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Public Transport Prices in the USA

Did you know that last year alone in the USA people made around 10 billion trips on public transportation? This translates to more than 34 million trips a week. 47% of these were by bus making it the most popular mode of public transportation. The other public means of transportation in use include rail, ferry, and air. However, the biggest percentage of people in the U.S travel using their cars. This can be attributed to the convenience they offer in terms of flexibility and freedom as opposed to public means which operate on a schedule. But before you buy your car you will have to rely on public transport or if lucky get a ride from family and friends.

The other option you may have is a car rental. Everyone above 18 years with a driver’s license can hire a car in the USA. Which will offer the much-needed convenience that public means may not. But drivers younger than 25 years have to pay an extra charge known as the Young Drivers Fee which varies from one car rental to another. If you are in this category and want to rent a car, shop around and compare prices to get the best car rental for under 25.

There are also different types of cars you can rent from the many categories available, you can rent a Jeep, a Nissan, a Toyota, or even Ferrari depending on your preferences and budget.

With the bus and train being the most popular means of public transportation, this article discusses the prices you can expect when you choose to travel with either on your next trip. Below are the average amounts you can expect to part with while using the train and bus respectively as your means of transport.


Train travel between U.S cities is operated by Amtrak. Amtrak offers a variety of passes for tourists, commuters, students, and business people. The average costs of city-city tickets are between $20-$400 one way depending on how early the tickets are booked and the distance.

Amtrak operates two types of trains, the regular trains which travel with a speed of up to 90 mph, and Amtrak’s Acela Express trains which can travel to speeds of up to 150 mph.

Amtrak’s Acela Express trains operate between the three major cities of New York, D.C, and Boston. A trip using the Acela Express from New York to Boston is about $93 one way and takes 3.5 hrs. Using the standard train, the trip might cost around $63 one way and will be between 30 minutes to 60 minutes longer.

Amtrak’s Rail passes last either 15 days which costs $389, 30 days which costs $579, or 45 days which goes for $749.These are pass costs for an adult traveling in coach class. Children between the ages of 2-15 pay the half price while those below 2 years travel free of charge.

Travel is limited to the number of segments of the trip, which are 8,12, or 18 segments depending on the number of days purchased. They must be completed within 180 days after reserving the first segment.


This is the most popular and common means of public transportation in the USA. With most people catching the bus to work, school, or even from one city to another. Several bus companies are offering this service. The main bus companies are:

  • Greyhound Bus
  • FlixBus USA
  • Peter Pan Bus
  • Concord Coach Lines
  • Go buses

The table below shows the average prices between selected cities in the USA.

BUS COMPANYNew York-BostonNew York-WashingtonNew York-ChicagoNew York-Nashville
Greyhound Bus$45$48$140$200
FlixBus USA$40$37$160$190
Peter Pan Bus$50$38$156$211
Concord Coach Lines$60$50$170$220
Go Buses$49$45$180$224


The fares are one-way and are subject to change.

Advantages of public transportation

Below are the advantages of using public means of transport:

  • It saves money
  • Reduces gasoline consumption
  • Reduces carbon footprint
  • Enhances opportunities since trips on public transport have a direct impact on the local economies


The bus and train are the most popular public means of transport in the USA. There are several bus companies offering transportation from city to city and also within the same city. This applies to trains too. Most Americans however prefer to use private means. The convenience they offer cannot be understated. There is also the option to use a car rental. There are many companies offering cars for rent and finding one is easy. It’s advised you compare prices between a few to identify a cheap car rental that will suit you. Using public means has its advantages with the major one being its cheaper. Just remember to book early and enjoy your trip.