Monday, October 26, 2015

Will I ever take Greyhound again?

Nashville, TN Greyhound station
During my time at Morehouse I exclusively took Greyhound to Atlanta. I knew how the ride is supposed to go since it was done so many times. Before finally graduating though the nature of bus travel began to change one of those was for that historic company to shed its seedy image.

I miss the schedule that saw my bus bypass cities such as Nashville,TN on the way down to Atlanta and now it's often a regular stop on the way down to Atlanta. Another change was that at certain points the bus made local stops either outside of Atlanta or outside of Chicago. For example, after leaving Nashville the bus would make stops in Chattanooga, TN; Marrietta, GA; and finally Atlanta.

Once upon a time on Greyhound whether or not you specifically bought a ticket for a particular schedule or departure you could still get a seat on a bus. Or probably more accurately Greyhound officials - drivers or terminal personnel - didn't make a big deal about it if you didn't purchase a ticket for a particular schedule. These days they know how many seats are available on the bus enough to determine whether you can switch your departure at the last minute.

Of course, I see with the 'hound is that now they board people according to their boarding number. Now depending upon who's on duty they may catch that you don't belong on that schedule and decide that you need to change your ticket (and possibly incur a fee). In my recent Greyhound trip, I did this pre-emptively although this was at the last minute and incurred the fee because originally I bought a non-refundable ticket.

While I think it's unfortunate that even though you bought a ticket, you must travel on the the schedule for which you purchased that ticket. At the same time the boarding policy is a nice touch perhaps less possibility of chaos as there had been in the past with boardings.

The only issues I have with Greyhound is that wifi doesn't work in all terminals and on all buses. Most buses at this point have signs indicating they have wifi and the two buses I rode on the way down had either no wifi or it just didn't work for me. Also on one bus the outlets to charge my cell phone didn't work.

What I learned on my way back is that the driver can flick a switch if you let them know for the outlets. Also you'd have to work with the wifi and therefore you can still get on the internet on the bus. The only thing is if you don't stay on the net you'd have to reconnect through the browser from time to time. It works, but a user has to work with it and that goes for at the terminals as well.

One thing I can say for sure is that, it's definitely a good thing that I no longer have to rely on Greyhound. That is at least I don't have to travel back and forth between Atlanta frequently where the bus is the only choice. If bus travel is the future my experience this year will allow me to be much smarter. All the same the 16 hour ride is not something I miss anymore.

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