Bronx to Boston: What's the fastest way?
November 20, 2009 3:10 PM   Subscribe

My question is a simple transportation one - I'll be in the Bronx for an interview near the Albert Einstein College of Medicine on a Tuesday. I'll probably be done around 2 or 3, but then would like to get down to Boston by dinnertime (7 or so).

Can anyone suggest to me the quickest way to get there? I'm not sure if I should aim for a plane, or a train, and would love to hear if anyone has suggestions... cost is less of an object, getting down there is the higher priority.
posted by archofatlas to Travel & Transportation (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not going to happen.

To go by train you'd have to get to Penn Station and take Amtrak. You'd be contending with all the rush hour traffic getting to Penn Station and then all the rush hour rail traffic between here and Boston.

To go by plane you'd have to get to LaGuardia, again contending with rush hour traffic.

I'd say you'd be luck to get to Bostom by 9PM.
posted by dfriedman at 3:16 PM on November 20, 2009

Delta, American, and Jet Blue all operate shuttles from JFK to Logan Airport. The flight itself takes about an hour and a half. Getting from the Bronx to JFK I can't really speak to, but it won't take 2+ hours so it's not something you'll need to stress about.

Boston is significantly north of New York. Most people would say "get up there"
posted by telegraph at 3:18 PM on November 20, 2009

Best answer: Are we talking Boston, MA? That's up, not down! Personally, if getting up to Boston as early as possible is the goal, I'd fly. At 2-3, you can take a cab to Laguardia/JFK pretty quickly (that's not rush hour Dfriedman!). The shuttle wants you to check in about 30-60 minutes early, and the flight is something like an hour or an hour and a half. Plus, there's some flexibility on which plane you get on, should you think you'll be done at 2, but actually get done at 3.

Train is more of a hassle, and you'd likely need an Acela to get to Boston by 7. I'd budget an hour to get to Penn station, then the ride is something like 3.5 hours; 4:15 or something on the regional. The upside is you can stay connected by phone and plug your laptop in and walk up and down the aisle. Plus, it's cheaper.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 3:21 PM on November 20, 2009

Rent a car and drive. Google maps estimates 3 hrs 15 minutes driving time.
posted by SLC Mom at 3:21 PM on November 20, 2009

Also, I have to add because of dfriedman's major league naysaying, you can take the subway from the Bronx to Penn Station (1 hour), and the Acela train to Boston (3.5 hours) = probably gonna make it there by dinner time. Plane is still faster, though.
posted by telegraph at 3:22 PM on November 20, 2009

Taking the 1/3 to Penn and jumping on a high speed amtrak is probably your best bet. Depending on how early you get out and what the train schedule is, this might be doable. The fastest amtrak is around 2.5 hours into boston but the slower (and cheaper ones) are more like 3-3.5.
posted by shownomercy at 3:23 PM on November 20, 2009

Best answer: If you can get a 5 pm flight out of LGA (and Delta has them) I think you have a shot, but making that flight would pretty much require that you be out of the interview by 2:30, and in a taxi immediately thereafter.

Getting from Einstein to LGA would be your biggest hurdle, from my perspective. Although Einstein is a hop-skip-jump from the Whitestone Bridge, which is in turn close to LGA on the Queens side, the Hutchinson River Parkway and Whitestone are pretty much jacked up 24 hours a day. You'll have a better shot of it if the driver takes Eastchester, to Tremont, to Lafayette, past St. Raymond's to the Hutch service road to avoid the bulk of the Hutch nightmare getting onto the Whitestone Bridge. Forget JFK - the Van Wyck is also a disaster, and you'll never make it.
posted by deadmessenger at 3:26 PM on November 20, 2009

shownomercy - the 1 runs up Broadway, and would require an hourlong crosstown bus. The D would be a slightly better choice, but the best bet from Einstein would be to take a cab to the 2 @ Pelham Parkway.
posted by deadmessenger at 3:28 PM on November 20, 2009

Another way of doing this would be to take a cab to the Mt. Vernon or Pelham Metro North Stations, and then take the New Haven Line to New Rochelle, where you can get the Regional. Getting to New Rochelle will probably take, 15-20 minutes? Not sure--Metro North to New Roc City (ugh) takes 30 minutes, so much less than that, given that you're in the Bronx.

Yes, that is neat as a pin.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 3:32 PM on November 20, 2009

Admiral Haddock, if you're going to do that (and the Amtrak Regional might not be a bad idea at all), my advice would be to the taxi straight to New Rochelle and don't muck around with Metro North. Mt. Vernon, Pelham, and New Rochelle are all neighboring towns, and to go to the New Rochelle station would only add 5 minutes or so to the taxi ride (going up Boston Road), eliminating one connection in the process.
posted by deadmessenger at 3:45 PM on November 20, 2009

Best answer: That may well be, deadmessenger--skipping Metro North is always a good plan, in my book. The cab ride can't be particularly expensive; certainly much less than a ride to the airport.

Looks like there's a regional from New Rochelle at 2:27 getting in at 6:25 and a 3:57 getting in at 7:53.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 3:52 PM on November 20, 2009

Best answer: Nthing Taxi--> New Rochelle --> Amtrak via taxi plan.
posted by amethysts at 4:13 PM on November 20, 2009

Best answer: By train:

1. Also nthing the taxi to New Rochelle. In New Rochelle, you can hop on the 176 Northeast Regional train, which arrives in New Rochelle at 3:57 p.m., and gets to Boston by 7:45 to 8 pm. If you take this train, buy tickets in advance because it sells out.

2. The Acela is faster than the Northeast Regional, but you'll have to go to Penn Station to get it, it doesn't stop in New Rochelle. As Telegraph says, if you take the subway to Penn Station, you won't have to worry about traffic. Hopstop says your trip will take an hour and 17 minutes.

So if you make it to Penn Station by 4:00, or 4:05, there are two Acela trains that reach Back Bay by 7:35 and 7:33, respectively.
posted by Ashley801 at 4:42 PM on November 20, 2009

You'll have to hop on a subway train to downtown Manhattan, but check out Lucky Star Bus. They run about hourly, only cost about $15 one way, and take however long it takes a bus to go from NYC to Boston. If you move fast enough you might make decent time.
posted by Aversion Therapy at 5:52 PM on November 20, 2009

If money is not the issue and time is, rent the car. You will be there in plenty of time. If you want to take the train, going north to get to Stamford to take the Acela would be the way I would figure it. It does involve the Metro North gig. Putting aside the issues with Metro North, there are just too many connections, transfers and places where something can go wrong. My second choice after driving would be to check flights from White Plains airport (HPN) to Boston. Take cab to the airport. Or, check flights from LaGuardia (LGA). Going to Kennedy will take too long and will put you at much greater risk of traffic.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:34 PM on November 20, 2009

another vote for renting a car. it is likely the only way to make it on time.
posted by smersh at 12:52 AM on November 21, 2009

Response by poster: Much thanks to all the excellent answers - in rereading the email from the interview day, I think that I can get out of the interview before 2 - gonna email on Monday to find out. If that's the case, I'll arrange for a taxi to New Rochelle and then Amtrak it down, er, up, to Boston (I've always been terrible with geography). If I can't leave 'til later (after 2) then I think I could still make it down to Penn Station for the Acela.

The car is probably too much hassle; I'll otherwise just have to give up the idea of making it there in time for dinner, which would not be ideal, but them's the tough breaks.

Thanks y'all, I couldn't have figured this out without you.
posted by archofatlas at 11:16 AM on November 21, 2009

Response by poster: Oh, I should say that the flight option looks viable - I might consider that as well.

Again, thanks!
posted by archofatlas at 11:21 AM on November 21, 2009

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