Taking A Bus From Washington, DC to NYC: Here's What You Need To Know

By Dyonna Bass

A few weeks ago Lawrence and I decided that we would venture beyond state lines and use a three-day weekend to explore NYC. There are a multitude of ways you can get from Washington, DC to NYC, whether by car, train, bus, or plane. After plenty of research and comparison we chose to take the bus, here’s why…..

1. Cheaper than all other options:

You may think it will be cheaper to drive your own car for such a short trip, but having a car in a place like NYC, costs can quickly add up! Depending upon where you stay there may be a charge to park on the premises. Another factor you must take into consideration is the cost for tolls because traveling north you are bound to encounter quite a few. And of course, your gas tank will not be happy! The cost per person for our roundtrip tickets was only $40. Compared to train tickets (one way tickets starting at $86.00 = $172 roundtrip/person) we spent about $130 less on bus fare. *Flying is also an option if you are in an extreme time crunch and that would’ve cost about $150 per person roundtrip.


2. Stress Free:

Beyond the cost, when you don’t drive in NYC, you can avoid the stress of congestion and traffic, which Lawrence and I absolutely HATE. What’s better for a stress free trip than a nap? I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite parts about not being the driver or the navigator, is the beautifully long nap that comes along with it. Along with sleeping, Lawrence and I watched a movie, ate an abundance of snacks that would be difficult to eat while driving (fruits that needed to be peeled), and we even wrote some blog notes and outlines!

3. Plenty of scheduling options:

There are sooooooooo many options when trying to pick the best time to depart from your destination, or even when you’d prefer to arrive. Traveling by bus to a common destination like NYC has become a norm, forcing bus companies to add more options for frugal travelers like ourselves.


1. It can take a long time:

If you are in a time crunch and in desperate need to get to NYC quickly, the bus is not the best option for you. It took about 4 hours to reach NYC from Washington. We didn’t mind of course because we knew what to expect.

2. Leg room can be scarce:

Two very tall people sitting on a bus for 4.5 hours can get very “crampy”. Yes, I just made that word up….but you know what I mean. After a while your legs get kind of sore and achy when there is no room for you to stretch. I will say that both buses we traveled on had foot rests, which made us a lot more comfortable.

3. If you have to pee, you better hold it:

I’m going to take this time to say, when doing your research, if you know you have to pee quite a bit, make sure you book seats on a bus that has a restroom. Although bus bathrooms are not the best, as you can imagine, having the option to go is always best. Luckily, neither one of us had to. We were too busy napping...


  1. Be sure to use Google Maps to look up your bus pick up location, as well as your drop off location. It is important that you know where your bus will depart from and where you will get dropped off. While some bus companies like MegaBus pick up their customers from big locations like Union Station, smaller companies pick up from cross streets. For example, Lawrence and I left from “801 Pennsylvania Ave SE btwn 8th St SE & D” (This is exactly what the website said). The good news is there are signs posted at pick up locations which should make it easier for you to find once you are in the general vicinity.

  2. Knowing your drop off location can help with decisions about your lodging, or at least help you decide how you will get to your final destination. Most bus companies will drop you off in the city center, making getting to your final destination much easier.  

  3. Use to find your bus (or train) tickets. It’s easy to navigate and has all of the best options on one site so you do not have to click through a bunch of tabs while comparing options.

Whatever you decide, be sure to have fun, take it all in, and enjoy the ride! Let us know in the comments below if you've ever taken a bus trip to NYC. Did you enjoy it or hate it with a passion?

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