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admin 04.11.2013

The term "Chinatown bus" refers to any of the many bus companies that run out of tiny storefronts in New York's Chinatown to and from destinations around the US. New York's governor signed into law new regulations for Chinatown buses in 2012 requiring them to stop only at designated places. Despite the controversial nature of this business, for me theA Chinatown bus was an obvious choice. This was hardly my first time taking the 14- to 18-hour trip all the way down to Atlanta, so allow me to present myA guide to getting around on the Chinatown buses.
A bus ride costs only $2.75 and can be paid by either exact change (silver coins only) or using the same MetroCard that you use for the subway. Caleh Salih, 25, has traveled by rickety bus through poverty-stained India and war-torn Lebanon for her work with the non-profit International Crisis Group, "but nothing compares to the Fung Wah," she said.
Shuttling every half-hour between New York's Chinatown and Boston, Fung Wah was known for being fast, cheap, and blocking access to company safety records, which, after failing several safety inspections, is what lead the Department of Transportation in March to order the company to cease all operations.
Pickup was at the curb in Chinatown, with large Chinese characters emblazoned on the bus and signs surrounding the station door. Then, mid-point through the trip, there was always a stop at the same shady Chinese buffet by the highway.


Competition remains fierce with six other bus lines offering low-cost and speedy service between New York and Boston: BoltBus, Greyhound Express, Lucky Star, Megabus, Peter Pan, and Yo!
Comparing the NewYork to Boston busesMegabus has the price advantage, selling advance tickets for $3, with prices rising based on demand.
Caveat: no matter what the price, all tickets are nonrefundable, but most bus lines will let you reschedule tickets in advance for future dates. The safety-conscious should note that Lucky Star had the lowest marks for safety and maintenance. The Chinatown buses also have much cheaper fares than big-name buses like Greyhound or Megabus. If you pay with cash, then you need to request a transfer ticket from the driver for your next ride. Everyone piled out, silently smoked, then piled back on for a ride that could have its fair share of speed and swerving. Excessive speed was cited as factor in the accident, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Onboard, it was a "sticky smelly situation" said Salih, with the air filled with the mixing aromas of the food fellow passengers picked up nearby.


The bus line was involved in six accidents between 2005 and 2008, including collisions with dividers and guardrails, a bus fire, and in one case, losing the rear two wheels while driving passengers on the Massachusetts Turnpike. Their double-deckers, unique in North America, boast Wi-Fi, power seats, and more legroom than a standard coach. Tickets usually run between $8-$17, up to $25 for same-day sales, and $40 for peak holiday travel.
The buses are in blue and white and all have a number with a sign on them digitally displaying the destination. The bus line also boasts the safest driving and best vehicle maintenance scores of the bunch.



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