Entrepreneur Andy Seligman believes people will pay a premium price for upscale bus service from D.C. to New York City.
Seligman, a leasing manager at Federal Realty Investment Trust and owner of restaurants Grand Central DC in Adams Morgan and Brickside Food & Drink in Bethesda, will launch a boutique bus service using posh, custom outfitted Mercedes Sprinter buses with twice daily service between Washington and mid-town Manhattan next month.
Royal Sprinter is starting with two buses, which cost about $120,000 each and feature just eight reclining leather seats. Amenities include DirecTV, WiFi and complimentary refreshments.
DC-to-NYC service starts April 4 for $90 each way. It plans to add service to New York from Tysons Corner, from D.C. to Philadelphia, and Philadelphia to New York in the near future.
“I believe there is a market for people who will pay a little more for a little more,” Seligman says. “There is really nothing else like Royal Sprinter out there.”
Vamoose, one of a half dozen bus companies running between Washington and New York City, has a limited Gold Bus service that includes reclining leather seats and more room for passengers that starts at $60 each way. Trips on other bus routes, like MegaBus or BoltBus, run about $30-$50 round trip.
Royal Sprinter has also partnered with the Park Hyatt Washington, Embassy Suites at the Chevy Chase Pavilion and the Loews Regency Hotel in Manhattan as pickup and drop-off spots, convenient for both hotel guests and non-guests who will be able to use the hotels’ lobbies while waiting for the bus.
The initial routes leave the Park Hyatt at 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and arrive at the Loews Regency four hours later, with one stop at the Chevy Chase Embassy suites.
New York departures are currently scheduled at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Seligman eventually plans to add morning departures from NYC to DC.
You can check out Royal Sprinter’s website and online reservations here.