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Crossing the United States by Greyhound

Old Aug 4th, 2009, 12:34 PM
  #21  
LJ
 
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I don't know if the US is SO different when it comes to Greyhound bus travel than Canada, but the judgements from some posters listed above seem mighty harsh. I have taken buses in Canada frequently. It isn't glamorous perhaps, but is a perfectly efficient way of getting from place to place.

I have also traveled by bus extensively recently in Italy.

I am neither very young nor poverty-stricken, just an average middle-aged travel fanatic. I like talking to folks who travel on buses: there is a world of folk who may never post on Fodors but have had most interesting lives and have great tales to tell.

BTW: my daughter and her husband (mid-twenties) and many of their well-educated colleagues travel by bus here and in the US. It is considered a more environmentally-friendly choice than flying everywhere or traveling solo by car.

Perhaps some of those who were the harshest critics haven't been on a bus lately?
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 12:37 PM
  #22  
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I would also guess that their carbon imprints are of no concern to them.
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 12:46 PM
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I'm reminded of the old Honda slogan, "You meet the nicest people on a Honda."

Now fill in the blank, "You meet the __________est people on a Greyhound."

You get my drift.
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 12:52 PM
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I've seen the people that get on a bus while having lunch in SD across from the bus depot.
These are people that I don't want to be in close proximity for any length of time..no offense to homeless, Meth addicts and undocumented aliens but give me a car or a motorcycle...Anyday!
When in Europe, Australia and even in small towns in Mexico, I have used the bus and loved it..
I also have used the bus at times in NYC and had a blast..didn't Mayor Bloomberg give the homeless in NYC a bus ticket to the town the homeless are from?
Maybe Greyhound is trying to change their image..good for them..they need it!
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 01:19 PM
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I remember back (about 250 years ago) when I was young many people took the Greyhound Bus. Woman did to go shopping in the bigger cities as usually families only had one car and the father drove the car to work.

Men going to work etc. I was allowed to take the Greyhound when I became 13 or 14 from our small town in the SF/ BayArea into Oakland where my aunt would pick me up as I spent a lot of time with them. When my friends and I turned 16 we were allowed to take the Grehound to San Francisco.

Sadly, at least in my area, Greyhound has a terrible reputation regarding a lot of the passengers. In fact we have two prisons here and when prisoners are paroled they are given a bit of money and a Greyhound bus ticket. I checked with out local PD some years back about their viewpoint of my taking the Greyhound from our city to SF and I was strongly advised not to do so. Sad. One of my stepgrandson's took the Greyhound bus a few years ago from Sacramento to SF. He was about 22 years old and had travelled to many countries throughout the world, basically backpacking. His description of his fellow passengers had us in stiches. No more Greyhound bus rides for him, lol. Ksucat, from what I have seen at our local station the passengers rather fit the description that you viewed in SD.

I so wish Greyhound would become as they were way back when, but that will probably never happen. At least not for the shorter bus routes that stop at many places along the way.
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 01:23 PM
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Didn't someone recently do a trip report on a Greyhound trip to Miami and Key West? Made me sort of nostalgic. I often took the bus between Boston and New York, and sometimes had remarkable encounters.

Best trip though -- I was hitching from Vermont to New York. A bus pulls over, empty. The driver had delivered a load of kids to camp and was heading back to the city. He had to let me off around the corner from the Port Authority building, as they're not allowed to pick up riders.

These days I ride the deluxe and first class buses in Mexico, not really anywhere else.

I completely understand the urge. Pick up a bottle of Night Train (on me) and go for it!
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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Here you go:

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...s-me-a-new.cfm

"My ticket to semi-tropical splendor," Montreal to Key West . . . enjoy.
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 01:36 PM
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Hi Love..
Sadly, I think the descriptions are pretty much the same in every US city.
When we were young, we always took to the train, Greyhound and it was lovely..
I do miss those times!

Fra..what's night train?
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 01:59 PM
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"Amtrak is more comfortable but it's very limited as to the stops and the schedule, and no power/internet at the seats." - there are on the lower levels in the coach.

We took Greyhound once, going from San Francisco to Reno, decided not to be adventurous next time The line to Los Angeles looked much better, I mean the people, they looked just poor people saving money. To Reno, it was different. I was glad not to travel by myself, who knows what kind of a freak would be sitting next to me!

Between bus and train I would pick train, despite it always being late.
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 02:13 PM
  #30  
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It's true that on the trip I wrote about, the bus was not full at all, and I never had anybody sitting next to me. I'm sure it would have influenced my opinion!
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 03:25 PM
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Or perhaps it was so long ago Greyhound passengers were different then they are now, Kerouac?

I just remember the last Greyhound trip I took. My husband had some insurance business around Santa Maria for a few days. He suggested that I and our little daughter take the Greyhound to Santa Maria and he of course would pick us up and would would have a two week vacation touring parts of our California. The passengers were not "scary" but they were different then when I was younger but of course our little daughter sat next to me so no problem with my seat mate. But the Greyhound bus stations where we stopped (I don't remember where) were absolutely disgusting and some of the people in them were rather scary although thankfully I did not have a problem. The restrooms were absolutely gross. When I was younger the stations were well clean and well maintained so I was shocked to put it midly. It seemed like overnight Greyhound had completely changed.

I agree, Dayenu, completely! Wouldn't it be wonderful if Amtrak would run more or less on time!

Kuscat, I do too! And this thread makes me feel so sad that I can't feel comfortable getting on the Greyhound bus, the station is only about a mile or two from my home and they do have a parking lot for their passengers, and zip into San Francisco as I did many years ago. It was not really 250 years ago, lol, although sometimes it feels like it.
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 04:17 PM
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Hi

Yes, that was me on the Greyhound... but actually only Montreal-NY and Miami-Key West I did on the bus. NY-Miami I did via Amtrak. A fair number of tourists I noticed were doing the southern route, and since it's a relatively cheap way from Montreal-NY (a good bit cheaper than flying), the northerly bus gets plenty of business too.

However, much longer... was when I went from New Orleans-Houston-San Antonio-Laredo-Monterrey, Mex.-Mexico City all by bus (overnighting in SA and Mty) in 2005. Now that was an endurance haul, but was good fun at times! The Mexican buses I found WAY better organized with comfy and assigned seating.

One thing I didn't like about Greyhound was the tendency to overbook; I was planning on doing New Orleans to San Antonio in one day (I had reservations in SA!), and I was the LAST person they let on in Baton Rouge for the Texas-bound bus. *Gulp* That was a crazy day, 12 hours from Nawlins to SA!

One thing I can't do (at least not happily) is night bussing; I go a bit stir-crazy since I can't sleep upright (and I can't read my book since I feel like it's disturbing other passengers) ...day bussing I'm OK with because I can easily while away the day looking out the window at the scenery and reading my book.

Cheers, Dan
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 05:33 PM
  #33  
 
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"Fra..what's night train?"

Night Train. It's a rotgut fortified wine favored by what we used to call hobos . . .
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 04:38 AM
  #34  
 
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LoveItaly said

<Or perhaps it was so long ago that Greyhound passengers were different then they are now?>

I was wondering the same thing. As best I can estimate kerouac's trip was made in the mid to late 1960s, maybe early 1970s. The Italian Line's last Atlantic crossing was the "Leonardo da Vinci" in 1976 [the other 2 ships on that route were withdrawn from service in 1975].

We used to travel by bus and train often back then [airline travel was usually quite expensive since deregulation didn't occur until Oct, 1978] so I suspect that bus travel back then wasn't the same as it would be now.
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 04:46 AM
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I sort of agree with AAfrequentflyer. I like the idea of taking the Greyhound from city to city, getting off for a couple of days of sightseeing, then getting back on for the next city. As Kerouac says, it is a different kind of anthropology. But I would try to schedule mostly daytime travel and have to admit that when I got to Buffalo or Cleveland (both have great art museums), I would take a taxi from the bus station to the Hyatt!

I am in my 60's and have some medical stuff to accomodate, but I continue to push my comfort level on trips by taking local buses in big cities (LA, Oakland, London, Paris, NYC) sometimes through areas off the beaten track. It has been an interesting and enlightening experience.
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 05:58 AM
  #36  
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As best I can estimate kerouac's trip was made in the mid to late 1960s, maybe early 1970s.

It was in 1973. The Italian Line was already on its last legs and had a $150 student fare for the 8-day crossing. Unheard of! (My Greyhound ticket back then was already something like $105 so that fact that it is still only $165 is pretty amazing in itself.) I took the Michelangelo and had a cabin all to myself. I think there were something like 450 passengers and 800 crew that February...
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 06:33 AM
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$150 for a crossing and cabin all to yourself! That is rather incredible. Now, that IS the way to travel. Must have been a nice trip. Thanks for the info.
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 09:42 AM
  #38  
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I'd cross the country by Greyhound 3 more times if I could get a fare like that on an ocean liner again!
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