Cheap travel from NYC to Vermont
March 19, 2004 8:19 PM   Subscribe

What's a good and cheap way to get from New York City to Middlebury, Vermont without a car or jet pack? My gf is attending a summer session there and finding transportation tangled and expensive.
posted by scarabic to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
Greyhound. Under 7 hours, either 1 or no transfer, 80 bucks round trip. That doesn't seem too tangled, so it it too expensive?
posted by whatnotever at 8:34 PM on March 19, 2004

Or, Chinatown bus ($10), then transfer to Greyhound in Boston. Same length of time as above, but will end up being cheaper. I've found Fung Wah to be friendlier, cleaner, and more on-time than Greyhound, and they drop off about 2 blocks from the Greyhound stop in Boston (South Station).

Middlebury's a nice place. If either of you have the chance to see some of the state, be sure to check out the Ben & Jerry's factory and Cabot creamery. A very dairy weekend.
posted by whatzit at 9:18 PM on March 19, 2004

If this is for the summer only, consider getting a used, medium sized motorcycle. You could probably get a decent Suzuki or Kaw 500cc twin for a grand, and sell it at the end of the summer for only a small loss. Liability insurance is cheap, most maintenance can be DIY.

Only caveat I can think of is the issue of storing a bike in NYC. That needs to be checked out before proceeding, assuming you've read this far
posted by mojohand at 6:12 AM on March 20, 2004

This is a total constant quandary for me. I work in Rutland VT [an hour or so south of Middlebury right on Route 7] and went to NYC last weekend and *I* found that from here my best bet was to drive to New Haven and take a commuter rail from there -- both in terms of costs and time spent. With no car, your options limit severely. Amtrak to Rutland is not bad pricewise [$100 or so RT] and getting up to Middlebury is one road & one bus, so looking for rideshares or grabbing a bus is not insanely hard. If she just needs to get there in the beginning and get back at the end, I'd say Amtrak it to Rutland and find a way to school from there [heck, if the timing is right, *I'll* happily drive her]. If you're looking to visit often, you might try cheaper and easier Greyhound. If anyone on your gf's side might have a car, trains are way fast into Albany from NYC and then it's just the Albany - Middlebury leg that is rough, but doable. The Chinatown bus is fine if you wanna go to Boston for any reason, but Middlebury is really on the other end of the state and sort of far from Boston, lovely drive, but hard if she has a lot of stuff.
posted by jessamyn at 8:52 AM on March 20, 2004

I'll put in a strong voice of support for the NYC-Boston Chinatown buses. They rock! I think Greyhound charges $40 for the same trip Fungwah charges $15-20 for. Plus, they tend to be a lot saner than Greyhounds I've been on.

Another option, if you want to be hard-core, is to go by bicycle. It's fun, intense, and, if my knowledge of girlfriends is still at all accurate, a big hit with the ladies when you undergo long, strenuous journeys on their behalf. Judging from Mapquest, it will be about 4 to 6 days each way, depending on your physical condition and how big the Apallachians are. Or you could walk it on the AT, which would take about two and a half weeks, I'm guessing.

Both of these are definitely both cheap and good ways to travel...
posted by kaibutsu at 12:12 PM on March 20, 2004

The kicker, though, is to ONLY travel with Fung Wah. The competition, while they charge the same price, is pretty substandard and some operators have ties to organized crime.

Enjoy the $10 fare while it lasts, as it is pretty unsustainable given the recent increase in gas prices.
posted by calwatch at 10:22 PM on March 20, 2004

Response by poster: Great information. Thanks, all!
posted by scarabic at 12:19 PM on March 21, 2004

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