A (Practically) Free Ride

As a frequent traveler to New York City (and an unpaid intern), I’ve learned to shake off the bargain-bus drawbacks—drunken crazies, crying babies, squawking chickens—that would send most people running for Amtrak. But with the introduction of Greyhound’s BoltBus (boltbus.com), thrifty passengers no longer need to endure such mayhem.

That’s because BoltBus costs—that’s right—a dollar. The only catch is that the fare rises as the travel date approaches, capping out at around $20, and you have to buy online to get the cheap deals.

Having snagged my ticket two weeks earlier, I arrive at South Station a relaxed 15 minutes before departure. New-car smell wafts from my seat, a welcome change from the stench of sour Go-gurt. The best part? Wireless Internet, plus an electrical outlet for each passenger. It’s a clear attempt to fill seats with more forward-planning types and fewer stragglers, and it seems to be working: My bus is packed with nattily dressed young professionals and students glued to their laptops. Absorbed in online shopping, I barely notice the hours flying by until we arrive in New York, at the convenient 34th Street and Eighth Avenue drop-off.