I am a pretty frequent traveler. Around once a month I head out to New York City to visit my boyfriend who currently goes to school in the city. I have been visiting him in NYC since my senior year of high school. Back home in Fall River, Massachusetts, I took the Amtrak out of Providence every time I traveled to NYC. I loved taking the train and having the convenience of a simple and easy mode of transportation nearby.
When I decided to attend the University of Massachusetts Amherst, It was very important for me to find a safe, efficient, and easy way to travel to NYC when I needed to. Naturally, I headed to the internet to find the nearest Amtrak station to campus, which is located in Northampton. While searching, I discovered that UMass is home to its very own Peter Pan Bus stop. After using the stop for the first time, I was hooked.
The convenience of having a Peter Pan Bus stop right here on the UMass Amherst campus (located in the Haigis Mall) is a huge perk that I believe is extremely overlooked. Whether you are heading home for the weekend, traveling with friends, or just about any of your other traveling needs, the Peter Pan Bus is a great mode of transportation. Having used the bus numerous times over my three years here at UMass, I thought it would be extremely helpful to explore what traveling at UMass Amherst is like for those like myself who travel to and from campus often.
What is it Like Traveling Using the Bus?
Traveling on the bus is pretty simple. I typically arrive at the Haigis Mall around 15 minutes before the bus is scheduled to depart. Once the bus arrives, I show the driver my ticket and board. Typically, when I leave for New York from UMass, I have to transfer buses in Springfield. When I get to Springfield, the driver lets us all know where our desired transfer buses will be located. I simply get off my first bus and shortly after board my second. From this point, it is just a straight drive to the Port Authority Bus Station in New York City. When I am heading back to campus, I like to take the bus with no transfers. The bus will drop you back off at Haigis Mall, the same location you departed, which is a short walk back to many of the UMass residential areas.
I will admit that sometimes when I travel the bus is either empty or fully packed. This depends on the days and times you are traveling. Despite this factor, I have yet to have a questionable trip using the bus.
How Much Does It Cost?
When you plan it right, the bus can be extremely cheap. I usually buy my tickets to New York City at least a week in advance. Typically, It can be anywhere from $60-$100 round trip depending on the time of year and day of the week. To help bring down the cost, I highly suggest searching the internet for discount codes. Peter Pan also offers a perks reward program when you create an account with them.
You will get a $1 PERKS Reward for every $50 that you spend on tickets (not including taxes or fees). Your ticket purchases are cumulative and the credits go automatically into your account. These points add up quickly and can easily help bring down the cost of your trip!
Where Can It Take Me?
The Peter Pan Bus lines serve more than 100 communities in the Northeast corridor of the United States. They offer daily express service in major metro areas such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Peter Pan can even take you to smaller cities, like my hometown of Fall River for example, and similar destinations such as Springfield and Worcester. No matter where your hometown in Massachusetts or the greater New England area may be, the Peter Pan Bus lines can likely take you there or nearby.
If you would like to see a more in-depth list of all the places that the Peter Pan Bus lines can take you, be sure to check out their website!
Any Tips for Planning out a Trip To and From UMass?
- Plan Ahead: When planning a trip, it is always best to plan the logistics at least a week before. While I am guilty of the occasional last-minute adventure, planning always makes the trip run more smoothly.
- Arrive at Least 15 Minutes Before Your Departure: It is extremely important to arrive at your bus terminal around fifteen minutes before your departure. The seats on the bus are not assigned so arriving early can not only ensure you a great seat but make sure you do not miss your bus.
- Let Your Friends and Family Know When You are Leaving and Returning: I frequently travel alone, so I always make sure I let my loved ones know where I am going, when I have arrived, and when I am back home safe. This will not only put your mind at ease but your loved ones as well.
- Bring Food and Water: Most trips will not stop for food and water breaks. When I head to NYC, even when I have a transfer, I am never stopped long enough to buy food. Because of this, it is really important that you pack food and water on your trip, especially if it is a long one!
- Do not Forget Your Tickets: While this may seem like a no-brainer, you will not believe the number of times I almost forgot my tickets. While Peter Pan now takes mobile QR code tickets, still remember to screenshot them before your trip — you never know if you will lose Wi-Fi connection!