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Taking a Bus to New York City

Buses are an affordable, convenient way to travel to NYC

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City Bus Route Cutting Through Large Swath
Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images

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.

Bus Services to New York City

Pros of Bus Travel

  • Frequently scheduled buses
  • Flexibility in travel plans
  • Affordable
  • 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.

Bus Services to New York City

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