Arriving in the United States for the first time, Uzbekistani graduate student, Akhmab Islomoe, made his way from New York to Webster on a Greyhound bus.
Islomoe chose to take a different route than many of his friends also travelling to Webster. He said he wanted to see other parts of the country and Islomoe didn’t mind the longer travel time it would take to use Greyhound buses rather than planes.
“That was my first time in the U.S. and I really wanted to see the other cities,” Islmoe said.
He said he saw New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New Jersey and Ohio within his first couple of days of stepping foot in the country. Islomoe was very excited to be able to see all the different cities and states on his way to St. Louis.
“It was a time that I really enjoyed,” Islomoe said. “You know, taking photos and videos and telling my friends and family. I’m in this city. I’m in this city.”
Islomoe said he was satisfied with his trip. Islomoe praised the service, cleanliness, and friendliness of people on Greyhound buses.
Lanesha Gipson, Senior Spokesperson for Greyhound, said that staying in contact with family and friends through the free Wi-Fi is one of the features students enjoy on Greyhound buses.
“Our goal is to provide a great travel experience,” Gipson said.
Gipson said Greyhound does what they can to provide good customer service, to keep buses well-kept and clean, to provide a safe environment on the buses and to accommodate customers.
Vincent Vega, a sophomore studying Sports Communications, said he had a very different experience while traveling with Greyhound from St. Louis to Kansas City.
Vega arrived at the bus station early in the morning. It was his first time going home his freshman year. Vega wanted to surprise his brother at his football game that afternoon. He was on time and ready to go but a bus was cancelled the night before. This cancellation prevented Vega from boarding his bus, as the bus was then overbooked.
Vincent described a frustrated atmosphere of fellow customers as the bus was delayed hour after hour with a lack of direct communication from those working for the company. Many left and received refunds, but Vega waited for five hours before the bus left for Kansas City.
“I stayed because I wanted to go home so badly,” Vega said.
Vega complained and received some money back from Greyhound because of the issues with the buses. Vega explained his overall dissatisfaction with the experience.
Gipson said Greyhound handles customer service concerns in different ways as issues arise for passengers.
“We handle each concern on a case-by-case basis as no two customer service matters are exactly the same,” Gipson said.
Vega also said the conditions of the bus were unsatisfactory as he was finally able to head home. Vega said the bus was unclean, out of date and without the usual accommodations offered, such as electrical outlets.
Vega also said the other passengers were cold and irritable. There was one welcoming person, though, in the sea of hardened faces. Vega described the person who eventually became his travel companion on the rest of his journey home.
Vega said he was a foreign man who could not speak much English and had, like Islomoe, never been to the United States before. The man was nervous being in a new place, but Vega directed the man to the right stop and location. Vega spoke with him throughout the trip and enjoyed seeing the man experience the United States and all the things it had to offer.
“He was actually amazed at driving by Kaufman Stadium and Arrowhead,” Vega said. “It was his first time seeing a sports arena.”
Vega said getting to know the man and seeing through his eyes improved Vega’s overall encounter with Greyhound.
“That was very cool to see and to experience,” Vega said. “I kind of took that for granted.”
Though his interaction with the man improved the experience, Vega said he would not be travelling with Greyhound again. He instead recommended other mass-transit options such as Amtrak.
Islomoe, on the other hand, enjoyed his experience with Greyhound. He said he would ride Greyhound again and would recommend the use of Greyhound to others.
Gipson would also recommend Greyhound. She describes the buses to be helpful with their different accommodations and the proximity of stops to College campuses around the country.
“Greyhound is a great option for college students, as it’s a safe, convenient and affordable transportation option,” Gipson said.