When we went to New York last weekend, we decided to take the bus. From where we live in Virginia we actually have a lot of options when to comes to traveling.
- Plane – $230 per person (round trip)
- Train – $172 per person (round trip)
- Car – cost of gas (varies) & round trip tolls- about $200
- Bus – $60 per person (round trip!)
For The Husband and me, it makes the most sense to take the bus. We don’t have to worry about doing the actual driving, the road tolls are included in the price and we can just sit back and relax for the 4 hour ride (sometimes we get a little sleep in!). The best way to find a bus ticket from DC to New York (or to anywhere really) is by using WANDERU. They even have a mobile app you can use. They will find the cheapest tickets for when you want to travel. You can sort the tickets by departure time and price.
For this last trip we bought tickets to New York on Bolt Bus and tickets back to DC on MegaBus. When we arrived at Union Station in DC, we found our way to the Bus Departures. We were a few minutes early so we sat in the enclosed waiting area. When taking any of the buses, they ask that you arrive 15 minutes before departure so that you can board in enough time. Our bus was scheduled to leave at 9:30 AM. I like to be early so we headed over to where the signs said our bus would be at about 9 AM. There were a few other people there waiting in line as well. We stood there for 30 minutes, in the cold rain, wondering where the bus might be. A Bolt Bus employee showed up around 9:20 AM and stood around, looking completely useless. When 9:30 came around and there was still no bus, three different women went to go talk to him. After the third woman spoke with him, she came back to the line and let everyone know that he was calling his supervisor. A few minutes later we were all informed that the bus was going to be 5-10 minutes late. Apparently they weren’t counting the 15 minutes late it already was! After another 10 minutes, there was still no bus. The Husband got on the phone with Bolt Bus to ask where the bus was. They again said that the bus would be 5-10 minutes late. At this point it was 9:45 AM. The bus did not arrive until 10 AM. We loaded everyone on the bus and were out of Union Station at 10:15. For the Husband and I, running 45 minutes late was not that big of a deal. We were meeting friends in town and had plenty of time. However, if we were on a tight schedule and needed to be somewhere I would not have been happy! I will say that the seats on Bolt Bus were awesome! They were leather and had lots of room. They were pretty comfortable for a bus.
We were dropped off at the bus station by the Hudson Docks, which is the same place we caught our other bus home. We had ridden on MegaBus the last time we had gone to New York. Their buses run on time and usually get you where you are going earlier than scheduled. I will say that their seats are not as comfortable or nice.
So if you are looking for a comfortable ride and you aren’t on a schedule, go with Bolt Bus. If you are on a schedule and don’t care about the seats you sit in for 4 hours, MegaBus is the company for you!