Should I trust Greyhound?

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NEPATrainTraveler

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So, I've often considered catching the westbound LSL to CHI at SYR instead of NYP to reduce costs, but the only way for me to get there is Greyhound from Scranton. There is only one bus a day that goes directly to SYR from Scranton and it arrives about 2 hours before 49/449. I've seen plenty of mixed reviews online about Greyhound from all over, so I'm not sure if I should trust them or not. Should I give Greyhound a chance next time I want to catch the LSL or are they too unreliable to be a viable option for connecting to the LSL from Northeast PA?

Thanks in advance.
 

Brian Battuello

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Boy, that is a tough one. I knew roughly where Scranton was but didn't realize it's in a bit of a transit desert. I can see why you don't want to go to New York first, it is way out-of-the-way. I wonder if it might be worth either calling or dropping by the Greyhound station and just chatting with the agent to see how often the bus runs late. You might be able to do the same thing by calling the Syracuse terminal.

It is only a two hour run, I would be tempted to bribe a friend to drive you up there. Otherwise, it sounds like a really stressful way to start a major trip.
 

NEPATrainTraveler

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Boy, that is a tough one. I knew roughly where Scranton was but didn't realize it's in a bit of a transit desert. I can see why you don't want to go to New York first, it is way out-of-the-way. I wonder if it might be worth either calling or dropping by the Greyhound station and just chatting with the agent to see how often the bus runs late. You might be able to do the same thing by calling the Syracuse terminal.

It is only a two hour run, I would be tempted to bribe a friend to drive you up there. Otherwise, it sounds like a really stressful way to start a major trip.
Yea, the only way of getting out of the W-B/Scranton area without a car is bus or plane, so it is a bit of a transit desert. No passenger trains here anymore, unfortunately. I caught the LSL in New York before using Martz Trailways and it was fine, but the bus and train tickets were more expensive plus you can't do business class without going the multi-city route and switching trains at ALB. I like the LSL because I don't have to make as many transfers like I would with the CL.

Yes, I think calling the stations is what I will have to do. There's no ASMAD-like website for buses, as far as I know.
 

neroden

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That Greyhound bus is actually Trailways if I remember correctly. Anyway, it tends to run more or less on time, because there's no congestion on I-81. You should be OK.
 

neroden

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...though IIRC Greyhound sometimes simply cancels buses if they don't sell enough tickets, so that's something to watch out for. They are, indeed, not reliable.
 

City of Miami

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Greyhound has a bus tracker function on their web site. I have used it in the past for this exact purpose. Get your trip # then check several times on the same day of the week you travel to get a good idea of how that goes.
Off topic: here in CVS the Greyhound station is boarded up and fenced off. Years ago it was a fully functional bus station with 3 bays sometimes all occupied. Then came less and less service and smaller parts of the building in use till now nothing. They still list frequencies on their site but I don't know where current stop is. Curbside? Perhaps Amtrak?
 

NEPATrainTraveler

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...though IIRC Greyhound sometimes simply cancels buses if they don't sell enough tickets, so that's something to watch out for. They are, indeed, not reliable.
That's the kind of thing I am afraid of and why I may end up going through NYP again next time I ride the LSL. Still the idea of connecting at SYR appeals to me for the reasons I mentioned earlier, so that's why I still bother to consider it.

How would a ride-share option (Uber, Lyft, etc) compare to the price of the bus or starting in NYP?
Haven't compared the two, though I'm not comfortable using ride share services like Uber.
 

Willbridge

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Isn't Flix also serving Scranton?

I've experienced GL canceling due to weather or strikes but have never experienced a cancellation due to low ridership.
 

NEPATrainTraveler

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Isn't Flix also serving Scranton?

I've experienced GL canceling due to weather or strikes but have never experienced a cancellation due to low ridership.
Flix does and I looked into them to see if they would work for me, but the Scranton stop is not in a convenient location for me and the current schedules don’t really work for me either.
 
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Isn't Flix also serving Scranton?

I've experienced GL canceling due to weather or strikes but have never experienced a cancellation due to low ridership.
Agreed. More likely, it may be cancellation due to severe shortage of driver's...

Since I've come out of retirement to return to drive "part-time" a few weeks ago, my new company hasn't given me a day off...and every day they ask me to stay and cover a few extra hours...:rolleyes:
 

Willbridge

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Agreed. More likely, it may be cancellation due to severe shortage of driver's...

Since I've come out of retirement to return to drive "part-time" a few weeks ago, my new company hasn't given me a day off...and every day they ask me to stay and cover a few extra hours...:rolleyes:
That does seem more likely. Even in their glory days they didn't plan staffing very well. They'd run out of driver legal work hours. On the other hand, Amtrak and the airlines have been known to do that, too.
 

NEPATrainTraveler

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Greyhound has a bus tracker function on their web site. I have used it in the past for this exact purpose. Get your trip # then check several times on the same day of the week you travel to get a good idea of how that goes.
Thanks for telling me about this. I used the bus tracker last night and the bus was about 45 minutes late departing Scranton and about an hour late arriving at SYR. Not bad though, given that it was still an hour before the LSL's scheduled arrival. The LSL was running late too, arriving 36 minutes late. Being half hour-2 hours late seems to be normal for 49/449 at SYR according to ASMAD. Though I have also seen 49/449 being even later.

I'll definitely keep checking the Greyhound bus tracker on Wednesdays to see what my chances are along with Amtrak's train status on the app/ASMAD.
 

neroden

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It is literally the same station, so if you arrive even five minutes before the Amtrak train's arrival, you can rush off the bus, over to the Amtrak platform, and onto the train.

So I think you have very, very good chances of making your connection.

If something goes really wrong it would happen "upline" at Greyhound; you should find out about it before the Greyhound departure, which would give you time to do emergency replanning of your trip (get a car and drive to Syracuse or whatever).
 

Gary Behling

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Thanks for telling me about this. I used the bus tracker last night and the bus was about 45 minutes late departing Scranton and about an hour late arriving at SYR. Not bad though, given that it was still an hour before the LSL's scheduled arrival. The LSL was running late too, arriving 36 minutes late. Being half hour-2 hours late seems to be normal for 49/449 at SYR according to ASMAD. Though I have also seen 49/449 being even later.

I'll definitely keep checking the Greyhound bus tracker on Wednesdays to see what my chances are along with Amtrak's train status on the app/ASMAD.
If you're going to go Greyhound more than 500 miles---- buy two seats.
 
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