According to the rules of almost every intercity bus carrier, you can put your bike under the bus without any packing. I've taken my bike on Greyhound a few times but am really nervous about damage so I always boxed it. The trouble is the bike boxes require significant disassembly, and Amtrak has longer boxes but they won't sell me one without a ticket.
I want to take my bike on the commuter buses that go up to New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine, and it would be so much easier if I didn't have to disassemble and box it, just for a one-hour trip. Space is not a problem since most passengers are doing day trips so the luggage bays are pretty empty.
Have you ever put your bike under the bus without a box? Should I worry about damage? Any other suggestions (aside from a folder, for which I am currently saving money)? Could I just wrap it in some bubble wrap or something?