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Greyhound service, Port Authority New York and accessibility questions


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#1 JackieTakestheTrain

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Posted 07 March 2016 - 08:40 AM

Hi Folks.

I see a few folks posting here about Greyhound and am hoping that I can get some help.

I am thinking of taking the Greyhound from New York to Cincinnati in a few days.

I use a cane but can get around ok.

 

I haven't been on a bus in *FOREVER* and I am honestly only looking it as an option because the train is just too expensive for a quick trip.

I am looking at taking the 3:15 am bus out of the Port Authority which gets into Cincy around 7:30 p.m. same day. I have never been to taken the bus out of New york, but this schedule looks the most directly *AND* only has one transfer in Columbus.

 

So here are my goofy questions...

1. Is is safe to walk to Port Authority in the wee small hours of the morning? I was thinking of coming down earlier in the day and crashing at a cheap hotel before beginning my trip. I see a few hotels a few blocks away which wouldn't be a big deal in the broad day light but not sure about 1 or 2 a.m.

 

2. In looking at the Port Authority website, it says that bus passengers should enter through the North Wing. Would anyone know what street that is on?

 

3. I am hoping that I could get on first due to my disability and sit in the front so I don't have crawl over people. How big are the seats? Would it be possible to buy an extra seat so I can scoot my leg out if I needed to? 

 

4. This route looks like it stops about every two hours. Do the buses ever skip stops if they don't have any passengers?

 

Thanks!

-- Jackie

 



#2 RRRick

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Posted 07 March 2016 - 11:45 AM

I find Greyhound bus fares NYC to CIN  ranging from  $69-96.00, for the end of this week. The Cardinal train, NYP to CIN,  in coach is $102.00 for adult , 15% less for disabled or senior. A cheap hotel in NYC is $100+. The train is more comfortable, has more leg room, takes less time, and there is no transfer required. The Cardinal runs only three days a week, though. I haven't been in the Port Authority Terminal in recent years, therefore can not comment on early AM conditions. 


Edited by RRRick, 07 March 2016 - 11:47 AM.


#3 Bob Dylan

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Posted 07 March 2016 - 02:35 PM

Jackie: totally agree with RRRick! Take the Cardinal in Coach from NYP-CIN instead of the Long Dog!

As for the PA Terminal in NY,in my expierence it's among the most unpleasant places in America to be in( on a par with LA's Greyhound Station,) especially in the wee hours!

Riding a LD Bus that far is not a pleasant expierence, and although the callingl times for the Card in CIN suck, it's a much more comfortable one seat ride on the train!

It's worth the difference in fare, no contest IMO!
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#4 railiner

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Posted 07 March 2016 - 10:20 PM

I will try to answer your questions....

 Safety....the area the terminal is in is generally safe....just a block away from Times Square.  At that time of night, you might find some 'sketchy' character's loitering outside the building, but if they ask for money just shake your head, and walk right past them.   If you are concerned, you might consider taking a taxi to the front door, but there are some hotels very close....some right across 40th street, however, at that time of night, the only open entrance is the North Wing, on 8th Avenue, near the corner of 42nd Street.

You must have a ticket to enter at that hour, and once inside, the Port Authority Police provide good security.  You will need to take stairs, escalator's or elevator down two levels to reach the platform.

 

As for boarding priority, I believe it is usually "first come, first served", but I suggest calling Greyhound and asking about Priority seating, if they offer it for that schedule.

Also ask if you can pay a half-fare for another seat....not sure about that, either....

 

As for the size of the seats....they are much tighter than what you would find on Amtrak, but similar to what you would find on economy airliners.

 

I see that you are from Boston.  Are you starting your trip from there?  

If so, instead of going to New York, have you considered going from Boston to Cleveland via Albany, and then down to Cincinnati?   That would avoid NYC altogether, and save you a night in a hotel.....I would take the 1215 departure from Boston, arriving Cleveland at 0310, leave Cleveland at 0430, and arrive Cincinnati at 1025.


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#5 Swadian Hardcore

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 12:07 AM

Greyhound's stupid timetables come into play here. WTH are they doing with a 3:15 AM departure from New York City? That 4:30 AM departure from Cleveland (going to Dallas) is no better.


Edited by Swadian Hardcore, 08 March 2016 - 12:07 AM.

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#6 CCC1007

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 12:10 AM

Where you been swad?

#7 rickycourtney

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 06:05 PM

The answers you got are solid... I just wanted to interject and add a few things on the disability front.

When railliner says that there is "priority seating" available... that's not the same as "priority boarding" that you may hear about.

Priority boarding is a perk offered to passengers who pay extra for Economy Extra or for a Flexible ticket. It allows those customers to board the coach first.
Priority seating is the first row of 4 seats on the bus which are reserved for the elderly, customers with disabilities and unaccompanied children. You can choose to sit there, or wherever you feel most comfortable.

Unlike the airlines or Amtrak where a notation that a passenger has a disability is placed on the ticket record... Greyhound doesn't do that.

Drivers and customer service agents at the station should be more than willing to help you access the priority seating, get on and off the bus, and give you a hand with your baggage. But keep in mind... drivers change during the journey and there are a lot of customer service agents... and communication isn't always great between them. Be your own advocate. Don't be shy when it comes to asking for any help you need... and keep asking for that help. Greyhound is required by law to provide assistance and accommodation to passengers who ask for it.



#8 crabby_appleton1950

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 08:16 PM

Having traveled cross country a number of times by bus and train, I highly recommend the train when possible.

I'm now 70 and walk with a cane.  Leg room is a concern for me, and Amtrak is the way to go.

IMHO



#9 railiner

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 11:18 PM

Greyhound's stupid timetables come into play here. WTH are they doing with a 3:15 AM departure from New York City? That 4:30 AM departure from Cleveland (going to Dallas) is no better.

While you may personally find those times distasteful, they do serve a purpose in filling gaps in a timetable on a major route, with multiple trips.   And while New York is "the city that never sleeps", not everyone boarding at those times is originating their trip....some are connecting from other points on a long trip, as you should well know....


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#10 Swadian Hardcore

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 11:34 PM

Greyhound's stupid timetables come into play here. WTH are they doing with a 3:15 AM departure from New York City? That 4:30 AM departure from Cleveland (going to Dallas) is no better.

While you may personally find those times distasteful, they do serve a purpose in filling gaps in a timetable on a major route, with multiple trips.   And while New York is "the city that never sleeps", not everyone boarding at those times is originating their trip....some are connecting from other points on a long trip, as you should well know....


Yes, but for connecting schedules, it's still best to connect at a civilized hour, so that passengers don't have to transfer in the middle of the night. It might be OK for New York City, but for Cleveland, it's plain dumb.

Also, those refueling-and-cleaning stops in the middle of the night when they make everyone get off is equally idiotic.

Not saying that Amtrak is any less idiotic, Greyhound is just begging for bankruptcy.

Hey, if I had a motorcoach I'd take you.
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#11 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 11:34 PM

 

Greyhound's stupid timetables come into play here. WTH are they doing with a 3:15 AM departure from New York City? That 4:30 AM departure from Cleveland (going to Dallas) is no better.

While you may personally find those times distasteful, they do serve a purpose in filling gaps in a timetable on a major route, with multiple trips.   And while New York is "the city that never sleeps", not everyone boarding at those times is originating their trip....some are connecting from other points on a long trip, as you should well know....

 

 

Are they the only buses heading to their destinations? 


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#12 jebr

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 11:37 PM

I happened to look at the schedules available, and I see that there is an option where you'd leave at 10:15 PM from NYC and arrive at 1:25 PM in Cincinnati. I've only rarely connected with Greyhound, but I'd much prefer boarding at 10 AM and doing a transfer over the breakfast hour (could give time to get a quick bite in Cleveland as well) versus boarding at 3:15 AM.

 

Swadian: The early departures may be more for intermediate point business than people boarding at the endpoints. I would suspect if the endpoints are where Greyhound has servicing stations, it makes sense to start from there (even if it's at a very odd hour) and at least provide the option to connect if needed along with giving good hours to intermediate destinations along the route. Hopefully these aren't the only schedules along the route, but it does make sense to have them as long as we're not focusing solely on endpoint-to-endpoint traffic.



#13 railiner

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 01:53 AM

 

 

 

Are they the only buses heading to their destinations? 

 

No, there are several trips on these routes.  Some offer better connections than others.   You can rely on Greyhounds booking site for the info, or if you are into it, you can look here, and construct your own connection.   Look at the route map for the timetable number(s) for the route you choose, then look up the individual tables...it does take a lot more effort, especially if you have to toggle between many tables to construct connections... http://extranet.grey...s2/pageset.html


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#14 JackieTakestheTrain

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 02:22 PM

Everyone! Thanks for the great advice and information!

I am going to see if I can get something lined up for next weekend since I am running out of time for this one.

 

Some of the ideas were very good and a few I had explored but for one reason or the other didn't work. The Devil is always in the details with connections or trying to get a taxi or a cab (like in Cleveland).

Amtrak and Greyhound used to have a wonderful thing where the Greyhound bus met the LSL in Cleveland and then went to the Cleveland station and then hit Columbus and Cincinnati. It was about a 5-6 hour trip as I recall. I was in Cincinnati in time for lunch! But that went the way of the chocolate-covered Oreos and slippers on the LSL....

 

:)



#15 Swadian Hardcore

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 11:50 PM

They aren't the only schedules but it's still poor timetabling. Waste towards the endpoints. But hey, whatever.
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#16 Seaboard92

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 12:11 AM

What about taking the LSL from Boston to Cleveland or Toledo. Then taking the bus the rest if the way. You can be in CIN by 1030. Or 1230 if you take the train to Toledo to get off at six am instead of three something. I mean I would recommend the cardinal as the scenery is fantastic but that's just me

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