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From IAD Or NYC To ATL Questions By Air Or Ground?  
User currently offlineOYRJA From Denmark, joined Feb 2007, 78 posts, RR: 14
Posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2369 times:

I finally got vacation and ID tickets on SAS to IAD and NYC.
But since I'm 25 I can only fly SAS and has to buy either an airplane ticket, Train ticket or a bus ticket from one of those 2 cities to ATL.
But I haven't decided what to do yet. I would love to take ground transportation so I will see as much as possible.

I will arrive to either EWR or IAD on saturday the 17th of september and go back on the 1st of october. Is it more expensive to take public transportation during weekends in the US?

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAirScoot From United States of America, joined May 2005, 688 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2363 times:

If it's up to taking the train or the bus, definitely take the train. The bus is a long, gruelling trip that makes multiple stops. Keep in mind, however, that either trip will take you an exceptional amount of time. The train, for example, takes about 18 hours from New York to Atlanta.. and about 15 hours from Washington. The cost, as well, would be far higher than if you were to fly.

That being said, the ground transportation from Newark to the train station/bus station is far easier than going out of Dulles. There's actually an Amtrak station at Newark Airport as well as two other large ones at Newark Penn Station and New York Penn Station and getting into either Newark or New York to get to the bus station is very quick and simple as there are many public transportation options available. If you choose this route I'd suggest the NJTransit train from Newark airport into New York Penn station.

Flying into Dulles, however, is not as simple. Washington's metro hasn't been extended out to Dulles yet. As a matter of fact, only this year was the funding approved to start expansion and that isn't even due to come all the way out. You'd have to rely on either Washington Flyer or a cab to get into downtown Washington DC. Depending on the time of day you land you'll find out why Washington is famous for having horrible traffic.

Since Atlanta is home to AirTran and Dulles has Independence Air, you have a couple of options for very cheap airfare.


User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2362 times:

Definitely a train from Washington DC to Atlanta . . . no question about it. While you'll be extremely disappointed in Amtrak vice a European rail line it will be infinitely better than ANY bus.

AirScoot is correct - getting from IAD in to downtown can be a chore. There is an extremely efficient and clean Metro Transit system in/around DC . . but it doesn't go to IAD . . . yet. A cab or the Washington Flyer will be costly . . . but you're really left with little choice.

If you plan to spend a day or so in/around DC - use the Metro . . . subway . . . to get around. I lived there 5 years and drove into the District but 5 times I can recall.


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2348 times:
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Read my IM. Don't take the bus....at all.

The train part way may be fun, but it's mostly at night and arrives in ATL at 0730 so you won't see much.

Fly if you can and sit in a window seat.

Ian



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7780 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2338 times:

How could he come to America and not take in the experience that is Greyhound?
 sarcastic   scared 

Another option, which might give you a lot more flexibility is renting a car and driving from NYC/DC to Atlanta. Its a longhaul, with not-so-great traffic on I-95/85, but you could do it in a day if you were especially mashocistic.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21625 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2335 times:

Quoting OYRJA (Thread starter):
Is it more expensive to take public transportation during weekends in the US?

As far as urban mass transit goes, generally not. Sometimes it's cheaper. I don't know about Amtrak.

Definitely fly or take Amtrak.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineOYRJA From Denmark, joined Feb 2007, 78 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2332 times:

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 4):
Another option, which might give you a lot more flexibility is renting a car and driving from NYC/DC to Atlanta. Its a longhaul, with not-so-great traffic on I-95/85, but you could do it in a day if you were especially mashocistic.

I actually thought about this as well. But the oneway rental fee is so damn high. Driving in one day shouldn't be a problem. I drove to KRP from PAR once in 12 hours. That wasnt bad at all. But its probably a little longer from WAS to ATL  Smile


User currently offlineORFflyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2331 times:

From IAD, you could take a cab to the nearest METRO stattion, which I believe is 2900 Nutley St., Fairfax, VA. Some of the DC A-Netters can correct me if I'm wrong. This cab wouldn't be too expensive, and then you have access to the METRO which is, as mentioned above, very clean, safe and efficient.

Have fun!!

Chip


User currently offlineNYCFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1387 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2325 times:

Very cool that you're coming to America! Have you been before? Will you have time to linger in NYC or WAS? Why do you want to go to ATL so badly? Nice place to live, not necessarily something I'd recommend for a visitor who had only two weeks in America.

Quoting OYRJA (Thread starter):
I would love to take ground transportation so I will see as much as possible.

Stay away from the bus. Don't do it. Also, you will see nothing but I-95, not the prettiest road in America (maybe prettier down south, but certainly an eyesore north of Baltimore). Not much of a difference b/w weekend and weekday.

Amtrak is adequate, though it is notorious for bad delays.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 2):
There is an extremely efficient and clean Metro Transit system in/around DC . . but it doesn't go to IAD . . . yet. A cab or the Washington Flyer will be costly . . . but you're really left with little choice.

You can get the Washington Flyer shuttle bus for $8 to the West Falls Church Metro station. The bus leaves every half hour. Here's the schedule:
http://www.washfly.com/metro.htm

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 4):
Another option, which might give you a lot more flexibility is renting a car and driving from NYC/DC to Atlanta

One-way rentals of that distance are prohibitively expensive.

Quoting OYRJA (Reply 6):
But its probably a little longer from WAS to ATL

Not necessarily. You're probably looking at around 10 hours there. You could do it in a day, maybe stop in CLT for a night.


User currently offlineOYRJA From Denmark, joined Feb 2007, 78 posts, RR: 14
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2323 times:

Quoting NYCFlyer (Reply 8):
Very cool that you're coming to America! Have you been before?

Yes I have. It will be my 13th time in the US.


If I take the flight. Does anyone know if its expensive to just show up at the desk in the APT to buy a ticket on Indy Air or AirTran?
I don't want to risk a prepaid ticket if I the flight from CPH is full and I will lose the money.


User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7780 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 2318 times:

I was confused. I thought OYRJA was going to drive down to ATL and then return to IAD/EWR to fly back out. Which is why I suggested renting a car. Otherwise one-way rentals seem to be in the neighborhood of $150-$200/day for a mid-size.

Another option, which might save you a few bucks and a bit of hassle of getting into DC. The train service from DC to ATL, the Crescent, stops at Alexandria (King Street). Timewise it is about the same as getting to Union Station, but depending on the time of day it can be a bit of a pain with luggage. But it will save you a few dollars leaving from ALX vs. WAS on the train. So you would take the Washington Flyer bus to West Falls Church metro (WFC). From WFC take the orange line to Roslyn, switch to the blue line and take it to King Street. This is roughly a 40-45 min train ride.

Quoting NYCFlyer (Reply 8):
Stay away from the bus. Don't do it. Also, you will see nothing but I-95, not the prettiest road in America (maybe prettier down south, but certainly an eyesore north of Baltimore).

I hear the New Jersey Turnpike is beautiful this time of year. Actually 95 gets much better looking once you get south of metro DC as you head towards Richmond. But then the road is nothing but trees and the occassional shopping center on either side. However if you ride Greyhound all the entertain and scenery will be ON the bus, not outside it.

But if you were to do Greyhound there is a station, well actuall just a bus stop at Dulles airport, whereas you'd have to get from EWR to the Newark bus station. It would be interesting though.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8902 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 2313 times:

As for cheapest option, it's cheaper to actually fly than take the train. Out of Washington, Greyhound is $118, flight is $138 (choice of DL, UA, FL or DH), train is $190. I'd assume all would be true for EWR as well. Just a couple of things to keep in mind though:

(1) Amtrak is notorious for its delays. Freight railroads control most of Amtrak's trackage, and they could honestly care less about Amtrak.
(2) Greyhound may be cheapest, but it's pretty sketchy. I'd avoid it if I were you.

I'd say your best bet may be to take the train down, then fly back. At least this way you'd be able to take the train one way, and then not have to worry about missing your connecting flight on the way back.

Jeff


User currently offlineAirScoot From United States of America, joined May 2005, 688 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 2300 times:

Quoting ORFflyer (Reply 7):
From IAD, you could take a cab to the nearest METRO stattion, which I believe is 2900 Nutley St., Fairfax, VA.

Vienna is slightly closer but inconvenient to get to. Better off with West Falls Church. There's more service heading in that direction and it's far more frequent.

Quoting NYCFlyer (Reply 8):
You can get the Washington Flyer shuttle bus for $8 to the West Falls Church Metro station. The bus leaves every half hour. Here's the schedule:
http://www.washfly.com/metro.htm

I both taken the Flyer and driven this.. (I do it daily.. work at Dulles, live in Arlington).. Depending on what time you hit the Toll Road/267 and time of the year I've seen that last bit turn into a crawl. If you're in a rush it can get nailbiting

I think the New York option would be better.. especially if you're taking the train. The run between New York and Washington goes through some rather nice scenery once you pass just south of Philadelphia. Since Amtrak rates their tickets by distance traveled you can easily take a stop in the Washington DC area. Whichever you take you might want to plan for an overnight when you arrive. The reason being there's only one train to Atlanta. I just looked at the schedules and you won't have a whopping amount of time between arrival and when the train leaves whichever city you choose.

As to the bus....

I've taken Greyhound twice.. both when I was living in New York. The experience is one I'll never forget. I'd rather walk than take Greyhound. They have a lovely habit of selling as many seats as people will buy.. bringing one bus up.. filling it up.. then leaving everyone else behind to take their chances with the next one (often the next day). The conditions inside the bus often will make you wish you'd remained OUTSIDE the bus. Did I mention the likely bathing habits of the person sitting next to you?  sour 


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 2275 times:
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Quoting OYRJA (Reply 6):
WAS to ATL

DC to ATL is about a 14 hour drive, including traffic delays and pit stops....of course you'll a half dozen speed racers that'll say they could do it in 12.

Not bad scenery, but a serious haul. The possibility of taking some of the old roads is there, and US 1 goes through some nice farm country.

Remember to call when you get here, and I'll have the BBQ ready.

Ian



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8902 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 2267 times:

Quoting DL021 (Reply 13):
DC to ATL is about a 14 hour drive, including traffic delays and pit stops....of course you'll a half dozen speed racers that'll say they could do it in 12.

Heck, I could do it in 10 hours. 6 hours to Greensboro NC (95 to Richmond, then 85), then another 4-5 hours to Atlanta on 85. 14 hours is if you're going 50 mph.

Jeff


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21625 posts, RR: 55
Reply 15, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 2258 times:

Quoting OYRJA (Reply 9):
Does anyone know if its expensive to just show up at the desk in the APT to buy a ticket on Indy Air or AirTran?

If you do that, prepare to be strip-searched at security. A foreigner buying a last minute ticket is going to set off an alarm bell somewhere in the brain of the TSA (and in the likely event that they don't have brains, the computer that does the thinking for them).

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineOYRJA From Denmark, joined Feb 2007, 78 posts, RR: 14
Reply 16, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 2248 times:

Quoting DL021 (Reply 13):
DC to ATL is about a 14 hour drive, including traffic delays and pit stops....of course you'll a half dozen speed racers that'll say they could do it in 12.

Not bad scenery, but a serious haul. The possibility of taking some of the old roads is there, and US 1 goes through some nice farm country.

Well I should be able to do it in 8 hours then  Wink And I actually just got a price for carrental. A midsize is around 50USD for 1 day. That is cheap as hell. And I get a 25% discount on that.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 13):
Remember to call when you get here, and I'll have the BBQ ready.

Mmmmmmm........... real american private barbecue. I never tried it before.
But I'm on for it. Thats for sure.  tongue  But that will most likely be in week 39 because my brother and I will drive to MSY, MEM and Nashville in week 38.


User currently offlineOYRJA From Denmark, joined Feb 2007, 78 posts, RR: 14
Reply 17, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 2234 times:

Now its settled. I have rented a car from the 17th to the 30th. of September. So I will definatly drive from WAS to ATL. But I will probably be pretty wasted when I get to WAS. So I will not drive the whole way at once. I will make a stop at a motel or something. Is there anyone who has made this trip by car before and has some good suggestions on goo cheap Hotels or Motels on the way?

User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 2233 times:

Many Many speed traps on I-95 South out of Washington DC to Richmond. . . he Virginia State Constabulary have NO sense of humor -

Word to the wise. I have many, many miles on that road between Washington, DC and Charlotte, NC . . .

Watch your speed throught there . . .

As for motels, WAIT until you are south of Washington a good bit. There's a small place called Fredricksburg about 45 miles south of DC on I-95 with plenty of decent, but reasonable places to grab a nights sleep . . . Super 8, Motel 6, Holiday Inn Express, etc.

Otherwise, you might want to consider waiting until you've cleared Richmond, Va and have turned on to I-85 before getting some rest.

If you're really tired, I suggest Fredricksburg.

ENjoy the trip!


User currently offlineOYRJA From Denmark, joined Feb 2007, 78 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 2227 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 18):
Many Many speed traps on I-95 South out of Washington DC to Richmond. . . he Virginia State Constabulary have NO sense of humor -

Speedtraps? Is that cameras or just patrolling cars?
I probably wont speed anyway. I want to see as much as possible now when I'm driving  Smile


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 20, posted (9 years 2 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2211 times:
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Thomas...if you keep your speed to within 10mph of the posted limits you will probably be ok. However, avoid speeding as much as possible in South Carolina. If pulled over simply pull out your passport, drivers license and car rental paperwork and place them on the dash. Roll down your window and put your hands on the window sill and wait patiently. When the cop shows at the window if you are pleasant and obviously foreign things will probably go smoothly, and if not, then at least you won't get a serious beat down.  Wink

Have a great time. If you give me an idea of the itinerary I'll give you hints about where to stay and visit. Ian



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineLindy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 2 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2204 times:

Quoting OYRJA (Reply 6):
Driving in one day shouldn't be a problem. I drove to KRP from PAR once in 12 hours. That wasnt bad at all. But its probably a little longer from WAS to ATL



Quoting DL021 (Reply 13):
DC to ATL is about a 14 hour drive, including traffic delays and pit stops....of course you'll a half dozen speed racers that'll say they could do it in 12.

Going from DC to ATL its a 10 hour drive, not speeding, just going 60-65mph, and doing two 15 minutes pit stops. I've done it many many times.
Don't give times with the traffic. If you hit the traffic it can take even 20 hours.
If I were you, I would just fly Delta for $120RT or $78OW.

Rafal


User currently offlineOYRJA From Denmark, joined Feb 2007, 78 posts, RR: 14
Reply 22, posted (9 years 2 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2192 times:

Quoting DL021 (Reply 20):
Roll down your window and put your hands on the window sill and wait patiently. When the cop shows at the window if you are pleasant and obviously foreign things will probably go smoothly, and if not, then at least you won't get a serious beat down.

What if I just spoke danish to him. Would that be a reason for hiim to beat me down or will he just go away? Big grin


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 23, posted (9 years 2 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2181 times:
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Lindy...like I said...it'll take 14 hours because he wants to do this during the day to see the sights. Counting traffic and lunch, I assume he's going to eat, it'll take a while. Don't really want to argue, though.

Thomas, it'll take all day and you'll have plenty to see. Remember what I say about the sights.

OH, and if you speak Danish to him you might actually get taken somewhere to get a translator, which in SC would be difficult since they need translating into English from their local patois first.  Wink



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineOYRJA From Denmark, joined Feb 2007, 78 posts, RR: 14
Reply 24, posted (9 years 2 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2178 times:

Quoting DL021 (Reply 23):
I assume he's going to eat, it'll take a while.

Sure you want to invite me for a BBQ? lol! Big grin


25 Post contains images ANCFlyer : Eight or Ten miles over the limit in Virginia is fine - same in North Carolina. Those folk in South Carolina have no sense of humor. I think Georgia
26 Lindy : Where exactly is that place? I've been driving DC to Greenville SC at least 10 times a year, and I would appriciate good eating place. Rafal
27 Post contains images DL021 : Thomas....oh yeah! After driving thru North Carolina where they serve BBQ with cole slaw (ugh!) you'll need a proper meal. We will be serving only the
28 Post contains images ANCFlyer : Lindy, as you hit I-85S leaving Petersburg, VA it's your second or third exit - I can't remember exactly - but exit for Dinwiddie, Virginia on VA Hig
29 ORFflyer : Another good one is "What-A-Burger" It's on Route 1 South, at the Belle's Road exit. Chip
30 DL021 : Oh Hell Yes! What-A-Burger is awesome! Do go there to sample a real American fast food burger.
31 Post contains images OYRJA : That sounds great guys.. Thanks for all the advice. I want to try something else than BK Mickey D's and KFC's for once. Iøm starting to get tired of
32 Misbeehavin : OYRJA, the road trip sounds fun, but remember it is almost 650 miles. Each way! On the other hand, a round-trip flight on DL, UA FL, or Independence A
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