Over the past few months, one of my favorite stories has been the tale of BoltBus. A subsidiary of Greyhound, the bus line charges $25 for a one-way trip from New York to Washington, DC, and $20 for a one-way trip from New York to Boston. While this puts it in competition with the popular Chinatown bus, the real competition is with the airlines. For a fraction of the price of a seat in coach, BoltBus offers a comfortable seat, no long check-ins, and a relaxed ride. Other companies, including DC2NY, MegaBus, and Vamoose have jumped on the bandwagon, and it's pretty clear that relaxing, cheap bus travel is on its way up.
Recently, the bus lines unveiled their next weapon in the war against the airlines: Wi-Fi. All of the bus lines that I mentioned have Wi-Fi installed on their buses, and BoltBus has put electrical outlets on as well, making it possible for passengers to surf the net without wearing down their batteries. In the meantime, riders on all of these buses can do one more thing that airline passengers can't: they can use their cell phones.
Of course, bus lines don't offer snacks, the ride is a little rockier, and they lack the romance of air travel. That having been said, there is no charge for the first piece of luggage, the check-in process is almost instantaneous, and the price is right. Look out, American Airlines!
Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. His last couple of flights were a disaster, so BoltBus makes him cackle evilly whenever he thinks about it!
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