Saturday, September 19, 2009

Greyhound to Charlottesville (Sep 19, 2009)

I tweeted a lot today, and it is for the inefficiency that plagues the Greyhound system, especially at the DC center. In NYC you have the usual issue where the bus is always overbooked and if you are lucky you may get into the first two buses. Else you will be the few people left out who has to catch the next bus. This has happened to me once – I was supposed to catch the 12.15 am bus to Boston which was 3 times overbooked and this led to me catching the 3 am bus, and reaching Boston all screwed up.

In DC too, when I was with my folks, we had to wait an entire 1 hour to get the bus to NYC. But today was the absolute worst – I reached DC at 6.30 in the morning, and my bus to Charlottesville was at 10 am from the DC greyhound station. After having a Starbucks breakfast at Union Station (which is a pretty cool station – the next best after Grand Central according to me of the stations I have visited in the US), I headed to the bus station at 8.30 am. We waited in line till10.20 when someone finally comes in and tells us that there are buses, but no drivers. C’mon greyhound…is there any better way to look foolish?

The wait went on till 11.25 when we finally boarded the bus, with the driver in it! The customer service was absolutely terrible; no information about when the driver was coming, and also no advance information that there would be a delay. Info was gleaned only through one of the mechanics who was hanging around. Also, the lady (I am guessing – the manager) did not even have a name tag on her!

I have remained pretty loyal to Greyhound for a while now, even though they have many faults – but this could just tip me over. Megabus is improving their service, I could sense it noticeably today – they are on time, their rates are less, buses are better and so is the crowd.

Greyhound – if you are on the verge of losing one of your loyal customers, who has even got a free round trip ticket from you, you really must be doing something very wrong indeed!

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