Fung Wah Bus, Boston New York Bus
Despite the less than stellar PR the Chinatown bus lines have been known to receive, I happen to have a soft-spot for them for two reasons:
- They were a particularly useful (and cost-effective) mode of transportation for me during the late '90s.
- A very close friend of mine met her now-husband on a Fung Wah bus on Valentine's Day several years ago (they were both heading home to see their mothers :)
The concept of the Chinatown bus started with the Fung Wah bus company in 1997. They provided hourly service between Boston's Chinatown and New York's Chinatown at a great price.
These (as well as several other low-fare, no-frill bus companies that have popped up since then) are especially popular with the younger crowd and those on a budget.
The buses usually run nonstop between departure and terminus cities. In general, passengers wait in line outdoors to board, as there are typically no formal stations.
However, since 2004, the Boston-New York bus lines, as well as all other regularly scheduled intercity bus services, have been required to run in and out of South Station on the Boston end.
These days, there are a multitude of other budget bus companies (some of which run along the East Coast from the Washington, D.C. area, to New York City). Lucky Star is another Boston-New York specific line.
Megabus and Bolt Bus (which was actually started by Greyhound to compete with Chinatown buses) are considered more upscale options.
If you have to be somewhere on time, bear in mind that there may be waits to board and/or buses may leave later than expected. The ride between New York and Boston is approximately four to five hours, depending on traffic.
There is a bathroom and food break, but it's brief, so consider bringing your own snack, just in case. And make sure to reboard on time, as I've seen people left behind on various bus companies before!
As I alluded to above, don't expect luxury. There is a bathroom on the bus, but, remember, these are budget bus lines (i.e., you may want to sit at least a few rows away from the rear of the bus.)
It's good to know that accidents over the years have led to stricter regulation of Chinatown buses.
And, as of this writing, the buses do not offer handicap access, although I've heard Lucky Star staff might be up for helping you out if you push for it.
How to do Boston for less:
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