On Open Letter to Greyhound

Dear Greyhound Inc.,

I've been a customer of yours for several years. You always come through in a pinch, even if it isn't the best deal or the most convenient travel experience. But a bad options is often better than no optional at all, and I appreciate the service you provide. In my years traveling, I've noticed a few things that I wanted to ask about and a few possible suggestions. I would love to see you become a viable travel option for everyone, not just the bums and winos.

My first question is this: How do you manager to get at least one crazy person or drunk on every bus? Do you focus your advertising campaigns at half-way houses and mental facilities? Is there some sort of discount that you don't offer the general public? Or maybe it is just the camaraderie they feel with the Greyhound employees. Do you keep a staff of these folks on call in case a legitimate crazy doesn't show up? If so, where can I find the application for this position. I do a great crazy.

That brings me to my next question: Do you offer performance benefits on an inversely proportional basis? There must be some incentive that gets your employees to be so indifferent. I've never seen people on duty be so unconcerned with getting the job done properly and in a timely fashion (besides road construction crews, of course). I know this may sound like a new idea, but it is actually well accepted in the business world today: reward employees for performance rather than the lack thereof. With this simple change in policy, you might find that buses will start being on time, facilities will start to resemble a place you wouldn't be afraid to take your mother, and people won't be so horribly belligerent from having been treated so poorly. Who knows, you might even become a company your stock holders wouldn't avoid like the plague.

With a little work and thought, I'm confident that you can be a company with the value and reliability that will compare with, say, Guatemala's bus transit systems. But I will say this: I've never seen a live chicken on any of your buses.

Tuesday July 24 2007File under: transportation, open letter

Toggle Comments (10)comment?
on Tue 24th Jul, 2007 07:10 pm PDT Sweet Julie said:
Wrenny, Wren, Wren... is there something you would like to share about a 'greyhound experience'? Were you only a 'homeless person' (we don't call them bums) when collecting cans? Hmmmm.... So did you make it to Vegas?!
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on Tue 24th Jul, 2007 08:13 pm PDT MOM said:
Ouch, Wren! Isn't this a wee bit harsh? What other affordable options are there for travel? I'm with you on the state of the bus stations comment (I am the mother you would take there, after all). But I have to say I'd pack me a flask of single malt to make it through one of those diesel-fumed rides--so I guess I'd likely be one of those folks you're complaining about.
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on Tue 24th Jul, 2007 11:11 pm PDT Saxtor said:
I'm with Julie, there is definitely a story behind this....DISH DISH DISH*!
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on Wed 25th Jul, 2007 06:24 am PDT Chris said:
Having spent a couple 30 hour bus rides with the good people of Greyhound, I heartily agree. Plus, the problem with no assigned seating and nowhere else to go like on a train is that there is nothing you can do when four truckers with about 5 teeth between them corner you and want to tell you all their life stories. This happened last time ( a long time ago I'll add) and I almost just said "You know what, please stop talking, you're not intersting and you smell", but then I realized the only thing worse than being stuck on a bus with drunk, unintelligible, beligerent hill-billies is being stuck on a bus with drunk, unintelligibale, beligerent hillbillies with a grudge and plenty of stops out in the desert in the middle of nowhere. God bless Guttenberg, never would have made it otherwise.
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on Wed 25th Jul, 2007 10:45 am PDT Antonella said:
I was truly shocked when I read this blog, Wren. I though you were accepting of everything, even the stinky and hairy. I am proud to say, I know a few of these "crazy people" who gratefully ride the Hound. Hey, maybe I am one of THEM! I have taken a trip or two on the rolling ride... not in my right mind... not knowing or caring who I was, where I was, or where I got off. I admit this wild ride to break the STIGMA that "those people" are real people, like me- your friend. They are not from another planet and deserve respect, even if they get on your nerves! It is time to throw away the judgment and righteousness. You think this blog is funny, but it doesn't feel good to me!
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on Wed 25th Jul, 2007 11:56 am PDT mandy said:
this is exactly why i like to ride the bus! haven't you read haunted by palahniuk? didn't you know the new clean is dirty? the new social climb is the social dive? who wants to be perfect when you could instead provide spice to the life of a fellow public transportation rider? i like hanging around crazy or drunk people, it's sort of a reality check. but seriously, if you are going to send a letter to greyhound, maybe you should wait a couple of days after writing this one and re-think your approach cuz if you really want it received well & have your complaints addressed, try a little less scathe, you've done it before
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on Wed 25th Jul, 2007 03:06 pm PDT little adiantum said:
perfect. you are not rackin on the bums... you are celebrating them... while just happening to mention that if greyhound would change their "marketing approach" they may actually create the growing customer base they are looking for. Then we would have more crazies as well as more options.... and eventually maybe even a chicken!
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on Wed 25th Jul, 2007 05:10 pm PDT Nesbitt said:
So Greyhound stinks...we have the Chinese bus in the east...it has its own quirks. Could we discuss Amtrak? I have beefs with them.
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on Wed 25th Jul, 2007 07:05 pm PDT Emily said:
I'm wondering if maybe arriving in a city like Las Vegas at 3 AM maybe, just maybe, had something to do with your busmates this time around.....
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on Wed 25th Jul, 2007 08:59 pm PDT MOM said:
Thank you Antonella and mandy. I was afraid this was turning into an Elitist blog hang out but you both have given me hope. So I ask all of you...who is the PUBLIC in public transportation? The mix is what it is all about, celebrate it!
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