Buses can be the best budget way to get to New York City. Travel can be a bit slower than if you take a train (or an airplane), but it's one of the least expensive ways to get here. For visitors from New England and the mid-Atlantic region, bus travel can be the ideal way to get to New York City.
Pros of Bus Travel
- Frequently scheduled buses
- Flexibility in travel plans
- No need to get from the airport to the city, as buses bring you directly to the city
Cons of Bus Travel
- Traffic can delay arrival
- Limited space to walk around
- Longer travel times than most trains or planes
- No food service
- Limited bathroom facilities
What To Know About Bus Travel to NYC
- Reserving specific seats on buses is generally not possible -- it is recommended that you arrive at least 30 minutes before departure to ensure you have a seat on the bus and can sit with any of your traveling companions.
- Online reservations with the shuttles are held until 15 minutes before departure -- these buses are popular and if your schedule is tight, you should make a reservation and arrive early.
- Booking online is available with all services, but be aware of cancellation/rescheduling rules as well as booking surcharges.
- You may be asked to present photo ID when boarding the bus.
- Some bus companies limit the amount of luggage you may bring with you -- ask in advance if you have more than 1 suitcase and 1 carry-on item.
- Most buses have a bathroom on board. You might want to bring your own supply of toilet paper, as it can often run out over the course of longer trips.
- On longer bus rides, there may be a rest stop during the trip at a fast-food restaurant.
- All buses allow you to bring along your own food and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Children under 2 can often ride in a parent's lap for free -- children normally need a ticket of their own (some lines offer children's fares, some do not).
- The shuttles claim to save time over the "traditional" bus companies by eliminating/reducing stops en route.
- Many shuttle passengers are Chinese-Americans and the shuttle drivers may not speak much English.
Traditional Bus Services
America's largest inter-city bus service, with the advent of the discount shuttle services, they have sought to compete by lowering the prices between cities served by the shuttles.
Arrives at New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal (42nd Street and 8th Avenue)
- Peter Pan Bus
Peter Pan offers bus service from mid-Atlantic states and the Northeast to New York City, including Washington, DC; Springfield, MA; Hartford, CT; and Providence, RI. Discounts available on their website, particularly for advance purchases.
Arrives at Port Authority Bus Terminal (42nd Street and 8th Avenue)
Commuter Bus Services
- New Jersey Transit Bus Service
New Jersey Transit offers bus service to New York City from all over New Jersey, including Atlantic City, Newark and northern New Jersey.
Arrives at Port Authority Bus Terminal (42nd Street/8th Avenue).
Upscale Bus Service
The LimoLiner connects New York City and Boston, offering power outlets, wireless internet, and a variety of services oriented to the business traveler for $99 each way. Comfort and convenience make this a good alternative to the train between Boston and New York City. Departs from Midtown Manhattan.
Shuttle Bus Services (aka Chinatown Buses)
BoltBus offers service between New York City and Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Buses include free Wi-Fi, outlets and fares can be as low as $1. Their ticketing process offers reserved seats, guaranteeing you have a spot on a particular bus, which is not always the case.
Buses depart from both downtown and midtown locations, but check to make sure you are going to the right bus stop depending on where you are going, since buses leave from different places depending on the destination.
- Eastern Travel Bus
Daily service between New York City and Baltimore, MD; Rockville, MD; Richmond, VA; and Washington, DC. $20 one way, $35 round-trip. (NYC to Richmond, VA $35 one way, $60 round-trip)
Three arrival/departure points in New York City -- 88 East Broadway (in Chinatown), 7th Ave & West 34th Street (near Penn Station/Madison Square Garden) and 7th Ave & West 42nd Street (near Port Authority Bus Terminal).
MegaBus offers extensive bus service throughout the northeast and beyond, including destinations as far away as Toronto, Ontario.
MegaBus departs both from inside of the Port Authority Bus Terminal, as well as from 34th Street between 11th/12th Avenues, depending on your destination.
- Washington Deluxe
Service Sunday through Friday between New York City and Washington, DC.
Buses depart from several Brooklyn locations, as well as 122 Allen Street (at Delancey) in Chinatown and 303 West 34th Street (at 8th Avenue) near Penn Station/Madison Square Garden.