5 Easy Ways To Travel on Public Transport Between New York, DC and Boston

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The area of the East Coast between Boston and Washington DC is home to over 50 million people, 5 major metropolitan areas, and a multitude of political, cultural and natural treasures. Lucky for travelers, it is also one of the most well-connected areas of the United States, making it both cheap and convenient to navigate. 

Want to check out Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the Statue of Liberty in New York, and then pop up to Boston for some clam chowder, all in the same weekend?  Here are some transportation ideas to make your next trip through the Mid-Atlantic region a reality.

Please note: Fare and schedule information listed below is for non-peak times and is subject to change.

Greyhound (www.Greyhound.com)

Washington DC to New York –4 hours 20 minutes (or longer), typically $17 one-way

Washington DC to Boston –9 hours 20 minutes (or longer), typically $45 one-way

This long-distance bus service doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being the most luxurious ride, but it can get you (almost) anywhere you need to go within North America, especially along urban corridors like this one. Newer buses boast features such as free Wi-Fi and electric outlets, but don’t expect that in most cases. Greyhound is often considered the budget choice for transport, but newer carriers like Mega Bus and Bolt Bus (listed below) are proving to be tough competition.

5 Easy Ways To Travel on Public Transport along the East Coast.

Bolt Bus (www.BoltBus.com)

Washington DC to New York –4 hours 0 minutes, typically $10-13 one-way

Washington DC to Boston – No direct service

This start-up bus company is known for connecting a variety of cities while promoting insanely cheap fares, but it doesn’t always have direct connections between cities that are further apart (from Washington DC to Boston, for example).  Seats come standard with Wi-Fi and electrical outlets, and fares can be as low as $1 if you get lucky. One downside is that reservations can only be made up to six weeks in advance.

Megabus (www.MegaBus.com)

Washington DC to New York –4 hours 30 minutes, typically $21 one-way

Washington DC to Boston –9 hours 40 minutes, typically $79 one-way

This fleet of double-decker buses has routes in the United States, Canada and the UK — making it a great international option.  Just like Bolt Bus, passengers here can take advantage of electric outlets and Wi-Fi while on the road, and there’s the added bonus of sitting upstairs and watching the world pass by on the ground below.  Fares can also be as low as $1 if you book at the right time.

Amtrak (www.Amtrak.com)

Washington DC to New York – 3 hours 20 minutes, typically $49 on-way

Washington DC to Boston – 7.5 hours, typically $70 one-way

A ride on the nation’s passenger rail system will definitely feel more luxurious than its bus counterparts. But, as you can imagine, the corresponding fares also reflect this fact as well. Wi-Fi is available on some routes, but electric outlets and a café car serving refreshment are almost always available. A faster and more business-oriented service is available on Amtrak’s Acela trains, but fares for that service can jump dramatically.

Jet Blue (www.JetBlue.com)

Washington DC to New York, 1 hour 20 minutes, starting at $49 one-way

Washington DC to Boston, 1 hour 45 minutes, starting at $55 one-way

One of the fastest ways to travel in this area is to fly, but don’t forget about the added time and resources that it takes to get to the airport and navigate through security.  That being said, flying from one city to another is more affordable than ever before, especially on low-cost carriers like Jet Blue.  Fares can cost significantly more on weekends and holidays, but online tools like www.Kayak.com can help you find the cheapest fares for the dates you need to travel.

How do you travel around while on the East Coast?

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About Author

Stephanie Wobensmith is on the road to making her wandering lifestyle a profession. She is pursuing a M.A. in International Education at SIT Graduate Institute in southern Vermont and is currently working at Semester at Sea headquarters in central Virginia. She has also co-managed a backpacker's hostel, coordinated service learning efforts at a community college, and served in AmeriCorps during the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. She has lived in Sydney and Dublin, criss-crossed the country on a Greyhound bus, explored Baja California in a Land Cruiser, and roamed the island of Bali and the Indian Subcontinent. A vegetarian of ten years, she adores vegetarian cheesesteaks and green Thai curry.

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