The Chinatown Bus Domination of Cheap Travel

“Chinatown” bus lines crowded the scene at the best imaginable time – just as I’d grown tired of Greyhound’s late departures, ridiculous layovers and dingy bus terminals.


Travel by Chinatown Bus

Chinatown bus lines cater to broke and budget travelers, or those who prefer a more laid back travel style.

A round trip ticket costs less than a tank of gas – it’s the most inexpensive method of transportation available (unless you walk – and who has time for that?!  Life is ticking away!).

Quick to copy the concept, Megabus, Bolt Bus and other bus lines ditched terminals to offer lower fares.  In September 2012, Greyhound shut down its DC terminal and moved operations to the Union Station parking garage  – a few spaces down from Megabus.

Best Uses

  •  A day trip to cities with expensive lodging such as New York and Washington, DC.
  • Group trips to reduce transportation costs.



  •  The bus lines offering these routes are collectively referred to as Chinatown buses based on their usual pickup/drop off location – Chinatowns!
  • Departing from New York offers passengers the most destination choices.  Use New York as a transfer location for more travel options.
  • You won’t find ticket counters, bus terminals, customer service hotlines or buses with electrical outlets and Wi-Fi on these bus lines.
  • The bus picks you up on the side of the road, devoid of any pomp and flare, and dumps you off in the same manner.


Wanna give Chinatown bus lines a twirl?  Visit for route information and pricing.  By the way, I wasn’t paid to write this post.  Chinatown buses don’t advertise – another reason prices are so darn low!


So, have you traveled with Chinatown bus lines?  Share your experiences below.

  • An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who was doing a little homework on this.
    And he in fact ordered me dinner because I stumbled upon it for him…
    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!

    But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk
    about this matter here on your web page.

  • You’re right, Catherine! I’m glad there are so many options and that we have multiple forms of transportation to fulfill those travel cravings.

    While taking the Chinatown bus won’t get us to a jungle safari, I’m sure we can make it to quite a few historical sites!

    For those unsure about where to go, I suggest starting with their interests. Have a favorite author, hobby or food? Start with a place that represents or resonates with your passion.