Greyhound bus with a bike?
Anyone used a Greyhound bus with a bike? Where? Was it OK? Do you pay extra for the bike? Do they insist on it being boxed and/or dismantled??
I pulled this off greyhound.com. I have not done it personally, but I may soon for trips that are local to me. It looks to be a lot cheaper than flying with a bike. I would also check ahead of time to make sure they have a bike box if you will need one.
I used Greyhound for the first time this summer when I did my Quebec tour. no hassle with travel on Greyhound and no extra charge for the bike, However getting a bike box from a Greyhound agent was a hassle. Greyhound is like a franchise ,it a loose collection of regional carriers that operate under the Greyhound name and each does things slightly different.The regional carrier I had to use supplies no Bicycle boxes. For your own sanity just get a bike box from a bicycle shop( it will be the correct size). Greyhound will not handle the bike, you have to lift it in and out of the cargo hold on your own. The other caveat is that if the cargo hold is full you may have to wait for another bus even if you had reservations.so make sure you are at the front of the boarding line if you are traveling during a holiday or on a busy route.
This is correct for other bus lines as well. I took a Jefferson bus to Colorado some years back. I also used a bike box from a local bike shop. The bike was stored under the bus in the cargo area. I had to remove the pedals, saddle, handlebars (with break levers still in tact. The LBS was great at helping me figure out how to get it all in the box (including one set of panniers). The other set of panniers went on the bus as "carry on". I took a cheap crescent wrench with me to assemble the pedals. I left the wrench and box at the bus station. Really not too bad. Hope this helps.
I have seen photos of a Dahon folder packed in a canvas carrying case. Not much larger than a big backpack. It occured to me that a bagable Dahon might make a good "Greyhound bike". Ride the dog to a new city. Tour the city on the Dahon. Come nightfall, you and the Dahon hop back on the bus and head down the road to the next city.
I don't know if they still have this program, but Greyhound used to sell a ninety day pass that allowed you to travel across the 48 lower States. With a ninety day pass and a Dahon, I suspect someone could see a pretty good chunk of America.
I have used Greyhound many times, when the need arose, but use caution. They want it in the bike box but two things. If you have to change buses, most places will NOT guarantee the bike can be taken on the transfer bus and they will lay the box on its side and throw as many boxes, bags and crap on top of it unless the bus is almost totally empty and the drive is approachable. THey get so many peole with so many complaints that they fail to understand, (a) just what amount of money you have invested in the bike itself, (b) it is your vehicle for the next three months.
Sometime the trains are just as bad but I have had better luck with Amtrak, it's their schedules they cant keep is the big problem and the Nazi car stewards. At small staions, I have disassmbled and boxed my recumbent and give much consideration from the train folks and even a gentle hand when they loaded it, never had damage. The big stations(Amtrak in Chicago) the baggage folks down in the basement where you have to pcik up your bike or send it off are super and went out of their way tis past summer to insure my budy and myself had our bikes ttrated well.
I think sometimes, it would be less hassle and more piece of mind to ship your bike ahead by UPS, Fedex or one of those guys and have it waiting when you arrive at you start point and not try to save 50$ dragging it with you on a bus or train. You can also insure for replacement cost with these people and you are limited on what greyhound and amtrak will assume lose and liability for(I think (250) fro thebuse line.
I have used g-hound several times, never know what to expect. I'v found that a crumpled doller and talking to one of the handlers as a fellow human makes the job essier.
Greyhound baggage restrictions:
One (1) piece of baggage is checked free of charge for adults and children. One (1) additional piece of baggage may be checked for a charge of $15 for adults only. Baggage carried beyond two (2) pieces will be charged based on Greyhound Package Express rates. One (1) small bag up to 25 pounds can be taken on board for each adult or child. Carry-on bags must fit in the overhead compartment or under your seat.
The maximum allowable weight for checked baggage is 50 pounds per individual piece of baggage. A charge of $30 - $40 (depending on the distance traveled) will be charged for any baggage above the 50 pound limit.
Baggage must not exceed 62 inches when adding the total exterior dimensions of the piece (length + width + height). A charge of $30 - $40 (depending on the distance traveled) will be applied to any baggage above the 62-inch limit.
Packaging exceptions will only be made for the following items: bicycles, skis and ski poles must be packed in wood, canvas or other substantial container, and securely fastened; towing equipment must be enclosed in rigid containers or wrapped in a strong material such as canvas and securely strapped or tied. Towing equipment is limited to 100 pounds actual weight. These items are not exempt from oversize charges.
If bags exceed maximum size and/or weight, customers must ship the item via Greyhound Package Express.
HOWEVER YOU BETTER BUY YOUR OWN INSURANCE FOR YOUR BICYCLE ON THAT TRIP:
Greyhound Lines' Liability on Lost Luggage
The maximum liability to Greyhound is $250.00 for all baggage checked (not including items checked as overweight, oversized and or excess baggage) per adult ticket and $125.00 per child's ticket. Neither Greyhound nor other participating bus carriers are responsible for the loss of or damage to baggage in excess of the value allowances. Greyhound will only be responsible to the extent of the actual loss or damage sustained based on the actual baggage at the time and place of checking, and will NOT accept any liability for unchecked baggage.
Carriers will not deliver lost or delayed baggage to any address located outside of the Continental United States. It is the responsibility of the passenger to make arrangements for any such lost or delayed baggage to be shipped to destinations outside the Continental United States. The Continental United States does not include Alaska or Hawaii.
To file a claim for loss or damage baggage, customers must file at the terminal.
For items checked as overweight, oversized and or excess baggage the maximum liability to Greyhound is $100.00. Neither Greyhound nor other participating bus carriers are responsible for the loss of or damage to baggage in excess of the value allowances. Greyhound will only be responsible to the extent of the actual loss or damage sustained based on the actual baggage at the time and place of checking, and will NOT accept any liability for unchecked baggage. Passengers may purchase declared value for items checked as overweight, oversized and or excess baggage up to a maximum of $300.00 per transaction. Please refer to the following table for excess value charges.
Overweight, oversized and or excess baggage declared value charge
$100.01 - $300.00 $3.00
Passengers may also insure their baggage (not including items checked as overweight, oversized and or excess baggage) up to a maximum of $1000 per passenger ticket. Please refer to the following table for excess value charges.
Excess Baggage Value Amount Charge
Up to $250.00 Free
$250.01 - $350.00 $2.00
$350.01 - $450.00 $4.00
$450.01 - $550.00 $6.00
$550.01 - $650.00 $8.00
$650.01 - $750.00 $10.00
$750.01 - $850.00 $12.00
$850.01 - $950.00 $14.00
$950.01 - $1,000.00 $16.00
I agree with the others that bus depots vary and local rules/customs apply.
My last bus travel was 2012, mixed carriers (including Greyhound), Bangor-Boston-NYC. The experience was a positive one.
1. I needed to box my bicycle. They would not take it any other way.
2. It was laid flat, buried under everyone else's stuff.
3. At every bus transfer, I had to negotiate with check-in people and with bus drivers (who really don't care) to get my bicycle box on the next bus. I resorted bursting into tears at one point ...
4. I don't recall paying extra, but I might have done.
A tip ... if you do use Greyhound, as you pull into the station, look out the window and see if you can spot a trolley. If you can spot one (there will likely only be 1 or 2 around), run off the bus when it stops and grab it. Otherwise you'll end up dragging your box from one end of the train station to the other. Not easy, especially if you have other luggage to carry too.
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