Bus travel rights

Know your rights when traveling by bus and local transportation. Make traveling easier for you and your family with Travelers United.

by Malcolm Kenton

Intercity Bus Travel Rights

Thanks to the open access offered by the nation’s highway system, whose funding comes from a mix of gasoline taxes and other tax revenues such that no operator of road vehicles is paying his or her full share of the costs of road building and maintenance (unlike railroads, which are privately owned and use their own revenues to maintain their infrastructure), there is a great deal of competition and some innovation in the intercity bus industry. So, it is important for you to know your bus travel rights!

Traditional vs Curbside bus lines

Bus travel can be roughly divided between the “traditional” motorcoach carriers (Greyhound Lines Inc. and its partners, such as Trailways in the Southeast and Jefferson Lines in the Midwest, as well as independent legacy carriers like the Northeast’s Peter Pan Lines) and the more recent “curbside” carriers (including various independent brands, some of which are referred to as “Chinatown buses,” and the two leading brands, Bolt Bus (actually a division of Greyhound) and Megabus (owned by Coach USA)).

Curbside buses tend to make no or few (generally one or two) intermediate stops between major destinations, while Greyhound and regional operators make several stops along their routes. Greyhound, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, was purchased in 2012 by British multinational transportation firm First Group, but retains its own brand and remains quasi-independent. Greyhound and Megabus also operate cross-border services into Canada and Mexico.

All intercity bus carriers offer the options of booking tickets online and by phone, but only Greyhound and some regional carriers staff their own ticket offices in larger cities. Curbside carriers save money, and thus generally offer lower fares, by not investing in station facilities or ticketing staff.

Learn more about bus travel rights with a free ebook

Travelers United is offering their new eBook, Travel Rights, for free, so you can learn how to utilize your travel rights to make traveling better for you and your family!