BoltBus will begin running eight trips a day from Washington, D.C. to New York, beginning March 27, as several travel blogs reported yesterday. A division of Greyhound/Peter Pan bus line, the company boasts buses that are bedecked with Wi-Fi, with leather seats on select coaches, expansive legroom and those much-coveted power plugs.
BoltBus will offer at least one seat per trip for $1—a move that emulates the marketing plan of Chicago-based MegaBus and budget airline Skybus.
As is expected, the closer the departure date approaches, the more the fare increases. Some dates near the end of March had roundtrips available for $2.50.
Probably one of the best programs the company implemented is the frequent-rider program; if you take eight trips, the ninth is free. And, listen up, airlines: There are no restrictions or blackout dates.
PeterGreenberg.com investigated the nearly-too-good-to-be-true BoltBus fares by comparing its roundtrip fares (departing March 28 and returning March 31) to Amtrak, Delta Airline’s Delta Shuttle and US Airways Shuttle.
The cheapest fare we found on BoltBus was that $2.50 rate, and the duration of the journey is about 4 hours. Amtrak’s duration time is a bit shorter, at about 3 hours and 15 minutes, and costs $138. Both Delta Shuttle and US Airways Shuttle fares were $188, with a duration time of about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Delta Shuttle and US Airways Shuttle each run hourly during the week, but on the weekends both airlines reduce frequency.
BoltBus runs from Washington, D.C., near the Metro Center Station at 11th Street and G Street, to New York’s Penn Station and downtown at 6th Avenue and Canal Street. Amtrak travels between Washington’s Union Station and Penn Station. Both Delta Shuttle and US Airways fly between Reagan National Airport and LaGuardia.
Business travelers make up the bulk of the airlines’ short-haul routes, and we’re guessing that they won’t easily be convinced to climb aboard a low-cost bus. But for the average traveler, remember that to get to or from LaGuardia Airport, you’re looking at a taxi ride of at least 20 minutes up to an hour, depending on traffic, which will run you $16 to $26, not including tolls and tip.
For BoltBus, the price is right and the convenience rivals that of Amtrak, so if the comfort levels are as high as the bus line claims, we’ll be sold.
By Monique-Marie DeJong for PeterGreenberg.com.
Don’t miss out on more low-cost buses in Buses Keep on Truckin’.
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