Is Riding a Greyhound Bus Dangerous?

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A woman leans her head towards the window to sleep while she travels on a bus.

You’ve likely seen one of the massive Greyhound buses traveling down the interstate. For the past 100+ years, Greyhound has helped customers travel the country. Over 16 million passengers trust Greyhound enough to travel a combined 5 billion miles in a typical year.

However, safety on their buses and at their stations has always been a hot topic. So is Greyhound bus safe enough for you? Let’s take a look!

Is Greyhound a Safe Way to Travel?

Traveling on a Greyhound is typically no more or less dangerous than any other public transportation. However, Greyhound has developed a bad reputation. There have been issues in the past regarding seedy behavior at their stations and even aboard their buses, but these are typically isolated incidents that receive mass media attention.

Taking a few common-sense precautions can greatly enhance your safety. Be aware of your surroundings, don’t wander during stops, and sit towards the front near the driver. Do the same anytime you utilize public transportation.

A Greyhound Bus travels down the road near a beautiful, rocky ocean view

Is It Safe to Sleep on a Greyhound Bus? 

Sleeping on a Greyhound bus is relatively safe. You’re probably just as safe sleeping on a bus as you would be on a train. Your safety is largely dependent on those around you, so if you feel unsafe sitting in a particular seat, find one where you feel safer.

Sleeping does make it difficult to be aware of your surroundings, though. So while it may be tempting to wear an eye mask for sleep, it won’t make you feel safer during your trip.

What Is the Safest Place to Sit on a Bus?

The front of the bus tends to be safest. You’ll be close to the driver, the supreme authority who would likely de-escalate the situation. This can also be a great seat to make a quick exit at your stop or any other stops along your route for food, restrooms, or to simply evade an unsafe situation.

A bus driver looks out over the road as he travels down the highway.

What Are the Differences Between Greyhounds Then vs. Now?

Greyhound started as a resource for underpaid workers but has changed immensely since its inception. Over the past several decades, the service has become part of the public transportation infrastructure. The company had to adapt its business model over the last few decades to make this happen.

During the 1950s and 1960s, the travel needs of many Americans changed drastically. Vehicle ownership skyrocketed, and numbers of those reliant on public transportation declined. Greyhound diversified its portfolio into businesses to sustain profitability. While this was good for investors, the focus was no longer on providing the best customer experience.

We see now from Greyhound the results of decades of lost focus. Greyhound terminals are typically less than ideal in terms of being family-friendly. The company has battled massive financial losses, but they’re fighting to regain the public’s trust. 

With a re-focus on its customers, the company has made massive changes. Some of the most noticeable include free WiFi, power outlets, leather seats, and generous legroom on each coach. These upgrades make riding their buses more appealing, and they’re doing their best to position themselves as a viable traveling option well into the future.

Learn some tips for safe travel on a Greyhound bus.

How to Stay Safe on a Greyhound Bus

If you’re planning to ride a Greyhound bus anytime soon, there are a few things you can do to stay safe. Here are some options. 

Keep Your Valuables Hidden

You’ll likely want to travel with electronics and valuables to keep yourself entertained during your trip. You don’t want to leave these items out, especially if you’re sleeping or are away from your seat. It takes faith and trust in the strangers around you, which isn’t always wise.

Having a valuable item stolen from you can be frustrating. You not only have to deal with the inconvenience and expense of replacing it (if possible) but also live with the fact that you were a victim. This feeling of violation is something that no traveler should have to experience.

Young man travels safely on a bus wearing headphones and listening to music on his cell phone.

Keep Your Luggage Near You

If possible, store your luggage in or near your seat. It’s very easy for another passenger to reach into an overhead bin and take your things if they’re stored away from your seat. If you can lock zippers and other compartments on your bags, you should do so, too.

Mark your luggage with something to distinguish it from other bags like a neon green bandana. That way, it’s not mistakenly taken, and if it is taken, you’re more likely to spot it leaving with the wrong person. 

Don’t Share Too Much Personal Information with Strangers

When you buy a Greyhound ticket, you’re reserving a seat on the bus. They use a first-come, first-served seating policy as riders typically get on and off at various stops along the route. This means there’s a good chance you’ll sit by a stranger, especially if you’re traveling alone.

Be mindful of what you share with your seat neighbor. A stranger may seem genuinely nice and easy to talk to, but they may have poor intentions. Information you share with the wrong person could turn into scam fodder.

Traveler’s Tip: Always be aware of your surroundings while traveling—including when stopping at an interstate rest stop

Are Greyhound Buses Clean?

Like many public transportation companies, Greyhound has increased its focus in recent years on cleaning its vehicles. Each bus has a cleaning process to follow with recommended disinfectants. Due to these increased processes for safety and sanitation, the buses are typically clean. The standard of cleanliness can vary considerably from bus to bus and depending on those traveling.

Overall, Greyhound does an excellent job of cleaning their buses and maintaining them. If you’re unhappy with the cleanliness of a bus, the company likely would be equally as frustrated and offer a way to rectify the situation.   

Looking down the aisle of a travel bus towards the front

Is It Worth Traveling on a Greyhound Bus? 

Traveling on a Greyhound bus can be a cost-effective option for traveling in certain circumstances. If you’re flexible and trying to save, it can be a fantastic option.

However, it can take a long time to get to their destination, and it might not be as comfortable. Whether traveling on a Greyhound bus is worth it or not will vary based on your unique circumstances and comfortability requirements.

For many travelers looking to make a long trip, paying the premium price for an airline ticket is a much better option. It’s often not much more expensive either. But some enjoy being closer to the ground, even if it does take longer and comes with unique risks. 

Would you try riding a Greyhound bus for an extended trip?

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  1. I traveled from TN to CA round trip. I was on at least 9 different buses during the trip. The WiFi and the power plugs never worked. The buses were filthy dirty, every one of them.
    The seats were very uncomfortable and vinyl not leather. The smell inside the bus was atrocious, farts and fried chicken. My son and I stopped two people from being robbed while they were sleeping. We had several breakdowns where we had to switch buses. It took close to 72 hours. Never again.

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