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I started a Facebook group page called, "I Survived a Greyhound Bus Fire!" I hope anyone who finds this review who was on my bus or any other Greyhound bus that caught fire will join. We need to talk to each other.

At approximately 3AM on August 23, 2010, a Greyhound bus carrying 44 passengers from Columbus to Pittsburgh went up in flames within a couple of minutes after pulling over on I-70 in West Virginia and was completely destroyed. Luckily, all of the passengers escaped, but without their belongings. We all watched in horror as the bus was encased in a giant orange ball of flames just after we exited. As the bus driver stated, "Thank God there were no people on that bus who couldn't get off quickly!"

Everyone at the scene was great: the bus driver, the emergency response, and the DOT driver who drove our replacement school bus for the remainder of the trip. Here is the problem: Greyhound as a whole has been uncoordinated, unhelpful, and uncaring in the aftermath of what was a pretty traumatic event. The first clue was that the bus driver could not get anyone to answer the phone at the Pittsburgh station that was our destination for about 45 minutes. Then we were told that we would be getting information about what to do next once we reached the station. That did not happen. The lost-looking people at the station had a stack of complaint forms for us to fill out with a hand-written number on it for us to call for customer service. Each passenger individually has had to call the number, find out that there are forms to fill out, etc. Worse, the office personnel at the "main customer service" number in Dallas were unaware of the event until about 2 or 3 days afterward because other passengers had been calling with the same questions. For a week, no one could tell me where my stuff was or where the bus itself had been taken. Then I was told it was in Richmond, VA, but no ideas where it would go from there. Two weeks later, I haven't heard anything about whether any of my luggage was salvaged, because immediately after the fire, we had been told that some things may have been salvageable. In the meantime, there is no central contact to call, no central person on this case -- only people telling us to fill out forms at our local Greyhound station. We are entitled to $250 compensation and crappy treatment. It's a strange feeling, like being pushed out to sea in a tiny raft built for one.

There were tourists from abroad on that bus, people who have varying degrees of literacy in English, people who have varying degrees of tolerance for self-advocacy after a disturbing event. I cannot believe that in this day and age, in this country, that we don't have the expectation and the capacity to do what it takes to treat paying passengers well. For a primary interstate and international transportation service provider to have absolutely no emergency preparedness plan that I could detect during this incident is puzzling to say the least, and actually it's embarrassing and horrifying to have witnessed.

I believe that Greyhound has an obligation to make sure that there is an emergency plan in place, including a central case manager to oversee the process once an event is known to have occurred. Each passenger should be contacted to ensure that they have gotten the information and care they need. If passengers call, their questions should be answered by that central case manager. This isn't that hard to do.

I am pissed. I am a federal employee and I teach people with disabilities how to use public transportation. I cannot, at this point, feel confident telling people to take Greyhound. In fact, I feel obligated to actively discourage it on a large scale.

I appreciate having had this opportunity to share my story. Thank you.

Product or Service Mentioned: Greyhound Bus Service.

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Anonymous
#197226

Thank you so much for this post!! I am from Columbus and have been riding Greyhound (mostly due to my working class status) all my life--I used to ride it from Columbus to Detroit to go to the dentist on my own when I was 10, sitting right up by the driver...I think their policies on unaccompanied children have changed since then.

But I am saddened by the way people are herded and treated there, regardless of class, in a service situation that for so many of is is the only option in long-distance travel aside from personal transport by car. I actually found this site because my recent trip across the west on the bus involved 3 bus breakdowns where the driver himself was left stranded because they couldn't get a replacement driver on the phone, another man had a seizure and fell down in the aisle right at the exit of the bus, and even though I was yelling that he needed medical attention it took waaayyy too long for this other driver to respond or call for medics. Plus there were 4 (count 'em, 4) near-fights, one of which I got involved in because two passengers near me were cussing and threatening each other and the driver was remaining silent the whole time.

Not that I think it's always the driver's fault.

The employees are often treated no better than the customers. But I can only read your sad story and nod my head in recognition.

The whole enterprise is BIZARRE. It doesn't take much common sense to know how to manage certain business operations, but it does take people with training to handle others under stress, and Greyhound should either address it immediately or go out of business and let people who care step in and offer alternatives that work.

Anonymous
#191219

I appreciate the information. I also would like to believe that there could be a reasonable explanation for the behavior.

It seems outlandish that an American company could have treated paying customers so poorly by design. But the more I'm learning - and I am learning more - the more I'm convinced that this company is simply dishonest.

Anonymous
#190618

I was not on the bus THANK GOD!! I'm sorry you all went thru that.

I will be more studious about how to exit a bus. I don't know it this will help info. wise but I was trying to reach Greyhound around this time and finally after 2 days found out there was a flood in Dallas and the computers in the basement were affected.

Not too relevent but it might play into your deal. Debra Dean Amarillo TX

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