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All Things Travel: LimoLiner Beats Amtrak In Race From Boston To New York

BOSTON (CBS) – In a transportation race between Boston and New York, LimoLiner wins by a mile.

The transportation company that offers a deluxe coach bus ride from downtown to downtown is a better overall value based on a trip by this reporter a couple of weeks ago.

I chose LimoLiner for the trip to New York and Amtrak's Regional train for the return trip to Boston.

The scheduled time in both directions is about four-and-a half hours.

The American and Delta shuttles to the Big Apple were dismissed as possibilities because the price is higher and the wait longer. A trip to Logan Airport from the suburbs is unpredictable because of traffic, no matter when you leave your house or office. Then there are the TSA lines.

For the college crowd, around-the-clock bus service is available on Bolt, Greyhound, Megabus and Peter Pan from South Station in Boston. WiFi is available on all routes.

To be fair, one of the attractions for his reporter is that the LimoLiner departs from Dalton Street, in front of the Sheraton Boston Hotel, a five-minute walk from our condo. The Back Bay Railroad station is only five minutes further.

On board the LimoLiner coach, you relax in your leather seat on a new bus and the morning CNN news appeared on flat screen.

The attendant brings food to your seat and refills on coffee.

Everything goes smoothly until about six blocks from the arrival point at the New York Hilton on Sixth Ave. It takes more than 10 minutes to go the final four blocks due to truck deliveries and construction.

The daytime truck delivery is a problem in every city, including causing delays in Boston.

The trip home the next morning on Amtrak's Regional Business Class is fine once you get on board. The train coming from Washington is 10 minutes late. Once the departure gate is announced, there is a mad dash for the escalator to do down to the platform at Penn Station.

The seats are even roomier than on the bus. The conductor informs you that coffee and juice are available without charge three cars forward. There you find a copy of The Washington Post newspaper. It is worth noting that The New York Times weekday edition costs $2.50 at the Hilton gift shop.

Amtrak wins the award for the view of the seacoast from New Haven north.

LimoLiner wins on price at $99 (tax included) for the one-way New York trip. Amtrak's walk-up fare for the Regional is $126 (tax included) one way. Both offer early purchase discounts. The Acela has limited stops and is 30 minutes faster and more expensive.

LimoLiner wins in another area - the Hilton Hotel package. You can get a 20 percent room discount when you make an advance reservation. The New York Hilton arrival point saves you a taxi ride from Amtrak's Penn Station to your hotel.

My trip to Florida next winter will be on the overnight Auto Train from Virginia to Orlando. Train travel is fine, but should be faster. Security at train stations remains a problem.

"All Things Travel" reports with Bob Weiss can be heard on WBZ NewsRadio 1030


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