North American Travel > Traveling America - Greyhound vs Amtrak?

Traveling America -
Greyhound vs Amtrak?

Published: January 26, 2009

Arguably, the cheapest way to get around America on any sort of extended trip is by ground transportation. The two leading providers of ground transportation in America are Greyhound (bus) and Amtrak (train).

The question is then - which one to choose? Greyhound or Amtrak?

First off, let's consider price. A 60-day Greyhound Discovery Pass will set you back $499. This is a pretty great deal considering the ground you could cover in 60 days. If you were determined you could see almost all of North America, because the pass also includes travel in Canada.

Amtrak on the other hand will set you back around $250 more ($749) for only 45 days travel, which includes 18 segments on their train network.

The second factor to consider is accessibility. Greyhound traverses fairly well the entire North American continent, whereas Amtrak has fewer stops and less inter-linking between lines. Travelers may end up having to use the Greyhound to get to their destination in the end anyway.

Thirdly there is comfort and safety. Greyhound buses are as comfortable as a long-distance coach is going to get, which is to say, not all that comfortable. Amtrak is fairly similar, if a little more roomy.

Safety wise, it's much of a muchness. Although, Greyhound has had some unfavourable news items in the past year or so. Also, some Greyhound stations can be questionable at best, with a variety of unsavoury characters waiting to catch the same bus as you.

Generally speaking, if you're a budget traveler, with lots of places to see in the USA, it's hard to go pass the Greyhound. Just be prepared to meet some shady characters and keep eye contact to a minimum!


1. Jessica Roberts on April 22, 2009

The Greyhound Discovery Pass has gone down to $499 CAD for travel starting in Canada - so now it's even more of a bargain!

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