How To Get From Boston To New York City
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Boston and New York City are separated by roughly 215 miles making it quick, easy and affordable to travel between the two locations whether it be for a long weekend or because long-haul flights are cheaper in one city than they are in another.
The cheapest way to get from Boston to New York City is on the bus (FlixBus, Greyhound, OurBus, and Peter Pan Lines all operate on this route). However, it’s not the quickest method, instead, that’s either plane or train depending on where in Boston / New York you are coming from / want to go.
That’s because in New York City especially it can take well over an hour to go from one of the city’s airports to another neighbourhood in the city.
Given this, it’s well worth considering the total door-to-door travel time rather than just the travel time on the mode of transport between the two cities.
Amtrak trains are often the fastest way of getting from Boston to New York, especially if you’re looking to arrive within walking distance of the action in Times Square and lower Manhattan.
Amtrak operates two services on this route;
- The Acela
- The Northeast Regional
Between the two services, there are more than 30 daily departures with the earliest starting at around 5:00am and arriving in New York City just after 08:00am and the last leaving at around 9:30pm and arriving in New York just after midnight.
Train tickets for both services can be purchased online via the Amtrack website and are typically cheapest roughly 30 days out from the departure date.
However, for those looking to make a last-minute journey you can purchase tickets at the train station directly.
Of course with so much similarity between the two train services it’s worth noting the differences and subsequently which one might be best for your journey.
The Acela service is a high-speed train that makes fewer stops between Boston and New York when compared to the Amtrack Northeast Regional train.
As a result the journey between the two locations typically takes 3 hours and 15 minutes in total, with 15 departures from Boston available daily.
The Amtrak Acela departs from the following stations in Boston;
- Boston South Station (BOS)
- Boston Back Bay Station (BBY)
The Acela arrives at New York, NY – Moynihan Train Hall (NYP) and New York Penn Station (NWK).
However, this high-speed service comes at a cost, with the average one-way ticket costing;
- Business Class: $150
- First Class: $350
There are no coach seats available on Acela trains.
Business class seats are extremely spacious and comfortable and provide guests with; a footrest, power outlets and free Wi-Fi.
Meanwhile, First class seats are available in single, double and conference table seating and come with at-seat service with complimentary meals and beverages throughout your journey.
The Amtrak Northeast Regional makes more stops between Boston and New York City when compared to the Acela trains and subsequently, the journey time is roughly 4 hours and 15 minutes.
However, for budget travellers, this slightly longer journey time may be worthwhile since the average price for a one-way ticket is typically between $30 and $40.
Northeast Regional trains depart from the following stations in Boston;
- Boston’s South Station (BOS)
- Back Bay Station (BBY)
Northeast Regional trains arrive in to the following stations in New York;
- New Rochelle (NRO)
- Moynihan Train Hall (NYP)
For those looking to head a little further afield to New Jersey, this train also calls at;
- Pennsylvania Station (NWK)
- Liberty International Airport (EWR)
- Metropark (MET)
There are roughly 18 Northeast Regional departures from Boston to New York daily, and although the trains aren’t as nice as the Acela the seats are still relatively comfortable and free WiFi is available onboard.
One of the quickest options for getting between Boston and New York City is flying with a journey time of just one hour and 15 minutes.
The airlines that operate a direct flights from Boston to New York include;
- Delta Air Lines
- United Airlines
- American Airlines
The cost for a round-trip flight from Boston to New York is comparable across all airlines and is typically anywhere from $170 to $350.
While the flight time between Boston and New York may seem favourable the total travel time may be significantly higher and be very comparable to that of a train, driving or bus.
Flights from Boston depart from Boston Logan International Airport in the northeast of the city.
The MBTA blue line operates a circular route to the airport from downtown Boston every 9 minutes with the journey taking roughly 20 minutes in total.
Of course, you’ll still want to ensure you arrive at Boston Logan International Airport in time to check in (where applicable), drop bags (where applicable) and head through security to your gate for boarding.
The most common airports to fly into New York are;
LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
LaGuardia airport is in New York, just 9 miles from Times Square and is the closest airport to Midtown Manhattan.
From here you can either take a taxi (inc Lyft or Uber) into the city center or take the free LaGuardia Link Q70 bus that connects to the subway.
The total journey time from the airport into the city is usually around 45 to 50 minutes.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
John F. Kennedy is the most popular international airport in New York and is roughly 17 miles from Times Square.
From this airport, you can either take a taxi (inc Lyft or Uber) into the city or take the AirTrain to connect to the subway or the Long Island Railroad into Manhattan.
On public transport, it’s roughly just over 30 mins from JFK to Times Square.
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
Newark airport is located in New Jersey and is 17 miles from Times Square in Manhattan. From here you can take the Express Service into the city, or take the AirTrain to connect to NJ Transit. The journey usually takes around 50 mins on public transport.
If you have access to a car whether it be your own or a rental (although be sure to check the agreements on whether or not you’re able to cross state lines) then a great option for travelling between New York City and Boston is driving.
The distance between Boston and New York is 215 miles and as a result, the drive can take as little as 4 hours and 10 minutes.
However, with heavy traffic, this can stretch to five or even six hours, especially if you’re travelling during rush hour or during busy holidays.
If you have access to your own vehicle, then driving is the cheapest option because all you’ll need to pay for is;
- Toll roads (depending on the route you take)
However, if you have to rent a car on top of this then you’ll be looking at an additional $50 to $100 per day with additional charges if you don’t want to make the return journey and instead want to drop the rental car at a different location.
In most cases, you won’t need access to your car once you arrive in New York City and it can be extremely difficult to find street parking, with garage parking often costing in the region of $50 per day.
Therefore while driving provides a lot of flexibility it’s not for everyone.
Taking the bus is one of the best ways to travel between Boston and New York with the cost of a one-way ticket costing between $30 and $40 on average.
There are several bus companies that operate services on this route including;
- Peter Pan Lines
All of the bus service companies offer similar services and amenities including air conditioning, complimentary WiFi, power outlets and onboard restrooms and all buses depart from Boston South Station and arrive at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City.
Therefore it’s often a case of who offers the best deal or has the best departure times (or a combo of the two).
The journey between Boston and New York City is advertised by the bus companies as taking 4 hours and 20 minutes. However, this can often be significantly higher depending on traffic and road conditions.
As such we recommend allocating at least five hours to your journey and keeping in mind that it can take even longer if you’re travelling during rush hour.
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