lucky Star to NYC and it was hellish. I've taken many budget buses down to NYC in the past but this was by far the worst. First of all, it appears like they crammed an extra twenty or so seats onto the bus, so if you're over 5'-6" you're essentially in a fetal position for the whole ride. Add to this the fact that the AC wasn't working on one of the hottest, sunniest days this year and bumper-to-bumper traffic from Stamford to Manhattan and you have a truly nightmarish experience. Makes the Greyhound look like luxurious.

Never again. If I ever do the bus again I may try Bolt Bus, but most likely I'll pony up the extra scratch for the Acela.
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:59 PM   #11
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

The Acela is a 1000% markup on the bus price. It's really not worth it unless you get a discount or someone else is paying or you can't afford to have people dribble Big Mac secret sauce on your freshly pressed suit before your meeting in New York.

I've taken Lucky Star a lot and it's usually pretty decent; I don't think the seating config is any different from Fung Wah. FYI, though, Fung Wah is way more efficient in rush hour; they will start bringing in shitloads of buses and lapping the Lucky Star lines. Always best to try to time it for non-peak, anyway.

Fung Wah will also land you McDonald's whereas Lucky Star goes to Burger King. I miss the Chinese buffet restaurant it used to use, in some random CT strip mall, but alas.


I've never taken the Chinatown bus imitators...as much as I think it's crazy to pay $130 for Acela vs. $15 on a Chinatown bus, I don't think it's worth it to reserve what...six weeks in advance to get a $1 ticket as opposed to a $15 one.
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:37 PM   #12
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

I've never taken the Acela, but I have taken long-distance AmTrak trains, and they're pretty nice ways to travel. You've got plenty of leg room and you can walk around, go to the bar car and have a drink. It's a leisurely way to travel that hints back to the way long distance travel used to be, before travelers were treated like cargo.

I agree, the Acela is way too expensive. But what price do you put on your own personal comfort? I wish I was in charge of the Acela's marketing because I'd have big ads with people walking around and sipping Jack and Pepsi on the train.

The bus traveler's experience is wretched. It is truly the lowest form of long distance travel. And Port Authority is certainly one of the circles of Hell. I was there recently taking a bus from NYC to DC. Greyhound over-sells pretty much all of their routes, so if you buy a ticket for a bus leaving at 7pm, that means you're lucky if you get on to the 9:30pm bus. So yeah, I didn't get to get on the bus I was scheduled to. I sat there camped-out for hours with hundreds of other angry, irritable people for several hours in a line that stretched literally hundreds of feet. There was seriously almost a fucking riot when a couple guys decided they didn't have to wait in line like everyone else and moved to the front. Greyhound is very hands-off when it comes to maintaining any semblance of order among its passengers, you see. And all this time I was wondering why no one ever proposed a Bus Passenger's Bill of Rights.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:09 AM   #13
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

I guy I knew who works for Academy, which is a big bus service down in NYC, told me Fung Wah is a Chinese Mafia front.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:55 AM   #14
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

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I recently took the Lucky Star to NYC and it was hellish. I've taken many budget buses down to NYC in the past but this was by far the worst. First of all, it appears like they crammed an extra twenty or so seats onto the bus, so if you're over 5'-6" you're essentially in a fetal position for the whole ride. Add to this the fact that the AC wasn't working on one of the hottest, sunniest days this year and bumper-to-bumper traffic from Stamford to Manhattan and you have a truly nightmarish experience. Makes the Greyhound look like luxurious.

Never again. If I ever do the bus again I may try Bolt Bus, but most likely I'll pony up the extra scratch for the Acela.

I have found both Bolt and Megabus to be leagues above the chinatown buses (mostly due to the fact that they are new buses). The wifi and power outlets are a really nice way to pass the time providing you bring a laptop. I also like how they both drop you off on the street almost right next to MSG, instead of Port Authority/chinatown.

I don't know if its usual, but Megabus stopped to unload/load on a random street in New Haven which was a pain in the ass.

With that said, I probably wouldn't take a bus farther than Philadelphia. I took a regional train from DC to Boston and while it was a long journey i was able to sleep most of it (impossible for me on a bus and even very difficult on a plane) and then get up and walk around.
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Old 06-11-2010, 02:27 PM   #15
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

fung wah is awesome, they speed a lot, while lucky star is more safety conscious and thus takes forever to get to NYC
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:18 PM   #16
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

Briv, I agree that Amtrak is awesome compared to buses in general. If the trip to NY were $50 or less, I think I'd do it more often. I took Amtrak Cascades between Seattle and Vancouver in March - a similar time and distance (and a much more scenic ride) and it was only $30! For an international trip, no less.

I'm not sure Acela needs better advertising...it tends to fill up when there's peak demand. They could probably increase their revenue by lowering the price a bit, though, and filling more seats.
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:56 PM   #17
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

I took a $5 Megabus red-eye to Manhattan, a couple months' ago. It was quick, easy, and got me there in time for my 5 AM casting call. The double deckers will make you feel cramped and like a second class citizen ... but maybe that's what you are.
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Old 06-12-2010, 02:08 AM   #18
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

Ya, but if get the front row on the top level, it's like a roller coaster. Wee
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:25 AM   #19
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

I recommend Megabus. Bolt bus offers the same service quality, but the bigger buses mean a better chance youll get a row to yourself.
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Old 06-12-2010, 05:45 PM   #20
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Re: One dollar fares from Boston to NYC

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Ya, but if get the front row on the top level, it's like a roller coaster. Wee
You should take the double decker buses that ply the twisting mountain roads in Hong Kong...
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