10 seconds. That’s how long it took for me to fall in love with luxury bus service company LimoLiner. I’ll tell you why in a moment.
The highly-traveled northeast corridor connecting New York City to Boston is a distance of 215 miles, but I can tell you there’s no perfect way to get from Point A to Point B. I should know. I’ve lived in the Big Apple for 14 years but go back to visit family in Beantown several times a year.
Flying gets you there fastest (65 minutes), until you add on the time needed to get to the airport and wind your way through security – not to mention the $60 cab ride from midtown. The train can be more efficient (3.5 hrs) and avoids traffic, but is still susceptible to delays and tickets run from $50 to $200 each way. Driving gives you freedom and can cut the trip to 3 ½ hours (Sunday morning, 6am), but traffic and weather can extend the trip to 5 hours or more.
Then there are traditional bus companies, a no-frills, low-budget option with tickets running about $20-$50 each way. However, sometimes half the battle is just getting to your seat, which is first come, first serve. Stalwarts Greyhound/Peter Pan depart from the basement of New York’s Port Authority (hint: not a great thing), while upstarts Bolt Bus and Megabus depart from NY’s city streets, often with disorganized lines stretching half a block for different routes (Boston? DC? Philly?). Any staff there generally aren’t helpful, and they seem to have an extraordinarily difficult time answering the one and only one question that every single customer has: “Am I in the right line for my bus?”
Which is why it took just 10 seconds for me to fall in love with LimoLiner. As I approached other travelers outside the Hilton Hotel on 53rd Street and 6th Avenue for my trip home for the holidays, an attendant named Jimmy – wearing a festive Santa hat – immediately came up to me, said hello, and asked for my ID. He checked me in, said, “Thank you very much Mr. Hopkinson,” and told me I’d be in seat 4B (no fighting for space).
The bus departed right on time, and I realized that Jimmy was going to be our “attendant” for the trip. As a luxury, “high-touch” bus service that started in 2003, for $89 each way LimoLiner provides a business-class, airline-style service to make sure your trip goes well. Frequent travelers earn a free ride for every 10 trips, and get 10% off hotel rooms at the New York Hilton Midtown and Hilton Boston Back Bay. Around the holidays (when airport travel is the worst), LimoLiner doubled down with a holiday film festival and donations for children in need. They plan on adding an additional early morning route in April 2016.
Seating – Let’s face it, if you’re going to be sitting for 4-5 hours, the right seat matters, and this is where LimoLiner has smartly invested their money. The seats are full leather, extra wide, recline generously, have 39” of legroom plus a footrest, a drink holder, dual arm rests, video screens, free pillows, fleece blankets, and headphones (decent ones!).
Food and drink – Included in the price of your ticket is a meal, drinks, and a snack. While I opted for the simple ham sandwich on my return to NYC, on the Boston leg I had a turkey dinner. Seriously… mashed potatoes, green beans, and stuffing included. A glass of wine is offered for passengers on all evening trips after 6 p.m.
Workstation – The service does its best to appeal to business travelers. The individual seats in the front of the bus all have solid fold-out trays for laptop use, while certain seats in the rear offer a full table in case a work team wants to collaborate. All seats have access to power outlets. The bus offers its own complimentary WiFi connection, but like other shared locations outside your home or office (flights, trains, your local coffee shop), the speed just isn’t there yet for major projects. It’s great for simple tasks like checking email, but slow load times can make jumping around on the web frustrating, and anything intensive like streaming video isn’t going to fly.
So is LimoLiner a perfect way to get from NYC to Boston? Until a platform can offer the magical combination of lowest price + shortest time + a guarantee of no traffic + true high speed internet, nothing will be flawless. But if you’re looking for the experience of a business class upgrade, with comfortable seats, free food and drink served to you with a smile, great working space, no airport hassles, at an affordable price, you need put LimoLiner at the top of your list and experience the difference.
Learn more: www.LimoLiner.com