Bolt Bus v. DC2NY

Before this past weekend, I would always drive to and from NYC. I have a Corolla so it’s pretty efficient on gas, and its nice being on my own schedule rather than having to be somewhere by a certain time. But then a few months ago I took a $15 bus to Philly and couldn’t believe how great it was. It had free wifi, I could sleep the whole time, and the trip was over before I knew it.

Now, I don’t mind driving, but with the price of gas and tolls these days, it turns out its way cheaper when I’m traveling alone to take a bus. I ended up taking one bus up to a NY and a different one home, so I thought I’d break down the pros and cons of each one in case you’re thinking about doing a DC/NY bus trip.

On the way up, I took Bolt Bus. My bus left at 2pm and I was in NYC around 7pm, so a 5 hour trip total.



– CHEAP. Only $15 one way. – Slightly less comfortable seats
– Great schedule. Lots of departure times during the week. – The bus STANK. Every time someone opened the bathroom door it would reek for at least 20 mins.
– Free wifi and outlets in each seat. – No movie
– Cup holders on the back of each seat! – Very cold air coming out of the vents

On the way back from NYC, I took DC2NY. The bus left at 1pm and I arrived in DC at 6pm – so 5 hours again.



– Very comfortable seats – Twice as expensive ($30 v. $15)
– Very clean bus. Smelled great. – Less frequent departures during the week
– You get to vote for whether you want to watch a movie or not.
– Free bottle of water!
– Free wifi and oulets
Overall, I enjoyed the DC2NY bus trip more, but I don’t know if its worth twice the money of the Bolt Bus price. I LOVED that they gave me a free bottle of water (you know I like free sh*t), but I could buy a bottle of water and a Bolt Bus ticket and be out less money…
Moving along.
While eating out in NYC was super fun, when all was said and done I ended up eating dinner out four nights in a row! I can’t even tell you the last time I ate out that many nights in a row, and let me tell you – I was actually excited to start cooking again. After a quick bite on Sunday with Wil, I ended up going to the grocery store to pick up some groceries so I could get back into the kitchen and get ready for the week.
I spent 39.66 at The Teet and got enough for several lunches and dinners, but I may need to go to the store again later this week.
First up, the produce.
  • Green peppers
  • Green Beans
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Scallions
  • Pears
  • Blueberries (x3 – buy one get two free!)
  • Bananas

Everything else:

  • Chik’n Scallopini (see below)
  • Pistachio Gelato
  • Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • Fage 0%
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Sliced Olives (x2)
  • Salsa x2
  • Cannelini Beans
  • Pinto Beans

This is a new-to-me product:

The stats are quite good, too:

2 pts+ each with 14 grams of protein!

I haven’t tried them yet but will keep you posted on how they are. I don’t usually have faux-meat products that often, but its nice to have things like that in the freezer on occasion for quick meals in a pinch.

What’s your preferred way to get places? Bus, train, plane, drive?

21 Comments on Bolt Bus v. DC2NY

  1. Victoria (District Chocoholic)
    June 22, 2011 at 8:35 am (9 years ago)

    The issue I have w/buses in the NE corridor is that you still get stuck in traffic if you go at peak hours. I guess my preferred method of travel depends on where I am going. If it’s more than 400 miles, not driving or taking the train. If it’s near a major train station, train. For anything over 400 miles, I fly.

    Blueberry season is here. Yesssssssssssssss cheap blueberries

  2. Liz
    June 22, 2011 at 8:45 am (9 years ago)

    Great deal on the blueberries! I love that they are in season now.
    I always take the bus to NYC, but if trains were cheaper, I would opt for to take that instead.

  3. goodtastehealthyme
    June 22, 2011 at 9:13 am (9 years ago)

    I like driving if it is within 5 hours. Over 5 I want to take a plane…depending on cost lol

  4. Ashleigh
    June 22, 2011 at 9:36 am (9 years ago)

    The last time I went to NYC from Boston I took the bus and I was MISERABLE!! It’s just too long to be on a bus.. I always feel sick to my stomach after the first 2 hours. Now that I have a car I prefer to drive, but before I would rather take the train.

  5. Erin @ A Girl & Her Mutt
    June 22, 2011 at 10:43 am (9 years ago)

    I take the bus from Boston to NYC all of the time. You really have to know when to take the bus (not during really busy traffic time!) and be prepared to keep yourself entertained. I entertain myself with a friend and a nap. 🙂

  6. Carolyn @ Lovin' Losing
    June 22, 2011 at 10:43 am (9 years ago)

    I think an extra $15 dollars is worth not smelling poo for 5 hours. IMO. 🙂

    • Beth
      June 22, 2011 at 10:46 am (9 years ago)

      haha good point. That was just one bus though, so who knows if the other ones are like that too. It was funny though, on the DC2NY bus, the guy said “that bathroom is liquid only.” ha!

  7. michellerunsnyc
    June 22, 2011 at 10:46 am (9 years ago)

    I take the bus from Boston to NYC sometimes but would rather drive. 🙂 I have always had really good bolt experiences though!

  8. Nancy Tornetta
    June 22, 2011 at 11:03 am (9 years ago)

    Hi Beth, I used to take Bolt fairly often for shows, etc. in NY (from Philly), until one trip, the bus was over an hour late picking us up at the bus stop with no explanation until it got there and it was a 90 degree day. Then the driver proceeded to text on her phone while driving! The women next to me asked her to please stop after about an hour of off and on texting and she did, but that and a couple of tour bus accidents turned me off to it. It’s a shame because yes, it was a reasonable way to get to NY for the day.

  9. Amy @ Conquering Self
    June 22, 2011 at 11:09 am (9 years ago)

    When I used to live in upstate NY and would travel to NYC, I would occasionally take the bus and didn’t mind it too badly. I definitely preferred taking the 3 hour train ride from outside of Albany to the city since trains are such an easy convenient way to travel (IMO). I am a fearful flyer so I never choose to fly if I don’t have to…unfortunately I live in CA now and all of my family is in NY still, so flying happens frequently. I can definitely see the benefit of the bus when you are traveling alone though…and it sounds like busses are different (and a lot nicer) than when I used to take them!

  10. Mary
    June 22, 2011 at 11:42 am (9 years ago)

    Have you heard about It’s very reasonably priced. My sister has taken it, and it was really good (minus the wi-fi not working, but that could just have been her specific bus). I’m planning to take it to DC sometime soon!

    • Beth
      June 22, 2011 at 11:45 am (9 years ago)

      I’ve heard of Megabus, but have never personally taken it. A few people had told me it wasn’t as good as Bolt or DC2NY, but I can’t speak from personal experience. Let me know when you’re coming to DC! It’s a great city.

    • Dani
      June 22, 2011 at 5:07 pm (9 years ago)

      i have taken megabus a few times, and the WiFi has never worked! It was fine other than that, although I was very annoyed that the general attitude was ‘it doesn’t work, don’t ask me about it.’

  11. Linda @ Lemons
    June 22, 2011 at 1:17 pm (9 years ago)

    I like Vamoose because I can get it in Bethesda. My daughter took Bolt this weekend and had to go to Union Station. Also her bus was really late leaving NY, was stuck in a lot of traffic in Delaware, and then stopped at a rest stop for a while. It was a long trip home, but that is to be expected on a Sunday afternoon I guess.

  12. Michelle
    June 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm (9 years ago)

    I second Carolyn, paying an extra $15 not to smell **** is worth it. I’ll be taking the amtrack bus next week from Boston to Portland ME next week. Haven’t taken a bus in years.

  13. Cynthia (It All Changes)
    June 22, 2011 at 7:38 pm (9 years ago)

    I love the train and plane. Trains are nice because you can move around but they aren’t always cost efficient. Plane has always been my favorite method because I grew up flying.

    I like driving for the same reasons you do but I think I’ll try the bus from Philly to DC when we go this fall.

  14. TracyP
    June 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm (9 years ago)

    I’m a southern California girl so it will be no surprise I drive everywhere. Those Gardein Chick’n Scallopinis are great. My husband and I eat them one or two nights a week in all kinds of chicken recipes. Last night was Chicken Pot Pie and I could barely tell it wasn’t chicken in there. I hope you like them!

    • Beth
      June 22, 2011 at 10:45 pm (9 years ago)

      Ohh good to know you like those! I’m excited to try them one night when I’m feeling especially lazy. 🙂

  15. Megan
    June 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm (9 years ago)

    I have owned a car since 2002 (six years in Boston, over three in NY) and I’m pretty flexible on bus, train or plane. I’ve been doing the Boston to NY route since when Greyhound and Chinatown buses were the options.

    I’m cheap and can rarely bring myself to pay Amtrak prices. I prefer Bolt over Megabus, but always price both. This upcoming weekend I have a wedding in DC and score a NYC to DC RT fare for $2.50 ($1 each way, plus the booking fee). With buses, some days are smooth, others slow, but Amtrak has also had issues for me too. For the price I paid, I just smile and read a good book. Noise canceling headphones are also a life saver (for train, bus or plane).

    A DC friend also told me about the TheKnowItExpress ( which runs DC to Brooklyn. Might be a nice option if you’re visiting your sister again. 🙂

  16. Kathy @ newlywedindc
    June 24, 2011 at 7:18 pm (9 years ago)

    I don’t own a car and I’m a big supporter of public transit so I metro/bus/walk/bike everywhere, with zipcar trips for groceries sometimes. For NYC trips I take Megabus but it has really gone downhill lately…often late and mean drivers. Bolt is a little classier and I want to try DC2NY, so I really appreciate your review! I’m thinking the extra price is probably worth it. I prefer the train, but Amtrak is expensive and it’s often late, too.

  17. Mark
    March 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm (9 years ago)

    Stop complaining, it’s a cheap ride, your not paying for tolls or gas.
    It’s a bus for god sakes!


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