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.
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.)
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.