Saturday, October 17, 2009

Coming to Atlanta by Greyhound bus

Altanta Low Income Issues Examiner

Coming to Atlanta by Greyhound bus
October 17, 6:55 AMAltanta Low Income Issues ExaminerDannis Cole
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So many of us travel by car, it's easy to forget that some people simply can't afford one. Inter-city bus service reaches far less of the small towns in Georgia and across the nation that it once did, though in bad economic times, more people take buses.

If your town doesn't have bus service, you may have some misconceptions about schedules, etc. Don't let that stop you. Once you get the hang of it, bus travel is easy, and much cheaper than by car, especially as gas prices and maintenance go up.

First, go to Greyhound's Web site and sign up for a free account. Then you can easily go back and re-plan your trip. Fares and schedules may vary by day of week. Generally, Greyhound is the only bus service that serves Georgia, with subcontractors listed on the Greyhound site. Trailways only does charter service now.

Then, you can search to see where the nearest station is to you. You can set a certain trip to come up next time you visit the site. You can plan trips all you want; as long as you don't go to the payment step, you can try different days and times without having to buy a ticket. For your departing station, if you don't know which one is closest, you choose the state, then the city. It helps to have Google Maps open in another tab, in case none of the city names look familiar. If you are near a state line, look in that state for a town that might be closer. Note the station hours and ticketing phone number. Atlanta's Greyhound Station is 24/7.

Generally, if you travel between Monday and Thursday, travel is cheaper.  Also, travel is 50% cheaper if you schedule at least 21 days in advance. Holidays can be more expensive than regular days. Note that if you need a lift bus, as for a wheelchair, you have to wait until a week in advance but not less than 48 hours in advance to call the Disabled Travelers Hotline. Be sure and keep the customer number they give you in a safe place, because you will have to give it at each station. Allow 2 hours before the bus leaves to be in the station, ready to go.Tell them you need a lift, the moment you get into the bus station, and give them the number. This reporter forgot once, and the bus had an hour delay. Passengers were not happy.

Fares are comparable to AMTRAK when traveling alone. For more than one, Greyhound's Companion Fare Program now includes children, with some limitations.

When you arrive in Atlanta, the MARTA S1 Garnett Station is a short downhill walk on the same side of the street.

If you need the elevator, and for some reason, it is out of order, you will need to walk the other way to the Five Points Station. It is a good idea to check with MARTA Customer Service at (404) 848-5000 before leaving the station, just in case [ask for elevator and escalator advisories].

For More Information:

Greyhound Bus Service

Xpress Commuter Bus Service

MARTA Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority

Moving to Atlanta -visit first

Posted via web from Dannis' Posterous From DanniStories

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