Traveling by bus may be gaining ground on air travel this summer thanks to convenient bus routes and cheap fares, especially since airlines have been charging fees for check-in luggage and other former freebies. And for travelers who need to stay connected in transit, a number of bus companies offer free wireless Internet access.
This East Coast bus line started last March as a partnership between Greyhound and Peter Pan, and just this May it transported its millionth passenger. “This is a venture that has exceeded all of our expectations, and we’re going to continue to look at possible expansions,” says spokeswoman Abby Wambaugh.
Connection: All Boltbuses have wifi.
Regions covered: The busiest routes are between New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C., Wambaugh says. Boltbus also runs from New York to Baltimore and Philadelphia, and some Philly buses stop in Cherry Hill, N.J.
The appeal: It’s cheap, and the earlier you book, the better. There’s at least one ticket per bus that costs just $1, and fares rise the closer you get to your departure date. But even with a spur of the moment travel decision, you won’t pay more than $25 for a one-way ticket, the maximum walk-up fare, Wambaugh says.
Only about 10% of Greyhound’s bus fleet consists of new buses with wireless Internet access, but the company says it plans to eventually replace its entire fleet nationwide.
Connection: About 102 of its approximately 1,250 buses offer free wifi and power outlets, mostly in the Northeast, including its New York to Montreal, New York to Toronto and New York to Boston routes.
Regions covered: Nationwide. Greyhound says it’s the largest provider of intercity bus service, covering more than 2,300 destinations.
The appeal: If you book 21 days or more in advance, you can get up to 50% off the regular ticket price. Also check out their Deals and Discounts section online.
Business travelers commuting between Boston and New York might opt for a more luxurious ride in a 28-passenger LimoLiner, which boasts a door-to-door transit time comparable to flying or taking the train.
Connection: LimoLiner offers free, high speed wireless Internet access on each of its vehicles.
Regions covered: LimoLiner runs between New York, Boston, Framingham, Mass., and Hartford, Conn.
The appeal: Upscale business and leisure travelers can bypass many of the hassles of mass transit, and enjoy amenities such as an on-board attendant and a free glass of wine on trips after 5 p.m. Be warned, these fares are a bit steeper than those you’ll find elsewhere, with one way tickets between Boston and New York running around $90. (But they do have specials.)
Megabus has branches in the United States and the United Kingdom. Both are owned by a Scottish company, Stagecoach Group.
Connection: Free wifi on all buses.
Regions covered: These double-decker buses cover eight states in the Midwest plus Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts.
The appeal: Megabus offers express and non-stop bus service for as low as $1 one way.
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