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Hartford, CT to NYC-train vs. bus

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Feb 25th, 2011, 06:48 PM
  #1
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Hartford, CT to NYC-train vs. bus

We've planned a short getaway (3 days) to NYC in a couple of weeks and are weighing the options of train vs bus; it's our first trip into the city. Metro North, Amtrak, Peter Pan--which to choose? Also, what are your thoughts for the best stations to park (availability of spaces, cost, etc)?
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Feb 25th, 2011, 08:23 PM
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I always take Metro North and park in New Haven. Parking garage but very reasonable and secure. Is there even a bus to get to NYC?
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Feb 26th, 2011, 04:46 AM
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Metro North from New Haven is the way to go. We park just outside of the garage in the fenced in area: it's nearly directly across the street from the Police station. Very secure. It'll cost about $20.00 a night in New Haven, so not a bad value: less than $1.00 an hour.

Take the train right into Grand Central Terminal. If you've never been to the city before, this will be a great introduction to the rest of your stay.

You can search around the internet a little to get more information about Grand Central Terminal: There's a self-guided audio tour available for the train terminal. Look for the untouched tile on the ceiling that was left during the restoration to show how the years took their toll on the place. You can visit the Whispering Corner next to the Oyster Bar restaurant, and go in to have a glass of champagne and a plate of the freshest oysters outside of Cape Cod:
http://oysterbarny.com/

There's a food court on the lower level of GCTerminal (it's not a station, but rather a terminal: the end of the line) where you can find among other choices for lunch, a Junior's Cheesecake and an outpost of Magnolia Bakery. Restrooms are easily found here too. Don't worry about the line, it moves along at record speed and the bathrooms are monitored and very clean. Upstairs, you'll find Grand Central Market where you'll find locals buying things like cheese at Murray's Cheese Shop (he's also in the W. Village) or perhaps a boiled lobster and a freshly baked baguette for dinner.

You'll be able to buy your Metro card at GCT and take a subway to where you need to be. Or leave the building and hail a NYC Yellow Cab (don't get in a rogue cab, there seemed to be a lot of these recently. Just say 'no thanks' if they stop and offer you a ride). Or take a bus. GCT is a convenient way to start your trip and much more than just a place to arrive.

As you can see, GCT is one of my favorite places in NYC.
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Feb 26th, 2011, 06:39 AM
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OK - MetroNorth doesn;t go to Hartford. You can pick it up in New Haven - or Waterbury I think. But then have to drive there and store you car. Amtrak does go.

Have you googled each option to see schedules and prices for your date? And figured out where you would leave your car in each case?

Where is your hotel - are you better off coming into Grand Central or Penn Station?

Also - how many is "we"? If there are more than 2 of you it might be easiest/cheapest to just drive to NYC and park your car at the hotel. (Amtrak RT fares for 4 people will run close to $300.)
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Feb 26th, 2011, 07:49 AM
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I believe Megabus also runs the Hartford/NYC route. You can get tickets for as cheap as $1 (I just bought r/t bus ticket Boston <-> NYC for $2.50 - $1 per ticket + $0.50 ticketing fee). www.megabus.com
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Feb 26th, 2011, 08:44 AM
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The parking lot at the Hartford Amtrak station is dismal and I'm not a huge fan of the bus station in Hartford either. I always feel so safe in NYC and so Not safe in Hartford. Anyway, Amtrak to GCT is more expensive than Metro North out of New Haven.

If you do take the bus, taking Megabus is a good option. Just avoid Fungwah busline; they're a disaster waiting to happen.
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Feb 26th, 2011, 08:49 AM
  #7
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I haven't checked lately, but I believe Megabus pick-up/drop-off point is at the Hartford Convention Center, which I believe is in a nicer area than the Hartford Peter Pan bus station.
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Feb 26th, 2011, 11:49 AM
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Metro-North is your best bet... but from New Haven and NOT Waterbury. Service, at best, from Waterbury is awful. And for the moment they are only offering bus service.

CT Rail Commuter Council
www.trainweb.org/ct
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Feb 26th, 2011, 11:52 AM
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It really depends on whether comfort (any train), convenience (Amtrak from Hartford) or budget(bus or metro north) is most important to you. The train is infinitely more comforable and more reliable than the bus, but you either have to drive to New Haven for the Metro North train or pay a fortune for the Amtrak train from Hartford. For information on parking costs at New Haven, here's the Metro North map, click the station and you'll get parking info or a phone number to call. http://www.mta.info/mnr/html/mnrmap....tml/mnrmap.htm There's also a Metro North train from Waterbury.

Agree if you're considering the bus for budget reasons, check prices on megabus.com and boltbus.com
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Feb 26th, 2011, 05:10 PM
  #10
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Very helpful (as always)!
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Jun 8th, 2011, 10:27 AM
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Quick update for anyone doing a search in teh future. Megabus hnow has service from Downtown hartford direct to mid-town. Dirt chear, clean busses and a pleasent ride - we love it!
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Jun 8th, 2011, 10:28 AM
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without the typos:

Quick update for anyone doing a search in thefuture. Megabus now has service from Downtown Hartford direct to mid-town. Dirt cheap, clean busses and a pleasant ride - we love it!
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Jun 8th, 2011, 04:42 PM
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How much for the bus ride and what's the parking situation in Hartford?
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Jun 8th, 2011, 04:43 PM
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Sorry: The last question was directed to seafox.
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