Chinatown Busses Now Offering WiFi, Guaranteed Seating

Chinatown busses, often the cheapest way to travel between Washington, New York, and Boston, are starting to outclass their established rivals by offering free WiFi service. One new entrant, Vamoose Bus, is even offering guaranteed seating – which can’t be found on Greyhound or any other Chinatown bus.

In contrast, the Chinatown buses sell their $15 one-way tickets to as many riders as are willing to buy them, regardless of the availability of seats. Greyhound, which shares buses and routes with Peter Pan Bus Lines, also oversells one-way tickets – for $35 if bought in person or $15 if purchased online. Ticket holders who don’t get on must wait for the next departure, which could be the next hour or the next day.

Lucky Star and Fung Wah did not return calls for comment yesterday afternoon.

Greyhound said yesterday it has been testing guaranteed seats this month for Boston-New York and Dallas-Houston customers who were willing to pay $5 more each way, but the bus company was still evaluating the program.

Guaranteed seating is nice, but the onboard wireless is underwhelming. A single 384 kbps connection is often shared between all 50+ passengers. When we tested DC2NY’s wireless offerings three weeks ago, we watched as one person (with fifteen minutes of battery power) tried to stream a full episode of The Hills, crippling the internet for all.

Vamoose Bus will begin ferrying internet addicts between New York and Boston as of November 8; for travel between New York and Washington, check out DC2NY.

NYC-Boston bus offers reservations [Boston Globe]
(Photo: thetbone)