A new bus service that runs nonstop from Ithaca to New York City is now operational.
The Big Red Bullet is an alternative to other bus companies like Greyhound, Short Line, and Cornell University’s Campus-to-Campus bus. Robert Nicholas, general manager of the Big Red Bullet, said the company was started by Ali Nasser, a recent Cornell graduate. Nicholas said Nasser saw room for improvement among the existing bus companies.
“He did a fair amount of research before I became involved, and did feasibility studies and a business plan, and it seemed from his research that there was a need for it,” Nicholas said. “He had spent a number of years at Cornell and was doing the trip on a regular basis, so he had been trying the Campus–to–Campus and using the Short Line, so he had experience with both and didn’t like either of them.”
The service will run twice between the two cities each day, with the exception of Saturdays. A one-way ticket for Monday–Thursday will run $55, with travel on Friday and Sunday being $65. This price is comparable to the Short Line service, though that bus trip can take anywhere from five to six hours and makes three or four stops, according to its website. According to the Bullet website, its trip lasts 4 1/2 hours and doesn’t take a single stop. Cornell’s bus is also nonstop but costs $90 each way.
Each Bullet bus has an onboard restroom and storage for carry-on bags. Each passenger may have two pieces of regular luggage. Buses also feature free Wi-Fi, adjustable headrests, reclining seats and electrical outlets, according to the Bullet website.
The bus stops at the Green Street bus station in Ithaca and then travels to Bryant Park in Manhattan. There had been some discussion of adding a few additional stops in the city.
“We looked at a couple of other locations and in the end we just settled for one downtown location,” Nicholas said.
Nicholas also said there was the possibility of adding a stop at Ithaca College and Cornell in the future, depending on ridership needs, but Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit objected to having the bus stop in Collegetown over fears that it would cause traffic congestion and delays on TCAT routes.
Booking information is available on its website at www.bigredbullet.com.