My husband and I had planned our annual weekend vacation to Montauk a few months ago. We had a car last year, so it wasn’t one of our concerns. We got rid of the car last december for several reasons (so stay tune for my future article on being carless in NYC). We had a few possible options to get us out there: one was renting a car, the others were taking the train or the Hampton Jitney Bus.
Montauk is a small town, quite literally the end of South Fork of Long Island, where you can easily bike around, renting a car wouldn’t have make sense and it would have been pretty expensive. If we had taken the train, we would have had to change trains twice. We opted for the bus because it was cheaper than renting a car and also because we thought it would be faster than the train. You will have to book your ticket online, then you can either pay directly on the website (which we did because we wanted to be sure that we had seats and also because it was 3$ cheaper) or directly when you get on the bus.
The bus that we had initially wanted to take, got sold out pretty quickly. It was our first sign of the frustration to come, but we decided to stick to the plan and took the next bus.They have buses every hour. The stop was easy enough to find. We went to the 59th street and Lexington avenue stop. It’s located right by the subway, you shouldn’t have any problem finding it (It’s right in front of Sephora).
At the time our bus was scheduled to arrive, three buses showed up… Needless to say there was a los of confusion for everybody that had been waiting. Everybody was trying to find their bus and not respecting the lines… This was very stressful, annoying and unnecessary. Just so you know, no need to rush or cut lines, your bus isn’t going anywhere. Plus they are checking names before you get on. It was chaos that could have easily been avoided.
Eventually, we were able to finally get on the right bus. Once we did, it was clean, and quite comfortable, with acceptable leg room. The staff was friendly, they gave out water and snacks. Unfortunately, we didn’t get lucky on the way to Montauk because we got stuck in traffic which made our journey over an hour and half longer (a total of four and a half hours) than it was supposed to be. The way back to the city was much smoother.
Over all, we liked it. You can bring luggage, watch a movie (they have wifi) and relax. You obviously shouldn’t be in a hurry. Yes, we experienced traffic but, for the price I think the Hampton Jitney is a pretty good deal. They have a couple of different routes that you can check out on their website, throughout the eastend of Long Island, trips to the North Fork are available as well.
A good way to avoid the traffic is to be flexible when you are traveling. For instance, what day you choose to travel as well as what time can have a great deal to do with how long it will take you to get there. It best to leave for Montauk on off which is any day but friday and try to choose either the earliest or the latest time to travel. This tips should be the difference between a pleasant 3 hours trip and a monstrous stressful 5 hours trip.