Saturday, July 26, 2008 Wide spaces and WiFi - NYC-PHL

As I am writing to you all, I'm aboard the motorcoach provided by heading from 34th and 8th Ave towards Philadelphia's 30th between Market & Chestnut. It's my first time traveling this way where I would normally take my car for the two hour drive. But, because I had had work late the previous evening, I didn't want to sit behind the wheel for the long, monotonous journey this morning. Besides, have you seen the price of gas lately?

I had scoured the net earlier this week to find the least expensive manner to get to Philly and found there's plenty of choices. Friends of mind recommended taking the NJ Transit to Trenton, then switch over to SEPTA (Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority) direct into the city's center. I had that in mind when I spotted online and queried the round-trip fare. The result was a mere $20.00 vis Todays motorcoach, which is one of many of the Chinatown coaches criss-crossing the NE corridor of the USA. Early in its inception, these transports were the result of immigrants needing to get to and from the respective enclaves for employment as well as family gatherings.

As I researched further on the net yielded and I became intrigued. For about $5.50 more, I could get more legroom and the ability to get onboard power & free WiFi. Plus, Boltbus offers a reward program that offers a free trip after eight paid. For example, you buy four round-trips and you get one-way free. Well, shoot, that sounds like a winner to me. I then quickly scanned the fare and suitably paid throught their secure website. You're issued an e-ticket for each trip, allowed two pieces of luggage, bulky items like strollers and bikes are permissible without charge.

The queue boarding the bus was moderate and choosing a place to sit meant you had check for a power outlet located on third of the seats. True to form, the motorcoach is very roomy and comfortable. If only we had cup holders for our drinks and drop-down table for the laptop, this would have been ideal. I quickly logged onto the WiFi network which read "boltbus" and quietly browsed the web and caught up on email.

The glitch came on the return trip back to NY where our 6pm bus arrived about 25 minutes late due to an accident near the Lincoln Tunnel. The bus driver apologized and mentioned that they attempted to contact us via SMS which didn't occur. Luckily, we had a pleasant afternoon to stand in the open air however if there was any where to stand under a canopy during inclement weather, there were none.

Overall, the trip was a bargain. Considering the savings in tolls, fuel, wear & tear on your car, I would repeat the process. Easy to use website, friendly service and amenities that's hard to beat makes Boltbus a winner.

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