What Would Greyhound Have To Do To Get You On a Bus?

Air travel receives it’s fair share of criticisms. And to be sure, from surly gate agents and flight attendants to frequent delays to broken equipment and ridiculous security screenings, there are certainly no shortage of annoyances about which to complain.

But at least the airline doesn’t drop you off in the middle of the night at a closed airport in a sketchy part of town.

And you typically aren’t seated next to ex-cons who are jumping parole.

For that kind of travel-industry service experience you evidently need to purchase a Greyhound bus ticket.

Surprisingly though, tickets on Greyhound don’t come cheap when compared against other transportation options. Which leads matt.bratton to wonder, why is Greyhound customer service so atrocious. Members of the City-Data forums offer several opinions, but most fall into one camp, expressed clearly, if depressingly, by jlawrence01:

If I go into a supermarket in the suburbs – take Kroger’s as an example, the store is very clean, upscale and very pleasant. If I head into a Kroger’s in the inner-city of the same city, it is a complete dump. Why? Because the chain does not really feel that they need to provide the same quality service to lower income people.

 

Greyhound is the same way. They view their customers as low income, no class people and generally treat them like that. They don’t really care if the terminals are clean or if their drivers curse customers and the like.

Now there’s an uncomfortable idea if I have ever heard one.

Do you think service organizations might actually treat some people worse not based on the amount of money they spend, but based on a perception that they are “lower class” and therefore don’t need to be treated better? Is it possible that a company like Greyhound (and mind you, I’m not saying this is how the people at Greyhound think – I’m just pulling on a thread¬†here) assumes that people who for whatever reason consider bus travel as a first option (cost evidently being only one, somewhat minor factor) simply don’t expect or need to be provided a high-level of service?

Or, to put it another way, would Greyhound, or any bus service for that matter, have a better chance of attracting more customers if it were to improve its service? Would you travel by bus if you knew the busses were new and maintained well, the seats were comfortable, and there were plenty of quality in-ride entertainment options? Would clean terminals with dining and restroom options that were fully staffed with security personnel 24-7-365 cause you to consider the bus as a travel option?

Or, to put it in even another way – would you consider traveling by bus within the U.S. if Greyhound was more like the Mexican bus system?

There is much catching up Mexico has to do to reach the level of the United States in economic development, but bus service isnt one of them. Mexican buses are excellent and first class. Many lines have a premium service where you get a complimentary snack and a movie, special waiting room and a movie. Plus comfy seats and leg room. Bus stations are more like airports and there is a selection of snack bars and convenience stores at most stations. You are treated like a respected customer rather than cattle ~SoCal Midwest Noobie

An interesting discussion to be sure. Read the thread in its entirety: Why does Greyhound have such horrible customer service?

Bus sign” by Karyn Christner. CC BY 2.0.

Comments

  1. Ive taken MegaBus and bolt bus and found the experience a great value for the price (note, under $20).

    Perhaps greyhound will match their service levels. Busses in the USA are undergoing major shifts. Power outlets, wifi, direct routes with fewer stops, better scheduling are all finally starting to trickle out, and with city-center locations and low prices, some trips are better served by bus than they are by air or train. But ultimately, you get what you pay for, and a $1-30 bus ticket doesn’t warrant a first class product.

    Also, who wants to work for greyhound? If they can’t get excellent employees, how can they have an excellent product and service?

  2. i disagree! Greyhound gave my wife and I a voucher for travel after we had to cancel our ticket. cutomer service was great! Thank you greyhound!

  3. I used Greyhound recently and found it to be similar to the experiences I have had with Megabus. The normal airport shuttle fare to PHX is $44 per person each way. Greyhound gave us a companion fare of $35 for two people round trip. The bus was clean, drivers and agents were friendly, and the onboard wifi worked.

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