What's the Deal: DC to NYC . . . for a Buck?
DC to New York for $1? Believe it. Well, sort of.
BoltBus, the newest player in the DC-to-NY cheapo bus biz, debuts March 27 with one-way fares starting at $1 (plus a 50-cent booking fee). The Greyhound spinoff promises free WiFi and power outlets, plus leather seats on "select" coaches. There are eight runs a day and, as with other budget lines like Washington Deluxe and Vamoose, you board on the street, not at a station. In Washington, that's 11th and G steets NW. There are two New York stops: near Penn Station at 33rd Street and Seventh Avenue, and in south Manhattan at Sixth Avenue and Canal Street.
The earlier you buy, the cheaper the fare. Here's how it works: Fares start at $1 for early bookers, and rise based on market demand and the closer you get to the date. The highest fare is $20. All fares are nonrefundable. You can buy tickets online at www.boltbus.com or from the driver at the pickup point, but walkups pay full price. Special deal the first weekend, though: All seats are $1 March 27-30 (Thursday through Sunday).
We tested out the site and found a few bugs. A couple of us were unable to book round trips and had to buy each one-way trip separately. Even more annoying, fares that were listed as $1 suddenly jumped to $7 or $10 when we tried to book. Hmmm. Company spokeswoman Amanda Burke said five to 10 seats on each bus, or one-tenth to one-fifth the capacity, are set aside as $1 seats, but when five of us tried to book individually for the same ride, only Scott Vogel was able to snag the $1 fare. When the rest of us tried, the fare was $7 or $10. Of course, nine other people elsewhere could have been booking that same crack-of-dawn trip on that same Friday morning in April . . .
But $20 is still a good round-trip fare, especially if the buses and drivers are held to Greyhound's standards. We'll let you know how we like the ride.
By K.C. Summers |
March 6, 2008; 11:54 AM ET
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