Amtrak has announced a three-day sale with one-way fares on the Northeast Regional as low as $38 between New York and Baltimore and $42 between New York and Washington, D.C. Fares must be purchased by Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 for travel between Sept. 10 and Oct. 3, 2013. There’s no discount for the Acela, which will still cost you about $200. But you can make the Northeast Regional feel as if it’s going faster by running forward through the cars as fast as you can. (Theoretically. I’ve never actually tried it.)
Amtrak has announced a promotion that grants double mileage points for train trips through May 7 and triple points from May 8 to May 29, 2010.
Yes, Amtrak has a rewards program. And you should join it if you ever take a trip on Amtrak. In fact, my advice is that you join every loyalty program for every travel service you ever use because why not. It’s free.
Amtrak is offering a free round trip on the Northeast Regional route to members of its rewards program who complete two trips on that route before March 13.
The Northeast Regional runs from Boston through New York to Washington, with a branch running from Springfield, Mass., through Hartford to join the line in New Haven. From Washington it splits toward Lynchburg, Va., and Newport News, Va. There’s a map and more information here.
How do you get people to ride the bus? Pretend it’s a train, a consultant told Connecticut transit planners last week, as Don Stacom reported in The Hartford Courant. (Disclosure: I have more than a passing acquaintance with Mr. Stacom.)
The message was that bus systems are more successful the more they resemble light rail, with frequent service, fewer stops, pleasant stations and rapid boarding. The state of Connecticut is planning such a busway, along a former railroad right-of-way, between New Britain and Hartford.
The rather poor reputation of long-distance bus travel in this country is already shifting a little bit, thanks to the introduction of luxury buses like the LimoLiner and the inexpensive but stylish BoltBus and Megabus lines. Because of this, I’m much more likely to travel by bus these days than I used to be.
But commuting is another matter, here in Central Connecticut. I tried like hell to ride the Connecticut Transit buses when I worked in Hartford, but the schedules made it very difficult. Express buses were too few and local buses took too long. I’d still rather ride a train, but I would settle for better bus service.