Efficient travel between NYC & Boston

Recently someone asked me what the most efficient way was to travel between New York City and Boston and I thought that I’d post my detailed answer here. Like many things ‘efficiency’ depends on what your priorities are – time, cost, working while in transit, etc. In addition what part of each city are you starting from and ending in as the final ground transport may have a significant impact. Assuming one means working efficiency I would say that the most efficient travel means between the two cities is the bus. It is generally cheaper than the plane or train, is subject to the same weather issues as both (the NE corridor train line is notorious for weather delays), can offer WiFi and doesn’t have the wait time or security hassles you do with the plane let alone the transit time to get to/from the airport. If you take the bus, you can go with 3 levels of service: the Chinatown expresses – very cheap, but unreliable schedules and crowded, the standards like Greyhound or Peter Pan – low cost, reliable schedule, some have WiFi but no amenities, or the LimoLiner – higher cost, reliable schedule, Wi-Fi, electric plugs and snacks/drinks and clean restroom. From a pure working efficiency perspective the LimoLiner is worth the extra cost since the WiFi and electric plugs result in a large productivity boost. If you are only looking at train vs. plane, then I would go with the train. The biggest efficiency benefit is the lack of “switching” time, meaning once you are on you can work uninterrupted until you get off. The plane requires you to switch (waiting to boarding to deplaning etc) and you can’t use electronic devices while in the air due to the short flight time. Also the train has no waiting time or security hassle, the stations on both ends are in the city and there is good public transport at the stations (not the case at LGA and limited at JFK). If you go with the train here’s a link for discounts on the NE corridor regional trains (may not apply to Acela). Hopefully this is helpful for you. Please leave comments if you find any other options or if any of the information above is out of date.