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19 September 2010

transportation advice from Hampshire College to NYC? hello again. My son and I are going to Amherst, Mass. for his interview on Friday (getting there and staying in Hadley the night before). The interview is at 3:45PM. Should I buy tickets to the 7:10PM bus back from Springfield to New York City or should I buy them for the 9:15PM just in case?[More:]

I know that reasonably the 7:10 should be fine, even if the interviewer is late and the interview takes an hour (this is unlikely, right?) but I'm not exactly sure of the distances, how long it's going to take to get the local bus(es) from the Hampshire campus back to Springfield, etc. In fact I've never been to this area of the world before.

Can anyone reassure or realistically alarm? Thank you.
damn, I meant for his interview at Hampshire College in Amherst (as opposed to, say, Amherst College or UMass Amherst) ---

Also, would a taxi from the Hampshire College campus to the Peter Pan bus station in Springfield be ridiculously expensive? Maybe that's what we want to do to make sure we catch the 7:10?
posted by DMelanogaster 19 September | 07:31
A cab from Amherst to Springfield used to not be cheap - I doubt it's gotten cheaper. Besides, you don't need one. First off, you're going to catch the Peter Pan bus from Amherst, not Springfield. It winds up going to Springfield en route to New York, but you catch it in Amherst. Now, the 7:10 bus leaves Amherst at 6:05, and the 9:15 bus leaves Amherst at 8:05, I think. So you have to get to Amherst before 6:05. Luckily, there's the very reliable and free (or it used to be) PVTA Five College bus. It leaves Hampshire College every half hour to make the 10 or 15 minute trip to Amherst. Here's the schedule. So, you need to be on either the 5:10 or the 5:40 to get to Amherst for your 6:05 bus. The PVTA bus used to drop you off right by the PP bus stop - I don't know if it still does.

In any event, if you miss the 6:05, Amherst's not a bad place to kill a couple hours. Good luck to your son. The Pioneer Valley is beautiful.
posted by Lassie 19 September | 09:04
That link appears to not be working for some reason. Here it is again:
posted by Lassie 19 September | 09:06
Lassie, thank you. I see I read the instructions wrong on the Hampshire College website.

posted by DMelanogaster 19 September | 09:17
(fixed the link)
posted by richat 19 September | 09:40
Damn, the bus takes 5 hours from NYC to Amherst!
posted by DMelanogaster 19 September | 13:57
Damn, the bus takes 5 hours from NYC to Amherst!

Yep, because it goes through Springfield and bumbada bumbada all the way there. It's a lovely drive though. The Springfield bus station isn't that great/exicting, I think you might switch buses? I'd get to Amherst quicklike and grab a burrito someplace and you can always kill time there unless the weather is terrible.

I graduated from Hampshire in 1990, feel free to ping me if I can answer any questions.
posted by jessamyn 19 September | 18:20
I used to take the Peter Pan from Northampton to Springfield (roughly the same distance as from Amherst) and they were always reliable and timely.

The taxis in my day were ridiculously expensive, and I could almost always show up at the bus station (in Spfld or Noho) and buy a ticket for the next bus, so I never bought in advance.

If you or your son haven't been to Amherst before, it might be worth while to plan on the later bus so you can poke around Amherst a bit and see what thes amenities are like for when he wants to get off campus.
posted by julen 19 September | 19:26
Actually, your post made me so nostalgic for the area that I came back to recommend you guys stay the night at one of the local B&B's if you have the time. There's so much to see and do in the Amherst/Northampton region and the leaves may have even begun to turn by Friday (although it seems that peak foliage is in early October). My ten years in Northampton were some of the happiest of my life, and, living in Brooklyn now, I still often miss the natural beauty of the place, particularly at this time of year.
posted by Lassie 20 September | 11:17
The thing is, interviews are only held during the week and my son has Friday off from school, so we must go right after school on Thursday, arriving in Amherst after 11PM, have the tour and interview on Friday afternoon (first time available was 3:45PM) and then get on the 6PM bus because that will get us back to NYC AFTER 11PM, and my son has a class he takes Saturday morning.

So, that is my long and sad tale of how we will have no extra time to spend in that area (on this trip, anyway). Another time, I hope.
posted by DMelanogaster 20 September | 16:35
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