Chinatown Bus

It used to be that you had to venture below the grime-caked pylons of the Manhattan Bridge, to a scene more reminiscent of Luoyang than of the Lower East Side, in order to catch a cheap bus ride between New York and Washington, DC. Even now at the intersection of East Broadway and Forsyth St, ticket hawkers scream out destinations in thick Cantonese accents–“DC, DC, DC!” “Philly, Philly!”–and grab the arms of passers-by toting luggage. Loading queues often disintegrate into a Hobbesian struggle to nab untaken seats.
. . .
Most recently, a Marriott executive founded DC2NY, a service between Washington and New York that guarantees customers seats if booked online and charges only slightly more than the Chinatown buses (a $40 round-trip versus $35). It also offers free bottles of water and Wi-Fi internet access. The “luxury” bus carrier has more than doubled its operation since its inaugural trip this summer. Watch as its older rivals start copying its perks.

The Chinatown express: Innovation brings emulation,” The Economist, October 27, 2007

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1 Comment on "Chinatown Bus"

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  1. wooot says:

    I love the Chinatown buses. And they’ve come so far in the past few years. Now we have Megabus, Bolt Bus, and all these other premium lines. It’s pretty sweet, if you ask me.

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