you should keep in mind who is writing these things - very few americans are used to "roughing it". they always want first class everything, and McDonald's in every country. I suspect any of those complaining about Greyhound have ever taken public transportation in other countries. The Grey Hound is no less dirty then the public transportation in Paris, and riding the grey hound bus in america felt exactly the same as riding the buses in England between cities. Nicer then those in Nepal, not as nice as Madonna's tour bus
I've never rode first class in anything? I hate Mcdonalds. Way to get in a sweeping generalization about Americans. Seems like every post, one of these sneeks in.
I have never rode a greyhound. Everytime I went on family trips we drove or flew. I think I would prefer to take trains, but they are not really available in the Arizona Desert, other than Amtrak which costs more than a plane ticket. Gas is much cheaper here than in Europe and also we are quite larger in sheer volume of places to go. So I understand why people would rather drive than take a Greyhound (long bus rides). Coupled with the fact that I don't want to take a bus that goes 60 mph when I can get there faster(75 mph) and more comfortable than a bus seat. I can control my own climate, roll the windows up and down, listen to whatever I want. Pullover when ever I want to see a little something or view. In short you have more freedom!!! So you are saying that Americans are saying we expect everything first class? I think its more that we like to be able to make our own decisions while travelling and go to MCDONALDS if we are hungry
In America it is true Greyhound is usually for people who don't have a car and don't have much money. It is usually depicted in movies as people who are poor or who are running away from something that take the bus. A bus ride around Paris in a bus is different than taking a bus ride in America. You take a bus from San Diego, CA to Phoenix it is going to take 8 hrs probablly. I can drive it in 5.5 and stop when I want probably for 90$ in gas. Anybody can hand out comfortably in a bus in Paris for an hour looking at the sites. But if you have ever driven through the South of Texas (towards New Orleans) you know how bored you can possibly get. Takes 12 hours going 80 mph to get through Texas!!
I say take the overnight bus if you want to save money and get to save money on a hotel!! If I wanted to save money I would take it to. I wouldn't worry about your safety as long as you pay attention!
Sorry for the degression, but American bashing gets old!!!
I have travelled from Calgary to Sault Ste Marie on the Greyhound and found it to be a very enjoyable trip! I would stay clear of downtown regina at 2 am though as it is a little unsafe if you leave the bus station but other then that I would recomend greyhound to any budget traveller or to someone that just wants to see the sights ! greyhounds have big windows and they play movies
I think the greyhounds are actually a good way to travel. Admittedly you do not get the same freedoms of a car like J-wal said, but obviously if you're driving you can't check out the scenery as well as if you're on a bus. Plus-like Matt added-you can watch movies and you can read books. I was actually reading up in the travel guide of the next places we would be passing (just in case I felt like hopping-off for a short visit.). I also met loads of nice people, some of whom were travelling to the same places and so we hung around looking at the sights etc together. Other who were locals and made their own recommendations about things to do and see.
Taking the Greyhound from Vancouver to Whistler will be an awesome experience because you can have your face glued to the window and see all the beautiful scenery! I have taken Greyhound heaps and heaps of times across Canada and never have any problems ... sure it might take ages to get to certain places, but that's all part of the experience!
As for Greyhound in the US ... Even the Greyhound employees themselves are aware that Greyhound service in the US kinda sucks (compared to the service in Canada). There are two different lines ... the Jefferson line and something else (can't remember what it's called) that run in the US, and one of them is better than the other. I took an overnight trip between Springfield, Missouri and Dallas, Texas on the so-called "crappy" line a couple of years ago. The bus was packed with some real characters ... but since it was an overnight, most people just slept. However, we had to stop in Oklahoma City for an hour, and a couple of the passengers got into a fight. But other than that, my experience was fine. I would just recommend having earplugs if you're a light sleeper or an MP3/CD player with unlimited batteries because some people snore like the dickens.
If you're really concerned just tell the driver that you are travelling by yourself and you're a bit nervous, and I guarantee they will keep an eye out for you. I didn't even have to ask and the driver (a really nice old guy) kept his eye on me, and even made sure a "young punk" (his words, not mine!) didn't sit by me.
I took a greyhound from raligh,North Carolina to Buffalo, NY. I just got home today so all this is still fresh in my memory. I had never taken the bus before and I wouldnt take it again, unless someone paid me alot.The bus itself is very uncomfortable there is absolutely no way to sleep or rest your head.if someones seated next to you which there usually is you have to pretty much sit up the whole time .Also if you do somehow get to sleep you get woken up very soon after for either a rest stop or a bus stop.I told this to someone and they said it sounds kind of like a hazing they were joking but im not, it was horrible.It was honestly like torture well the sleeping situation when your so tired and theres no where to put your head, and the seat doesnt recline back nearly far enough to help any.Also alot of the people I encountered that work for greyhound are very rude and not very helpful. Exspecially most of the drivers and baggage handlers. One women baggage handler actually kind of nudged me and touched my shoulder to move me out of her way as she was carelesly throwing greyhound customers baggage hard on the cement. It wasnt a dire situation either there were about 4 people waiting for baggage and the bus had a hour stop.i felt like my personal space had been invaded by this women. I would have moved just as quickly out of way had she asked me.The bus drivers actually yell at you like your a child if you ask them a question they deem stupid or if you dont get off the bus right away. an example if your groggy because they just woke you up at a stop you cant even sit there for a few minutes to wake up they yell to get off now.And Im not some crochety old lady not that a crochety old women is a bad thing to be they just have a different outlook on things. Im a 20 year old women and I have traveled with my family driving from buffalo to florida many of times so I know what its like to travel on the road, but nothing compares to the bad taste this experience has left in my mouth.
If you were really wanting a safer alternative (although I don't know that Greyhound is unsafe as such!), you could try Amtrak trains. I travelled from Alberquerque - Seattle (long trip!!), and didn't have a problem sleeping, or with the safety thing. Plus I met lots of cool people to chat to and make the trip less boring. I spose train travel would be a bit more expensive than a bus, but I still found the prices reasonable, and it would give you peace of mind Enjoy your trip, whatever you decide on!
Ive never travelled on a greyhound overnight - but Ive never felt unsafe on one - and ive done quite a few trips on them. That being said, there are always a few shady characters on your trip. And always always always turn up early for your bus - greyhound is prone to overbooking, and if you arent first in line, you often wont get on. But then there is always the next bus...
Watch out for yourself at the bus station, sit behind the driver during the trip, and if you're worried about sleep, pop a Tylenol PM or three. It would kindof suck to do such a long way via bus, but since it seems that the only thing you were worried about was death . . . I'd bet you'd be okay.
I rode the grey dog from miami to chicago and while I would never do it again, it was an experience that i will remember and i didn't felt like i was in danger at any point, I actually met some nice people on the bus.
Sure you save some nights of accommodation but its not much cheaper than flying lowfare in the us. I remember that i could get a plane ticket from miami to chicago cheaper than my bus ticket... but the bus ticket was non-refoundable.
sorry for spelling errors... english is my third language...
You will definitely meet some of the strangest mixes of people ever. Oh, that's a good thing