Boltbus Reviewed (with updates)

I rode Boltbus on its opening weekend, March 28, 2008. The bus was only a quarter full despite having been sold out. The secure wifi network (WEP) clocked in at 3911.3 kb/s. The The seats were comfortable. The bus even had a new car smell. I can only find 3 faults, perhaps 4, with the company: (1) the trip is 30 mins longer than its competitors in the DC-NY market (4.50 hours), (2) a 4 ft tall plexiglass gate separates passengers from the driver, which can make the bus feel like a prison bus once the plexiglass is worn down, (3) dim reading lights, and (4) (maybe a negative) no pit-stop.


UPDATED February 28, 2013: After 184 trips now, I can say Boltbus is now like the old Greyhound. The customer service is lacking (although I think the supervisors are still helpful), the quality of the bus has slipped (e.g., over head lights are often burnt out, cushions are worn out, and seats are often broken), and the prices have increased to nearly $40 one way on the NY-DC route. I can’t remember when I last saw a $1, which Boltbus likes to advertise. The only positive is their website. It’s still cleaner than many others. Sadly, I can no longer recommend Boltbus.


UPDATED January 18, 2011: I've taken Boltbus over 120 times by now. The agents at the H St and Union Station locations in DC and the 34th St location in NY all board by groups so there is no longer a mad dash to the bus. But, as would be expected with any growing company, some of the fixtures in the bus are aging. For instance, a few overhead lights are burnt out, the mechanism to lock the recline on a few seats are broken. There are not big problems. The only gripe I have with Boltbus now is that there is always one passenger who speaks on his or her cellphone for the entire trip. The bus drivers have improved greatly because they all announce at the beginning of the trip that all passengers should respect other passengers by not speaking on the cellphone for a long time.


UPDATED July 16, 2009: It was bound to happen. The service has declined dramatically, especially on the NY to DC route. They no longer observe group seating so people now make a mad dash to the door when they see the bus. The woman who works on weekends in NY is too rude to work in customer service. The DC to NY route, however, to Boltbus' credit, is still good. The service is nice and the group seating is observed.


UPDATED July 28, 2008: I've probably taken Boltbus 20+ times since March, including a trip from DC to Boston via NY. The internet speed is much slower. I think it's a cellphone connection. The more users connected to the network, the slower the speed. So now, the speed now is comparable to dial-ups circa 1996.


The upholstery seats have been replaced on most NY-DC buses to fake leather seats. It feels better and looks much cleaner. That's probably because it's easier to clean. No new car smell anymore though.]


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Taken on March 28, 2008