Greyhound Starts NYC Bus Service From HLS

Greyhound and Peter Pan shuttles began round trip service last week between Harvard Law School’s (HLS) Harkness Commons and the New York/New Jersey Port Authority Bus Terminal on Manhattan’s Lower West Side as part of the carriers’ nationwide CampusLink program.

The new Greyhound shuttles leave Cambridge three times on Thursday and Friday, twice on Saturday and offer return service at least three times per day Thursday through Sunday.

Greyhound’s new service comes into competition with the Harvard Law Central Coach Shuttle service operated by Entertainment Tours and available since last October. For $20 each way, the service shuttle takes passengers between HLS and Manhattan’s Pennsylvania Station.

Greyhound will offer the four and a half hour bus ride at an introductory price of $20 one-way and $40 round trip if tickets are purchased in advance.

Also in conflict with the new service is the Undergraduate Council’s occasional shuttle service to and from New York City, which runs for $30 round trip at cost to the council.

Michael R. Blickstead ’05, chair of the council’s Campus Life Committee, said that the council shuttle service will continue to operate on holiday weekends and over spring break.

Greyhound executives said their expanded service is part of a new marketing strategy.

Hal Gronfein, director of marketing for Greyhound, said Boston was a “key development market” due to its high student population.

Gronfein said last weekend’s service had “very good numbers” with students comprising 98 percent of the passengers.

Greyhound expects to keep the introductory prices indefinitely.

But competitor Entertainment Tours is not surrendering its claim on the market.

“We’re not going to pack up and leave,” Entertainment Tours spokesperson Michael Curren said.

He also said that Entertainment Tours’ family-business style will be an advantage in its struggle to compete with Greyhound.

“It’s like David and Goliath,” Curren said.