Greyhound Drivers Union Says Texas Buses Are Being Driven by Crappy Drivers. Huh?

Categories: Transportation
GreyhoundBus.jpg
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Unlike the dogs, you can't bet on a Greyhound. Unless you hide from the driver.
Anyone who has ridden cross-country on a Greyhound bus, and who walked by the bus station on Lamar Street yesterday, would have assumed that the group of protesters gathered there were speaking out against the inhumane conditions suffered by its passengers. 

On the contrary, the picketers were members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1700, expressing their desire to spend even more time on Greyhound buses.

The coach operator is in the midst of a "war on drivers," the union says, replacing experienced operators in Dallas and San Antonio with inferior drivers from the Americanos bus service on the new Greyhound Express line that serves Texas' largest cities.

Americanos is, in fact, owned by Greyhound, but its drivers belong to another union. And they suck, says the ATU, having been cited for serious safety violations and consistently ranking near the bottom in federal driver safety evaluations.

"Many 'Greyhound Express' drivers in Texas are wearing Greyhound uniforms, but are really employed by the company's cut-rate line, Americanos," the ATU says. "Why are they disguising Americanos drivers? To hide poor performance!"

But Greyhound spokeswoman Jen Biddinger says very little is actually changing. The bus line has owned Americanos since 1998 and is rebranding some routes as "Greyhound Express," which means the same Americanos drivers will be driving the same Americanos routes. The only difference will be the racing dog on the side and, again, the buses ultimately belong to Greyhound.

After the bus station, ATU members were scheduled to go to Greyhound's headquarters at 350 N. St. Paul St. for another protest. Which would be a good idea had the bus line not moved its headquarters to Cincinnati about five years ago, as Biddinger told me. Most of the operations are in Dallas, but the actual headquarters? About 1,000 miles away.

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14 comments
Omar Jimenez
Omar Jimenez

I would rather take the other Mexican Bus lines over Greyhound. Plus El Expreso get you faster and have a frequent riders program.

Steve
Steve

What makes this an alternative newspaper? Your crappy attitude toward unions and working people?  How's that different from the Dallas Morning News or the Dallas Business Journal?  They covered the protest better than you did, and Univision Channel 23 covered it better than all of you.  Maybe because Mexicans are used to riding buses and the news matters to them.

P
P

Imagine my surprise when I couldn't get a flight out of Austin last year because of storms and went to the Austin Greyhound station. I bought a ticket for the "next bus to Dallas" at the Greyhound sign which turned out to NOT be a Greyhound but an Autobus Americanos. OK - I want to get home and didn't want to get a bank loan for a one-way rental car (you really get screwed on the one-way drop-off). 

Upon leaving the Austin Greyhound station the driver went over the curb and gave us a hard jostle. OK - anyone can do that. But then I noticed the rubber window seal at my seat was half hanging out - hmmm, safety hazard? There was food stuffs piled between the seats (the word smell comes to mind) and the floor was filthy. The bus needed a front end alignment when the driver was at highway speed. The bus made a stop in Waco which gave me a short breather outside because the bus was full. We stopped in South Dallas behind the Taqueria and most passengers got off. The driver wasn't good on his vocal delivery because some of the passengers thought it was the downtown Dallas Greyhound station and got back on right before we departed. Finally arrived downtown Dallas. Think I'll ride the bus again? When hell freezes over. I was reading an article a couple of months ago about transportation and the dude was so up on buses. I remember the headline: Cherish the Bus.

If Amtrak ran more than one train a day from Austin to Dallas I would have gladly been on it. Amtrak was also cheaper. Screw the bus.

Wayne
Wayne

Greyhound Bus Lines in North America is still headquartered in Dallas and why would anyone believe a company spokesperson who is dishonest about the location of the  company headquarters. Americanos drivers don't get the same training as Greyhound drivers and many are not fluent in English. This is a foreign company using Latino workers for maximum profits.

Guest
Guest

Greyhound is still headquartered in Dallas. It's parent company, FirstGroup America, is based in Cincinnati.

reddot
reddot

Greyhound, which is owned by a Scottish company, will save anyway they can by outsourcing jobs.  Their corporate staff in Dallas has over the past five years or so been reduced by at least two thirds because of outsourcing.

Mickister
Mickister

Eric, you're doing a good job covering all these stories everyday. 

I like to take a timeout from being an unreasonably angry commenter from time to time to say that I enjoy the good work.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Who knew there was a cut-rate bus company?

Willis
Willis

The Greyhound Express with leather seating and free WIFI I rode to Houston did not expose me to any inhumane conditions unless you consider the stop at the Original Fried Pie Shop in Buffalo.

Reality Check
Reality Check

Greyhound has the newer buses operating Austin to Dallas now.

Travel Time:Greyhound: 3 hours 3 minutesAmtrak: 5 hours 49 minutes (when the train is not delayed giving right of way to freight train)

Cost:Greyhound: $26.00 (for travel 5/25/12)Amtrak: $33.00 (for travel 5/25/12)

EricNicholson4
EricNicholson4

 Wow, positive reinforcement. That is so Unfair Park of you.

mydeepestapologies
mydeepestapologies

You have to slip the cashier at the ticket counter an extra twenty$ for the inhumane conditions package. 

Guest
Guest

Amtrak may be more expensive in your snapshot, but a couple of weeks ago I checked and Austin-to-Dallas on Amtrak was 17 bucks.

It is a hella long ride, though, since the train goes to Fort Worth and then to Dallas.

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