Chinatown bus from Providence to NYC: Does it exist?
August 29, 2008 9:16 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any information about a Chinatown bus that goes from Providence to NYC?

One time, I was walking down Thayer st. and saw an ad for a $15 bus that left from downtown Providence and went to New York. I took down the phone number on the ad--but I lost it. And the Internet has no knowledge of this bus!

Do any Providence Mefites know about this bus? Does anyone know how I could get a ticket? Thanks!
posted by goingonit to Travel & Transportation around San Clemente Island, CA (15 answers total)
Peter Pan Bus makes that trip. It's sort of a Chinatown bus.
posted by defreckled at 9:31 PM on August 29, 2008

i googled for providence + chinatown + bus + "new york" and this was one of the results:

it's a more than a year and a half old so i did some research and the bus companies he mentions other than the thayer/canal bus no longer service providence/new york. he says, "It's a large van that leaves from Thayer St. in front of Store 24 at 730 every morning," and that he got the number for it from his friend, so i would either email him for the number or better yet, go to store 24 and ask if they've got the contact info.
posted by lia at 9:38 PM on August 29, 2008

defreckled: peter pan charges 35 to 45 one way! not quite chinatown bus prices.
posted by lia at 9:38 PM on August 29, 2008

Response by poster: lia: the problem is I'm in New York and want to go to Providence, so Store 24 is 200-something miles away. But I'll ask the guy behind the counter next time I'm there.

defreckled: what lia said. Peter Pan *used* to be cheap ($50 for a student round trip ticket!), but now it's expensive, almost as much, sometimes, as the much-more-pleasant Amtrak.
posted by goingonit at 10:51 PM on August 29, 2008

goingonit, i thought you were in providence because your question mentioned thayer and not canal. the post i linked to also says: "the destination is 43 Canal St in Manhattan, very close to the East Broadway station where you can take the F train to practically anywhere. As far as I recall, it leaves the same address in Manhattan at 530 every day - although I might need to check that again - to come back to Providence. It costs 15$."

43 canal is between ludlow and orchard, go there instead and ask around.
posted by lia at 11:35 PM on August 29, 2008

If you have some time (6 hours?) to kill, take Megabus to Boston from NYC, and then get the MBTA commuter rail (less than $8 one way) to Providence. A bit circuitous but cheeeeap.
posted by mdonley at 12:29 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Fung Wah seems to be "the" Chinatown bus. I saw some sites talking about it going to Providence, but their official site doesn't mention it. I would call or email them to find out if they stop there.
posted by knave at 4:31 AM on August 30, 2008

i just called fung wah—they only do new york-boston.
posted by lia at 7:10 AM on August 30, 2008

The Boston Globe did a piece comparing Chinatown bus lines between Boston and NYC here. You could check with the five bus lines listed to see if they go to Providence.
posted by A Long and Troublesome Lameness at 8:04 AM on August 30, 2008

It'll still be cheaper than Peter Pan if you take the Fung-Wah to Boston and then get on the commuter rail from South Station to PVD. Commuter rail, IIRC, is $7.75 one way. It'll take longer, but if your main concern is saving $$, it'll be cheaper.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:48 AM on August 30, 2008

If the Chinatown bus to Boston is $15 and the commuter rail is $7.75, that's not much of a savings over buying a Greyhound (not Peter Pan) 7-day-advance ticket ($23.) I believe you can also get the 7-day-advance price without buying in advance if you qualify for their various discounts (student, AAA, etc.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:25 PM on August 30, 2008

This isn't going to be much help, but there's definitely a Chinatown bus to Providence, I saw a sign for it when I took the one to Boston. There's a whole cluster of them downtown, just go by there and scope it out...
posted by apetpsychic at 9:26 PM on August 30, 2008

About a year and a half ago, I saw that Fung Wah had posted signs at their NYC ticket office about starting an NYC-Providence route, and to check back soon for details. The same info was on their official Web site. I checked back on the site every few weeks, but the details never came. Eventually all mention of the route was removed from the site sometime last summer. I'm assuming they weren't able to get the official okay anywhere in RI for drop-offs/pick-ups, especially because of all the bad press they've gotten for their buses in Boston.

As previously mentioned, Peter Pan's the cheapest and most direct bus route I've found. And it's definitely worth it to dig up a student ID for the discount. Hopefully sometime soon, one of these other low-cost bus companies will be able to break through (what I'm assuming is) a mix of red tape and (knowing Providence) cronyism and get into the RI market somehow.
posted by acorn1515 at 9:59 PM on August 30, 2008

There are Dominican buses that we like to call the "Reggaeton Racers" that will either pick you up or leave from Broad Street-ish. Message me for the number--I gotta ask a friend for it.

PS Just moved from PVD to NYC myself and am missing it very much.
posted by damsorrow at 8:12 PM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

Just did a bit of searching; looks like there's a "Dominican" bus line (Gonzalez Bus Lines; now renamed) that runs from 207th st (1 train stop) to Providence and back, 3 times a day each way. I called to verify; but haven't been up there myself. Various people say it's a van service. I called to check and they take reservations. It's $20 each way.

Gonzalez Bus Service; and contact info for their NY location:

Gonzales Bus Co
148 Post Ave, New York, NY 10034 (212) 304-9862

No guarantees as to the quality of the place, though.
posted by zonem at 6:24 AM on April 9, 2009

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