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What's the cheapest way to get to Amherst, MA from either BDL or BOS airport? All shuttles from BDL to Amherst are around $55, which is the same price as that of Lyft. Peter Pan from Boston costs $45+5 but takes way more time. Are there any other options? Renting a car is not an option. I will be traveling alone and will not have any luggage. If flying to BDL, it is likely that I will arrive around 3 PM.

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    We can help you find the cheapest mode, but there is no one "most optimal" route. Choosing one mode over another always involves some tradeoff among time, comfort, convenience, cost, schedule, and so forth, and what is optimal comes down to your personal preferences, which we cannot know, nor why you are limited to BDL and BOS when, for example, Amtrak will get you as close as Springfield. – choster Apr 24 at 18:05
  • And "cheapest" may also vary by where you are flying from, if there is a significant price difference between the flight to Bradley or the flight to Logan. UberX also estimates $55. So you might find nothing better. One big problem with Bradley is all the public transport options go all the way back into Hartford first, before going elsewhere. But you can go all the way on local transport, which can be a lot cheaper than Greyhound/Peter Pan. It just takes a while. – Michael Hampton Apr 24 at 19:22
  • @choster I used "most optimal" to exclude the obviously unreasonable options (as I said taking a shuttle from BDL costs the same as taking Lyft, so there is no any sense in taking a shuttle). I specified BDL and BOS because they are two closest airports to Amherst and I assumed that public transportation from them would be faster than from other places. – user77409 Apr 24 at 19:43
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    @user77409 This is exactly the problem, though. It is not "obviously unreasonable" to take a shuttle instead of a Lyft at the same price because a Lyft ride will not always be available, or able to accommodate all travelers, and further because some refuse to use so-called TNCs over matters of data privacy, driver exploitation, or personal safety. The choice may be clear in your mind, but everyone's mind is different. If you just want a list of options, first consult the local tourism board (or one of the universities there, whose admissions office at the least will have recommendations). – choster Apr 24 at 19:55
  • @choster I see. I've deleted "most optimal". I've also added some details. The universities' pages only talk about shuttles. – user77409 Apr 24 at 23:22
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Here we go:

$1.75 - 3:40 pm CT Transit 30X Bradley Flyer to Hartford
$6.00 - 4:45 pm Hartford Line train to Springfield
$1.75 - 6:30 pm PVTA bus P21 to Holyoke: Fare is $1.50, get $.25 transfer when boarding
$ -. -- - 7:30 pm PVTA bus B48 to Northampton Academy of Music: Use transfer
$1.50 - 8:30 pm PVTA bus B43 to Amherst: Another $1.50 fare as your transfer will have expired

Arriving at BDL at 3 pm, you'll arrive in Amherst at 9 pm. Travel time six hours, cost $11.


Bring a folding bicycle and cycle home from the airport. Takes about four hours, and costs nothing. (Unless you don't already have the bicycle.)

  • That 4:45 from Hartford stops at Windsor Locks, which is a roughly 80-minute walk from the airport. The fare from there to Springfield is only $4, so you can save $3.75 by walking to Windsor Locks instead of taking the bus to Hartford, for a total cost of $7.25. – phoog Apr 25 at 16:58
  • You're quite right! I suspect the OP will consider an 80 minute walk "unreasonable" though. – Michael Hampton Apr 25 at 17:04
  • That probably depends on the weather! (...and on the length of the flight.) Most of the walk is on the relatively picturesque Elm St. – phoog Apr 25 at 17:20
  • And whether you have luggage. I wouldn't do the walk with luggage. The OP says he has none though, so maybe he would do it. – Michael Hampton Apr 25 at 17:22
  • Walking 80 minutes is not a problem, but as far as I can see from Google Maps, there are no sidewalks on some segments of this route, which may be a problem. – user77409 Apr 26 at 0:27
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The absolute cheapest way from BDL to Amherst without driving is probably something like:

  • Taxi/Uber/Lyft from BDL to Windsor Locks train station ($16 taxi fare according to the list of fares found here, though note that it's from 2011; prices may have changed since then)

  • Amtrak Vermonter train from Windsor Locks to Northampton ($11 if purchased sufficiently far in advance)

  • Pioneer Valley Transit bus from Northampton train station to Amherst ($1.50)

Assuming all of the above fares are correct, the total cost would be $28.50 plus a $3–4 tip to the cab driver.

The tricky part of this is ensuring that you catch the Vermonter train. There is only one train per day, departing Windsor Locks at 2:22 PM each day. If your flight into BDL arrives any time after 1 PM or so, this itinerary may not be the most optimal.

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    Even cheaper would be to walk about a mile and a half to Old County Rd, where you can get on CTtransit bus #905. But OP may not want to walk a mile and a half with luggage. These are the kinds of permutations that require questions like this to include specifics. – choster Apr 24 at 21:38
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    @choster OP has since edited the question to say that there will be no luggage, but others will want to consider that. Bus 905 only goes from Old County Rd. to the station in the morning; in the afternoon it goes in the other direction (pdf). But for an afternoon arrival you could walk all the way to the train station; it should take about 80 minutes. Hope for dry weather. – phoog Apr 25 at 17:15
  • @phoog But the route (at least considerable part of it) from the airport to the train station does not have any sidewalks, does it? – user77409 Apr 28 at 16:24
  • @user77409 the parts I checked all had sidewalks. Much of Elm has the sidewalk separated from the roadway by a strip of grass. Closer to town, the sidewalk is directly adjacent to the roadway. – phoog Apr 28 at 20:22
  • @phoog Hm, at least I'm looking at the part on the S Main St from its intersection with Webb St. through its intersection with Stanton Rd., and there are no sidewalks. Also I don't see sidewalks from the airport itself roughly through Old County Rd and Candlewood Suites bus stop. – user77409 Apr 28 at 20:52

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