Getting to Toronto from New York on a Saturday morning
August 24, 2011 5:09 PM   Subscribe

Alternative routes to Toronto for the Buskerfest. I'm in New York, I want to leave here early on Saturday morning. The trains are booked, the coaches take 13 hours and the planes are far too expensive. Can I get a train to somewhere else that's not too ridiculous, where I can change to get to Toronto? The Amtrak lady wasn't very helpful on the phone. Is my only hope a late bus (or late train) on Friday night? :(
posted by omnigut to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When do you want to arrive by? So you want to stay in NYC as long as possible and then get to TO for when?

Buskerfest is listed as Aug 25 - 28.
posted by miles1972 at 5:30 PM on August 24, 2011

Best answer: If you can get to Buffalo, bus service to Toronto is frequent and cheap (something like $20 one-way). There are several bus companies that seem to serve the route, including MegaBus. I have just randomly shown up at the bus terminal and chanced it on the next available bus; they're that frequent. The trip from Buffalo to Toronto is about 3 hours, depending on the time spent at Customs.
posted by Lexicographer at 5:40 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Lexicographer has it. Take the Amtrak Empire Service route to Buffalo or Niagara Falls, NY, and then a bus from there to Toronto.

The Empire Service has a train (#281) leaving 10:15 AM from Penn Station and arriving at Buffalo at 6:41 PM. There's also one (#283) departing 1:15 PM and arriving 9:36 PM.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 6:04 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

From Buffalo, there are bus connections to Toronto at:
7:40 pm (MegaBus)
8:10 pm (MegaBus)
9:30 pm (Greyhound)

MegaBus takes 2:30, Greyhound 3:00.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 6:10 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

(Which disqualifies the 1:15 PM train from NY. So I guess you have 1 train option and three bus options after that).
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 6:11 PM on August 24, 2011

The only train from the United States to Toronto is the Maple Leaf, and it typically takes at least four hours longer than the bus.

You're probably best off taking a bus that goes directly from New York to Toronto; that way, you aren't risking a missed connection.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:14 PM on August 24, 2011

I used to travel NYC to Toronto on the cheap a lot. I generally bused it; overnight isn't bad - take some sleeping pills and try to put yourself out. You only have to get out at the border.

Alternatively, fly to Buffalo and then get a bus. But that will probably be more expensive and be much more bother.

The trains always took longer than the bus when I looked.
posted by jb at 6:45 PM on August 24, 2011

Response by poster: Perfect, thanks. Now I just gotta make sure there's no hurricane on the way home :)
posted by omnigut at 6:49 PM on August 24, 2011

Alternatively, fly to Buffalo and then get a bus. But that will probably be more expensive and be much more bother.

Given the fact that you have to get from New York to one of the airports, go through security, and then get from the Buffalo airport to Toronto, you aren't saving too much time over the bus.

The train is longer because it goes by way of Albany, and it can take two hours (or more) to get through customs sometimes. And then there are usually delays on top of that.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:51 PM on August 24, 2011

Another piece of anecdata to warn you away from taking the train all the way to toronto: My experience has been that in addition to a longer route and more frequent stops, that because customs officials have to get on the train and check the passports of every single person on the train that the wait at the border is MUCH longer on a train than taking the bus. (Checking hundreds of passports vs checking 30.)

Also: i know of a few people who successfully set up ride shares on craigslist for things like this. You might want to put up an ad looking for a lift to toronto from buffalo, or heck, straight from NYC. Its amazing what people will offer in exchange for someone splitting the cost of the gas.
posted by Kololo at 9:05 PM on August 24, 2011

Kololo: The train that goes direct to Toronto is all booked up
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:20 PM on August 24, 2011

« Older Should I take this job just to be able to have a...   |   How often does your dog pee? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.