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Coming and Going: $1 Buses to NYC, EasyHotel, America's Most Miserable Cities

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

BIG WHEELS

Bargain Bus to NYC

Tripper Bus is the latest discount bus service to offer rides for as little as $1 each way between the Washington area and New York. The bus was scheduled to begin making trips Feb. 13. It runs between Manhattan (34th Street and the northwest corner of Seventh Avenue) and Bethesda (7525 Old Georgetown Rd., between Wisconsin Avenue and Commerce Lane, across the street from the Bethesda Metro station), with continuing service to/from Arlington (near the Rosslyn Metro stop on North Moore Street between McDonald's and Burger King).

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Cheapest fares are $1 each way plus a 50-cent service fee. Once those seats sell out, fares go to $5 and then $10 each way before reaching the regular fare of $25 each way.

The bus will offer electrical outlets and wireless Internet.

Tripper Bus is the latest player in a crowded field that includes Vamoose (service between New York, Bethesda and Arlington for $25 each way), Washington Deluxe (with stops in Brooklyn, Chinatown and Penn Station in New York and Tenleytown, Dupont Circle and downtown Washington, $21 one way and $40 round trip Sunday-Friday, $25 each way Saturdays), Megabus.com (service between New York and Washington starting at $1 each way) and BoltBus (service between New York and Washington starting at $1 each way). For a full list of bus lines, see our Way to Go section on http://www.washingtonpost.com/travel.

DEPT. OF BARGAINEERING

Easy Street Revisited

Everyone knows about EasyJet, the low-cost European airline with a penchant for the color orange. But what about EasyHotel? The good news is that it's run by the same folks, the bad news is that the rooms have orange walls, and the better news is that you can get rooms in London, Zurich and other places for a steal.

But first, a caveat: Just as EasyJet has made its money offering a no-frills experience where each extra perk costs, well, extra, EasyHotel rooms have redefined the postage-stamp-accommodation experience. The best-priced rooms are windowless and a minuscule 64 to 75 square feet (basically enough room for a double bed and an open suitcase), plus a phone-booth-size private bath. Flat-panel TVs hang from the walls (you'll need five pounds, or about $7, to activate one in London); housekeeping, if needed, will run you another 10 pounds.

But before you say you'll die of claustrophobia, just remember this number: 65. Dollars, not pounds. That's about how much a room costs total for two people at the EasyHotel in London's Earls Court. (Rooms at the chain's Heathrow property start at a rock-bottom $37.50. There are other properties in London as well.)

Sure, it'll be like sleeping in a tangerine, but hey, the Hilton Olympia not far away from Earls Court starts at a hundred bucks more. And you don't get any orange walls.

That we know of.

For more information, visit http://www.easyhotel.com.

LISTS, LISTS, LISTS

Misery Loves Company

Every year, Forbes magazine crunches numbers and comes up with what it deems the "most miserable" cities in the United States, based on a variety of factors: commute times, corruption, pro sports teams, Superfund sites, taxes (both income and sales), unemployment, violent crime and weather. The corruption category is new this year. (And D.C. still didn't make the list?) Foreclosure rates played a part, too.

But in the wake of the election, CoGo was surprised that Chicago snagged the No. 3 spot. Of course, its most famous resident did trade his Hyde Park digs for a mansion in warmer climes, and as for corruption, who could ignore Rod Blagojevich?

Here's the full list: Stockton, Calif. (1), Memphis (2), Chicago (3), Cleveland (4), Modesto, Calif. (5), Flint, Mich. (6), Detroit (7), Buffalo (8), Miami (9) and St. Louis (10).

BARGAIN OF THE WEEK

Lufthansa is offering a European Spring Special for travel from Washington Dulles to Brussels, Madrid, Munich and Frankfurt, Germany. Fares vary by destination. Round-trip fare to Frankfurt, for example, is $386, plus about $97 in taxes. Depart by April 2, and return by May 1. A seven-day advance purchase is required. Purchase by March 1 at http://www.lufthansa.com.

Reporting: Carol Sottili, Scott Vogel, Christina Talcott

Help feed CoGo. Send travel news, road reports and juicy tattles to: cogo@washpost.com. By mail: CoGo, Washington Post Travel Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.


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