Go Greyhound. But do your ‘going’ somewhere else

An enterprising University of Arizona academic, who studies such neat things as E.coli bacteria, airborne viruses, germs and nasty microscopic bugs of all shapes and sizes, recently went on the road in search of the ‘safest’ forms of public transportation.

The ‘prof’ examined trains, planes, buses and subways. And, not surprisingly, good old Greyhound brought up the rear. In fact, it was the public restrooms on board the buses that activated the Arizona academic’s agita. According to reports, Greyhound bus restrooms are easily the mostGreyhoundbus_1   disease-laden areas to be found on any form of mass public transportation. Fecal matter, E.coli bacteria and God knows what else were discovered alongside the usual assortment of discarded newspapers, pornographic magazines and last week’s batch of "Measuring Up" blog entries.

For Greyhound, which is in the midst of a significant image and reputation overhaul (subscription required), the crappy news had to have been about as welcomed as the death of Dustin Hoffman’s Ratzo Rizzo character on one of their buses in the 1969 classic "Midnight Cowboy."

So, how well did Greyhound handle the crisis? Their first instinct was to throw the sanitation subcontractor under the bus. The company issued a statement saying it was devoted to providing a superior experience, first-class modes of transit, etc. They said their sanitation subcontractor routinely inspected the lavatories of each and every bus on a daily basis. But, based upon the survey results, something’s rotten in Denmark, not to mention Detroit, Denver, Dubuque and wherever else Greyhound buses frequent.

Just once I’d like to see a corporation step up to the plate (or to the toilet in this case) and admit fault.

In the interests of disclosure, I’d never consider riding a Greyhound bus anywhere, but my kids, or their friends, might. Until I hear that Greyhound has solved its fecal faux pas, however, I’ll be advising one and all not to ‘go Greyhound.’ That is, unless they decide to "leave the going" at some safer, much cleaner rest stop along the way.

5 thoughts on “Go Greyhound. But do your ‘going’ somewhere else

  1. It’s not surprising that it’s unsanitary. I have seen the homeless and druggies hanging out at the bus stations. It’s not exactly a clean environment to begin with.

  2. oh they greyhound bus.. they should seriously ask people what their disorders are before they go one the bus…i was on there and they had 2 very sick people on the bus and they should check luggage before loading it….and the restrooms are horrible i cant stand it a little sanitized hand cleaner is not going to do much… so i bring lysol… but i hate this bus

  3. …and not just a gun. I was in Jacksonville and they pulled a guy off the bus, got out his luggage from underneath and revealed a ziplock bag full of white powder that a sniffer dog found interesting.
    And just to confirm Beth’s point, I was a poor college student.

  4. Ah, Greyhound, the transportation choice for poor college students and derelicts nationwide. I speak from experience (and I could tell you some stories that would make your hair curl) that the bathroom woes are the least of Greyhound’s reputation problems. While this recent report will, no doubt, do nothing to help Greyhound in its futile attempt to turn around its reputation, I doubt it’s really going to hurt its image that much. When you come down to it, there are far bigger issues potential riders need to consider, mainly that the sweaty, twitchy guy in the seat next to you is likely carrying a gun. Because, heck, you might not be able to take your gun on a plane, but at least you can still carry it on the bus.

  5. From personal experience I would say that the sanitary state the bathrooms should be the least of your concerns. When I was Greyhounding around America two of my friends were mugged in the toilets at Greyhound bus depots – at knifepoint in NYC and gunpoint in Chicago.