Greyhound bus trip mauls travel experience

Jessica MacIntosh

Jessica MacIntosh

I love the dogs but dislike the buses.

Riding on a Greyhound bus was the worst experience in the entire world.

OK, here’s the gist of the story.

It was Thanksgiving break, and the only way for me to go home was by bus, because it was going to be too expensive to fly out of Joplin Regional Airport.

Instead of riding home in my roommate’s car, which was going to be a four-hour trip, the trip by Greyhound bus was going to take six stinking hours.

My final destination was Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

After the trip had taken so long, I grabbed my things and started to exit the bus. Just then, the driver yelled at me to go back on. Before I could say anything to her, she continued to yell; she did not bother to look at my ticket.

The driver told me I was supposed to have transferred at Fort Leonard Wood; the ticket said nothing about a transfer.

The worst part of the trip was riding all the way to downtown St. Louis, the horrible part of the city.

The Greyhound Web site says traveling by bus is considered the safest mode of transportation. Considering some of the people you ride with, that statement could be taken another way. Some of the people on board were quite scary.

Greyhound has more than 2,400 buses running, and in 2002, the latest available figures, according to the Web site, 23.3 million passengers have ridden on the buses. This number compares to 2001 when the carrier had 25 million passengers.

Greyhound seems to be losing more passengers than gaining. It’s hard to say what the number of passengers is in 2003. Whatever the number, hopefully it is less than the 23.3 million.

In a complaint of the day for June 30, 2001, on, a gentleman was traveling between Philadelphia and New York. When he boarded his Greyhound bus, the driver entered and demanded 10 seats were needed.

Instead of asking those people who boarded last if they would like to give up their seats or asking for volunteers, the driver handed out tickets she had just collected to passengers including the gentleman. He said the driver might have done this on her own decisions or on prejudices.

There is no information on if the gentleman has received a message back from Greyhound. Finally, another thing Greyhound lacks in is security.

Because of 9-11, there was more security.

The company Web site said there are more security guards and surveillance cameras, and there are random searches of passengers’ carry-on baggage in more than 30 locations.

There definitely was no security at the station in Joplin or in St. Louis. The word “unsafe” comes to mind.

There was no one searching baggage at all.

Like I said before, the whole trip was a nightmare, and I will stick with adopting the dogs rather than riding an unsafe bus.