I've taken the Casino Buses from Port Authority numerous times, especially during my "no-car" era and I found them to be very efficient, cheap and comfortable.
In Port Authority there is a designated area to purchase and board the many buses that take you to AC for about $22 which includes some sort of voucher redemable for either cash (depends on the casino you decide to go to) or for slot plays equivalent to the purchase price of your ticket on the bus.
The is a very popular and inexpensive way to spend some time in AC especially the price of the bus would be "free".
There are many many buses going to Atlantic City like Greyhound and private buses operate by different casinos there.
Greyhound will be from NYC Port Authority Bus Terminal (42st & 8 ave).
You can find Hilton, Ceasars & Taj Mahal has their own fleet going.
I got a ride by car from my friends & it took 2hour 15 min to go there from Manhattan.
On my way back, I randomly checked with one of the bus at Ceasears Casino bus terminal and found out they took my tips & let me get on the bus without tickets since they have seats left .
I was told Chinatowns in NYC draws the largest crowds to these casinos in Atlantic City. My friend told me Hilton Atlantic City offers Round trip bus fare from chinatown sales center for $18 and about $22 cash to play plus $20 match-play coupons to attract players. Some other casinos give food coupons from chinatown plus $10 chips to play. The buses are usually not well maintained but for budget travelers, its a good option to use. In my case, its cheaper than riding Greyhound .
People seem to have a hard time figuring out which airport to fly into when visiting Atlantic City. Of course there is the very small Atlantic City Airport, but that really only helps you if you are traveling from Florida, Myrtle Beach, Detroit or Cincinnati. Spirit Airlines (www.spiritair.com) is the main airline at ACY, Delta does 2 flights a day to Cincinnati. Most people fly into Philadelphia Airport, it is a large airport with most major airlines flying to/from it frequently. It is only a 1-hour drive from Atlantic City, which is not bad considering that Atlantic City Airport is 15 minutes away from Atlantic City because the airport is actually a few towns away from the city. Newark Airport would be your second choice; it's a little less than 2 hours away. These three airports are your best bet, do anything you can to fly into any of these three airports. JFK, BWI & LaGuardia are all about a 3-hour drive from AC, but are a pain in the neck to deal with, but are still accessible to Atlantic City. International travels usually have very little choice other than flying into JFK because it is the largest international airport on the east coast with the most choices of Airlines. BWI is the furthest from Atlantic City.
2) Airport Shuttle & Limo service
Contrary to popular belief there are no free casino shuttles from the Airports to the Casinos. In fact there are really no shuttle services at all to Atlantic City. Most people choose to use car service & limo companies. Using a company like this is exactly what I suggest if you need ground transportation from any of the above airports or NYC, DC, or Philly. The company I work for uses Airport Chariot (www.airportchariot.com) 609-748-3506 to get people between the Airports & the Atlantic City area. I use their sedan service personally and so far they've done a great job. They also seem to have the cheapest prices in the area. They have sedans, Limos & charter buses for large groups.
The Jitney is AC's reliable means of transportation. Catch a blue Jitney bus every twenty minutes or so on any corner fof Pacific Ave. for a minimal cost of $2 and hop off when you want. It runs from the casinos downtown to the Marina district and down to the neighboring town Ventnor.
If you get to AC early and the sun is out, try going out from your hotel to Pacific Ave. and catch a blue Jitney. They are like $2.00 one way and will bring you anywhere within AC (Not to Ventnor or downbeach or Brigantine and not off the island). If you can get familiar with the system, they are great to take day or night.
In AC, with your car, you are allowed one free transfer - That means if your car is parked at Bally's you can move it to Tropicana without paying the extra cost. Most casinos honor this unless something has changed that I don't know of. On busy weekends though to find parking, it could be tough and since you're probably in AC to kick a few back anyway, it doesn't hurt to get familiar with the jitneys and leave your car where it is.
The routes are color coded as to where the jitney goes, but it may be best to know where each AC casino is located geographically. For instance, the Borgata and Trump Marina is a popular destination, but those are not on the boardwalk and not all jitneys go there.
The only problem with them is that there is only 13-15 seats I think and they get full some weekends pretty quickly. I remember having to walk to the Hilton to get a step up on all of the people waiting to go north from the Tropicana.
If you're in AC late, and get familiar with the system early, it will pay - the taxis usually charge you an arm and a leg. And it's pretty safe for AC.
Most of the casinos are spread around near the center of the city and it is possible to walk from one casino to another. However, there are some casinos that are too far from the center and it may not be easy to reach by walking. The best way to go around the AC, other than walking, is to use Jitney Bus. This little bus operates all over the city and it is most efficient way to get to places in the AC.
You’d think that parking at the casino hotels would be free to encourage patrons, but it’s not. Some hotels have more than one garage and there can be more than one entrance from different streets into a garage. The following is a summary of parking available:
Hilton - Boston Ave, $10 or $3 for club members
Tropicana – Brighton Ave, $10 or $4 for club members
Trump Plaza – Mississippi, $4
Caesars – Christopher Columbus Blvd, $5
Wild Wild West – (use Bally’s) Michigan, $5
Bally’s – Michigan or Ohio, $5
Clardige - Park Place, $5
Sands – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, $3 or free for club members
Resort – North Carolina, $4
Trump Taj Mahal – Virginia, $4
Showboat – Delaware, $5 or free for club members
Trump Marina - Huron, $4
Harrahs - Harrah's Blvd, $4
Borgata - Borgata Way, $5
Atlantic City is a grid, so navigation in the city is easy because roads either parallel the boardwalk or are at right-angles to it. Unfortunately, the blocks are very short and every intersection has a set of lights. You know you’re in trouble when you notice that the streets are commonly named after the 50 States. Personally, I like to park at a hotel that is close to the highway that I drove in on, but your needs may differ.
If you arrive at Atlantic City via US30, there is no obvious landmark with which to mark your entrance /exit to the city. You will go by the Marina district (Trump Marina, Harrah’s, Borgata) as you cross route 87. If you continue, route 30 turns into Delaware Ave and eventually ends at the entrance to the Showboat. The Showboat is at the north end of the casinos (Uptown), so you’ll probably want to turn right on Atlantic Ave to get to other hotels.
If you arrive at Atlantic City via the Atlantic City Expressway, this laser lighthouse marks the entrance / exit to the city. At night the lighthouse is supposed to light up with lasers shows, but it must be unplugged because I never saw it working. The lighthouse is in the middle of the casinos (Midtown) so turn right on Atlantic Ave to go Downbeach (Hilton, Tropicana), straight ahead for Caesar’s and turn left for all other hotels.
It took me several trips to notice, but there are helpful signs to point the way to various districts and individual hotels. The city is divided into four districts and the signs are color coded with a different symbol for each district:
Downbeach - symbol: sun, color: green
Midtown - symbol: lighthouse, color: red
Uptown - symbol: seahorse, color: blue
Marina - symbol: sailboat, color: purple
If you arrive at Atlantic City via US40 or 322, this WWI memorial marks the entrance / exit to the city. This park is at the south end of the casinos (Downbeach), so you’ll probably want to turn left after this monument and go up Atlantic Ave to get to the hotels.
Like many east coats beach communities, Atlantic City is separated from the mainland by a stretch of water, so at some point you have to cross a bridge to enter or leave. This means that if everyone decides to arrive or leave at the same time, traffic delays are the result (e.g. Sunday night).
Different highways arrive at different districts in the city:
US40/322 – Downbeach (Hilton, Tropicana)
Atlantic City Expressway – Midtown (Caesar’s, Wild Wild West, Bally’s, Claridge, Sands)
US30 – Marina (Trump Marina, Harrah’s, Borgata) and Uptown (Resorts, Trump Taj Mahal, Showboat)
Catch a bus, there runnig all the time. This bus has a bike rack on the front, never saw that before. It looks like you can put your bike on the front and ride the bus to save some time. Check out the website below for schedules.
ok, so if you drive to Atlantic City, have a lot of change for the toll booths. They are every 2 seconds. Some are 70 cents, some are $3.50. On my map downloaded off the internet, it told me we had 3 tolls to pass. Nu-huh! Way more than 20. Ok, the internet is not always right, but come on!
Also, beware of the Freeways. On the way home, we took the wrong one and ended up in Philidelphia. OOPS!
Once you get on, you can't get off. As well, you pay to get on and you pay to get off. They can be confusing as there are many lanes you can take. The Easy Pass lane is only for people who have a pre-paid ticket. DO NOT TAKE THIS LANE.