The lone advantage of being unemployed for me is no more 10,000 km flights eight (or more) times a year.
I only rode Greyhound once–but that was enough. It was a long time ago, around 1983, from Iowa City, IA to Champaign, IL. It was daylight. I was thin, young, attractive. I dozed off and awoke to find some nasty looking dude covering me–my head, and upper body with a huge coat (think Hagrid-sized). I cried out, “Hey!” and he looked taken aback and then said he thought I might be “cold”.
I have no idea what he was trying to do (or what he hoped to achieve), but I got off that bus with relief in Champaign–very grateful that my boyfriend was at the station to pick me up. He rented a car and took me back to Iowa City a few days later…
I would NEVER sleep on a Greyhound, if I were to ride one again(not likely).
Some people are nice on the bus, but be careful.
It’s almost as if I don’t even post…
I rode them years ago between college and home-the main thing I remember is the awful headaches I got from the mixture of cigarette smoke and diesel fuel fumes.
Smoking isn’t allowed on the buses anymore, thank goodness.
Is that with the mandatory airport fees, or not? I don’t mean to say you’re necessarily wrong in suggesting that a discount air carrier may be cheaper than the bus, but it can be a shock for the inexperienced air traveller to assume that air fare is the only cost they will face for flying.
For my own experience, I’ve done the bus thing often. Not so much in the past several years, but I used to go down to NYC fairly regularly.
In my experience while Greyhound was acceptable, i.e. you’d get there, usually on time, their bus fleet was older, and smaller, than their competitor: Trailways. Now the problem with Trailways is that it’s actually a system of smaller companies with reciprocity agreements - so you can’t easily compare fares online. You can buy the tickets in any Trailways stop to anywhere they go - no problem. What you can’t do, on your own, is find fare information. But they do have 1-800 numbers for fare information and in my experience were very patient and willing to help a customer with questions. (For Adirondak Trailways, that number is: 800-858-8555)
Odd bit of trivia: Greyhound Canada used to be part of the Trailways system, not Greyhound US. :eek:
In spite of that, my experience (mostly with Adirondack Trailways, Peter Pan, and Capital Trailways) the fares were cheaper than the comparable Greyhound fares, the buses were newer, and had more comfortable seats, and the trips were more tightly scheduled, i.e. less layover time.
For those suggesting rail as an alternative, it may have changed, but when I was doing the travelling I’d mentioned - it was invariably the most expensive travel option, and the least convenient. Now, part of that was Amtrak only went through my city once a day, with a Boston-to-Chicago run that was timed for convenience of the arrival departures at the ends of the trip. i.e. going east the train was leaving at 2 or 3 AM. I know that’s changed since that time, but it has left me very leery of considering rail travel.
I’ve said it before, but I do want to emphasize again - my experience is several years out of date, so things may have changed. Take this with a grain of salt.
One more thing to mention to the OP, several years ago at least, both Greyhound and Trailways allowed one to purchase tickets that would allow one to ride their buses anywhere for a set number of days, rather than to and from specific destinations. These passes were on the order of a month-long time frame, and if one were planning to do a lot of travelling around a region were often a very good value for the money. More expensive than a single round trip ticket, but I think they were comparable to three one-way tix, or so…
I can’t seem to find a mention of it on the Trailways websites, but here’s the Greyhound version. A quick look at the fare rates indicate it may be more expensive than I recall, but if you check out your planned fares, it may still be cheaper for you.
Sorry, I cdid see your post, but for some reason I only associated your suggestion with flights to Toronto, which are all expensive becase they’re international flights, apparently. I had to have it spelled out for me. :smack:
Yes, I am aware of other fees (airplane tax and such), but thanks for the reminder, Otaku!
I had a guy put a blanket over me on an airplane, but he was cute and Welsh, so it made me happy .
Well, even if you’re talking Boston to Toronto, Expedia.com gives a base price of $172 per person (one way, mid-week in August). Even with the taxes, it’s at least in the same ballpark as the train, and the flight is less than two hours. That’s got to be worth some extra cost.
Yup. But looking at bus fare for that same set of assumptions: mid-week in August, it’s twice the fare ($87). Almost four times as much if HazelNutCoffee can buy the tickets, fourteen days in advance ($45). (Of course, it’s a minimum 14 hour trip, vs. 2 so…)
Yeah. There’s no way I’m taking the plane from Boston to Toronto. Even considering the time I’d be saving, the different between $45 and $172 is a lot. Taking the plane to Buffalo seems like a reasonable option, though.
I would say Greyhound serves a much needed enterprise. Cheap travel and a bus goes where trains don’t.
Besides that, last fall I found myself riding a Greyhound bus from Reno to Modesto, then Modesto to Oakland.
My sister was going to give me a ride from Boise to Modesto. We made it as far as Sparks where I shouted “I’d rather take a Greyhound bus than ride with you”. I got a cab from Sparks to Reno ($20 with tip) and the cab driver said “your not gonna like the bus and should have stayed with your sister” after I told him what I was doing.
My advice is to relax, sit back and see America on Greyhound. At first, when I got on the bus, I was a little intimidated by being in close quarters with strangers. I react the same way on planes or any public transporter. (heh) Once I confirm we are all human I can breathe a sigh of relief. Which reminds me. There is a commode (which is what I think they call toilets on a bus or a train. Head on a boat and I forget what they call them on planes.)
To get to Modesto from Reno the bus went through Sacramento with a 6 hour layover for another bus to Modesto. Most Greyhound bus stations are right downtown and I had time to walk around the state capitol and the Sacramento River. One tip is each bus station has lockers you can rent to stow your stuff so you don’t have a lot to carry while visting the city.
On my mail run ride on Greyhound the drivers stopped at places that sold food and water but its easy enough to carry your own.
You know life is an adventure and its what you make of it. Long live Greyhound!
Greyhound? That was my first coroner’s inquest.
I haven’t ridden the system in years, but back in 1980 I wanted to travel across the USA 9which i hadn’t seen most of) by rail, using a Rail Pass. Therre was only one problem – there WAS no USA Railpass.
So i got a 30-day pass for the Greyhound system $341.25 for 30 days unlimited travel on any Greyhound bus. I mooched off friends and relatives or stayed at college dorms across the country. I actually finagled a couple of extra days on the pass. I also wrangled a copy of the phone book-sized complete country schedule (which they don’t like to let out).
I have no complaints about the bus. They were clean and efficient (and on time! )A lot of servicemen rode the bus, and a lot of Hispanic folk, especially in the Southwest. But everyone was polite, and interesting to talk to.
A train would’ve been roomier and easier to get up and walk around in. and you could often get a snack (which generally I wouldn’t recommend. In my experience, Amtrak’s fare is unpredictable and overpriced, and you’d never mistake their dining car for the Orient Express’. )
I don’t know if you’ll be transfering, but Canadian Greyhound buses are supposed to be much less traumatic than American. I’ve only ever been on Greyhound in Canada, and it’s fine. I’ve never been hassled. I used to bus a lot when i was in school.
A good friend of mine took the Chinatown bus from Philly to DC a couple of weeks ago. She said that there was an actual bullet hole in the windshield, and the driver talked on his cell phone the whole way, varying his driving speed to match his conversation. And the bus door didn’t close properly. She said it was a hair-raising ride.
Here in Boston the Fung=Wah Bus Company is a joke and scandal. They’ve had a disproportionate number of accidents and close calls, and constantly seem to be in the news.