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 travel industry, so it’s important to know your bus travel rights.
Motorcoach carriers’ procedures for handling complaints vary widely, and are usually described on the carrier’s website.
In this chapter, we explore Traditional vs Curbside bus travel lines, bucket pricing systems for bus tickets, and important things to keep these things in mind on local transit, including:
- Buying a bus ticket
- Terminal or no terminal
- Baggage and Amenities
Unlike Amtrak, where all compensation and refund decisions lie solely with the Customer Relations department, bus travel companies give their front-line employees a lot more flexibility for making things right with customers.
There is very little government regulation of the intercity bus industry, and none with regard to fares and service levels (routes, frequency, etc).
Local and regional public transportation systems come in many forms and sizes, from expansive subway and light-rail systems with frequent service throughout the day, to commuter railroads that only run at rush hours, to small bus travel networks with service only hourly or less often.
While the number of places in the US where it is possible to visit and get around easily without a car (at least not without having to make some compromises in terms of schedules) is sadly limited, there are many small, midsized and large cities where it is possible, though it may not seem so.