Concord may not have train or airline connections to the biggest city in the country, but as of next month, it will have its first direct bus connection.
Concord Coach Lines is launching a high-end bus service direct to New York City as of Feb. 13.
The service is set to leave Concord at 6:30 a.m., seven days a week, including one stop in Nashua, and arrive in midtown Manhattan by noon. It will leave New York at 2 p.m. and arrive in Concord by 7:30 p.m.
The service will be the rough equivalent of business class in a plane, with 30 passengers compared to the usual 51 for such buses, featuring two seats on one side of the aisle and one seat on the other. The bus will also have a self-service galley with coffee and fresh fruit in the back.
The fare has an introductory rate of $49 one way from Concord, or $44 from Nashua.
Dartmouth Coach, which is owned by Concord Coach, has been offering a direct New York City run from Hanover for many years.
It has up to four daily runs from the Hanover/Lebanon area to New York, with a $79 price tag one way. That’s slightly more than the cheapest round-trip flight currently offered to LaGuardia Airport in New York from Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.
The Concord Coach service from Concord, like Dartmouth Coach’s, will require a reservation.
Concord Coach started a direct run to and from Portland, Maine, in November 2015.
The company said the buses would have leather seats, WiFi and power outlets at each seat.
Concord Coach offers a number of daily trips to and from Boston’s South Station and Logan Airport, which leave from the Concord Transportation Center on Stickney Avenue.
Bus lines have been rolling out the equivalent of business-class service between cities for a number of years, targeting short-hop airlines. This move is at the opposite end of the market from extremely cheap city-to-city bus lines that have revolutionized the industry in the past decades.
There has been long-distance bus service based in Concord for more than half a century, rotating through a number of owners. Old-timers may remember the company as Concord Trailways when it was part of the national bus company from 1980 through 2007, after which it resumed the Concord Coach Lines name.
(David Brooks can be reached at 369-3313 or email@example.com or on Twitter @GraniteGeek)