And if you’re a reader of this blog, it is highly likely that the economical nature of travel by bus will be attractive to you. A plane or a train will cost around $100 each way, and the bus costs $1-$20 each way. The decision is yours.
What is tricky is choosing which bus to take. DC offers quite the range: at one end, there is DC2NY with its complimentary [already paid for] bottle of water, wifi and a movie; then there is the Chinatown bus which may or may not get you to your destination.
In the middle lie BoltBus and Megabus. For about $15 each way, both will take you from Chinatown or Union Station and get you to New York in a relatively comfortable and efficient fashion. Except when they don’t. Like the airlines with weather delays, the bus company can’t really help being delayed by traffic, but we’re all still mad about it.
When buying tickets, be aware of rush hour in both your place of departure and arrival. Leaving DC at a relatively good time can equal arriving in New York during rush hour and, as my driver informed me, the tunnel’s gonna be hell.
At other times, the driver can bring new life to the traffic itself. Outside the Convention Center, Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Washington, DC. The nation’s capital, it is home to lawyers…politicians…and trees, so many trees.
The buses leave on time and will leave you if you run late. Leaving New York, I saw a man running after the bus, frowning and waving the piece of paper that must have been his ticket. There is no feeling that quite compares–being nervous to make your bus on time, making your bus on time, then seeing the poor unfortunate you can’t really bring yourself to pity running after you. Schadenfreude? Maybe. But I’m just glad to be back in DC.