"the driver of the Travel Pack bus, based in Chinatown -- pulled over before the toll booths in Allston-Brighton and ordered all passengers off. Seconds later, the vehicle burst into flames..." according to this article. That's why you gotta go with Fung Wah baby!!

I love the Chinatown bus service.

If you're not living in the Northeast corridor of the U.S., you may have no idea what I'm talking about. Basically, there's a very cheap bus service between New York and Boston operated by Chinese people.

I can remember first hearing about the service back in college, circa 1998. It was more of a whisper-y rumour. According to so-and-so, you could get to New York in three hours if you took the dun-dun-DUNNNNN: CHINATOWN BUS.

It was mad cheap but seemed mad shady. No one could ever tell me where to get the bus in Boston or where it dropped you off in New York. For some reason, my friends and I envisioned chickens on a run down van careening to and fro on I-84.

Around 2001, I started heading down to NYC regularly to perform comedy. I would take Greyhound/Peter Pan, but one day someone handed me a flyer: "Boston - NYC $10." Yeah, ten dollars. I was like Black Rob: woah.

When I told friends I was taking the Chinatown bus, invariably the question would come up: "Are there chickens?"

Why, oh why, do we associate chickens with Chinese transportation? I really don't know, but that was my first thought back in the day. Since my first trip in 2001/2002, competition has really picked up. I rode the original "Fung Wah Bus" which took you from Boston's Chinatown to Manhattan Chinatown and back. But soon, Greyhound and Peter Pan lowered their prices. If you bought online, you could travel for $30 round trip and (here's the big one), no chickens.

Then other Chinese people started bumrushing the market. You had Travel Pack and Lucky Star jump in too. I remember hearing about a shooting between rival Chinatown bus drivers. I wish all businesses competed so vigorously for my money!

Fung Wah and Travel Pack have both moved up in the world. They have nice buses, and they dock at the Boston S. Station terminal, rather than on the street in Chinatown.

The prices have come up a bit. Now $15 each way instead of $10, probably due to the dock fee at S. Station and higher gas prices. I still don't know how they do it for so little money. If they're not transporting chickens, what else are they moving?

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