Cheap and comfortable BoltBus gets you around the Northeast

This is an installment of a new series, “You should know about…,” focused on information that might just make your life at GW a little easier.

Everyone loves a getaway or quick trip home and, for those GW students who live in the Northeast corridor, an Amtrak train ticket is often the preferred method of travel. But an Amtrak ticket often costs as much as an airplane ticket, and with more than double the travel time. So what does a cash-strapped GW student trying to survive in the tough economic climate do to get home?

Connecting D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, and New York City, the BoltBus offers a low-cost transportation option for those willing to forgo some time in exchange for some of the cheapest transportation around. One-way fares typically run in the $20 range on weekends and are even cheaper on weekdays. Depending on how far in advance a reservation is made, travelers may be able to score a seat for as low as $1.

Financially starving students, rejoice! BoltBus is famous for the coveted $1 seat, claiming that each voyage will contain at least one. A search on for a trip on Oct. 13 resulted in seven $1 fares being offered on a day with 17 departures.

The bus leaves D.C. from the corner of 10th and H streets in Northwest D.C. and lets travelers off at multiple stops in New York. Riders must decide in advance which stop in New York they prefer, as different buses go to different destinations in the same city.

On the buses riders can utilize the free wireless Internet and flat screen TVs, all while stretching enjoying the extra leg room.

The journey to New York takes about four hours, approximately an hour longer than the trip on the train. Of course, unlike Amtrak, BoltBus is at the mercy of traffic.

Other companies offer a similar transportation option, including DC2NY, Megabus, and Chinatown Bus. Sophomore Daniel Mizrachi insists that everyone still has to Bolt.

“The BoltBus is probably the most comfortable of all the buses,” he said. “When I know there’s not going to be that much traffic, it’s worth paying a fraction of the (train) price to get home for the weekend.”

And with the chance for travelers to earn a free one-way trip after taking four round trips with Bolt, being frugal is easy.

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