Greyhound will offer new nonstop service from Baltimore to New York beginning May 10 as part of the expansion of its Express bus line into the Northeast.
The Express bus is a premium service that includes a guaranteed seat for each rider and new environmentally friendly buses that offer free WiFi, leather seats, extra legroom and power outlets. In addition, fares start as low as $1 for the Express bus.
Greyhound introduced premium Greyhound Express in the Midwest last December, serving Chicago, Milwaukee, Cincinnati and Minneapolis, among a handful of other cities. Now, in partnership with Peter Pan Bus Lines, the new service will be offered in 14 markets.
Baltimore service will include eight daily round trips, leaving from the Greyhound terminal in downtown Baltimore and arriving at the New York Port Authority.
In addition to Baltimore, Greyhound Express will also serve Philadelphia and Washington from its New York hub. Service to those cities begins Wednesday. Service from Boston to New York began last week.
Dave Leach, president and CEO of Greyhound, said in a statement that the Northeast expansion was in response to growing ridership numbers. "The addition of the key commuter markets of Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Baltimore helps better meet the growing needs of our customers traveling to and from New York."
Greyhound already owns and operates BoltBus, which provides curbside service from Baltimore's Penn Station to New York. Boltbus also offers reserved seating, free WiFi and fares starting at $1.
Megabus.com, another popular bus line with $1 fares offers service from Baltimore to New York with passenger pickup in White Marsh.
Travel experts say recent increases in gas prices may be driving travelers to abandon their cars in favor of other transportation.
"If you factor in gas prices — the average today in Maryland is $3.96 — and then add parking, I would think it would be a welcome alternative for travelers," said Ragina Averella, a spokesperson for AAA-Mid-Atlantic. She said today's gas prices are just 9 cents shy of the state's record high in June 2008.
According to AAA's Fuel Cost Calculator, a round-trip from Baltimore to New York in a late-model car would cost about $65 in gas alone, not including tolls. Based on those estimates, a $1 bus fare seems an unbelievable bargain — if you can get it.
A quick check online for Greyhound Express showed round-trip fares starting at $28 for May 10. Round-trip tickets on Megasbus.com were starting at $26 on the same day, while Boltbus showed a $1 fare available for one-way. Tickets are nonrefundable.