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I'd like to take the Megabus to NYC from Philadelphia. Concerning traffic... there will always be comparable high traffic in the metro area. However, I thought, the peak hours to drive into Manhattan with a bus, would be the worst in the time between 8-9 am. If I would take the bus departing at 8 am in Philadelphia, I would probably arrive after 9 am in the metro area, thus avoiding the most of the bad traffic?

Best, Stephan

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    You can use the commute-time feature in google maps to figure out when roads are emptiest. Since you’re not driving, though, is it really worth worrying about an extra hour? Just relax and listen to a podcast. – RoboKaren Sep 15 '18 at 15:56
  • RoboKaren: Since I'm returning in the evening to Philly I'd like to spend as much time in NYC as possible. So you say it does not matter? Take the earliest and latest bus respectively? Interesting Google Maps feature. Thanks! – stephanmg Sep 15 '18 at 16:06
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    The only concern with taking the last bus is if it’s full or if it breaks down (which happens with Megabus). But if that happens you can often take a Greyhound or the Amtrak, both of which are in Penn Station in NYC or near the Philly station. – RoboKaren Sep 15 '18 at 16:07
  • @RoboKaren: I see, so then I really take the first bus out of Philly potentially, and take the first to last bus out of NYC, thus having a lot of time to spare hopefully. Greyhound bus seems more expensive somehow, I took Greyhound several times. Is the Megabus comparable to Greyhound or better/worse btw? – stephanmg Sep 15 '18 at 16:14
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    Even with horrible traffic, the bus that starts earlier mostly arrives earlier. So to maximize your time at the destination, simply take the first and last bus. – Aganju Sep 15 '18 at 21:34
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While bad luck is always possible with bus traffic, I've found Megabus's scheduled arrival times to be pretty accurate between Philly and New York. At morning rush hour they use the bus-only lane for the last ~3 miles before the Lincoln Tunnel, so you zip past the cars stuck in traffic and it ends up being only a few minutes slower than at other times.

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