|Travel New York City to/from Boston|
|Here's how to decide whether your trip between New York City and Boston should be by car, bus, train or plane.|
Travel time between New York City and Boston, city center to city center, is between 3 and 4-1/2 hours, no matter how you travel.
Want my recommendation? Take the train if you can.
It's 214 miles (345 km) between New York City (Manhattan) and Boston MA (map), taking between 4-1/4 and 4-1/2 hours driving time under normal conditions. If traffic is heavy, it may take 5+ hours. Follow I-95 to I-84 to I-90 (Massachusetts Turnpike).
In a car getting 20 miles per gallon of fuel, and fuel costing $2.50 per US gallon, the one-way cost of the drive, including tolls, may be about $32. But then...there's the substantial cost and hassle of parking your car in New York (about $100 per 24 hours in Midtown Manhattan), which can easily exceed the other costs of transport.
Driving your own car gives you total freedom, but you must spend your time driving, and contend with traffic, which can be very heavy through Connecticut. In terms of traffic, it is not a pleasant drive. (I've driven it many times, and on one trip my car, stopped on the highway by heavy traffic, was hit by another car at 60 mph and totally wrecked.)
Even if your car is a luxury model, comfort is less than on a train, where you can get up, walk around, plug in your laptop or mobile phone, relax, do your email, sleep, etc.
Hourly buses every day, city center to city center, by budget bus lines with promotional fares as low as $1 (but most $15 or higher), and ultra-comfortable luxury lines competing with train and plane fares on the 4-hour trip (longer in heavy traffic).
The cheapest buses have low comfort, but get the job done. Luxury buses can be cheaper and more comfortable than the train, with Wifi, movies, snacks and drinks, toilets, but they take a bit longer than the train, and are not quite as comfortable. More...
Amtrak's business-class Acela Express trains cover the distance between New York City's Pennsylvania Station and Boston's South Station, city center to city center, in 3 hours and 20 minutes to 4 hours for $104 to $146 one-way, in high comfort. There are power outlets for your laptop and phone, Wifi Internet, you can get up from your seat and walk around, go to the café for snacks, light meals and drinks (including alcoholic beverages). It's a civilized way to travel. More...
Boston-Logan (BOS) is closest to the city center; the others are about an hour's drive from Boston.
Fares for the one-hour, one-way flight range from $44 to $215 and up, but to the airfare you must add the costs of transfers to and from the airports in New York City and Boston.
Total ground-transport costs can range from $10 for subway in both cities, to $20 or $25 for airport buses, to $50 or more for taxis. Some airports are not served by the cheapest public transport, so you'll pay more.
You must also take into account the time needed to go to and from the airports, which depends upon the city, the airport, and the time of day:
...as well as the time needed for airline check-in, security inspection, walking to and from gates, finding and/or waiting for ground transport, etc.
—by Tom Brosnahan