While it might be tempting to hop on a flight between New York City and Washington DC, there are just 226 miles between these showstopping cities. For a fast and affordable transport option, the bus is best.
Taking the bus might not be the most glamorous way to travel between these two stylish cities, but it is the cheapest. With a journey time of little more than four hours, taking the bus is only marginally slower than the Amtrak too, which averages 3 hours 30 minutes. Once you’ve taken into account check-in and travelling out of the city to an airport, it’s even more convenient than flying. There are now dozens of bus companies offering services throughout the day. Taking the bus makes financial and logistical sense, but which to choose? If you’re considering making the journey, we’ve compared the best bus services based on price, journey duration, customer reviews, ease of booking and pickup points.
OurBus is one of the highest-rated bus companies in the United States, with a Trust Pilot rating of 4.2. Customers have commented on excellent customer service, reliability and cleanliness onboard too. Busses are equipped with WiFi, power outlets, reclining seats and a sanitized bathroom, as well as a complimentary bottle of water. Services depart from midtown Manhattan, at Port Authority Gate #23, £25, 375 West 42nd Street and 51 Madison Avenue. Helpfully, you can track the precise location and time of arrival for your specific bus using a link included in your confirmation ticket email. Travel times average between 4.5 – 5 hours, making it one of the longer options on our list.
Now one of the best-known bus companies in Europe and the USA, FlixBus operates at least a dozen services between the two cities throughout the day. Prices are some of the cheapest we’ve found, averaging less than $27 a pop. Journey times range from 4 hours 10 minutes to 4 hours 50 minutes, depending on the time of day. Travellers with bikes can book a dedicated bike slot for an additional fee too, though you’ll need to book these in advance as spaces fill up quickly. Free WiFi, power outlets and a toilet are also available on board. According to customer reviews, FlixBus offers an extremely reliable service that rarely departs later than the scheduled time. Tickets are easy to book online too.
Megabus offers at least ten services from New York City to Washington D.C. per day. Busses depart as early as 03:30 am, making it a good option for those who need to be in Washington DC for the start of the working day. Buses only make two stops along the way, in Philadelphia and Baltimore. Passengers can bring one piece of luggage up to 20 kg and one small piece of hand luggage too. There’s free onboard WiFi, charging points and a toilet, and those with longer legs can pay a small fee for extra legroom. Like OurBus, you can track your coach before and on your journey with a tracker tool too.
Greyhound Bus is the most iconic and largest intercity bus service in North America. Its latest buses boast free WiFi, power outlets, extra legroom, seat belts and cup holders; a far cry from the busses most people might remember. Tickets are slightly more expensive than FlixBus and book up fast, though the Road Rewards program offers excellent perks, like one free companion pass with a paid full-fare ticket after six one-way trips. The swanky VIP lounge is a plus too, though you’ll need to get there early to get a seat.
Wanda Coach offers one of the speediest services between New York City and Washington DC, with an average journey time of 4 hours and 5 minutes. Buses feature free WiFi and movies on board, and tickets can be rescheduled for free. Passengers can bring one check-in cabin bag and one carry-on board for free. Oversize luggage will set you back an additional $10-20 per piece. Busses depart from Allen Street and Delancey Street and arrive at Chinatown H St NW and 6th Street NW. There is one morning service operated by VA Express, but most services depart after 5:00 pm, making it a good option for those looking to travel late.