Blade Now Offers a $275 Bus Ticket to The Hamptons

Blade, the helicopter charter company, was founded 10 years ago as a way for commuters going between New York and the Hamptons to avoid vehicle traffic.

This May it is introducing a new service, the Hamptons Streamliner, that, starting at $195 a ticket, will take passengers to destinations on eastern Long Island aboard … a bus.

Like Blade’s helicopters, seats on which start at $1,025, its buses are marketed as a luxurious option for Hamptons-goers. Seats can recline up to 45 degrees and passengers will be offered free refreshments like espresso martinis, PopUp Bagels and Sweetgreen salads as they make their way from Manhattan to stops in Southampton, Bridgehampton and East Hampton via the Long Island Expressway.

Other amenities include a call button at each seat to get the attention of an attendant who can bring riders a snack, a drink, a hot towel or a cashmere blanket. Those who spring for one of seven premium seats, which cost $275, can also ride with a pet (for an additional fee).

The 19-passenger coaches, of course, will be subject to the same gridlock and hourslong traffic delays any vehicle can encounter on the expressway — making the onboard perks a main draw, said Roisin Branch, Blade’s chief marketing officer. “This level of service is commensurate to what you would see in private aviation,” she said.

Ms. Branch said that Blade leaders saw a space in the market between more affordable Hamptons bus services like the 54-seat Jitney or 30-seat Ambassador — tickets for which start at $41 and $64 — and pricier modes of transportation like helicopters, which have drawn mounting complaints from residents of New York City and the Hamptons about noise and other disruptions.

The Hamptons Streamliner is a partnership between Blade and the Jet, a high-end coach service between New York and Washington, D.C., which supplied the two buses being used for the new transit service. (Each bus cost about a million dollars to buy and outfit, said Chad Scarborough, the founder of the Jet.) Operations will start just before Memorial Day weekend and run into the fall.

Hamptons-bound buses will pick up passengers at only one location in Manhattan: Hudson Yards, the neighborhood of luxury apartment buildings, stores and office towers occupied by technology companies like Meta and financial firms like BlackRock and Point 72. Buses returning to Manhattan will stop at an East Side location before ending their route at Hudson Yards.

“We wanted to make it an express,” Ms. Branch said. “The less stops, the more premium it is for the community that we’re serving.”

She added that Hudson Yards was chosen as the Streamliner’s starting point with the hope that some Hamptons-bound people who work there will opt for a bus ride instead of driving or booking a chauffeured car.

Bianca D’Alessio, 31, a real estate broker in New York, has taken both Blade helicopters and Jitney buses to the Hamptons. Ms. D’Alessio, who appears in “Selling the Hamptons,” a real-estate-focused reality TV show on the streaming service Max, described the Jitney as “no frills” and said “a smaller bus experience” offering more luxury could appeal to certain riders.

But other commuters like Chloe Hechter, 23, who lives in New York and whose parents have a home in the Hamptons, saw less value in splurging on a more luxurious way to sit in traffic.

Ms. Hechter, a recent graduate of Syracuse University, has occasionally taken Ambassador buses, which offer passengers free wine and coffee, but said she preferred taking Jitney buses because they are less expensive.

“If I want to spend a summer weekend out there, I would just rather the cheapest, easiest way to get out,” she said.

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