Every time I tell my friends I’m about to get on a Greyhound, they laugh and tells me they are waiting for the rant when I come home. I’ve been taking the Greyhound for about ten years now (in college and university I took them every couple of months to go to and from school). And Greyhound has yet to have me disappoint them.
This go around, I was to go to Bridgeport Connecticut (coming soon in another post) for my father’s wedding. The issues started when I called Greyhound, told them where I was going, when I was going there and ask how much. Their website said $170, to go from Toronto to Bridgeport Connecticut via New York City. When I called them, they told me it was $198.72 to go from Toronto to Bridgeport Connecticut via New York City. When my mom called them, they told her a different price and when my father called them they told him a whole other price. Nevertheless, because I’ve been working like a crazy person and going to school full time as well as nanowrimo, my mom was downtown and close to the bus station so she bought my ticket. She was charged $170 for the round trip ticket. I figured, okay…drama complete.
When my mom got the ticket and I took it, it was heavy. So I rolled it out and read each piece. The tickets read as follows:
Toronto to Buffalo.
Buffalo to Syracruse.
Syracruse to New York City Port Authority
New York City Port Authority to New Haven
New Haven to Bridgeport.
After 14 hours on bus from Toronto to New York, I get to Port Authority but this place is like going through a maze, blindfolded, backwards and in the dark. No one knows where anything is so I spent most of the time going up the escalators, down the escalators until I finally I found where I was supposed to be. I stood there and got to talking to this lady and told her the bus was taking me to New Haven then to Bridgeport and she tilted her head and said. “I’m not sure why they printed it like that. Going to New Haven then to Bridgeport is going around in circles…it’s like doing it backward.”
I blinked at her–exhausted and shook my head. When the driver finally left NYC, they stopped in White Plaines, Stamford and then went on to Bridgeport. That part of my Greyhound journey was complete and I thought–“not bad.”
Then we had to return.
First we over slept and had to rush like crazy people to the bus station. We got there and our bus was there. (We now is myself and my sister). We hurried over to the door and said to the driver.
“Morning! We’re going to New York Via New Haven.”
Driver said (without looking at our ticket) “This is not your bus. Go ask information.”
We thanked him, wished him a good day (I am not kidding. We wished him a good day) and hurried inside to information.
We explained to information what happened and the guy there turned and pointed at the departing bus. “No, no,” he said. “That is your bus leaving right now.”
Let me tell you how I wanted to punch someone in the face. I was so upset. He looked at us and told us it wasn’t our bus and now had the NERVE to leave us when we were trying to confirm. Okay *breathes* so the guy was a douche….surely another bus was coming so my sister and I could meet our connections to, me Toronto and her DC. Surely!!
But no. Greyhound doesn’t work that way. If you miss one bus you’re basically screwed for the next one. What we had to do? Drag all our crap up an elevator, down a long bridge that was supposed to be warmer than outside but no, it seemed to be half built and dragged on for two blocks to the local Metro train that rain between CT and NYC, shell out almost thirty bucks to get on that train to carry us not to Port Authority like we needed to be at and that the Greyhound would have taken us to, but to Grand Central Station.
At that point, I wanted to cry because for some STRANGE reason the machines to buy the tickets were not reading my credit card OR my CANADIAN debit card and the ticket booth wasn’t open.
My sister and I sat there, staring at the amtrak and local train ticket machine with contempt until finally the ticket place opened. We bought our tickets and got on the train. It wasn’t bad on there. It was clean, large seats, comfy seats because after my trip to CT my tail-bone was sore and hurting every time I moved.
So, my sister and I took that time to take more pictures, talked, went through pictures from the wedding and just spend more time together. We reached NYC earlier than if we’d taken the Greyhound but there’s a leg of our trip we paid for twice! Finally we went up to the Greyhound counter to have my sister’s ticket reissued. We told the guy at the counter what happened and he said if we could give him the tickets or receipts from the metro local train, he’d give us a refund. I blinked at him, waiting to reach over with a bull horn and scream “WHAT LOCAL TRAIN YOU KNOW GIVE RECEIPTS FOR TICKETS?” but my sister grabbed my hand and I breathed. I showed him the unused Greyhound tickets and he still wouldn’t give me the money back. I decided not to let this joker raise my blood pressure any further. I was going to have lunch with my sister and it was going to be yummy.
We hugged and parted ways because her bus to DC was at gate 64 and mine was at 22 on different side of Port Authority. I finally found my gate and they were starting to board. I got to the door and there were TWO buses. The female driver took my ticket and was ripping it and the male one stopped her. Then they proceeded to argue about the fact that I was getting on the wrong bus that I had to wait. I stood there, amused they’d do that before a customer and finally the woman won and ripped the ticket. I asked which of the buses I was to board and she pointed. I collected the rest of my tickets and hurried to the bus. The gentleman took my suitcase, smiled, asked where I was going and I told him. He wished me a good trip.
Not all Greyhound personnel are filthy creatures after-all.
The trip went well until we got to this middle of nowhere place and was early we got a half an hour break. Then we stopped again and again until finally we were at Buffalo. I was going back to sleep when someone poked me. I lifted my head and she told me we had to get off because we were switching buses… WHAT???
I hastily checked my ticket for a transfer but it said nothing. This had to be a joke! I looked around but aside from the woman that woke me, I was the only other person on the bus. I grabbed my crap and got off, grabbed my suitcase and went inside with the others. After using the bathroom, I found a ticket counter and asked. Apparently our driver got us to Buffalo so early, all they could think of doing was hording us off our bus, unto another bus which we now have to wait an hour to get on. By this time it was after eight at night. I’ve been trying to get a smooth ride home since 7AM and I was no impressed.
Anyways, we waited and waited and waited…the bus was supposed to leave at 9:30PM. That didn’t happen until around 9:50PM.
Then to top it all off…I was “randomly” selected for additional screening at the border!
Now, I ask you, wasn’t that an amazing trip *sarcasm*