...and another gets on,|
and another gets on,
another one rides the bus.
Hey, he's going gonna sit by you,
another one rides the bus!
"Another One Rides the Bus"
- Weird Al Yankovich
Prior to 9/11, the airports were already little outposts of Bulgaria and traveler satisfaction wasn't "Job One." Now its worse. Many freedom-oriented people are eschewing the Eastern Bloc experience of commercial air travel. One alternative to air travel is the Greyhound Bus.The Good News
While Greyhound has a policy of not permitting firearms or ammunition to be transported on their buses (a policy that is even more restrictive than the airlines, who permit firearms to be transported as checked baggage), it did not appear that they were checking this too strenuously.
While I've heard accounts of screening bus travelers, I did not observe this happening at any of the major cities on my trip, and it certainly did not occur in any of the small town stops. I did not transport any firearms on this trip, but I purposely carried a significant quantity of ferrous metal in my carry on bags, and I was not searched.
I also never had to present any identification on my trip. While I paid in advance with a credit card, I merely presented the print off from my on line ticket purchase to the ticket clerk. I also observed people paying with cash not being asked to show ID. Greyhound's website is silent on the matter of presenting identification except when purchasing tickets for another party in a different city, and they even make a provision for the use of a password.The Bad News
Well, it is the bus. I was hoping that Greyhound would have taken advantage of current events in order to draw customers away from the airlines. Unfortunately, it appears that the bus lines have done little to improve services since I last regularly used their services in the early 1980s.
Here's a list of my gripes with my recent bus trip:
If you do decide to take the bus, here are some things you might want to place in your carry-on baggage:
I recommend driving over taking the bus. While this advice may sound flippant, it should not be dismissed. If you don't have a car, look into renting one. Unlimited mileage rentals are comparable in cost to airline tickets. One way rentals are even available, although it usually costs an additional $50 for this convenience.
While the notion of leaving the driving to someone else (Greyhound's motto) is appealing, keep in mind that the "someone else" is probably going to be making a lot of stops and taking roundabout routes. While you can sleep on the bus while traveling to your destination, it is difficult to get a restful night's sleep. I found that it is entirely possible to drive, get a decent night's sleep, and still beat the bus.
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