Boston - New York Bus Options

Which offers the best Boston to New York bus service?

Photo - LimoLiner provides Boston to New York bus service
LimoLiner - Hilton-to-Hilton service between Boston and New York

Red-hot competition among Boston - New York bus companies means you'll find a lot of bargains . . . and Go Buses (formerly World Wide Bus) service from Cambridge and Newton gives you even more choices.

For NYC to Boston travel, bus fares with free WiFi and luxury extras are usually lower - sometimes MUCH LOWER - than you'd pay for Amtrak Acela train tickets or the cheapest flight to New York. 

LimoLiner, Bolt Bus, Mega Bus, Yo! Bus, the "Chinatown" buses. . . these are just a few of the companies competing for the lucrative traffic along the Boston - NYC - Philadelphia - Washington DC corridor. 

You'll find some big differences between destination and drop-off points, amenities, service, and cost - so it pays to look at each option and decide which fits YOUR needs the best.




 

Boston to New York Bus Comparisons

Which Boston - New York bus service is best? 

Although all 6 choices reviewed on this page get you back and forth between Boston and New York, amenities range from luxury to no-frills, with a couple of attractive mid-range options. 

All buses have on-board restrooms.  Travel time listed on this page is based on what the bus companies state.  In reality, traffic may add another 1 to 1.5 hours each way. 

 

LimoLiner from Boston to New York

Amenities:  Plush and roomy seating on this luxury Boston - New York bus service, with each of the 28 seats at a window or on the aisle, newly released DVD shown on every trip; satellite TV and radio, free WiFi and power outlets, pillow and blanket, hot and cold drinks - even a glass of wine in the evening, light meal (bagels, scones, croissants at breakfast; salad, sandwiches, fruit and cookies later), and snack service provided by attendant 
Arrival/Departure:  Boston - Back Bay Hilton (40 Dalton Street, across from Pru Center near Huntington Ave); New York - Midtown Hilton NYC (1335 Avenue of the Americas at 53rd, by the Etrusca Restaurant)
Travel time to NYC:   4 hours
Typical 1-way fare:   $69 - $89 - making LimoLiner generally the most expensive Boston-New York bus service
Other cities from Boston:  Framingham, MA - NYC service
Book tickets:  Online

***Bonus***  Discounted rates at the Hilton *** Both the Back Bay Hilton and the Hilton New York offer special LimoLiner deals.  Check the LimoLiner website for details.  Read reviews for the Back Bay Hilton and for the Hilton New York.

Inside the luxury LimoLiner Boston to New York bus - photo by Melissa, www.nycinsiderguide.comMy friend Melissa, publisher of NYC Insider Guide shares her recent LimoLiner experience (and photos):

"Great experience!  It is a luxury coach bus . . . reservation process was easy and the bus left on time. 

The Limo Liner provides complimentary internet access as well as a movie, CNN on TV, a full meal, snacks, beverages, and in the evening, wine.

The attendant was very friendly and the ride was smooth, even though we hit traffic and the trip was about 5.5 hours.  The front of Limo Liner has regular coach seats, and cell phones can be used.  The back of the bus has full tables and is a cell-free zone.  

Having traveled many times on the Acela, I can easily compare the two.  Limo Liner is slightly less money, and includes a meal, movie and internet.  However, travel is time longer.  Acela is faster, less likely to face delays, but meals and drinks are extra and internet access is not available unless you have your own broadband card."



 

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Go Buses - Cambridge and Newton to NYC

Amenities:  Go Buses (World Wide Bus) provide free WiFi, power plugs, free bottled water, and high-back seats on its 56-passenger coaches - and the only bus service between Cambridge, MA - New York City and Newton, MA - NYC - a huge bonus to students from Harvard, MIT, Boston College, and all the other colleges and universities in Cambridge and Newton. 
Arrival/Departure:  Cambridge - Alewife MBTA station (end point for the T's Red LIne); Newton - Riverside MBTA station at 390 Grove Street); New York - 8th Avenue and 31st Street, near Penn Station
Parking at Boston T Stations:   You can park for up to 7 nights at both Alewife and Riverside MBTA stations
Bicycles on Board:  Yes, you can bring your bicycle
Travel time to NYC:   4 - 4.5 hours
Typical 1-way fare:   $15-$20, but sometimes as low as $8
Book tickets:  www.worldwidebus.com

 

 

Yo! Bus - New Boston Bus to New York's Chinatown

Amenities:  Yo! Bus provides free WiFi, power plugs, and even leather seats on some coaches.  With service from Boston's Chinatown to New York's Chinatown, Yo! Bus fills a gap in low-cost service left by the recent demise of Fung Wah.  This partnership between Peter Pan and Grayhound positions itself as providing safe rides for low fares.  Service kicks off on March 14, 2013.
Arrival/Departure:  Boston's South Station - buy tickets online for now; New York - buy tickets at INT Travel Group at 98 E. Broadway, and board on the median near 2 Pike St between E. Broadway and Division Street.
Travel time to NYC:   4 hours
Typical 1-way fare:   $15-$24
Book tickets:  www.yobus.com

 

Bolt Bus - Boston to NYC

Amenities:  Bolt bus offers free WiFi and power outlets.   
Stations:  Boston - South Station; NYC - Penn Station vicinity (check website for exact location)
Travel time to NYC:   4 hours, 15 minutes
Typical 1-way fare:   About $10 - $21, with occasional $1 fares; ticket cost is higher closer to departure date; walk-up fares are about 30% higher
Guaranteed seat?   Yes, if you book online and arrive at the boarding point 15 minutes before departure time. 
Other cities from Boston:  Philadelphia, Newark
Book tickets:  Online up to 2 hours before departure

 

Megabus Service from Boston to New York

Amenities:  Megabus uses luxury 81-passenger double-deckers for its Boston New York bus service with free WiFi and power outlets.  Most buses also have seatbelts.  
Stations:  Boston - South Station; NYC - Penn Station vicinity (check website for exact location)
Travel time to NYC:   4 hours, 15 minutes
Typical 1-way fare:   About $5 - $20, with some $1 fares available on every trip; ticket cost is higher closer to departure date, so it pays - literally - to make your reservations as early as possible.  Overall, Megabus fares average out to be the lowest among Boston-New York bus fares, plus Megabus service hits the "sweet spot" for providing the most desirable amenities combined with low fares - my definition of the best bargain!
Other cities from Boston:  Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Burlington, Hartford, New Haven, Secaucus NJ (and of cource New York)

 

Operations Suspended:  Fung Wah Bus

Federal Regulators have suspended Fung Wah's bus service between Boston and New York due to significant safety concerns.  The suspension relates to the structural condition of the buses, and appears to be permanent at this point. 

We'll update when more information becomes available.


 

Lucky Star Bus- South Station to NYC Chinatown

Amenities:  Free WiFi on some buses  
Arrival/Departure:  Boston - South Station (near Chinatown); New York Chinatown - near Grand Street Subway Station at 55-59 Chrystie Street at Hester Street, next to the Comfort Inn
Check-in:  If you have an e-ticket, you need to check in at the ticket counter 30 minutes prior to departure.  In Boston, the ticket counter is next to the newsstand on the 3rd floor of South Station; in New York, it's inside the ticket information center at 55 Chrystie Street.)
Travel time to NYC:  4 1/2 hours (may include 10 - 20 minute fast food / smoking stop)
Typical 1-way fare:  $8 - $25, with most at $15
Other cities from Boston:  None
Book tickets:  Online

 

Insider tip:  Boston - New York bus tickets

Boston's huge student population competes with business and leisure travelers for seats on the buses between Boston and New York.  It's not unusual for ALL buses to completely sell out around weekends, and getting reservations for certain holidays such as Thanksgiving can be notoriously difficult.  Best tip:  book early, and make sure your seat is confirmed!

 

Other Ways to Go from Boston to New York

In addition to driving (my least favorite way to travel between Boston and NYC) you have 2 other choices:  Amtrak train service, and flying - specifically, cheap flights. 

With Amtrak, you also have 2 choices: 

  • Regular service - 4-5 hours and costs about $60-$95
  • High-speed Acela - 3 1/2 hours, and costs $95-$126; offers power outlets and Wifi on all Express service between Boston, New York, and Washington D.C. 

Seats are spacious and comfortable, work space is great if you're using a laptop, and food and beverages are available to buy - although both Penn Station and South Station offer much better food choices than you'll find on board.

Unlike the Boston - New York bus services, the Acela does not get impacted by heavy traffic on the highway.  My experience has been that it doesn't always depart or arrive on time, and equipment issues occasionally cause significant delays.  However, for convenience, comfort, and general reliability as well as a pleasant ride through the New England countryside, I love the Acela.

The Acela Express departs/arrives from South Station and Back Bay Station in Boston, and Penn Station in New York.

Cheap flights to New York from Boston usually cost about the same or 10% - 20% less than the Acela, and may be faster door-to-door, even with all the airport security.  Although any savings may be eaten up by ground transportation time and expenses if you're heading into most areas of Manhattan, flying can be the best choice if your target destination is outside of the city. 

Sometimes, however, you can find really cheap fares - too low to pass up!  A good place to check for cheap New York flights is on Expedia.  Don't forget to also look for special deals for NYC hotels as well.   Or, cheap Boston hotels if you're coming this way.

 

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