MARAC in Philadelphia: Megabus and Bolt Bus

Discount bus lines like Megabus and Bolt Bus are one of the cheapest ways to get to Philadelphia. These buses pick up and depart from 30th St Station in Philly, right near the subway, train, and many bus lines. A Google Maps or GPS search for 3100 JFK Blvd will put you right at the bus stop. Both lines offer fares starting at $1 (which rise as more seats on a bus are filled) and feature free wifi and outlets. The downside is that, like any discount service, sometimes you get what you pay for. Delays are very common, and wifi is not guaranteed. But if you have more free time than cash, these buses are the way to go.

Megabus runs between Philadelphia and Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Hampton VA, Harrisburg, New York, Richmond, Secaucus, State College, Toronto, and Washington DC. Many other cities have connections in New York. The New York trip has an additional stop at Independence Hall Visitor’s Center, just west of 6th St and Market St–less than a mile from the conference hotel.

Bolt Bus runs between Philadelphia and Boston, Newark, and New York.

Travel Tips

  • Get there early. On-time buses start boarding about 15 minutes before the departure time, and seating is first-come first-serve. 
  • Dress for weather. Buses board outdoors, and if you follow the “get there early” advice you could be waiting a while in the rain or cold.
  • Know your number. Megabus and Bolt Bus use confirmation numbers instead of tickets. Make sure you have your number handy before you board, either on paper or on a smartphone.
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