Taking Alternate Transportation: Bus & Train Review

making dollars changes

In the last two months I have traveled a lot! I am ready to stay home for awhile now! The nice thing is I have tried multiple types of transportation… plane, train, bus and a rental car.

I tend to gravitate towards the airplane when traveling. In many cases I am limited on time. Technically, flying is the fastest way to get somewhere. When you factor in the time spent in security, the expense of checking baggage and the limitations on carry on items; flying is not always the best option.

The Bus

Last week I took a Trailways bus into New York City from Syracuse New York. I was on vacation with my family in Syracuse and needed to be to the city by a specific time. The plane was going to be a pain in the neck since I would need a cab and it was expensive. The train did not arrive at the time I needed. So, the bus was my best option. It was $35 for a one way ticket. I arrived at the bus station an hour early to ensure a seat since there is is no reserved seating. I was pleasantly surprised when the customer service representative told me I could hop on the bus leaving in five minutes! Wonderful service!

Positives for the Bus: The bus had free WiFi and power outlets (I typed all the way to NYC!).  It was cheap and on time. No security check.

Negatives for the Bus: It was crowded. The bathroom smelled.

The Train

On the way back to Charlottesville from New York City I took the Amtrak train. The train took 6.5 hours for this route. It would have been faster to fly but when you take taxi and security time into consideration, it was probably about the same. The price for my one way ticket was $109. Now, I procrastinated big time with buying my ticket! I did see the same ticket for $59 in the weeks before I purchased mine. Getting on the train in NYC was kind of crazy. I had no idea what I was doing and I had SIX bags. Yes, I acquired many things while in the city! The best thing to do is look for a Red Cap- someone to help with your bags and take you to your train.

Positives for the Train: Reasonable price if you buy early. Very comfortable seats with plenty of leg room. Ran on time. Had free WiFi and power plugs. You can take a lot of luggage! No security check.

Negatives for the Train: I was never able to make it to the food car. It kept closing and the line was long. It is a bumpier ride and the train makes several stops. The employees on the train are not helpful with removing your bags from the train- I had a very nice passenger help me.

Overall, I was happy with my decision to try alternate transportation this summer! I would take either the bus or train again for short trips. I know my boys would enjoy the train for sure!

Now it’s your turn!

If you are a blogger, write a post about your idea for making dollars out of change. It can be on any topic as long as it has to do with saving money. Please link directly to your post and not your homepage.

If you do not have a blog, we still welcome and encourage your participation! Please leave your thoughts in the in a comment below!

This post is linked at My Coupon Teacher.

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    • Madame Deals says

      Yes six bags! Two suitcases on wheels, a duffel bag (purchased just before I left NYC!), and three totes. Oh, I also had my laptop bag! It was quite the chore getting from the taxi cab to the other side of the train station. Maybe you should take the train to San Diego- free baggage and WiFi! 🙂


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