Survival Tips for Riding Greyhound

May 6, 2000

When you are low on cash and need to get somewhere, you may think it is a good thing to take a Greyhound bus to your destination. If at all possible, and you can find a bit more money, please consider a train or flying. If you must travel by bus, I have some tips that may make your trip a bit easier.

When my daughter travels by Greyhound, the first thing she does is dress down. Try to look as poor as you can. No jewelry, fancy shoes, or hats. It is a good idea for women not to carry a purse. Use a fanny pack under your clothes, or a leg band purse to carry cash and credit cards, right next to your skin and not out where it can be seen or snatched easily. If you should fall asleep on the bus, you do not want to make it easy for thieves to grab your money.

The next thing to remember, is if you are traveling with children, always try to sit the child next to the window, with the adult next to the aisle. When you get to one of the frequent stops or layovers, never let a child go to any restroom alone. Always take your child with you to the bathroom, and never leave a child alone to watch the bags outside the restroom. Never let a child wander around a bus station or stop un attended or with other children.

For disabled riders, the first three seats on every bus is supposed to be reserved for the disabled passengers. If the bus driver is allowing those who are clearly not disabled to take up those seats, you should get off the bus, and contact the Greyhound Customer Service Representative at the station immediately. If your tickets are marked as a disabled passenger, they must assist you in getting on the busses first three seats. If they don't, then file a written complaint at the station, and tell them you will wait for the next available bus.

Listen closely to the PA system about your bus arrival or departure. Frequently the transmission is weak at the larger stations, so if you can't hear or understand mumbled directions, go to the counter and ask them to repeat it. Insist on decent customer service , and do not be afraid to complain if you do not get it.

Try if you can to carry your luggage with you. Greyhound is notorious for losing luggage, and delaying anything you check in the hold. Try to have a carry on duffel bag that you can fit in the upper shelf above your seat that you can remove yourself at each stop or transfer. Never carry anything you can not do with out, as that it is common for bags to be stolen or searched through on the busses.

Again, remember to make yourself look as scummy and slummy as you can, jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers will do the trick, and keep all money and valuables safely against your skin, not in a pocket or a purse. This is the same system that the mental hospitals and prisons use to transport recent releases and parolees. Women travelling alone should never sit in the rear of the bus if at all possible. Despite what you may hear, most of the drivers could care less about your safety, and may not attempt to assist you.

I recommend that if you can, pay for a train ticket before paying for a bus ticket. If you can only go by bus to get somewhere, be as inconspicuous as you possibly can, and my prayers are with you.

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