Livesinnewyork’s Blog

December 29, 2008

Amtrak vs. Chinatown Bus

Filed under: NYC — Tags: , , , — livesinnewyork @ 4:46 pm

My family being from Wilmington, DE, and me no longer having enough use for a car, I’ve been experimenting with public transportation.
It’s not a very long trip to Wilmington. Two hours on a good day. So far I’ve tried two methods: The Chinatown Bus and an Amtrak train.

Here are some of the observations I’ve made:

SEATING

Amtrak vs. Chinatown

Amtrak wins on seating. There’s more space, and even fold-down tables like on airplanes. I’ll give the Chinatown bus some credit, though, I’ve never seen this poorly-photoshopped face guy on my bus.

STATION

Amtrak vs. Chinatown

Penn Station can get crowded, but it’s clean, large, and heated. The bus that  I take (which doesn’t ONLY stop in Chinatown, surprisingly) picks me up at Macy’s on 34th and Broadway. While not a terrible area of town, it’s not warm. And you have to stand on the sidewalk ready to leap into the door to make sure you get a seat. Seriously. Last time I came back to NY on the bus a guy had to sit on a stool in the aisle because there were no seats left.

PASSENGERS

Amtrak vs. Chinatown

A clear winner here, Amtrak generally transports guys (and gals) in suits, or people on long trips with luggage. On my last trip to Delaware a man boarded in Trenton, sat next to me and played brickbreaker on his Blackberry until he got off in Philadelphia. I read my book. We didn’t even look at eachother. Wonderful. On my last trip to New York on the Chinatown bus I was the last person who didn’t have to sit in the ailse to board the bus. This meant I got to sit next to an obnoxios guy  drinking out of a paper bag (smelled like vodka, could have been rum…not sure) and talked on his phone to a girl he wanted to be his wifey. As I got off of the bus he grabbed my leg, told me “you special” and asked me to marry him. Sadly, I was proposed to last week by a Mexican cook named Nacho, and while I didn’t say yes, I didn’t say no.  Point: Amtrak.

PRICE

Amtrak vs. Chinatown

$52-$134   /   $20

Unfortunately for me, Chinatown wins.

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