Unsolicited Testimonial: LimoLiner
What It Is: LimoLiner is an executive-class bus service from New York to Boston (or vice versa) that gets you from the center of one city to the other in about 4 and a half hours, for less than a hundred bucks. If you count getting to the airport early and taking a cab, it ends up being about the same amount of time as flying, but you've got wifi and power and more room.
The Experience: I first heard about LimoLiner years ago, when I was spending most of my time on the West Coast. Since I've been back in NYC, I've used LimoLiner for every trip that I've made to Boston, and it's unquestionably the best way to make the trip.
Flying to Boston from New York really sucks. Aside from the rank incompetence of most everyone at Logan Airport, getting to and from Boston and NYC airports is brutal. Most Boston flights leave New York from JFK, which is a solid 45 minute (and $60) cab ride from Manhattan. Sure, you could take the train to JFK, but then you're adding an hour on top of having to be an hour early for your flight. Tack on an interminable cab ride on the Boston end of things (especially since the Big Dig is a failure) and you're easily equalling the time it takes to take LimoLiner.
It's easy to have misgivings about riding a bus for a couple hours, especially if you have any flashbacks to miserable Greyhound trips in college. East Coasters also know about the legendary Chinatown buses, which promise fast service that's as cheap as $10, at the expense of your safety, hygiene, and sanity. (Tales of livestock and fowl sharing the trip abound.)
LimoLiner ain't like that. All the seats are captain's chairs, complete with power and lots of legroom and recline. The ride is full-service, too, with a host (Drive Attendant?) who brings you drinks and a snack (usually a packaged sandwich) and whatever else you want. The bathroom on the bus is downright dignified. And the back cabin of each bus is a quiet area, with no cell phone conversations allowed. You can even kick up the footrest and watch a movie on the ride.
Best of all, LimoLiner is a small company. I once had a reschedule a trip, and called back a few hours after I'd booked my ticket. I started to say "Hi, my reservation number is..." and the woman on the other end said, "Don't worry, honey, I remember your number on the Caller ID." Can't say that's ever happened with an airline.
The Gotchas: The only shortcoming with LimoLiner is that I wish they offered service more often; There's a limited number of trips each day, and the timing isn't always ideal. I am also still holding out hope they'll expand service to Washington, D.C. and I can totally eliminate the once-great, now-pathetic Amtrak Acela experience from my travel routine.
They also recently raised prices by $10, but it's still so much cheaper than flying or Amtrak (and not much more than gas prices for driving yourself!) that it's a non-issue.
What It Costs: LimoLiner is $89 each way, and you get a sandwich and drinks. You can book reservations online.
Recommended If You Like: The Sox-Yankees rivalry, I95, making the honk-honk arm gesture at semi drivers, being able to do email or surf the web while you travel
This post is one of a series of unsolicited testimonials. Please view that introductory post for more background information.