Getting to New York from Swarthmore

<p>Assuming you find time once in a while with the Swarthmore workload... How difficult/expensive is it to get to New York City? Do people usually take trains/busses out of Philly (and how expensive is it?), or do they find someone to drive them?</p>

<p>You can take a train from Philadelphia, I think it costs about $30, but I am not sure about the price.</p>

<p>The cheap way, from what I've heard, is the Chinatown bus, but I am not sure how safe and/or reliable that is.</p>

<p>There are three easy options:</p>

<p>a) The most expensive is the Amtrak train, about $86 round trip from downtown Phila to Penn Station in NY. Swarthmore to downtown Phila on commuter rail then an hour and a half on the Amtrak train.</p>

<p>b) Much cheaper is to take the New Jersey Transit rail from downtown Phila. This involves changing trains in Trenton and takes about half an hour longer than Amtrak, but can be done for $30 round trip. This is the option my daughter has ended up using the most frequently (she's done them all). She's had a car at college this year and still takes the train to NY because who wants a car in Manhatten?</p>

<p>c) Cheapest option is bus. The Chinatown buses from downtown Phila to downtown NY are as cheap as $24 round trip. It's about a 2 hour ride. This is a good low cost option if a group of kids are going. Greyhound also offers some low cost fares if you ticket on-line. Not as cheap as the Chinatown buses, but still pretty cheap.</p>

<p>Overall, it's hard to beat the New Jersey transit trains.</p>

<p>BTW, Southwest and other low-cost airlines serve Philadelphia and it's usually possible to get dirt cheap fares between Phila and Boston, NY, Washington, etc. Cheaper than Amtrak. The problem is that ending up at LaGuardia Airport usually isn't that convenient if you are going to NYC for the weekend. But, it is very handy for breaks. My daughter has flown home to Boston for as little as $29 each way, and can almost always get $59 or $79 one way fares. She's also gotten decent fares to places like Atlanta and Miami for visiting friends on breaks. Phila is a good airport in terms of service and price.</p>

<p>And remember to be very careful, since the routes "can ... be very treacherous roads when it is snowing" (interesteddad's "contribution" from another thread) and there was a recent major news article about serious accidents on New Jersey highways.</p>

<p>The chinatown bus, imho is the best option. They are quite nice, newish coach busses, and the price is only marginally more expensive than tolls if you were driving (into nyc from philly is something like $18 in tolls, I think).</p>

<p>While I have no doubt that the New Jersey Turnpike can be slow going in a snow storm, I don't think the description "treacherous" would apply in quite the same way as a steep mountain road in New England during a snowstorm.</p>

<p>Of course, a typical New Jersey snowfall would have no impact on the rail service whatsoever.</p>

<p>sorry to interrupt, is it expensive to fly from phila to other places in US? Like Boston, Cal? How about to Vancouver?</p>

<p>We have found fares between Boston and Phila to be consistently inexpensive over the last four years. My daughter has gotten fares as low as $29 one way, more typically $59 to $79 each way.</p>

<p>Phila is served by a lot of airlines, so there is heavy competition among Southwest, USAir, Delta, and others.</p>

<p>And you still don't see how pathetic your "bias" appears to everyone else.</p>

<p>BTW, I noticed this article in another LAC's college newspaper. (I'm sure if I were as obsessive as someone else I know, I could find more -- but I'm not so "unbalanced.") Dorms</a> a 'disaster' for housekeeping after weekends</p>

sorry to interrupt, is it expensive to fly from phila to other places in US? Like Boston, Cal?



<p>I just checked. Southwest Airlines currently has prices from LAX in Los Angeles to Phila for $136 each way. Manchester NH (Boston area) to Phila starts at $49 each way right now.</p>

<p>ID, thanks..</p>

My S traveled from Swarthmore to NYC many times. The least expensive option he found was SEPTA to NJ Transit. There is a SEPTA station at the foot of campus. You take the SEPTA train to downtown Philly (could also connect to Amtrak there) and then continue on SEPTA to Trenton, NJ, and then switch to an NJ Transit train. He was sometimes able to coordinate the schedules to make an NJ Transit train with only a 7 minute "window." The NJ Transit train takes you to Penn Station in Manhattan, 34th St. & 7th Ave.
It is a longer trip than Amtrak, but it is significantly cheaper, and he found that he was always able to work on the train, do his reading, etc. If there is a Chinatown bus option now from Philadelphia, you would still need to take the SEPTA train into downtown Philly. The motor vehicle traffic on the Philly to NY corridor can be brutal at certain times, so the train might also be a better option in that sense.</p>

<p>SEPTA and the Chinatown bus are the cheapest, for sure, but if for some reason (bulky athletic equipment, whatever) you need fewer transfers and a simpler journey, Amtrak is worth a careful look - with a Student Discount Card you can pay less than the fare quoted above. Timing, kind of train, etc., can all affect the price, and sometimes it's worth making the trip simpler.</p>

<p>You can get even cheaper Philly-LA fares from Southwest if you don't mind making 1 to 2 stops or flying at off-times.</p>

<p>It's much more pleasant to be on a train or bus from there to NYC than brave the traffic on the NJ turnpike, esp as you approach NYC!</p>

<p>Septa R3 to Philly 30th St Station, where you Switch to R7 to Trenton where you pick up NJTransit to Penn Station NYC.
Caveat: The R3 goes from Swarthmore to West Trenton. But the West Trenton stop requires a cab or bus to the NJTransit Station. So don't ride the R3 to West Trenton. You must switch to the R7 at 30th Street Station for the direct connection to NJTransit in Trenton.
Daughter has also taken Chinatown bus in both directions numerous times with no problem. It helps if you are familiar with NYC subway system and can figure out how to navigate on foot in Chinatown to the F train for a quick trip to Midtown.</p>

<p>Usually for breaks, I take the greyhound using a coupon code NYPHLR and buy a roundtrip ticket for pretty cheap. What's great is they don't usually care what time your ticket says, you can leave whenever you want.
However, taking a bus means you end up at Port Authority.
If you take SEPTA/NJtransit-, I did it for a weekend trip, it cost me $30-$40 bucks and it was nice since the light let me do some reading on the way there. Taking the train brings you to Penn Station.
I found the bus is cheaper and does not take that much longer than the train but I usually choose which mode of transportation by the convenience of the destination.</p>