Greyhound Lines Inc. offers one of the cheapest ways to travel across North America, but they have developed a reputation for being unsafe. Many people also interpret the lower fares to mean some compromises, including passenger safety. However, this reputation isn’t necessarily deserved.
We wanted to answer the question, are Greyhound buses safe?
Generally, Greyhound buses are both a safe and affordable means of long-distance travel between cities and states. While the company has made the news every now and then for the wrong reasons, those were isolated incidents, and most passenger reviews indicate that their trips were safe and uneventful.
In this article, I’ll show you why you don’t need to worry about your safety when taking a trip on a Greyhound bus. And for your peace of mind and preparation, I’ll cover some steps you can take to make sure you survive your Greyhound adventure. So be sure to keep reading!
Are Greyhound Buses Safe at Night?
Greyhound buses are just as safe at night as they are during the day. Complaints and untoward incidents are seldom filed or reported. The bus drivers, the principal authorities on Greyhound buses, are usually able to keep things under control.
But with the cover of the dark, those with malevolent intentions do tend to be more daring. So as a precaution, being extra vigilant on a Greyhound bus trip at night is also advised.
Greyhound Lines Inc. Safety
The security protocols observed at Greyhound bus stations do not hold a candle to those implemented at airports where inspections are far more rigorous.
However, the omission of these measures at bus stations has not given way to any catastrophic incidents.
In their limited capacity, Greyhound Lines Inc.’s employees are able to effectively keep the peace and maintain the safety of their passengers. They achieve this by simple means.
For instance, according to Greyhound’s website, the following items are absolutely not allowed on the bus, including under-the-bus baggage:
Moreover, they have zero tolerance for unruly behavior. And while it’s not explicitly mentioned on the website, countless passengers have attested to witnessing troublemakers being rightfully ejected by the bus driver.
That being said, traveling by Greyhound bus is not more or less safe than taking a different bus line or going by rail.
How To Prepare for Your Greyhound Bus Trip
Here are 7 steps you can follow to further minimize the risk of encountering any trouble when opting for a Greyhound bus as your means of transport.
1. Dress Down
We all want to look good in those travel selfies. But for practical safety reasons, I recommend dressing down to avoid attracting attention.
- Don’t wear flashy or expensive jewelry.
- Dress in simple but decent attire.
- Apply minimalist makeup.
This is especially useful advice for people who are members of marginalized groups and those traveling alone.
A modest appearance will keep you from attracting unwanted attention or catching the eye of a no-good passenger.
2. Get a Seat Towards the Front of the Bus
The driver is the Greyhound bus’s foremost authority. The closer you’re seated to them, the smaller the target on you.
Few, if any, would take the risk of trying anything inappropriate when the driver can easily spot this with a quick glance at their mirror.
However, note that while you can book tickets for a Greyhound bus, you can’t reserve seats. So do your best to be at the bus station with time to spare before boarding and aim to get a seat as close to the driver as possible.
3. If Possible, Don’t Use the Restroom
Greyhound buses have onboard restrooms. But as much as possible, I would advise against using them. It has less to do with sanitation and more with safety.
If you can hold it, hold it. A lot can happen in those couple of minutes when you step inside the onboard restroom to relieve yourself.
These areas are much smaller than the cubicles at bus stops and bus stations that have adequate room for you to fit in your carry-on while you go about your business.
And it goes without saying that you should always have a view of your belongings. But you’ll find it difficult and unsanitary to squeeze your bag into the onboard restroom.
So if humanly possible, wait until the next stop to void your bladder or bowels because, at the very least, your presence will discourage passengers with itchy fingers from attempting anything.
4. Be Cautious With Strangers
Though you may be traveling alone, you are likely going to be physically near someone else while on the bus. More than likely, a stranger will be seated beside you for the duration of your ride.
The hours have a way of loosening the tongue and making one friendlier and chattier. It’s only natural then for the conversation to flow. And it’s imperative that you guard that flow.
You never know who it really is you’re speaking with so exercise the utmost caution in your conversations with your seatmate and do not divulge any personal details. I would even recommend using an alias on such trips.
5. Follow Driver’s Instructions at Stops and Transfers
Greyhound bus drivers are usually assigned the same route. After driving back and forth down those roads over and over again, they know them better than anyone. So it would be sensible to listen to them and follow their instructions.
The specifics could include:
- Where to grab a bite to eat.
- What food and drink you can bring back with you.
- Where to have a smoke.
- Where to relieve yourself.
- How much time they allot for all these.
Follow their instructions to a tee and you’ll be sure to have a smooth journey.
6. Stay Inside the Bus Station
Chances of any harm befalling you are slim. But should any such incident occur, it’s more than likely that it would take place outside the bus station.
For your safety, you are advised to stay inside the bus station while waiting to board on the first leg of your journey or during layovers along the way.
The bus station is the safest place you can be as it is well-lit, and Greyhound employees and other passengers are nearby if you need any assistance.
7. Have a Ride Waiting
If it’s available to you, the safest option is to have someone ready to pick you up at the end of the Greyhound bus portion of your trip. Ideally, they should already be there waiting for you by the time you arrive.
You and your contact can easily facilitate this through the BusTracker feature on the Greyhound website or app that offers real-time tracking and provides an estimated arrival time, as well as directions to the Greyhound bus station.
Greyhound buses are an affordable and decent option for getting across North America. Still, many, especially first-time passengers, are hesitant to travel by this means of transport, with concern for safety being the primary issue.
However, these fears are largely unfounded, with the only notable incidents involving Greyhound buses being isolated ones.
There are additional measures one can take to better prepare for a trip on a Greyhound bus and get ahead of any potential incidents they may encounter. By following these, you can be assured of a safe and uneventful bus ride.
- Greyhound: Your rights & rules on board
- YouTube: Frugal Travel Guru: 10 BAD Things That WILL Happen on the GREYHOUND BUS
- Southern Living: 9 Greyhound Bus Tips You Need to Know Before You Travel
- HubPages: Is the Greyhound Bus Safe for Women Traveling Alone?
- HWY.co: Is Riding a Greyhound Bus Dangerous?
- Traveller’s Point: Greyhound USA, safe or suicide?
- Quora: How safe is overnight traveling in Greyhound bus for women?