My Trip with Public Transportation

America Has a Long Way to Go

I often write about the benefits of public transportation and insist that it is quite often the best way of traveling from place to place. So I decided to try something new, and I took a vacation where I travelled only by public transportation. I traveled by foot, bus, train and subway around the northeastern United States.

Overall my trip looked something like this.

I took a train from Worcester - Boston, a bus from Boston to NYC, a bus from NYC - D.C. and finally came home via a bus from D.C. - Boston and a train back to Worcester. I spent two nights in New York and three in D.C. While in each of these cities I traveled only by foot and through the subway.

I am not sure whether to be impressed with or disappointed by the public transportation that I took throughout my trip. On the plus side, the trip was extremely cheap and all of my traveling, including the subway fares for the week cost less than $100. I found this to be really convenient. On the flip side I realized that unfortunately I could have traveled much faster by car. For example, my final trip from Washington to Worcester from end to end lasted about 17 hours for me, but had I driven the trip would have been only around 8 or 9 hours depending on traffic.

Future Developments

Right now I will admit that despite my best efforts to travel via public transport, it was really inconvenient even in the highly developed northeast corridor of the country. In other areas I'm sure that the problems are even worse. While it was possible for me to get to all of my chosen locations, it was always a challenge and I am not sure if I would choose to travel this way again. This being said, many of my transportation options, such as Megabus, were not available even just 5 or 10 years ago. I see a lot of potential for this country and particularly the Northeast to expand public transportation options over the next decade so that eventually it will even be preferable to take trips this way rather than driving.