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Old 08-26-19, 08:53 AM
  #1  
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Greyhound

Anyone check a bike as baggage on Greyhound lately? I have generally avoided them like the plague for any travel in recent years. I know that friends have had very inconsistent experience in what they have been told when trying to check bikes as baggage. Additionally their website is really not good at spelling out any specific bike policy. There is nice clear and favorable language on the subject, but it is on the greyhound.ca (Canada) page and I will be travellin in the US. I did email greyhound to try to get some clarification and assurance, hopefully in a form that I can use to convince uncooperative greyhound staff.

Normally, I'd just continue to avoid them, but a late winter/early spring trip I am planning really would make sense for greyhound if I could make it work. If necessary I'll ship the bike or do a one way car rental, but the dog actually seems like it should be the way to go for this trip if it ever is for any trip.

I really don't think I want to use their package service.

https://www.greyhound.ca/en/ticketsa...formation.aspx
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Old 08-26-19, 09:23 AM
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Ah, Monsieur Staehpj,

Le Greyhound is a rather fearsome beast.

I have had a few encounters and seek to avoid the dog if at all possible.
As one of our co-conspirators here says, "Riding the dog."

Greyhound is the means of travel for the poor, the displaced, and the homeless.
I can empathize with people in these circumstances,but bus travel often means
dealing with people smoking, drinking, using drugs, and with mental illness.

On a recent trip, a young woman was removed comatose, overdosing.
She was laid out in the parking lot of a convenience store
until the ambulance and paramedics arrived.

On another trip, the bus was pulled over by ICE.
Everyone on board was interrogated by ICE agents.
I refused to answer any questions claiming constitutional protections.
Of course, I didn't look or sound Mexican, either.

On yet another trip, the bus was stopped in the middle of the night.
DEA agents pulled everything out from the baggage compartments.
A sniffer dog apparently went thru everything.
I was called off the bus at 3 a.m. with one of my panniers ripped apart.
I told the agent that Bruno apparently couldn't distinguish sagebrush from cocaine.
And asked who was going to repair my pannier.

<<<>>>

Not only that, but Greyhound charges for every pannier as baggage.
I found that baggage fees are almost as high as with airlines.
If you have to switch buses it can even be more.
Plus I question how they handle bicycles.

(On a long-ago trip where I shipped my bike
it arrived in Astoria with a badly bend front fork.)

<<<>>>

As you can see, I have used Greyhound from time to time,
but I have almost always lived to regret it.
It truly is "Riding the dog."
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Old 08-26-19, 11:01 AM
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Yeah, my experiences with them have always been an adventure as well. Never used them on a bike tour though. My spring trip transportation options are kind of limited. Flying doesn't make sense. Amtrak not an option. It is looking like a one way rental car or Greyhound are the only real options. I may give the dog a chance. OTOH, one way car rentals have always worked well for me and may yet be the way I go.
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Old 08-26-19, 04:27 PM
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Megabus?

I'm not sure they take bikes but it might be worth a glance at their website.


-Tim-
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Old 08-26-19, 04:44 PM
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I dont think Megabus takes bikes. Bolt Bus does however.
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Old 08-26-19, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by th0 View Post
I dont think Megabus takes bikes. Bolt Bus does however.
Neither serve the area I need for this trip.
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Old 08-26-19, 06:53 PM
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Busses in the U.S. ... not so good. Much more viable in Mexico. I do not know where you want to travel to from Florida, but one thing that you could consider is craigslist/ rideshare???
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Old 08-26-19, 07:47 PM
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Last time I used Greyhound with a box bike was between Denver and Frisco CO. It was not a good experience but got me there.

A ticket gives you one free check bag. I had the bike and a second bag. The second bag was going to cost me more then the online ticket fare. So I booked two tickets in my name. You can only imagine the confusion that caused. The manager had to tell the counter person that I have two tickets so I get two seats and two free checked bags.

check baggage is not really check baggage. They put a tag on it and have you carry it to the bus so the driver can load it.

Upon reaching Frisco the driver all most drove off with out unloading the bike and bag. Had to tell him twice that I had check below.

Add to that a two hour delay because they didnít have a rested drive available.

Bike arrived un damaged but a experience. Would have to think hard before I did it again
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Old 08-26-19, 07:59 PM
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I have used Greyhound 3 times and have come to the conclusion , if the only way to get to the place I want to go is Greyhound, then I will find some where else to go.
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Old 08-27-19, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian25 View Post
Busses in the U.S. ... not so good. Much more viable in Mexico. I do not know where you want to travel to from Florida, but one thing that you could consider is craigslist/ rideshare???
I did a Southern Tier ride from San Diego to Pensacola some years ago and decided I'd like to ride the remaining portion across Florida. I live in Tallahassee now and would need to get to the start in Pensacola and then home from St Augustine. I could leave my car at one end and use some kind of public transit to close the loop. That might even make flying on Jet Blue almost make sense.

The craigslist/rideshare thing might work for getting to the start, but I never like to plan an end date for a tour preferring to leave duration very flexible. I'd think that would make ride share tough to coordinate. I know it has made air travel tough to manage other than when I had the chance to fly stand by.

Originally Posted by derail3 View Post
Last time I used Greyhound with a box bike was between Denver and Frisco CO. It was not a good experience but got me there.

A ticket gives you one free check bag. I had the bike and a second bag. The second bag was going to cost me more then the online ticket fare. So I booked two tickets in my name. You can only imagine the confusion that caused. The manager had to tell the counter person that I have two tickets so I get two seats and two free checked bags.

check baggage is not really check baggage. They put a tag on it and have you carry it to the bus so the driver can load it.

Upon reaching Frisco the driver all most drove off with out unloading the bike and bag. Had to tell him twice that I had check below.

Add to that a two hour delay because they didn’t have a rested drive available.

Bike arrived un damaged but a experience. Would have to think hard before I did it again
I think I'd just as soon pay for a second bag as add potential confusion of two tickets. I am an ultralight packer (camping and cooking, not credit card but still 10-15# base) and have managed to have my bike and gear all in one bag that was under 50# (I did also have a "personal item" with a few things in it)).

Originally Posted by Baboo View Post
I have used Greyhound 3 times and have come to the conclusion , if the only way to get to the place I want to go is Greyhound, then I will find some where else to go.
I have sometimes thought the same thing, but every 20 years or so give them another chance

When all is said and done I may just ship the bike to Pensacola, drive to St Augustine in my car and park it there, fly from JAX/St Augustine to Pensacola, ride to St Augustine and drive home. That or just use rental cars to get to the start and home from the end.

I have never done a tour that I didn't travel 1000+ miles to get to before so this is a new experience for me. It doesn't seem like the closest to home (by far) I have ever done should have he most complicated logistics (again by far), but it certainly seems to be shaping up that way.
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Old 08-27-19, 07:37 AM
  #11  
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Amtrak services Jacksonville Florida it’s pretty close to St. Augustine. When I did a portion of Southern tier I went from St Augustine to Pensacola. I took the bike to Jacksonville Fl. on Amtrak (boxed), then riding to St Augustine then on to Pensacola. I got a one way rental car from Pensacola home.
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Old 08-27-19, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Baboo View Post
Amtrak services Jacksonville Florida itís pretty close to St. Augustine. When I did a portion of Southern tier I went from St Augustine to Pensacola. I took the bike to Jacksonville Fl. on Amtrak (boxed), then riding to St Augustine then on to Pensacola. I got a one way rental car from Pensacola home.
What year was that?

I believe after Hurricane Katrina (2005), part of the Sunset Limited Route was discontinued and particularly the pieces between New Orleans and Jacksonville.

I rode roughly the Southern Tier in 2001. I cycled from St Augustine to Jacksonville and then took the Sunset Limited train to Los Angeles. However, I don't think that option works today.
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Old 08-27-19, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
I believe after Hurricane Katrina (2005), part of the Sunset Limited Route was discontinued and particularly the pieces between New Orleans and Jacksonville.
Correct.
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Old 08-27-19, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
What year was that?

I believe after Hurricane Katrina (2005), part of the Sunset Limited Route was discontinued and particularly the pieces between New Orleans and Jacksonville.

I rode roughly the Southern Tier in 2001. I cycled from St Augustine to Jacksonville and then took the Sunset Limited train to Los Angeles. However, I don't think that option works today.
I never used the Sunset Limited
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Old 08-27-19, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Baboo View Post
Amtrak services Jacksonville Florida itís pretty close to St. Augustine. When I did a portion of Southern tier I went from St Augustine to Pensacola. I took the bike to Jacksonville Fl. on Amtrak (boxed), then riding to St Augustine then on to Pensacola. I got a one way rental car from Pensacola home.
Tha Amtrak route map shows that route as "service suspended". It doesn't look like there is any alternate Amtrak route that would get you there today.
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Old 08-27-19, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Tha Amtrak route map shows that route as "service suspended". It doesn't look like there is any alternate Amtrak route that would get you there today.
I came from the north on the Silver Star , Amtrak shows that still available. I did not use the Sunset Limited it has been out of service a long time. I came from Kansas City through Chicago and Washing Dc to Jacksonville Fl. Then rode on my bike to Pensacola Fl and took a car rental back to KC. I just tried to book this trip again and it gave me a price and the train names.
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Old 08-27-19, 02:45 PM
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A couple of things I would consider as possible options.

Uhaul or similar, and/or Home Depot.

Both rent pickup trucks at a fairly reasonable rate. I am not positive that you can take the Home Depot trucks out of area though, like to drop off at a distant locale. Probably would even check with standard car rental options...and there is always Uber, etc.

I would have to be in dire straights to ever get on a Greyhound bus (again) and the last time I did I was really young. Still recall it as a very negative experience.
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Old 08-27-19, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Baboo View Post
I came from the north on the Silver Star , Amtrak shows that still available. I did not use the Sunset Limited it has been out of service a long time. I came from Kansas City through Chicago and Washing Dc to Jacksonville Fl. Then rode on my bike to Pensacola Fl and took a car rental back to KC. I just tried to book this trip again and it gave me a price and the train names.
Interesting, but none of that really accomplishes what I am trying to do which is connect between Pensacola and St Augustine (or Jacksonville). Failing that connecting between Jacksonville and Tallahassee would also be helpful, but Amtrak doesn't seem to do that either.

When I moved to Tallahassee I was pretty disappointed to find there was no Amtrak service to the area. Sadly flying in and out of Tally tends to suck as well, with limited flights and expensive fares most of the time (once in a while you can find a good deal). There isn't even bus service from town to the airport, so you drive or take an uber.
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Old 08-27-19, 03:52 PM
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I got the following reply from Greyhound. I find it pretty unsatisfactory since the prices for package express looked pretty high and it sounded like it may not go on the same bus. If I can't take it as a checked bag I won't go Greyhound with my bike. There is still the very remote possibility that I might ship the bike vis bikeflights or shipbikes and ride the dog.

Greetings Mr/Ms.Staehling ,

Thank you for contacting our office with your concerns. We sincerely apologize for the delay.

In reference to your concern,You can take the bicycle leaving from your departure city going to your destination but it needs to be dismantled at the station and will be put in the box then it will be shipped through Greyhound Package Express because we don't have a bike rack in front of the bus. For further information about how the shipping works, as well as the costs, kindly contact Greyhound Package Express at 1-800-739-5020 for assistance. They are open 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Central Time, Monday - Friday.

If you want a faster transaction or have any additional questions please feel free to contact our Fares and Schedules department 7 days a week 24 hours at 1800-231-2222 in the US or 1800-661-8747 in Canada.

Thank you for your interest in Greyhound.

Sincerely,

Mr. Arteaga
Fares & Schedules Department
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Old 08-27-19, 06:01 PM
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I didn’t realize you lived in Tallahassee, I was thinking you were somewhere in Pennsylvania. None of Amtrak info will help you at all. You could just ride the whole route from home on the bike. Driving to one end then renting a car to get back might be a good option. If you use Greyhound please let us know how it went, might be a good story in that.
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Old 08-28-19, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Baboo View Post
I have used Greyhound 3 times and have come to the conclusion , if the only way to get to the place I want to go is Greyhound, then I will find some where else to go.
That right there ^^^^^^^.

The only way I'd ride the dog is if I were on the lamb for a felony with a death penalty spec.
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Old 08-28-19, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Baboo View Post
I didn’t realize you lived in Tallahassee, I was thinking you were somewhere in Pennsylvania.
I lived in Maryland most of my life and have only been in Tallahassee for the past 5 years or so. I may have talked about riding there or you may have read my old posts or trip journals and gotten the idea I was in the mid atlantic area. I may even still have some info somewhere that hasn't been updated.
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Old 08-28-19, 05:19 AM
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Can't speak for anyone else, but after doing some research I was told to pack my bike securely in a recycled bike box, which I then shipped cross country.

I watched them as they moved it from bus to bus and they handled it with kid gloves. They even placing it in a separate (tall) compartment upright all by itself. My bike arrived just as I had packed it. Not even the box was damaged. My experience with Greyhound was 5 star.
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Old 08-28-19, 05:56 AM
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I think one way car rental is likely the best option.

If you happen to work for the State or University (as so many do in Tallahassee), you can use the State contract with Emerald which has no drop off fees and fairly low rates.
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Old 08-28-19, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Can't speak for anyone else, but after doing some research I was told to pack my bike securely in a recycled bike box, which I then shipped cross country.

I watched them as they moved it from bus to bus and they handled it with kid gloves. They even placing it in a separate (tall) compartment upright all by itself. My bike arrived just as I had packed it. Not even the box was damaged. My experience with Greyhound was 5 star.
I'd give them a chance, but even when I contacted the company they insist that I need to use package express rather than check it as a checked bag. I know that when a friend went to the local terminal he got a huge run around and spent 20+ minutes convincing them to let him take his bike with him. He told a sad story about being 18 and stuck in a strange town, probably told them about how he was riding across the country to raise money for a charity (I forget which one), and generally laid on the sympathy thing. They finally relented just in time before he missed boarding his bus. Overall it was a big hassle.

A quick package express quote looks like $73 for JAX to Pensacola in addition to $54 for the fare for the ride. Interestingly I can get a one way rental for a Jetta or similar for slightly less. By the time I buy gas it will be a little more, but if I buy the bike box from Greyhound probably not. Also with the rental there is none of the hassle of boxing up a bike in a strange town (a task I don't mind at home but hate in a strange town on the road). With the rental car I can go when I want and make whatever stops I want. I can avoid packing the bike, eat lunch in a nice place, stop at some nice attractions if I feel like it, or just hurry back to the start point.

If I go the rental car route I'd probably drive my car to the start, park there, do the ride, drive back with a rental, and drive my car home.

If Greyhound service were better wrt checking bikes as baggage, I'd take the bus to the start and then take the bus home. I still could consider doing that using, but a using different shipper like shipbikes or bikeflights. They are a good bit cheaper than package express, but I'd have to involve a bike shop or warm showers host at each end and would have to get from the bus to where the bike was shipped. The thing is that I hate to reward Greyhound with my business when their policy seems to be refusal to take bikes as checked baggage and requiring you to officially jump through the package express hoops and pay the package express rates.

Greyhound Canada accepts bikes as an oversize checked bag (must be boxed or in a case). The charge is either $20, $25, or $30 depending on the distance (0-200 mi, 200-800 mi, or 800+ mi). They also sell boxes for $15, but I am not sure how widely available they are. I can see that as a reasonable policy and would happily pay that price. If they had that as a stated policy in the US and printed it out on their web page like they do in Canada so I could show it to the ticket agent, they'd get my business.

Greyhound US ought to look at doing what Greyhound Canada does wrt bikes if they'd like to get bike tourist's business.
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