So lets get this out of the way right now, I don't like buses. I don't like them in America, I don't like them in Croatia and I don't like them in Germany. I don't like them sam I am! The one exception to that is buses in Mexico which are quite nice if you get Deluxe class or Business class. I'd even rather ride a first class bus in Mexico over any other bus I've ridden. The classes go First, Deluxe and the nicest is Business just in case you don't know. So why am I posting about buses? Because in lieu of great train or airline service in the US new bus companies are popping up. It takes roughly 4 hrs to go from downtown NY to downtown DC on a bus. It takes about the same time or more to get to JFK, go through security, board a plane, fly, leave Washington Dulles and take a taxi to the city center of DC. Here's the kicker, the bus costs as low as $1! No matter what happens in the airline world there will never be a sustainable flight from NY to DC for $1.
So I found two companies doing this - Boltbus and DC2NY. I checked prices and Boltbus came in at $10-$20 and DC2NY the "upscale" bus company came in at $28 one way. There was a slight discount for a return ticket ($50 both ways). Both companies offer free onboard wifi internet access. So not only do you not have to go through security, you don't have to stand in line to get on the plane, you don't have to take a taxi and you don't have to be bored for the 4 hours. I didn't think I'd ever say this but buses may be the best way to get between NY and DC.
I just checked the Amtrak website and the train takes the same amount of time but costs $144 a person. Jet Blue charges $147 and with getting to the airport 30 minutes before flying and getting away would take almost exactly 4 hrs.
To recap I used the same days and similar times for the two bus companies, Amtrak and Jet Blue.
New York to DC, round trip
|Bolt Bus||$20||4hr 30min||wifi, power outlets, reserved seats|
|DC2NY||$46||4hr 30min||wifi, no power outlets, no reserved seats|
|TonyCoach||$30||4hr 30min||Uses gotobus.com for cart|
|Todays||$35||4hr 30min||Uses gotobus.com for cart|
|Eastern||$36.75||4hr 30min||Uses gotobus.com for cart, free wifi|
|Amtrak Ascela||$322||2hr 45min|
|Greyhound||$75||4hr 30min||Found promotion for $40 though|
|Jet Blue||$147||1hr 20min||Taxi/Train to and from airport and going through security - 4hr travel time|
Bolt bus seems to be the winner. They have power plugs (DC2NY doesn't) 3 extra inches of legroom, wifi and a loyalty program. After 4 trips you get the fifth free. This seem like an incredibly cheap way of going between these cities. Bolt Bus also has service to Boston and Philly now.
It looks like the fastest way to get from downtown New York to downtown DC is by Amtrak Ascela which takes just under 3 hrs. Amazingly so that train can do 150 mph but is limited by the states it goes through it averages 75 mph. Go America... You can take the standard Amtrak train and it only takes 35 minutes longer and you saved yourself a couple hundred dollars. Add another hour to your journey and you saved another $100.