Bruins fans trying to get to Montreal for Game 3 might be better off hitching a ride on a Zamboni than trying to get there via public transportation.
Travelers who waited until Monday to make plans for Tuesday’s playoff game would have had to cough up around $1,600 to fly nonstop, or upwards of $800 for a flight with an hour or so layover in Philadelphia or Detroit. There is no direct service by train, meaning either a nearly 22-hour journey via Pennsylvania Station in New York City, or a longer trip — 31 hours in all, including an overnight layover — through Albany, N.Y.
A bus ride takes at least 7½ hours, including a stop at an often-backed-up border crossing during which passengers have to get off the bus, unload their luggage, and go through customs.
In reality, most hockey fans will probably just gas up the car for the 300-mile journey. That is what Globe sportswriters are doing, including Amalie Benjamin, whose flight search yielded a $1,520 flight that was nonstop from Boston to Montreal and had not one, but two layovers — in Philadelphia and Buffalo — on the way home.
Airfare is high — more than $600 for a nonstop flight even with advance purchase — because Air Canada is the only carrier flying directly from Boston to Montreal. The route between the two cities has not traditionally generated a lot of air traffic, said Daniel Kasper, a Boston transportation consultant. Of course, he added, “There would probably be more people if the fares were lower.”
Ivan Zvonar knows the pain of traveling between Boston and Montreal. The 22-year-old research scientist grew up in Boston and attended McGill University in Montreal from 2009 to 2013. During those four years he and his friends tried every mode of transport, and because of the expense of flying, and the nonexistence of a direct train, they usually got a ride from someone with a car or took the bus — though stories of delays turning Greyhound trips into 11-hour ordeals were unsettling.
“You’d think that between two big metropolitan cities there would be more of a clear-cut transportation solution,” Zvonar said.
Oh, and if someone did want to try their luck on a Zamboni, the journey would take about 31 hours — provided they pushed it to its maximum speed of 9.7 miles per hour the whole way.