Friday, October 17, 2008
Better on a Bus
"I'd rather go by bus."
On a recent trip to the United States, NoCrowds needed to travel from New York City to Washington D.C. We considered all the usual options: rent a car, fly or take the train, but each option seemed either a hassle or expensive or both.
We consulted our children who regularly ride the Chinatown bus services (Fung Wah and Lucky Star) operating between the two cities.
Their response. “You guys are past it. It’s cheap but you are way too anal to put up with the chaotic service. Try Vamoose, they’re a bit more expensive but more your style.”
A harsh but accurate assessment of our aging inflexibility prompted a review of the discount bus services that have cropped up along the Boston to Washington route in recent years. In fact, there are lots of companies, such as Vamoose, Megabus and Boltbus, offering cheap, scheduled service on clean, comfortable vehicles. Pricing and amenities vary and we ended up choosing Boltbus which boasts power outlets and free wifi with fares starting as low as $1 each way plus a booking fee. The earlier you book, the cheaper the fare. We paid $15 each. Walk-up fares are $25.
And what was our experience? The bus arrived and left on time. Our driver told lots of bad political jokes. The wifi and power outlets were great. The bus was clean and comfortable. We arrived on schedule (four hours and 15 minutes later) and since we could work on the internet for the entire journey, we hardly noticed the time. For the record, we were the oldest folks on the bus.
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