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Phase 2 of construction at the Olympia Transit Center is scheduled to start on Monday, February 26, 2024 and end on March 25, 2024.

Passengers taking Route 620 north to Lakewood from the Martin Way Park & Ride should board buses at the “flyer” stop, located on the northbound ramp to I-5.

In Person: Board Room of the Pattison Street facility.  Doors open at 5 p.m. Online: Register to view the meeting via TEAMs. A link to the registration page can be found on the meetings page of our website. Once registered you will be emailed a link to join the meeting.  

In Person: Board Room of the Pattison Street facility.  Doors open at 5 p.m. Online: Register to view the meeting. Remotely by phone:  Toll Free (844) 730-0140 / Phone Conference ID: 217-502-387#

Read the February 2024 Rider News for the latest information from Intercity Transit. This issue includes information about the new "flyer" stop for Route 620 at the Martin Way Park & Ride, service on Presidents Day, new onboard announcements, and more!

In Person: Board Room of the Pattison Street facility.  Doors open at 5 p.m. Remotely by phone:  Toll Free (844) 730-0140 / Phone Conference ID: 769 851 055# Public Comment:  The public may provide public comment as follows.

Read the January 2024 Rider News for the latest information from Intercity Transit. This issue includes information about our online resources, service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a new commute for the new year, an update on construction at the Olympia Transit Center, and more!

Winter Weather

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What’s Happening?

Beginning on Nov. 6, NPM Construction Co., will begin construction of the last phase of planned site improvements at the Olympia Transit Center (OTC) site, adjacent to Olympia Avenue and Washington Street.

Site improvements include:

  • Replacing curb and sidewalk.
  • Replacing ramps with ADA-compliant ramps.
  • Replacing red concrete pavers with concrete.
  • Refreshing all of the pavement markings.

Construction is anticipated to be completed in early 2024, weather permitting.

The season’s short, dark days make pedestrians and bicyclists less visible to drivers. With the end of daylight savings, many of us travel when it's dark outside. Our drivers make extra efforts to watch for riders waiting at unlit bus stops, but they need your help! As one of our Operators put it, "when riding at night—wear something bright—flash a light!”

Reflective clothing and lights can help make you more visible. Help ensure your safety by using:

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A vanpool is a group of three or more people who share a similar commute. Intercity Transit provides the van, gas, tolls, insurance, and maintenance.


Bus Travel in the US from just $4.99

Health and safety, comfort on board, satisfied customers, the green choice, discover the easy way to travel.

Choose now from almost 2,300 destinations across the US and benefit from our extended network with Greyhound.

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If you're looking to travel around The United States or even worldwide, FlixBus has got you covered with our extensive bus routes! With over 400,000 routes across the globe, you can easily find the perfect option for your trip. Plus, our cheap bus tickets make it easy and affordable to get wherever you want to go, whether it's for work or play.

Bus Routes and Timetables to Suit Your schedule

Traveling with FlixBus is hassle-free with our modern and comfortable buses, frequent connections, and reliable schedules. Our extensive network spans almost 2,300 destinations in 40+ countries, including major cities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Plus, enjoy free WiFi on most of our buses and track your journey in real-time using our bus tracking system. What's more, our integration with Greyhound provides even more coverage and travel options throughout North America, making FlixBus the ideal choice for domestic and international travel.

Buying Your Bus Tickets is Easy with FlixBus

Our website and app make it easy to plan your journey, find the cheapest bus fares, and purchase your bus tickets securely. Whether you're planning or booking a last-minute trip, FlixBus makes buying bus tickets a breeze. Plus, with our convenient e-ticket system, you can board your bus without the hassle of paper tickets as your phone will serve as your ticket!

Discover the Best Destinations FlixBus has to Offer

With FlixBus' extensive network of routes, you can easily explore some of the most popular cities in the US , as well as travel to Canada and Mexico. And thanks to our integration with Greyhound, our network is even more expansive, giving you even more options for intercity travel. Whether you're exploring New York City , spending a weekend partying in Las Vegas , soaking up the culture in Boston , or discovering the hidden gems of Los Angeles , FlixBus makes it effortless to experience all that the US has to offer.

Travelling with FlixBus is a more sustainable choice

Traveling by bus is not just a convenient choice but also an environmentally responsible one, as bus travel reduces traffic and emissions compared to travelling by car. We are working to make bus travel even greener with high environmental standards across our fleet of buses, the use of alternative drive and fuel technologies, and the option for all passengers to offset their carbon when buying their bus tickets. So, when you travel with FlixBus you can know you are making a responsible choice

Travel in Comfort and Style with FlixBus

FlixBus not only prioritizes comfort and convenience for your journey, but also ensures that you can travel with all your necessary luggage. Each passenger is allowed to bring one carry-on and one stowed luggage with them on the bus. In addition to the luggage allowances, our buses offer amenities like on-board WiFi, extra legroom, power outlets, and toilets, making your trip as smooth and enjoyable as possible. With our user-friendly app and simple booking platform, planning your bus travel has never been easier. Book your bus ticket with FlixBus today and travel in comfort and style with all your luggage in tow.

Top Destinations and bus connections

  • New York, NY
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Houston, TX
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Chicago, IL
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Orlando, FL
  • San Diego, CA
  • Phoenix-Tempe, AZ
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Seattle, WA
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Detroit, MI
  • Boston, MA - New York, NY
  • New York, NY - Boston, MA
  • Los Angeles, CA - Las Vegas, NV
  • New York, NY - Washington, D.C.
  • New York, NY - Philadelphia, PA
  • Washington, D.C. - New York, NY
  • Las Vegas, NV - Los Angeles, CA
  • New York, NY - Atlantic City, NJ
  • Philadelphia, PA - New York, NY
  • Los Angeles, CA - San Diego, CA
  • San Diego, CA - Los Angeles, CA
  • Atlantic City, NJ - New York, NY
  • Dallas, TX - Houston, TX
  • New York, NY - Baltimore, MD
  • Houston, TX - Dallas, TX
  • Montreal, QC - New York, NY
  • Baltimore, MD - New York, NY
  • New York, NY - Albany, NY
  • Toronto, ON - New York, NY
  • New York, NY - Montreal, QC

Book Cheap Bus Tickets

How to find cheap bus tickets.

If you're looking for the best bus deals when traveling, CheckMyBus has you covered! You can find offers from thousands of bus companies and millions of bus routes in the United States and abroad. Then, you can compare arrival and departure times, pick-up and drop-off points, travel duration, and of course the best bus ticket prices.

To make your search even easier, you can customize everything to your needs. Optimize your results by sorting them by price, departure and arrival time and/or filter by stop or bus company. Once you find the perfect bus trip, all you need to do is select it and book on our partner's page!

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Most Popular Bus Companies

Greyhound - Bus Tickets, Schedules and Discounts

  • Los Angeles to San Diego
  • South Bend to Chicago
  • Atlantic City to New York

FlixBus - Bus Tickets, Schedules and Discounts

  • New York to Toronto
  • Boston to New York
  • Los Angeles to Las Vegas

megabus - Bus Tickets, Schedules and Discounts

  • Miami Airport to Orlando
  • Houston to Austin
  • New York to Philadelphia

Eagle Liner Bus Tickets and Schedules

  • Durban to Johannesburg
  • Cape Town to Bloemfontein
  • Johannesburg to Mthatha

Intercape - Bus Tickets, Schedules and Discounts

  • Cape Town to Johannesburg
  • Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth
  • Durban to Cape Town

megabus Canada Bus Tickets and Schedules

  • Toronto to Montreal
  • London, ON to Toronto
  • Niagara Falls to Toronto

Most Searched Cities and Bus Routes in the USA

Bus to New York

  • Philadelphia to New York
  • Atlanta, GA to New York
  • Baltimore, MD to New York

Bus to Washington, DC

  • New York to Washington, DC
  • Philadelphia to Washington, DC
  • Newark to Washington, DC

Bus to Orlando, FL

  • Miami to Orlando, FL
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL to Orlando, FL
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Bus to Boston, MA

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  • Hartford, CT to Boston, MA
  • Newark to Boston, MA

Bus to Atlanta, GA

  • New York to Atlanta, GA
  • Charlotte to Atlanta, GA
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Bus to Los Angeles

  • San Francisco to Los Angeles
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  • Phoenix, AZ to Los Angeles

Most Popular Airports Reachable by Bus

Airport connections

  • Orlando, FL to Miami Airport
  • Fort Myers, FL to Miami Airport
  • Naples, FL to Miami Airport
  • Philadelphia to John F. Kennedy Airport
  • Boston, MA to John F. Kennedy Airport
  • Washington, DC to John F. Kennedy Airport
  • Orlando, FL to Fort Lauderdale Airport
  • Fort Myers, FL to Fort Lauderdale Airport
  • Naples, FL to Fort Lauderdale Airport
  • Niagara Falls, NY to Buffalo Airport
  • New York to Buffalo Airport
  • Rochester, NY to Buffalo Airport
  • Madison, WI to Chicago O'Hare Airport
  • Milwaukee to Chicago O'Hare Airport
  • South Bend, IN to Chicago O'Hare Airport
  • New York to Newark Airport
  • Philadelphia to Newark Airport
  • Washington, DC to Newark Airport

Get further airport transfers in the US and abroad .

Amazing Regions for Bus Travel in the USA and Abroad

From sea to shining sea, the USA offers plenty to see and do. Whether you want to visit quaint New England villages, explore the Big Apple, hit the beach in Florida, wander the Great Plains or see Yosemite National Park, it can be hard to know where to start!

Travel the USA

  • Philadelphia
  • Boston to Burlington
  • Washington to Philadelphia
  • New York to Boston
  • San Francisco
  • Portland to Seattle
  • Los Angeles to San Francisco
  • Las Vegas to San Diego
  • Fort Lauderdale to Orlando
  • Atlanta to Columbia
  • Houston to Dallas
  • Indianapolis
  • Minneapolis
  • Chicago to Indianapolis
  • Columbia to Kansas City
  • Alexandria to Minneapolis Airport

Planning a cross-border trip? Both Canada and Mexico offer many scenic landscapes, exciting cities and hidden gems. Explore Canada's vast wilderness or see ancient pyramids in Mexico. Either way, we can help you get where you want to go!

Discover Canada and Mexico

Eastern canada.

  • Ottawa to Toronto
  • Montreal to Toronto
  • Toronto to New York

Western Canada

  • Vancouver to Calgary
  • Calgary to Edmonton
  • Seattle to Vancouver

Cross-border Mexico

  • Ciudad Juárez
  • Los Angeles to Tijuana
  • San Diego to Tijuana
  • Mexico City
  • Guadalajara
  • Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende
  • Guadalajara to Mexico City
  • Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta

There's something for everyone in Africa's southernmost country! Whether you visit Cape Town's iconic Table Mountain, Kruger National Safari Park, Johannesburg's Apartheid Museum or Durban's golden beaches, South Africa calls.

Explore South Africa

Western cape.

  • Queenstown to Cape Town
  • Cape Town to George
  • Johannesburg to Cape Town
  • Johannesburg
  • East London to Johannesburg
  • Durban to Pretoria
  • Mthatha to Johannesburg

Eastern Cape

  • Port Elizabeth
  • Cape Town to Port Elizabeth
  • East London to Port Elizabeth
  • Bellville to Mthatha


  • Pietermaritzburg
  • Johannesburg to Durban
  • Johannesburg to Pietermaritzburg
  • Port Elizabeth to Durban
  • Bloemfontein
  • Johannesburg to Bloemfontein
  • Johannesburg to Welkom
  • Pretoria to Bloemfontein

With buses available on six continents, we can help you see the world's best attractions! See the Australian outback, Bangkok's floating markets, Ireland's dramatic coastlines, Europe's iconic cities or just about anything in between. Book your bus ticket now!

Travel the World by Bus

  • Cork to Dublin
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  • Canberra to Sydney
  • Melbourne to Sydney

Southeast Asia

  • Ho Chi Minh
  • Bangkok to Pattaya
  • Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh
  • Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Find more bus times for routes in the United States and abroad. Planning to travel in a group? For larger groups we recommend to rent a bus .

Most Popular Destinations for International Bus Travel

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20+ Things to Know Before You Travel By Bus in the USA

February 21, 2018 by Karen Turner 10 Comments

I have many talents, but driving is not one of them. I’ve never been given a driver’s license, so I’ve been forced to travel by bus in the USA. Although it’s maybe not “cool” to travel by buses around the United States, taking Greyhound buses and Megabus is often a good cheap way to travel around the USA.

Keep reading for my recommendations for the bus companies in the United States, reviews of different bus companies in the US, what to know about bus travel in the United States, and what to bring on long bus trips in the United States.

it travel bus

  • 1 Should you travel by bus in the US?
  • 2.1 Greyhound
  • 2.2 Megabus
  • 2.3 BoltBus
  • 2.4.1 Other Bus companies in the United States
  • 3.0.1 The bus stations…
  • 3.0.2 Finding the bus departure place may be harder than you realize!
  • 3.0.3 You might get dropped off in the middle of nowhere
  • 3.0.4 Avoid buses that depart or arrive late at night
  • 3.0.5 Book in advance to get the best times and prices
  • 3.0.6 Not every bus still has wifi… or working plugs
  • 3.0.7 You need identification and often your bus ticket printed
  • 3.0.8 Your bus ticket is typically non-refundable and for a specific time
  • Don’t drink too many liquids
  • Set an alarm
  • One suitcase and one backpack.  Keep your valuables with you.
  • 3.0.11 Be early for the bus!
  • 4.0.1 Be sure to bring antibacterial gel
  • 4.0.2 Travel Pillow.
  • 4.0.3 Backpack that will fit your valuables, including your laptop.
  • 4.0.4 Your iPad and a season of shows lined up with some headphones.
  • 4.0.5 Snacks.
  • 4.0.6 Wear layers and bring a sweatshirt.
  • 4.0.7 A good book and a reading light.
  • 4.0.8 External Phone Battery Charger

Should you travel by bus in the US?

Yes, and no. If your trip around the United States is focused on city hopping, especially within one region (e.g. East Coast), traveling by bus in the United States is a good choice.. It’s often cheaper and easier not to have a car in big cities in the United States as parking can add up.  However, it depends a lot on the city as some cities have great public transportation system while others have terrible public transportation systems.

If you’re planning on focusing on the beautiful National Parks, you’re going to have difficulty getting around more rural areas of the US without a lot of money spent on taxis.  Some National Parks have better infrastructure in terms of getting there without a car (e.g. Yosemite), but many parks are quite rural and require extra time/money to get there without a car.  It might make sense to take a bus for some legs of your journey and do tours once you’re within a city.  This will be cheaper than all-inclusive options.

Bus travel in the United States is far more sustainable than traveling by car around the United States.  People love to write about road trips, but bus travel is way more eco-friendly!  Similarly, not everyone can afford a car or it doesn’t make sense to drive into another big city.

As a result, I think that travel by bus around the US can be a great option for those on a budget, anyone who’s into sustainable travel, and for those who don’t want to have to bother with driving in big American cities.

Bus travel in the United States is often not as advertised online in terms of wifi and on-board entertainment. Although many bus companies are interested in creating more premium experiences and improving the average bus experience, my experiences traveling by bus in the United States has been gritty and unglamorous. This has been the case for my husband too. ( What did you think you were getting when you paid $25 for a 8 hour bus across the country?)

Photo of Chicago. Read tips for surviving overnight bus rides and things to know before traveling by bus in the United States! #travel #UnitedStates #USA

Photo from Chicago, which was a 14+ hour bus ride

National bus companies in the United States

You’ll encounter a lot of bus companies in the United States although many are regional bus lines that I haven’t personally encountered. Most of the time, unless it’s a major American holiday, bus travel doesn’t require significant planning beyond a day or two in advance.  American buses tend to be cheaper if you book way in advance with a major company (e.g. Greyhound or Megabus) while regional bus rates tend to rise less closer to the dates.

Greyhound is the most ubiquitous bus company in the United States.  Among the bus companies, the opinions about Greyhound buses online  tends to be more favorable although most people I know who regularly take Greyhounds aren’t their biggest cheerleaders.  The coverage of Greyhound buses is good across the country and you can get across the United States on a Greyhound on the drop of a hat.

However, you will probably have numerous stop-offs in various cities, which can add some time.  However, it’s possible to get to Yosemite with a Greyhound, which is why if you’re traveling in the United States without a car.  It’s often best to buy Greyhound tickets at least two weeks in advance and they have special deals if you buy online.

It’s basically very hard to get a $1 fare on Megabus at this point, but you can get some good deals on Megabus if you book ahead.  I started taking Megabus when it got started.  At this point, Megabus tends to be standard and their concept is getting you there.  The demographic for Megabus is considerably younger than Greyhound and you’ll find a lot of students taking Megabus.

Megabus tend to be stricter about bag sizes although they more uniformly have working outlets on their buses.  Coverage for Megabus is best on the East Coast, Midwest, and between college towns in the United States. They also have some coverage on the West Coast.

My husband has sworn off Megabus after the wheels almost caught on fire and the driver told the passengers it wasn’t safe to continue.  He was forced to wait in the middle of nowhere waiting for a new bus to come pick them up.  A couple of other friends have similar stories although I generally take Megabus given the choice as I find people are a bit more considerate.

BoltBus is a “premium” bus company that runs on the East and West coast.  Their buses tend to be much newer and nicer than others that I’ve taken, however the routes are more limited to major cities on the coasts.  Their plugs tend to work much more reliably and recently, they started including movies in the price of the bus.

I’ve generally liked BoltBus and I wish that they would expand to more cities.  It’s my go-to choice for traveling from New York City to Washington DC.

Trailways Transportation System

Trailways is a network of 70+ regional bus companies in the United States that compromises the oldest bus network in the United States.  Their network crosses the United States and I’ve taken Trailways quite a few times.  I find their buses not as uniform as you’re likely to be switching companies as you switch state lines.  Most of my experience taking Trailways meant that I had long layovers in rural Pennsylvania at one particular transfer point.

For smaller cities with less coverage on the big names, I find that Trailways is more reliable in helping you find a route although it might add time to your journey.  It depends on the bus journey, however I find that Trailway buses tend to stop off a lot more although it makes the journey through the United States far more scenic as you’re often taking non-highway routes.

Other Bus companies in the United States

Bus traveling along highway in the United States. Must-know tips if you're considering traveling by bus in the US!

Photo by Denis Rozhnovsky/Bigstockphoto

There’s a ton more bus companies in the United States, including Vonlane (Texas), Fullington Trailways (New York/Pennsylvania), Utah Trailways (Utah), Burlington Trailways (Vermont), Jefferson Lines, Bieber Tours (Pennsylvania/New York), Barons Bus Lines (East Coast),  Adirondack Trailways (Canada/New York), RedCoach (Florida; premium bus), Capital Trailways (South/Alabama), Hoosier Transportation (Midwest/Iowa/Michigan/Kentucky), Indian Trails (Michigan), Peter Pan (East Coast), Orange Belt (California), etc. There’s a ton more.  If you’re not seeing a route to where you’re going, I recommend stopping by the bus station to see if there’s a bus heading that way on a regional line.

On the east coast and the west coast, you’ll also find Chinese bus companies that run between the Chinatowns or downtowns of major cities on the East Coast/West Coast.  The Chinese bus companies are often the cheapest option if you’re traveling to/from New York City or LA to a nearby major city.

Due to price, I often took the Chinese bus companies.  These bus rides went by without incident for me, but my cousin was stranded in the middle of nowhere after a bus broke down and the bus company wasn’t helpful at all.

Things to know about bus travel in the United States

The bus stations….

With the creation of the interstate highway system, buses in the United States stopped being as popular as they were before.  The bus infrastructure has suffered as a result.  Most bus stations tend to be on the dingier side and do not require a ticket to enter the bus station, so it’s best to be aware of your belongings.  Most bus stations in the United States tend to be located in the city center, which aren’t always in the best neighborhoods.

In the case of many of the “newer” bus lines (e.g. Megabus), their business model is about cutting out the bus station to pass on savings to consumers.  This means that their bus station may be a Walmart parking lot or simply a curb on a sidewalk.  As a result, you might be forced to wait outside for the bus and/or there may be no bus station for you to wait inside at.  Bring an umbrella if you think this might be the case.

Finding the bus departure place may be harder than you realize!

Often, bus terminals for Greyhound and other regional bus stations are well-established terminals in the city center.  However, for some of the newer bus companies, they have their buses designated in a large area.  You’re going to need an extra twenty minutes at minimum if you’re taking Megabus to find your bus if it’s departing from most major cities.

In New York, I’ve found that I need the extra time to walk past all the buses waiting to find the correct departure point. Similarly, when I took BoltBus out of DC, I had to spend a while searching for the one departing for NYC as there were more than five buses departing around the same time.

You might get dropped off in the middle of nowhere

Modern-day America has been built for cars.  For most major cities, you’ll be dropped of at the bus terminal, which can be far from the non-downtown parts of a city. I used to often take one route and the bus terminal was over three miles from the main downtown area, which can be tricky if you don’t have a car.

In one case, I was forced to take a taxi as it wasn’t possible to get from the bus terminal to my final destination (the airport) without it.  It’s good to check where the bus stop will be as you don’t want to need to take a taxi to get there.  Google Maps in my go-to source.

Avoid buses that depart or arrive late at night

Trust me on this one. A lot of cities have poor transportation after a certain hour (often eleven at night), and often bus terminals are in the heart of the city center.  Unlike European cities, many American city centers aren’t uniformly safe and I recommend using some caution if you’ll be walking around with all your valuables late at night.  Crime in America is an issue.

Book in advance to get the best times and prices

Many bus companies, especially Boltbus and Megabus, advertise low rates if you book as far in advance as possible.  I often take Megabus and wait to see when the tickets go on sale, so I can get one of the first tickets, which is typically less than $5.  If you wait too long, especially for holiday weekends, the prices will go up considerably.  That said, you’ll find a bus to your destination within a day or two if you simply head to the bus station on short notice.

Not every bus still has wifi… or working plugs

Girl sitting on a bus. Read tips for traveling without a car in the United States and what to know about bus companies in the United States.

A good playlist is always a good idea. Photo by VadimGuzhva/bigstockphoto

Although many bus companies advertise that buses have wifi, the wifi on the bus is ridiculously slow, throttled for video, and unreliable.  I’ve been on countless buses where the wifi never worked because it didn’t have wifi, the wifi was broken, or there were too many people on it at once.

It’s become trendy to have outlets, but often, the outlets are somewhere really inconvenient or they don’t work.  A lot of people think initially that they’ll work on the bus, but I find that it’s not a conducive environment for working as the seat-tray makes it hard to fit a laptop in many cases.

This becomes especially true when others decide to lean their chair back.  I’ve been on buses where the outlets were above you in the “ceiling”, so unless you spend the whole bus ride holding your plug in the outlet, you will not be charging your electronics.  Some of the newer buses have improved upon this design and have easy-to-access plugs/usb ports.

You need identification and often your bus ticket printed

Typically, any photo identification will do, however the name needs to match the ticket. That means that you typically can’t use your friend’s ticket. If you’re a foreigner, I recommend having your passport on you.

Not all bus companies allow e-tickets, so I always print my ticket ahead as finding a good place to print my ticket isn’t always easy near the bus station.  Some bus companies are better about accepting e-tickets, so check the terms to see if it’s enough to have a ticket on your phone.

The real reason that I always print my ticket?  I need to have my phone charged enough for when I arrive.  As a result, I recommend having it printed, so you don’t need to worry about having your phone charged up for the next transfer or for when I arrive at the destination, particularly if it’s a long bus ride.  I often find myself playing on my phone, which can kill the battery.

Your bus ticket is typically non-refundable and for a specific time

Unless you pay extra for a refundable ticket, you’re often getting one for a specific time. Don’t miss your bus! Some bus companies allow you to change the ticket for the difference in ticket price in addition to a fee, but I’ve actually bought a ticket in most of those cases as it was cheaper than the change fee.

Oh, the people you’ll meet!


Dr. Seuss must have taken buses around the United States. While most of my bus trips have gone by without incidence, both my husband and I have some  memorable  bus travel stories as do most of my friends. Most people sleep, stare out the window, talk to friends on the phone, or chat with friends on the bus. Let’s be clear that most people you’ll encounter on the buses will be non-offensive, but as I have regularly taken regional buses through rural areas, you’re bound to meet some characters.

This following story is from my husband who took a twenty-four hour Greyhound bus from Pennsylvania to Kentucky via Ohio…

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, many students choose to take Greyhound home because it is so cheap.  You’re  not supposed to bring alcohol on the bus, however some people do.  This student had smuggled a bottle of peach flavored vodka on the bus.  He was hell-bent on talking to every girl on the bus and switched seats countless times.  He was drinking the vodka and kept offering it to the girls.  After they all rejected it and him, he sitting up next to me. There was a girl nearby from Hawaii who was heading to a friend’s house in Iowa to celebrate Thanksgiving.  The girl and the guy hit it off and get very drunk on the bus.  They start having a big make-out session, so the whole bus was just eavesdropping while some were openly watching them.   The issue was that it was night-time and they were being loud while everyone else on the bus was trying to sleep. The first leg took us to Columbus, which is a big switching point for buses.  I was heading south from there as was the guy.  The girl was heading further west from there. We get to Columbus and they decide that they’re in love .  The girl invites him to come to Iowa with her to her friend’s house and the guy actually switches his ticket to go to Iowa.  Sure enough, they left for Iowa together to her friend’s parents house. Imagine her friend’s reaction when she shows up hungover with this random guy she met on a Greyhound.

Don’t drink too many liquids

This is a newbie bus mistake.  It’s good to stay hydrated and I typically bring at least one bottle of water for longer journeys, however I generally avoid bus bathrooms.  More importantly: Some buses, especially regional ones for shorter legs, don’t have a bathroom on the bus.  Be sure to use the bathroom at the bus terminal before you leave!

It’s not a guarantee that your bus will stop off at a bus station or rest stop long enough for you to go inside.

For longer trips, keep in mind that the bus will probably stop off at a rest stop as they’re not allowed to drive over a certain number of hours without stopping.  It’s not a guarantee for shorter journeys that the bus will stop off at a rest station long enough for you get something to eat, so bring your own food/drinks ahead.

If it looks like you’ll have fifteen minutes waiting at a station for passengers, be sure to tell the bus driver that you’ll be back to ensure that the bus doesn’t leave without you.  There’s often a line for the restroom at rest stops.

Set an alarm

Photo of man sleeping on overnight bus in the United States. Read more tips for surviving long bus trips and what to know before taking a Greyhound bus in the United States.

On long bus rides, you might fall asleep. That’s fine, however if your destination isn’t the final destination, you’ll want to set an alarm on your phone before the time that your bus is supposed to arrive.  There might be traffic, but in general, it’s a safe move.

One suitcase and one backpack.  Keep your valuables with you.

Remember that you’re NOT on a plane. Some bus companies are more lax about luggage, however if it’s a crowded bus or you’re traveling over major holiday, you might need to pay for an extra bag.  I also recommend avoiding having your stuff in bags if possible as I’ve seen people get rejected from boarding onto buses when carrying their belongings in plastic bags.

I tend to keep my valuables in my backpack rather than below the bus, especially if the bus has a lot of stop off points  I recommend labeling your bag clearly as it’s hard to find a black suitcase among 50 other black suitcases .  Weird size luggage might cause issues, so ask beforehand.

Typically at stops, people take their items from the hull, so unless you want your bag taken by mistake, it’s best to keep your valuables in your backpack with you on the bus.  I’ve never had a bag stolen or taken by mistake, but if it’s a long ride with a lot of stops, I recommend labeling your bag clearly and packing your backpack carefully.

Be early for the bus!

Although it hasn’t often happened, buses leave on time.  More often than not, they’ll wait a couple more minutes for passengers who are running a few minutes late, but I’ve seen so many people running after the bus without success.  You need time to get your luggage under the hold.  Certain bus companies, including Megabus, overbook their seats, so if you’re not there early and it’s a full bus, you might get rejected on the bus and need to wait for the next one.

What to bring on long bus trips in the United States

If you’re wondering what to pack for an overnight bus trip, I’m well-experienced in these long miserable journeys that I’ve done to save money.

Be sure to bring antibacterial gel

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Some bus bathrooms are best avoided.  Similarly, the soap dispenser may not work. Be sure to have your own antibacterial gel to clean your hands with, especially if you plan on eating.

Travel Pillow.

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This is the MOST important item that you’ll want to pack for an overnight bus trip as I struggle to sleep without a good travel pillow. I have this exact travel pillow and I love how small it folds up!

Backpack that will fit your valuables, including your laptop.

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I recommend looking for a carry-on friendly sized backpack that can fit your backpack as well as most of your valuables, so that they’re close to you.

Your iPad and a season of shows lined up with some headphones.

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This is definitely not a necessity, but if you’re going to have a lot of long bus trips, I recommend bringing an iPad , so you can watch movies on the bus.  Download your shows before you leave wifi!

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I recommend not buying your snacks at the bus station if possible as the prices tend to be a lot higher and the selection isn’t as good as going to the supermarket! Avoid peanuts as some people are really allergic.   I really like to carry granola bars with me as they’re hard to smoosh and non-messy.

Wear layers and bring a sweatshirt.

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You never know when the bus will be too warm or too cold, so I always try to bring a sweatshirt to put on over my clothes in case I get cold! I recommend dressing comfy and you’ll be sitting for many hours.

A good book and a reading light.

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For night buses, the driver typically shuts off the lights after a certain time. Although there’s a reading light from above, I’m often very conscious of it annoying the people around me.  Instead, I usually bring my own reading light as well as a good book.  For a good read, I recommend Night Film (which will take you many hours to finish), the Power , or On the Road for some American travel inspiration.

External Phone Battery Charger

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You never know when there won’t be a working charger on the bus and you might need to make a phone call. Don’t let your phone die and carry an external phone battery charger .

Have you traveled by bus in the United States? Anything you’d add?

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Considering traveling by bus in the United States? 20+ tips from an experienced American traveler on what to know about bus travel in the USA & what to pack for an overnight bus journey. #Travel #USA #UnitedStates

About Karen Turner

New Yorker–born and raised. Currently living in the Hague, the Netherlands after stints in Paris and Amsterdam. Lover of travel, adventure, nature, city, dresses, and cats.

Reader Interactions

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February 24, 2018 at 12:47 am

Wow, I live in the US and I have never even considered bus travel (excluding taking the Megabus very occasionally from San Francisco to LA). That’s such a cool way to travel the country, and I will definitely have to consider it in the future! Thanks for sharing all these helpful tips.

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February 24, 2018 at 3:12 am

The US is so spread out that it’s difficult to see a lot of it without access to a car. Bus is often the only option for many travelers. I’ve never traveled long distance by bus in the US, but I’ve heard they’re pretty unpleasant.

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February 24, 2018 at 4:09 am

I haven’t been to the US of A but everyone has always told me that if you want to move around, you need a car. That is the only way to travel unless you consider flights which can get expensive. I was pleasantly surprised to know that the bus routes are usable.

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February 24, 2018 at 1:01 pm

Super comprehensive and useful guide! I felt I’ve learned a lot about the buses in U.S just from this post. The reading light is a great suggestion – I’m gonna consider that the next time I fret over bringing a book on trips! Same like you, I feel conscious that the overhead light will be disturbing to my neighbour 😉

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February 24, 2018 at 2:03 pm

I went to college in DC so def took the fung wa chinatown bus many times! I did have a greyhound driver once say (at a rest stop) “I dont count heads, I just count time” meaning he was rolling out at the designated time with or without you! I think now at age 40, I’ve graduated from Bus travel.

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February 24, 2018 at 2:32 pm

I’ve only ever taken the bus between NY and Baltimore (China Bus). I’m laughing at the Dr. Suess comment and the need for hand santizer!!! LOL

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September 17, 2018 at 5:18 pm

thanks so much, gonna do it now in advance! from the Uk to AmericaU here I come !!!

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May 12, 2019 at 5:00 am

Don’t use Greyhound bus.. Many of the buses are unsafe, employees for the most part are rude worst of all is the huge amount of lost luggage. Its piled in s warehouse in Dallas I think, and you will never see it again. Mine was lost last summer and none will help me get it back. Travel Greyhound at your own risk.

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May 20, 2019 at 2:37 pm

The buses are affordable but the catch is, IF YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP, ITS ‘ZERO’ REFUND! However, they can reschedule you at no cost. So, think well and be sure before you book!!

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July 11, 2023 at 7:01 pm

Tip for sleeping on busses

If you are fortunate enough to have 2 seats to yourself push back your seat to the limit. Then leave the other seat in upright position. You can then test your Head on the other seatback. About as comfortable as it gets on a bus

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Find cheap bus tickets in United States

Easily compare and book your next trip with Busbud

Intercity bus travel provides a green, affordable and efficient transportation option for people who want to explore the world. In the US, it's no different.

Bus travel in the USA has become a more sought-after way to travel the country in the last few years. That is primarily due to the fact that bus companies have been investing in improving their services, and now travelers can choose from a range of bus companies that offer different ranks of comfort and amenities. 

Concerns about finding greener forms of transportation also make a case for buses in the US. Bus travel is better for the environment, as these vehicles emit lower levels of CO2 per passenger mile compared to other forms of transportation, like planes, cars and, sometimes, even trains. 

As people start to worry about the environment, bus companies invest in more modern fleets that are more efficient in terms of energy expenditure. 

Taking a bus is a great way to see more of the country while stretching your travel budget. But before you hop on a bus to explore the country, it's good to know a few things.

Buses in the United States

What to expect from bus travel in the USA

When it comes to regional travel in the US, traveling by bus may be a convenient and budget-friendly option. Although prices can vary depending on the type of bus and time of year, bus fares are usually fairly reasonable and more affordable than other transportation methods.

When traveling by bus in the US, the bus can take you anywhere you need to go. Regional trips connect cities like Boston and New York in just about 4 hours for fair prices. But you can also take longer interstate trips if you're willing to take the time, like Denver to Dallas, which takes about 18 hours as the bus makes a few stops along the way.

It's good to keep in mind that the United States is the fourth largest country in the world in terms of land area, so distances can be long. That's also why night buses are frequent. You can board the bus in one city and wake up in a state completely different than where you were before. Read our guide with  expert tips for an overnight bus trip. 

How to choose the best bus company?

When choosing a bus company for your next trip, there are several factors to consider. It's helpful to look at reviews of the bus company to see recommendations from fellow travelers who have used the company before.

Comparing prices is the logical next step to ensure you're getting a good value for your money. But ultimately, making sure your chosen bus has all the amenities you need will ensure a smooth and comfortable journey. So be sure to check the amenities and comfort level of their buses. Are there comfortable seats with plenty of legroom? Is there onboard WiFi or entertainment options?

buses in the US

Amenities in USA buses

When taking a bus, it's essential to consider the amenities available. The good news is that in the US, free WiFi, power outlets, reclining seats, air conditioning and bathrooms are common features to most bus companies, including Greyhound, Jefferson Lines, Southeastern Stages, and RedCoach. So you can be sure to have the basics for a pleasant trip. 

Depending on the route, you can travel with more upscale bus companies. An example is the ride offered by The Jet between NYC and DC. Their luxury buses deliver a highly comfortable ride with an onboard concierge, only 14 seats, motion-canceling seats and a long list of other attributes.

In general, the buses in the US are pretty clean, comfortable and spacious. It's also an industry practice to provide a good amount of storage for luggage. Most companies don't let you pick your seat during the booking process and work on a first come, first serve basis. Although there are a few exceptions. Most buses make quick stops for breaks on longer journeys, so you can grab a bite to eat and stretch your legs.

buses in the US

Bus classes

Traveling by bus in the US might have options from different classes. Economy seats are typically just standard seating with basic amenities and can be a budget-friendly option. Executive and first-class buses often offer more spacious seating and advanced amenities, including entertainment options like TVs, drinks, and snacks and these buses usually have fewer seats.

So, when planning your trip, consider what kind of experience you want and budget for it accordingly.

Overall, traveling by bus in the US can be a great way to see more of the country while also being eco-friendly and budget-friendly. With modern buses offering all the amenities you need, bust travel allows for an enjoyable and comfortable journey.

What are the leading bus companies in the USA?

A country the size of the US is bound to have numerous bus companies, but some of the largest and most well-known are Greyhound, Jefferson Lines, Southeastern Stages, Flixbus, Tornado Bus Company, Ourbus and RedCoach. These companies cover a wide range of routes across the country and are responsible for connecting big cities to even the smallest towns in rural areas.

If you wish to know more about each of them, check out our blog post about the  top bus companies in the US and how they compare. 

How to buy a bus ticket

Long gone are the days of staying in line to buy bus tickets at the station. Now, planning a bus trip can be as easy as a few clicks on your computer or smartphone.

Purchasing bus tickets online with Busbud allows you to compare prices and schedules from thousands of bus routes in the United States. All you have to do is enter your departure and destination cities, choose the date of your preferred trip and select the desired bus operator. You can even filter the results by cost and length of the journey.

From there, simply follow the prompts to securely pay for your ticket and receive it in your e-mail. So next time you need to buy a bus ticket, use Busbud for a convenient and cost-effective booking experience.

Start planning your trip today!

USA buses

What popular bus companies operate in United States?


Why choose Busbud?

The best way to book bus and train tickets. makes it easy for you to find, compare and book city-to-city bus tickets, all over the world. We save you the extra trip to the bus station. Use Busbud to book your trip online, in your own language and currency, wherever you are. Busbud prides itself on its worldwide partnerships. We make it possible for you to buy tickets with its large network of trustworthy bus partners like Greyhound, Eurolines, ALSA, OUIBUS (BlaBlaBus), National Express and many others.

What are the top visited cities in United States?

Buses to New York

Plan your next bus trip in United States

  • Bus from Albany to New York
  • Bus Newark - Washington
  • Dallas - Houston
  • Bus from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando
  • Bus Orlando - Fort Lauderdale
  • New York - Buffalo
  • Bus from Las Vegas to Los Angeles
  • Bus Los Angeles - San Francisco
  • Hartford - New York
  • Bus from Washington to Newark
  • Bus New York - Niagara Falls
  • Boston - Newark
  • Bus from Gainesville to Orlando
  • Bus Buffalo - New York
  • San Diego - Los Angeles

Most popular airports and destinations

  • New York to Port Authority
  • Boston to Boston Airport
  • San Diego to Los Angeles International Airport
  • Newark to Newark Liberty International Airport
  • South Station to Boston

Sustainable travel

  • Travel from New York to Washington
  • Travel from Boston to New York
  • Travel from New York to Boston
  • Travel from Washington to New York
  • Travel from Orlando to Miami
  • Travel from New York to Philadelphia
  • Travel from Philadelphia to New York
  • Travel from Miami to Orlando
  • Travel from Los Angeles to San Diego
  • Travel from San Diego to Los Angeles
  • Travel from Seattle to Vancouver
  • Travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco
  • Travel from Baltimore to New York
  • Travel from Los Angeles to Las Vegas
  • Travel from Dallas to Houston


Affordable bus travel from Greyhound

More travel options, enjoy free onboard entertainment, reserve a seat, need to make a change, discover all the places you can go.

Choose from almost 2,300 destinations with Greyhound, FlixBus and our connecting partners!

Greyhound connects thousands of communities across North America by providing convenient, comfortable and affordable bus travel .

With almost 2,300 destinations across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, Greyhound helps you travel when you want, from where you want. Leave from big cities like New York , Chicago , Atlanta or from smaller cities like Omaha , El Paso , Albany . Big or small, we’ve got you covered.

Whether you’re booking online or using our Greyhound app we’ve made planning your bus trip easy. You can find ticket prices, up to date bus schedules and bus station information all in one place. Then when you’re ready to travel you can buy your bus ticket online and keep your ticket on your smartphone, so no need to print it out!

With Greyhound you can always travel stress-free . Track My Bus gives you real-time bus stop information and up to date bus timetables. Just add your line number or confirmation number and you can stay up to date on your journey.

Onboard, sit back in our all leather, reclining seats while you’re enjoying our free onboard entertainment (Movies, Games, TV!) or surfing our free Wi-Fi . Stay charged with in seat power ports.

Explore Popular Destinations and Connections

  • New York, NY
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Houston, TX
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Chicago, IL
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Orlando, FL
  • San Diego, CA
  • Phoenix-Tempe, AZ
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Seattle, WA
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Detroit, MI
  • Boston, MA - New York, NY
  • New York, NY - Boston, MA
  • Los Angeles, CA - Las Vegas, NV
  • New York, NY - Washington, D.C.
  • New York, NY - Philadelphia, PA
  • Washington, D.C. - New York, NY
  • Las Vegas, NV - Los Angeles, CA
  • New York, NY - Atlantic City, NJ
  • Philadelphia, PA - New York, NY
  • Los Angeles, CA - San Diego, CA
  • San Diego, CA - Los Angeles, CA
  • Atlantic City, NJ - New York, NY
  • Dallas, TX - Houston, TX
  • New York, NY - Baltimore, MD
  • Houston, TX - Dallas, TX
  • Montreal, QC - New York, NY
  • Baltimore, MD - New York, NY
  • New York, NY - Albany, NY
  • Toronto, ON - New York, NY
  • New York, NY - Montreal, QC

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INIT is getting ready for IT-TRANS: focus on Ticketing-as-a-service, e-bus planning, artificial intelligence

At UITP-backed exhibition IT-TRANS in Karlsruhe, from 14 to 16 May 2024, INIT will present the enhancements in its modular planning, scheduling, telematics and ticketing system, MOBILE. IT-TRANS will be one of the most prominent transit-related expo in 2024 in Europe. The focus will be on solutions that enable public transport companies to increase their operational […]

it travel bus

At UITP-backed exhibition IT-TRANS in Karlsruhe, from 14 to 16 May 2024, INIT will present the enhancements in its modular planning, scheduling, telematics and ticketing system, MOBILE. IT-TRANS will be one of the most prominent transit-related expo in 2024 in Europe.

The focus will be on solutions that enable public transport companies to increase their operational efficiency , automate their processes and ultimately reduce the workload for their employees. This can help create the financial opportunities to make further improvements in service quality.

IT-TRANS 2022 ,  bringing together 276 exhibitors from the ITS, ticketing and MaaS world was a  success , taking home   record numbers : 800 delegates at the conferences, 6,500 visitors to the exhibition, 276 exhibitors (as noted above), 71 participating countries, 28,000 square meters of exhibition space (doubled from 2018), and 58 members of the international media.

Efficiently introducing and deploying e-buses

Even before the first e-buses are purchased, various deployment scenarios should be simulated and the effects on investments, operating costs and operations should be assessed, INIT states. Only in this way can investments and operating resources be utilized as efficiently as possible to gain the maximum efficiency: “This is made possible by the simulation module of the  eMOBILE-PLAN  planning solution . It can be used in advance, to determine the public transport company’s most appropriate charging concept and identify suitable blocks for the use of e-buses . Even in the introductory phase, when only minimal practical experience or none at all has been gained, simulation provides further important findings to help minimize risks and use existing e-buses as efficiently as possible”.

eMOBILE-PLAN is part of the comprehensive eMOBILE product suite. This includes the extension of the  eMOBILE-ITCS  Intermodal Transport Control System, which, together with the MOBILErange range forecast, enables precise knowledge and monitoring of the state of charge and remaining range . The suite also includes the depot management system eMOBILE-DMS, which ensures the optimized provision of e-buses and cost-efficient charging processes, and the charge management system  MOBILEcharge , which enables and implements cost-optimised charging strategies.

What about Ticketing-as-a-service

TaaS , INIT’s SaaS-based sales channel, makes ticketing easy – for passengers and public transport companies alike. Passengers will be able to pay for their ride by simply tapping their bank/credit card or smartphone on a ticket terminal when boarding and alighting (check-in/check-out) . Their travel authorisation is then secured contactlessly using the cEMV process (credit card manufacturers’ public transport application). INIT’s background system ensures that they always pay the cheapest fare.

Public transport companies can quickly introduce the cloud-based solution hosted by INIT, the IT provider stresses: “They simply set the tariffs they want to offer via this sales channel using a browser application, which also gives them permanent access to their sales and turnover figures. The platform processes all the payment transactions, without any further intervention required. Public transport companies can also offer the software-as-a-service solution as part of a target group orientated multi-channel strategy in addition to an existing ticketing system, thereby reducing cash handling and increasing the efficiency of their sales processes”.

Increasing efficiency through artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are important “drivers of innovation” in INIT systems. INIT’s  MOBILEguide  crowd and occupancy management solution  also benefits from this. Using a process that has been patented , the system not only takes into account the current vehicle occupancy rate, but also the number of passengers expected to alight at the respective stops, resulting in more reliable information than was ever available with previous solutions . 

Focus on incident management

Assistance systems as well as the automation of processes are extremely suitable in order to increase work efficiency. Both methods are utilised by  RESPONSEassist , INIT’s automated incident management and multi-channel passenger information system. It generates the passenger information for all channels automatically on the basis of predefined texts – tailored to the individual demands of the individual channel – and facilitates the distribution to all channels with a single click. This allows dispatchers to focus on their core competence –  incident management . But also in this respect RESPONSEassist provides a completely new level of support: incidents can be resolved much more efficiently using standard operating procedures stored in forms than with conventional methods. The operating documentation is automatically created at the same time.

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Yutong U12 e-bus underwent testing in Norway and Kazakhstan, with dedicated technologies for cold climate

Related articles.

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Italy: after Genoa, Hess selected to provide flash-charged e-buses also in Vicenza (with Hitachi)

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90 exhibitors will gather at Mobility Move (former ElekBu in Berlin) with record attendance of 1,400

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Ekoenergetyka will deliver up to 140 e-bus chargers in Stockholm to Nobina

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Germany to halt subsidies for electric buses (and trucks)

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Where The Road Forks

Bus Vs Train Vs Plane Travel: Pros and Cons

By: Author Zachary Friedman

Posted on Last updated: February 8, 2024

Categories Bus Travel , Travel

Home » Travel » Bus Vs Train Vs Plane Travel: Pros and Cons

While traveling overland between cities, you often have a choice between several modes of transport. In this guide, I break down the pros and cons of bus vs train travel to help you decide which is the best way for you to get to your next destination. I’ll cover comfort, amenities, cost, convenience, environmental impact, safety, and more. I’ll also outline the pros and cons of your third option, flying. Hopefully, this guide helps you choose the best transportation option for your trip.

Over the past 12 years, I’ve traveled through 66 countries across 6 continents. My style of travel is to fly into a region and then travel overland. Over the years, I’ve ridden hundreds of buses and trains. In this guide, I’ll share my experience.

I’ve also made this Youtube video to outline the main points of the article.

Bus Vs Train Travel: Pros and Cons

Train Travel Pros

  • You can get up and move around- In my opinion, this is the best reason to choose the train over the bus. Most long-distance trains allow you to get up from your seat without disturbing the passenger next to you. You can exit your cabin and walk around in the hall. You can also walk between cars to the dining car. You’re not stowed up for hours at a time in the same seat like you are on a bus.
  • Trains offer more amenities- Long-distance trains often offer dining, a full bar, and completely flat beds. Shorter distance trains often offer power outlets, wifi, and reclining seats. These amenities often aren’t available on buses.
  • More scenic- Train tracks are built in the most efficient manner between two points. They don’t follow a road. You’ll travel through scenic and rural parts of the countryside that you otherwise wouldn’t get to see. You’ll travel through places that haven’t been spoiled by infrastructure and human activity. The scenery you see on from the train is much more beautiful than a motorway. Some train routes are a destination of their own.
  • You can lay down flat and get a good nights sleep on a train- If you book a bed on a sleeper train, you can lay down completely flat and stretch out. You’re not stuck in a seated position all night. This allows you to get a solid night of sleep and wake up rested. Some of the best sleep that I have ever gotten has been on a train. Something about the way the train rocks and sways on the tracks just lulls me to sleep. The sound of the wheels rolling on the track adds to the atmosphere. On a bus, you can never lay down completely flat. The quality of sleep is poor.
  • Trains are more environmentally friendly- Trains use less fuel per passenger than buses, cars, or planes. If you care about the environment, the train is probably the greenest mode of traveling long distance. The only greener option is walking or bicycle touring. Schedules are more reliable- Because they don’t have to deal with traffic, trains usually run on time. This means you won’t experience as many unexpected delays or late arrivals as you do when taking the bus.
  • You can carry more luggage on a train- Luggage allowances are usually less strict on trains. In fact, oftentimes your luggage isn’t even weighed before you board. Many long-distance trains even have a car for luggage and cargo. There’s really no limit to the amount of stuff you can bring with you. For example, after crashing my motorcycle in Vietnam , I put it on a train with me to the next big city so I could recover. That’s not really an option on the bus.
  • Trains are faster- For some routes, you’ll reach your destination significantly faster if you travel by train. This is particularly true with bullet trains which can reach speeds exceeding 300 km/h. No bus goes that fast. Of course, for some routes, the bus is the faster option. Be sure to do your research before booking your ticket if you’re in a hurry.
  • Train stations are more comfortable than bus stations- This is a generalization but usually, train stations are larger and offer more seating and amenities than bus stations. The reason is that in many countries, each bus company has its own station which is usually just a ticketing office with a few seats. Train stations are usually much larger.
  • Finding the train station usually easier- Most cities only have one train station. Particularly large metropolises may have two. This makes finding the station a breeze. Everyone knows where it’s at. A big city could have dozens of different bus terminals. Finding the right one can be a challenge if you don’t know your way around.
  • Train travel is healthier- While traveling long distance, no matter which mode of transport you choose, you’ll spend hours sitting in the same position. This puts you at risk of a dangerous condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). To read about the condition and its cause, check out this article from the Center for Disease Control. The best way to prevent this condition from developing is to get up and walk around every 2-3 hours. This is really only possible on a train. On a bus, you can sit for 6+ hours between meal and bathroom brakes. This can be seriously dangerous for your health.
  • Trains are romantic- Something about riding a train reminds us of times gone by. Our ancestors traveled by long-distance train over one hundred years ago. It’s a historic and sophisticated mode of travel.
  • Trains are higher class- For whatever reason, people tend to consider train travel to be a higher class activity. It doesn’t have same social stigma that bus travel carries. Of course, this only matters if you’re the kind of person that cares what others think.
  • Trains are cool- Some of us are just fascinated by trains. I can’t explain why but I am one of those people. I don’t have a model train set up in my basement* but I think that would be pretty awesome. Whenever I have the choice between a bus and train, I choose the train.

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Train Travel Cons

  • More expensive- The biggest drawback of taking the train is the cost. Train tickets are usually significantly more expensive than bus tickets. Sometimes up to twice the price. In some regions, it’s even more expensive to take then train than it is to fly. Both the US and the UK have this problem.
  • Fewer destinations- Train lines are limited. Most countries only have one or two. A significant number of countries don’t have any trains at all. This means that you can usually only access larger cities by train. Buses, on the other hand, go almost everywhere on earth. You can access even the smallest villages by bus. For example, in Africa there are very few train lines. Check out my guide to bus travel in Africa for more info.
  • Trains offer fewer departure and arrival times- For most popular routes, there are only one or two trains operating per day. You have to leave at those times. Buses often operate on a much more regular schedule. For example, between two big cities, there may be a bus leaving every half hour.
  • The ride can be rough- Some older or poorly maintained train lines are incredibly bumpy and shaky. This makes getting comfortable or falling asleep nearly impossible. Of course, modern trains are incredibly smooth. So much so that sometimes you can’t even tell that you’re moving. Buses can be bumpy as well if the road conditions are poor or the bus is old.
  • Trains are loud- The metal on metal sound of the train wheels rolling against the track makes a lot of noise. Some people have trouble sleeping because of the noise. Of course, modern trains are designed to be very quiet inside.
  • Slightly more dangerous- Deaths by train accident are so rare that this point is almost irrelevant but I found this statistic pretty interesting so I thought I’d throw it in. According to this statistic , train travel is slightly more dangerous than bus travel. With rail travel, there are .6 deaths per billion kilometers traveled compared to .4 deaths per billion kilometers traveled by bus. I found this pretty surprising.
  • Trains can’t easily access mountainous regions- Trains can’t climb as easily as buses. For this reason, you’ll rarely find train lines running through mountainous regions. In mountainous countries, you’ll usually have to take the bus.
  • Train tickets sell out more quickly- This is my personal experience. If you want to take the train, you usually have to book further in advance than if you’re taking the bus. Seats sell out more quickly. I experienced this in India. For most routes, there are fewer train seats than bus seats available.

a bus in Africa

Bus Travel Pros

  • Cheaper- The bus is almost always the cheapest transport option available. Tickets are often significantly cheaper than rail or air equivalents.
  • More destinations- Buses travel almost everywhere. You can take the bus to even the tiniest of villages. Anywhere that there is a road, a bus can go. For example, I traveled by bus through the Omo Valley of Ethiopia to villages that couldn’t be accessed by train or air.
  • More departure and arrival times- For popular bus routes between cities, there is often a bus leaving every hour. Sometimes even more frequently. In this case, if you can’t leave the city until the afternoon, for example, you won’t have to wait around too long. Trains, on the other hand, only offer a couple of departures per day at most. You might have to wait all night until the next departure.
  • Smoother ride- Buses offer the same or better ride quality than most cars. Older trains tend to shake and sway on the tracks. Of course, new buses and trains are both incredibly smooth.
  • Quiet- Road noise is rarely a problem. Buses also don’t suffer from the metal on metal sound that train wheels have against the tracks. Of course, if a loud passenger sits near you, you’re in for a noisy ride. Once, while traveling to Seattle on the Greyhound bus, a particularly annoying woman kept yelling at the driver to stop so she could smoke. Eventually, the driver stopped at a truck stop and kicked her off the bus. Everyone clapped for our hero of a driver.
  • Slightly safer- Buses have fewer deaths per billion hours traveled at 11.1, and by billion journies at 4.3. Rail travel has 20 deaths per billion journeys and 30 deaths per billion hours according to Wikipedia. Both modes of travel are safer than traveling by car.
  • Buses can access mountainous regions- Anywhere there is a road, a bus can go, for the most part. Trains generally can’t access mountainous regions. Of course, there are some exceptions to this.
  • Bus tickets don’t sell out as quickly- For many routes, you can just show up at the station and buy your ticket hours before travel. If you want to take a train, you often have to buy your ticket well in advance. Of course, bus tickets do sell out. It’s a good idea to book at least a day in advance if possible.
  • Buses can be faster- For some routes, bus travel times are shorter than trains. If you’re in a hurry, do your research before booking tickets.

An old Greyhound bus

Bus Travel Cons

  • You can’t move around- While riding the bus, you pretty much have to wait for a bathroom or meal break to get up and move around. There is just nowhere to go while the bus is moving. On a couple of occasions, I’ve been on buses where the driver kept driving for over 6 hours without stopping. During that time, everyone was stowed up in their seats without any way to move.
  • Fewer amenities- Bus services are pretty basic. There is no food service or bar. The seats don’t lay flat. Most buses don’t have outlets or wifi. Of course, there are exceptions. I found long-distance buses in South America to offer a surprising amount of amenities including meal service, entertainment systems, and comfortable seating. The experience is almost like taking a flight.
  • Less scenic- Buses travel on the fastest road available between destinations. That’s usually the highway. These usually aren’t too scenic. Highways are flat and surrounded by human development. Trains, on the other hand, pass through untouched, beautiful land that you otherwise wouldn’t get to see.
  • You can’t lay down flat- Some bus seats are better than others, but none really lay completely flat. This makes getting a good night of sleep nearly impossible for some people. Trains generally offer beds. Here, you can get a good night of sleep and arrive at your destination well-rested.
  • Less environmentally friendly- Buses burn more fuel per passenger than trains. These days, many people are choosing to travel less for the benefit of the environment. Trains are pretty energy efficient.
  • Less reliable- Buses must put up with city traffic. Usually, they account for this in the schedule but traffic can be unpredictable. An unexpected accident can cause an hour of delay. Trains don’t have to put up with traffic so they can keep a more reliable schedule. Of course, there are exceptions. Trains often run just as late due to mechanical issues or incompetence.
  • You can’t carry as much luggage- Most bus lines have a similar luggage policy to airlines. That is one carry on bag and one checked bag. Generally, your carry-on bag must be smaller than 62 linear inches and weigh less than 50 pounds. The checked bag must fit either under the seat in front of you or in the luggage storage above the seats. Of course, baggage policies vary by bus line. You can also pay a fee to carry extra luggage. Trains usually have much less strict luggage policies. Some don’t even measure or weigh your luggage if it’s within reason.
  • Buses are slower- Because they can’t travel at the same speeds and they have to deal with city traffic, buses generally have longer transit times. This is particularly true in Europe. For example, the bus from Amsterdam to Berlin takes 8 hours 15 minutes. The train takes just 6 hours 4 minutes.
  • Bus stations are less comfortable- Many large cities don’t have a central bus station. Instead, small bus offices are located all over the city. These small offices typically don’t offer any amenities other than a few seats and a restroom if you’re lucky. Train stations, on the other hand, are usually large with plenty of seating, restaurants, shops, and more.
  • Finding the bus station is sometimes a challenge- Because bus stations are often small and numerous, finding the right location can take time when you’re in a large and unfamiliar city. Most cities only have one main train station. This makes finding your way to the station much easier.
  • Bus travel is less healthy- This mostly has to do with the amount of time that you must spend seated while riding the bus. If you spend enough hours seated in the same position, your blood can begin to clot. Usually in your leg. The clot of blood can break loose and make its way to your lungs. Here, it can cause serious problems. This condition is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The solution is to get up and walk around every 2-3 hours. You just can’t do this while riding a bus. You can, however, if you take a train.
  • Buses are lower class- One of the main reasons that people tend to dislike riding the bus is psychological. People associate bus travel with the lower class. There’s a certain negative social stigma to riding the bus. This bothers some types of people.
  • Buses aren’t cool- There really isn’t any history or novelty to bus travel. It’s just a cheap way to get around. After all, nobody builds a model bus route in their basement.

An Indonesian train

Which Mode of Travel is Better? Bus Vs Train

Both the train and bus will get you to your destination in a safe and relatively reliable manner. The choice mostly comes down to cost, availability, and personal preference.

While researching for this guide, I read about a couple of interesting studies that were done to determine which mode of travel commuters preferred. Researchers performed surveys in cities all over the world.

They determined that people everywhere generally preferred trains. Through more surveying, the researchers were able to come up with several possible reasons why.

One common reason was psychological in nature. Many people simply associate buses with bad transport and trains with good transport. This could have to do with history, marketing, physical differences between buses and trains, or our culture.

Another common reason that people prefer trains to buses seems to be social in nature. Many people consider the bus to be lower on the hierarchy of transportation methods. It has a negative stigma. Possibly because the bus is commonly used by people in the lower class. Because of this, some people feel ashamed of admitting to riding the bus. Most people don’t feel this way about riding trains.

A Third Mode of Transport: Air Travel

For longer or overseas routes, air travel is often your only reasonable option. For shorter trips, air travel may not be the best choice. In this section, I’ll outline the pros and cons of taking a flight rather than ground transport. In this analysis, I assume that you fly economy class.

An airplane in the Philippines

Air Travel Pros

  • Faster- A flight allows you to travel to the other side of the planet in less than a day. Trains and buses can’t even cross a large country in that amount of time.
  • Can cross bodies of water- For overseas travel, sometimes your only reasonable option is to fly. Taking a ship across an ocean just isn’t practical for most trips. Most travelers simply don’t have the time or desire to spend weeks at sea. Of course, you can’t travel overseas by bus or train.
  • Flying costs less for long journies- These days, budget airlines often allow you to fly for less than the price of a train ticket. In some cases, flying is even cheaper than taking the bus. The reason is that you must factor in the price of food when traveling long-distance overland. A bus trip across a continent may take several days. You’ll have to eat during that time. You may even have to stay in a hotel at night. Before buying a bus or train ticket, always check the price of flights and factor in any additional costs that you’ll have to cover. You may be surprised.
  • Airports are comfortable and full of amenities- Airports offer plenty of seating, restaurants, bars, and shops. The best airport that I have visited was Incheon in South Korea. While on a 12 hour layover, I took a tour of Seoul and enjoyed a shower after getting back to the airport. All for free. If I had to choose between waiting around an airport, bus station, or train station, I’d choose the airport every time.
  • Flights are more reliable- Because airlines cater to a business clientele, the must remain on schedule. Of course, there are occasional delays.
  • Finding the airport is easy- Most cities only have one and everyone knows where it is. Some larger cities have 2-3. Airports are usually served by public transport as well. Higher class- There is no negative stigma to flying. Fellow passengers will generally be from a higher social class than those you meet on a bus.
  • It’s cool- Aviation is fascinating. I’m still blown away by flight even though I’ve flown hundreds of times.

Air Travel Cons

  • Expensive- Flights generally cost more than bus or train tickets. This is particularly true with journeys that would take less than a day traveling by ground. Having said that, budget airlines often offer rates that are competitive with bus or train ticket prices. It’s best to always check prices before booking. Sometimes you get a pleasant surprise with a low fare.
  • Flying is a hassle- In order to fly, you must pack your bag in an airline acceptable manner, arrive at the airport a couple of hours early, check-in, go through security, wait to board and deboard, then wait for your luggage at baggage claim. The whole process is slow and inefficient. You can’t just show up like you can at a bus or train station.
  • Airports are inconveniently located- Due to the noise, airports are usually built far outside of the city that they serve. Oftentimes 20 miles or more from the city center. This increases your costs and transit times. When you take the bus or train you conveniently arrive in the city center.
  • You have to book in advance- In order to get a decent price on a ticket, you should make your reservation at least 2 weeks in advance. When traveling during the busy holiday season , you’ll want to book several months in advance. Most of the time, you can book trains and buses just a few days in advance. Sometimes you can just show up and buy a ticket minutes before departure.
  • You can’t move around easily- While flying, you’re pretty much stuck in your feet. There are no breaks where you can get up and walk around. Of course, you can get up to go to the bathroom but that’s about it. Unfortunately, this means disturbing the passenger next to you if you don’t have an aisle seat.
  • You can’t carry much luggage- Airlines are particularly strict about the size and weight of your bags. Most airlines allow checked bags to be up to 62 linear inches (158cm) and 50 pounds (23 kilos). Carry-on bags typically must be less than 45 linear inches (about 114 cm) and 22 pounds (10 kilos). Every airline is slightly different. Make sure you check the limits before your flight. Also, be sure to weigh your luggage so you know you’re not over the limit. When traveling by bus or train, baggage allowances are much less strict. Oftentimes bags aren’t even weighed.
  • You can’t carry certain items on an airplane- Anything that could be considered a weapon is prohibited. I had a butter knife confiscated because it had a slightly serrated edge. You must also limit your liquids to 100ml or 3.4 oz bottles. These limits make packing for certain trips a bit of a challenge. For example, I like to camp and hike. Tent stakes, trekking poles, and camp stove fuel are all prohibited. Of course, you can always check a bag, but even then many items aren’t allowed due to the fear of explosion. This includes aerosols, fuels, and large batteries.
  • Flying is unhealthy- As mentioned above, the risk of DVT is higher during flights because you can’t move around. I also feel that I tend to get sick after a flight more often than a bus or train ride. Maybe due to the air quality or pressure changes.
  • Less scenic- Once you reach cruising altitude, there’s not much to look at. While traveling overland, you can at least enjoy viewing the land as you pass by. I will admit, viewing a massive city from the air as you approach for landing is pretty incredible. I’m always blown away by the sprawl of the Los Angeles metro area even though I’ve flown into the city dozens of times. Mountains are also incredibly impressive from the air.
  • Flying is less environmentally friendly- According to this interesting article about the carbon footprint of various modes of transport from, a flight produces around 3 tons of CO2 per passenger. Traveling by train cuts that number in half. If you’re the type of person that cares about being green when you travel, you may wish to limit the number of times that you fly. 
  • You can’t lay down flat- In order to pack in the maximum number of passengers, airline seats barely even recline. Of course, if you’re willing to shell out for business or first class, you can get a lay flat seat.
  • Slightly less safe- Statistically speaking, flying is incredibly safe. Much safer than driving yourself. It is, however, slightly more dangerous than taking the bus or train. I found this statistic pretty surprising. I had always assumed that air travel was the safest option.

a modern train

How to Decide

While deciding which mode of transport to choose, the first thing to take into consideration is cost. Check the price of flights, the train, and the bus before booking a ticket. You need to stay within budget. If you’re not sure how much you can afford to spend on transportation, check out my guide to help you make an accurate travel budget.

I don’t always choose the absolute cheapest option. My preferred mode of travel is the train. When the price is reasonably close to the price of the bus, I’ll buy a ticket. If the flight is cheaper, I’ll fly. If a bus ticket is significantly cheaper than either, I’ll take the bus instead. Generally, the bus is my least favorite mode of travel, comfort-wise.

Next, I consider the time of departure and arrival. This depends on your personal preference. Most travelers don’t want to arrive in an unfamiliar city in the middle of the night.

I’m not a morning person so I avoid early departures. If I have the choice, I like to travel by night. The main reason is that I can save on a night of accommodation. This saves me on average $10-$25 on a hotel or hostel. It also saves time. By traveling at night, I can arrive in a new destination with a whole day ahead of me. I haven’t wasted the day sitting around in transit.

My Experience

Each mode of transport has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. The choice partially comes down to personal preference. Some travels hate to fly and avoid it at all cost. Many luxury travelers would never set foot on a bus or train. They value time more than money.

I consider my self a bit of a train enthusiast. One of my bucket list trips is to take the Transsiberian railway from Moscow to Vladivostok. Possibly with a detour to Mongolia. Another train ride on my bucket list train ride is the iron ore train in Mauritania. I hope to take those rides and write about them in future posts.

Do you prefer taking the bus or train while traveling? Share your experience in the comments below!

More from Where The Road Forks

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  • Backpack Vs Suitcase for Travel
  • How to Provide Proof of Onward Travel
  • How to Meet People While Traveling Alone

Zachary Friedman

Zachary Friedman is an accomplished travel writer and professional blogger. Since 2011, he has traveled to 66 countries and 6 continents. He founded ‘Where The Road Forks’ in 2017 to provide readers with information and insights based on his travel and outdoor recreation experience and expertise. Zachary is also an avid cyclist and hiker. Living as a digital nomad, Zachary balances his professional life with his passions for hiking, camping, cycling, and worldwide exploration. For a deeper dive into his journey and background, visit the About page. For inquiries and collaborations, please reach out through the Contact page. You can also follow him on Facebook.

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Sunday 30th of January 2022

Concerning the fact that bus travelling is less safe then train travelling. It is not true. The problem is that statistics, train accidents includes all death and injuries related to train. Most of deaths comes because train can hit other vehicles, bycicles and people who cross the tracks. Train passengers are safe and very rarely get injured during train travel, but train accidents includes all accidents where train are involved. If train hits a car and kills somebody, it is a train accident.

Monday 26th of September 2022

@Ivan Dusan, Oh, so it's only OTHER people who are more likely to die. Great, I feel so much better now! Sign me up!

Travel Advisories:  View Trip Cancellations here .


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How to Travel by Bus in the USA

Why travel by bus in the usa.

Buses operate 24 hours a day, so many travelers opt to take sleeper buses to avoid wasting waking hours traveling. While it is certainly possible to sleep on these buses, you would probably find yourself needing a night in a real bed after a few days of sleeping on buses!

The buses make intermediate stops to pick up and let off passengers, and pull over at rest stops every few hours, including breaks at typical meal times.

Not only is bus travel in the USA an affordable way to get around the country, bus travel is the more eco-friendly option for traveling. Win-win!

Travel by Greyhound Bus in the USA

Greyhound Bus is the largest network in North America and is one of the best ways to travel by bus. The Greyhound US bus network includes 3700 locations throughout the United States, and can take you to a further 1300 in Canada. With such a large selection of destinations and an attractive range of ticketing options, Greyhound is an excellent choice for the backpacker looking to cover a large distance on a budget.

Greyhound Bus Comfort

Greyhound buses are well-equipped with all the usual modern conveniences that you come to expect when traveling in the States. Buses have climate control, so you don’t have to worry about keeping cool while you are traveling around. Furthermore, buses are equipped with restrooms, reclining seats, and tinted windows. You will find that on popular routes, buses are even equipped with tv/video equipment.

Flexible Fares

Greyhound offers an impressive range of different fare and discount options, including discounts for children, students, the elderly, and military personnel. Military personnel and students with a valid ID card can save up to 10% off of fares.

You can buy online ahead of time, which will guarantee you the lowest possible fare. The online Fare types range from Economy, Economy Extra, and Flexible. The economy fare is the cheapest fare, but will cost money if you need to change your bus.

The Flexible fare costs a bit more but allows you to change your trip without any extra fees. You can always purchase your tickets directly in the terminal. 

The general tips for scoring the cheapest fares are to travel on Tuesdays and Wednesday, and to book online at least 7 days before your journey. The Greyhound website boasts that this can save you up to 30% of the ticket costs.

Greyhound Food Services

Greyhound operates its own cafeterias and gift shops at many stop-off points, and food is typical American fast food. Expect to choose from items like Pizza, Burgers, Chicken, and sandwiches. As can be expected at these locations where Greyhound has a “captive audience,” prices are slightly above average rates, but using these facilities is the easiest way to get a quick bite to eat while traveling.

Per Greyhound’s food policy , you will want to stock up for your trip. You can bring food and drink on the Greyhound bus with you. Remember, certain drinks and foods lend themselves better for travel. If you are traveling for an extended time, you may not want food that needs to be refrigerated. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on Greyhound buses.

Drawbacks to Greyhound Bus

Many Americans complain that Greyhound is slow compared to traveling by train or plane , but for a backpacker who can find something to see at every major stop on the route, this isn’t really a concern.

Greyhound Alternatives in the US

Greyhound has been around for the longest, but there are some newer bus companies that offer more options for anyone who wants to travel by bus in the USA. Since there are so many different companies offering bus travel in the USA, you should use the search site BusBud , which will show you options for Greyhound , Flixbus , Megabus , along with the regional bus companies.

Flixbus is one of the best Greyhound alternatives in the USA. They have an extensive network along popular travel routes along the West Coast and Southwest part of the USA. Flixbus USA covers popular bus routes all across the country and keep expanding every year.

They have an extensive network of bus routes in California, Arizona, and Nevada where they are the best option for traveling by bus. Flixbus has recently expanded to connect popular East Coast hubs like New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Boston.

Their buses are comfortable and their fares are affordable, with onboard restroom facilities and Wi-Fi. Some routes even offer in-seat entertainment. Despite all these perks, Flixbus is an incredibly affordable way to travel in the USA.

Megabus started out as a bus company on the East Coast is the local favorite for navigating between major cities like New York, Boston, and Washington, DC. They cover routes reaching more than 100 cities in the USA. Like Flixbus, their seats are large and comfortable with reclining seats and Wi-Fi onboard most buses.

Another alternative to bus travel is to travel by RV in the US . Especially if you’re traveling with a few other people, this could be an even more economical choice since you’ll be combining the costs for accommodation and transport.

You also have more flexibility with your itinerary, not to mention the ability to sleep in some of the world’s most awe-inspiring national parks. We cover everything you need to know about RV travel, as well as some incredible RV road trip routes in our article How to Travel the USA with an RV .

If you’re interested in renting an RV for an upcoming trip, check out RV Share . It’s an online database of privately owned RV’s that are available for rent, sort of like Airbnb for motorhomes and campervans.

Organized Group Travel

If you’re in the USA for a backpacking trip, there are situations when it might make sense to go with a guide or a small group. For these times, one popular option among backpackers is Contiki tours. These trips are geared toward travelers 18-35, and offers more than just transportation, it’s an organized social group travel, which is perfect for young solo travelers. There are Contiki tours that cover the entire United States or specific regions.

Another option for group travel is  G Adventures . They hand-select local guides to ensure authenticity and quality, and their affordable tours include accommodation for a range of budgets. Going with G Adventures is especially a good option for those traveling the USA alone who would like to meet up with like-minded travelers. Their most popular road trips in the USA are their 7-day New York to Nashville road trip and their 7-day San Diego, Grand Canyon, & Las Vegas tour.

Health and Safety while Traveling by Bus in the USA

As with traveling on any public transport, make sure you keep an eye on your luggage. Thefts do happen from time to time, but taking simple precautions like making sure your luggage is stowed away properly makes this much less likely to happen to you.

You should also lock your luggage with a TSA-approved padlock . If you’re concerned, we liked our experience with World Nomads travel insurance . They include accident protection as well as coverage against theft and travel interruptions.

Traveling on buses for long periods carries the same risks of Deep Vein Thrombosis as air travel. At rest stops, take the opportunity to get out and stretch your legs. If you’ll be traveling for a long bus journey in the USA, it’s wise to wear compression socks to prevent swelling. If you’re traveling on an overnight bus, you might also want to bring a travel pillow to avoid waking up with a bad sprain in your neck.

Useful Links for Bus Travel in the USA

  • BusBud – US nationwide search engine for buses. Search Greyhound , Flixbus , Megabus , and regional companies
  • Flixbus – Large luxury buses serving certain major routes in the USA
  • Megabus – Another option for buses covering popular routes on the East Coast
  • Contiki – Organized group travel for 18-35 year olds
  • USA Greyhound Website – main USA webpage for Greyhound buses
  • RV Share – Largest RV Rental Marketplace in the US.
  • USA Train Travel
  • Backpacking in the USA

Liked this article? Share it with others who might be after the same information!

A guide on how to travel by bus in the USA. Great information on bus services and Greyhound alternatives.

6 responses to “How to Travel by Bus in the USA”

it travel bus

Clark, thank you for posting information on your website about bus travel in the United States. However a lot of the info that I read was in accurate . It looks as if the one who posted it simply took someone else’s information an posted it to your site. I work in the bus industry and it needs to be shown how this industry is hurting by the pandemic. Furthermore I’m always hearing reports on tv about the airline industry, but nothing about the bus industry. Holiday travel, weather related issues all affect this industry yet nothing is ever said on the air. We need exposure, we need to let the world know that were here and ready to get on the road. We should be telling the stories of how the federal government has left us. How FEDs always help the airlines, ut never the buslines.

it travel bus

Hello is there a montly pass discovery available?

it travel bus

Hi Tanja – Unfortunately Greyhound does not offer monthly passes. There are commuter fares available on certain routes , as well as discounts for military or students. Our advice for scoring the best deal is to book online at least 7 days ahead of time, and to travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Hope this helps!

it travel bus

Hello how can I travel from New York city (air port Kennedy) to Pitt-Greenville Airport (PGV / KPGV) BY Greyhound Bus ? How much does it cost me, and how long the trip take? .Best Regards

it travel bus

Couldn’t agree more with Wallace Inman. Buses are so undervalued and undersupported as a way of travel. Before the pandemic I revisited the trip I had taken around USA on Greyhound buses in 1969. It was still a great ride – and a wonderful way of getting to the real America.

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In addition to offering an extensive network of bus routes, FlixBus also provides train travel with FlixTrain . With FlixTrain, you can travel across Germany and Sweden comfortably and affordably. Enjoy amenities such as free WiFi, spacious seats, and power outlets on board. FlixTrain is committed to sustainable travel, making it an excellent choice for eco-conscious travelers. So whether you prefer to travel by bus or train, FlixBus has you covered for all your travel needs.

Top Destinations and bus connections

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  • Berlin - Prague
  • Cologne - Berlin
  • Prague - Berlin
  • Cologne - Hamburg
  • Hamburg - Cologne
  • Frankfurt - Stuttgart
  • Zurich - Munich
  • Hanover - Berlin

Travel by bus in Italy | Offers and Tickets from €0.59

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6 Great Options for Cheap Bus Travel in the U.S.

Buses Are an Excellent Option for Student Travelers

If you're looking for a cheap method of transportation to make your way across the United States, you can't go wrong with a bus. Sure, they might be slow and they may not have the best reputation, but when it comes to saving money, they've got you covered. 

Greyhound buses have been a staple of U.S. travel for decades, but these days, you have plenty of other alternatives for your journey. Plus, many of the buses in the United States have gone through an impressive upgrade in recent years. Now, it's not uncommon to be offered free snacks and a bottle of water while you connect to the bus' Wi-Fi and use the power socket next to your seat.

In this article, I take a look at every option you have for bus travel in the country, weighing up the pros and cons of each company so that you can figure out which one will be best for your trip. 

I've used  BoltBus  several times in the United States and been very happy with my experience every time. They're incredibly affordable if you manage to time your purchase well (you can grab a $1 fare if you book your journey months in advance), but still far more comfortable than Greyhound buses. On a Boltbus, the seats are comfortable, you have a lot of legroom, you have access to power sockets to charge your devices, and you'll even be able to connect to their free Wi-Fi. 

Read more: 7 Ways to Get Cheaper BoltBus Tickets

Chinatown Buses

Chinatown buses have been around for over 20 years now, and they serve the East Coast and Southern California to San Francisco (and do a leg to Las Vegas, too). With curbside stops and not a lot of amenities, they're a super-inexpensive option for when your budget is tight. If you need to save money and you'll be traveling one of their routes, they'll most likely be cheapest. Be aware that Chinatown Buses have had some issues with safety in the past, but have upped their game recently, and shouldn't be a problem to travel with.

Greyhound Buses

Greyhound buses still rule the road in the U.S., with far more routes and potential flexibility for you than any of the cheap buses. And you can make your journey cheaper still if you apply a  student discount . Greyhound buses are basic and don't have many of the fancy features of BoltBus and MegaBus, but they're safe and they'll get you where you need to go. For any kind of obscure routes or for crossing the center of the country, look at Greyhound for prices. 

Lux Bus America

If you love overland travel, will be traveling in Southern California, and don't mind splurging for higher levels of comfort, Lux Bus America is designed for you. Of particular note is the Los Angeles to Las Vegas route, where you'll find incredibly comfortable seats, free drinks and snacks, pillows and blankets, and seatback entertainment. It's the priciest option out of everything mentioned here, but still cheaper than booking a flight. 

Megabus is fairly similar to BoltBus. If you get in early enough, $1 tickets are available, but like BoltBus, if you leave it until the last minute, you could be paying $30 for the exact same ride. While there isn't too much difference in terms of comfort and price with BoltBus, I have found BoltBus buses to be slightly cleaner and more comfortable. 

You may have noticed that the small bus companies in the United States tend to focus on the west coast or northern east coast regions of the country. If you'll be hitting up the southern east coast, RedCoach has you covered. With a route that covers the major cities and attractions in Florida, it's worth checking their prices before you book with anyone else. RedCoach has affordable prices and are slightly more luxurious than BoltBus, MegaBus, and Greyhound. 

This article was edited and updated by Lauren Juliff . 

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Complete Guide to Buses in Europe: How & Why to Travel Europe by Bus

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

Are you considering traveling in Europe by bus? If yes, you’ve come to the right place! Although bus travel isn’t very common in the United States, taking a long-distance bus in Europe is something every traveler should consider .

But, why travel by bus through Europe when it has an extensive network of trains? Well, it’s convenient, comfortable, and cheap! In fact, bus transportation is one of the cheapest ways to travel around Europe .

🚍 Looking for bus tickets? Search the most extensive inventory of European bus companies here!

Having explored Europe by plane, train, and bus on many occasions, I’ll answer all of your questions in this guide to buses in Europe from why bussing around Europe is a good idea, to night buses, best bus companies, where to buy bus tickets , and more!


Why travel in Europe by bus?

woman relaxing on coach bus

With extensive train networks (some of them high-speed) and many budget airlines, perhaps you’re wondering why anyone would want to travel by bus in Europe. Admittedly, planes and trains are great options, but there are several reasons why taking the bus while you’re traveling or backpacking in Europe is preferable.

First off, bus travel in Europe is typically the cheapest way to get around . Some bus lines even offer deals for booking early or discount certain routes. Best of all, prices don’t fluctuate on the whole. This means you don’t worry about booking in months in advance to get a good deal. 

Bus transportation in Europe is also super convenient , which is probably my favorite part. Book your ticket online , head to the local bus depot or meeting point, get in line, and take your seat! By buying a bus ticket, you save all the time (and headache) by not having to get to the airport two hours early, wait to check-in bags you’re afraid you’ll never see again, go through security, and so on. When you add up all the time it takes getting to and from the airport, it’s much easier (and sometimes faster) to take a bus.

While train networks are sophisticated, it’s also important to understand that there aren’t rail lines to every destination. Sometimes, the only way to visit smaller towns is via a bus trip . In this way, taking a bus can allow you to experience more destinations off the beaten path! What’s more, with an extensive freeway and road system in place, new routes are added as needed to take you wherever your heart desires.

Lastly, you get to see the landscape and other towns as you roll by. Seeing what’s in between your departure point and destination can give you a deeper connection and understanding of the place you’re visiting.

Is bus travel safe & reliable in Europe

Coach bus aisle

Bus travel in Europe is safe and reliable. Buses in the EU meet high safety standards. Actually, since 2009, buses are required to be equipped with many of the same features as cars — like lane change assistance and emergency brake assistance. Plus, every driver is certified and trained and must follow strict rules to combat driver fatigue. (This means drivers will take breaks on longer bus trips.) Many of the modern coaches employ seatbelts, which you should wear at all times.

As for reliability, again, the buses meet high standards. You shouldn’t have to worry about a bus breaking down on you. When it comes to timetables, buses typically run on time . Unless there’s a major accident, most schedules take traffic into account. In that respect, always make sure you get to your bust pick up point on time so you don’t miss it!

When it comes to personal safety, it goes without saying that you should exercise caution when traveling, especially if you’re alone. Here are some quick tips for staying safe while traveling by bus in Europe.

  • Keep your valuables on your lap or under the seat in front of you, and keep them closed. In other words, this isn’t the time to re-organize your wallet!
  • Be especially vigilant at bus stations when crowded or at night .
  • Keep an eye on your belongings, specifically when people are getting off the coach. And, there’s a pit stop, don’t leave your valuables on the bus.


Europe Bus Passes

If you’ve been thinking about traveling in Europe, you’ve probably heard that there’s a way to get a rail pass. Rail passes can save you money if you’re planning to do a lot of travel. Simply get a pass through a company like Rail Europe , then book your train tickets on the go.

But, did you know there have historically been a number of bus passes available? If you’re planning on getting around Europe primarily by bus, we’d tell you to consider a bus pass. However, it seems most of the passes are sadly no longer operating due to COVID or other circumstances.

Here are a few companies to keep your eye on just in case they begin issuing bus passes again.

Busabout — Busabout’s Hop-on Hop-off network features 38 destinations in 14 countries. You can build your own route in Europe and make last minute changes with no charge . You’ll get to see the same guides and connect with like minded travelers as well. (Note that due to COVID, Busabout suspended their operations. Check their website for updates .)

Eurolines and Flixbus have also offered bus passes in the past, but there is no information on their websites currently.

Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to insure your trip . Travel insurance can cover trip interruptions, injury, and other mishaps. Don’t leave home without out it; we certainly don’t! Get a quote .

What are buses like in Europe?

it travel bus

Just like different airlines vary in service, bus services in Europe and equipment can vary between bus providers.

For the most part, buses in Europe are outfitted with air conditioning, reclining seats, tinted windows, and curtains. Often, you’ll also have in-seat plugs, entertainment options, music, and if you’re really lucky, wifi. On the longer routes, there are often toilets, too.

Buses run on a set schedule , which repeats itself daily. Sometimes, coaches only leave once or twice a day. Thus, be sure to research your route in advance so you don’t miss your bus.

Just like when boarding a plane, you’re only allowed to bring backpacks or other small items inside the coach. (If they have overhead bins, they’re usually tiny.) You store larger luggage underneath the bus in a special compartment.

You’ll also want to note that sometimes long-distance buses are referred to as coaches . Keep that in mind when looking for signage or attempting to communicate with locals, who may know the word coach or coach station. (If you say bus, they might think you mean city bus.)

How much do buses in Europe cost?

it travel bus

When it comes to ticket prices for buses in Europe, there are a few things to consider.

Depending on the popularity of the route and the individual travel companies, you will see:

  • Prices don’t fluctuate much, if at all.
  • Depending on the popularity of the route, sometimes peak times are slightly more expensive than off peak.
  • Sometimes the cheapest prices (such as those advertised at €1) are for the worst possible time, must be booked in advance, and offer no flexibility.

Here are some examples for prices across some bus routes in Europe.

  • Madrid to Valencia €28+
  • Paris to London €15+
  • Barcelona to Bordeaux €25+
  • Lisbon to Madrid €15+
  • Rome to Florence €17
  • Split to Zagreb €22+

Why to Take Night Buses in Europe

it travel bus

Overnight buses are popular in Europe along certain routes. The advantage to taking a night bus is that you don’t have to spend a day traveling . Instead, you can sleep on the bus, and arrive at your destination the next morning. If you’re on a tight budget, taking an overnight bus will also save you a night’s accommodation.

If you plan to take a night bus, don’t forget to dress comfortably. If you have a travel pillow , a sarong or pashmina (that can act as a blanket), and fuzzy socks , this is the time to get them out. If you can get a window seat — or even better a row all to yourself — you can get a pretty good night’s sleep on a bus.

By all means, book a night bus if you’re up for a new experience !

Where to Book Bus Tickets in Europe

woman using phone to book bus tickets

There are several booking engines where you can purchase bus tickets for your trip to Europe either online or by using their apps. We recommend using a booking platform like Omio , so that you can search across all the different region and country-specific bus companies at once.

With Omio , you can search and compare bus schedules/timetables, bus fares, bus companies, seat and ticket types, etc. Even better, you can compare buses and trains to see which is actually the best way to get to your destination. Lastly, you can book and store your mobile tickets on your phone. Read my full review on Omio .

Here are the best options for buying bus tickets in Europe.

  • Omio — Book buses by searching the most extensive inventory of European bus companies (also has trains and flights).
  • Trainline — Versatile booking platform for trains and buses around Europe with over 200 providers. I usually compare Trainline and Omio , as they will sometimes show different route options.
  • Busbud — Online bus-booking platform with millions of bus routes and destinations to help you find low-cost bus routes.
  • Comparabus — Compare and book cheap bus tickets on the major service providers in Europe.
  • Busradar — Compare bus fares between cities in Europe, which enables you to travel from country to country at a low cost.

What to Bring on the Bus

it travel bus

Since your luggage may need to be checked and stowed under the bus, you’ll want to have quick access to a few essential items when traveling across Europe on a bus. A packable daypack is an especially good option to use as a carry on!

Here’s what to remember to bring with you on the bus.

  • Something to occupy your mind — Your laptop, tablet, Kindle or phone loaded with movies, books (For access to your favorite audiobooks, podcasts and originals, try Audible Plus for free .), journal, etc.
  • Noise-canceling headphones — Drown out any road or passenger noise for a comfortable ride. In the past, they used to blast movies for everyone to hear, although these days there are sometimes ports for you to plug in your headphones or wifi for you to access your own media.
  • Comfortable clothing — Dress in layers as they tend to blast the A/C in buses or not turn them on at all!
  • Ear plugs and sleep mask — Whether it’s day time or night time, these are essential to getting some shut eye.
  • Portable charger — While some buses have charging ports, they aren’t always reliable. Bring your own portable charger to keep your electronics juiced up.
  • Neck pillow , pashmina or sarong — Get comfy, and use your neck pillow for sleeping, a pashmina or sarong as a blanket.
  • Anti-nausea solutions — If you’re prone to getting car sick, try some acupressure bands or ginger drops ( these are my favorite) for a natural approach.

Do’s & Don’ts of Bus Travel in Europe

it travel bus

  • Know where the bus stop/station is — If you have time, go to the bus stop ahead of time. Sometimes, the stations are buildings with ticket counters, cafés, and bathrooms. Other times, they are little more than a parking lot, a collection of bus bays. Scout the stop out ahead of time so you know how long it takes to get there and what to expect. 
  • Charge your electronics ahead of time — And, bring a portable charger (I can’t tell you how many times the chargers have been broken on travel transport!)
  • Wear layers — Be prepared for any temperature, and always have a sweatshirt or packable puffy jacket nearby.
  • Water and snacks — Check the rules on the bus, but you can typically bring water. Snacks like nuts and dried meats are mess-free and will keep you full. You don’t want to get stuck without any snacks during meal times.
  • Find your assigned seat — Some bus companies will assign seats. If they aren’t assigned, get in line early so that you can get first dibs on seats.


  • Arrive late — Although sometimes buses are hampered by traffic, they really move! Be there, waiting by the door when it’s time to get on the bus.
  • Disturb others   — Do not play loud music, talk on the phone, or have loud conversations with your neighbors, especially at night.
  • Litter — Use the waste baskets, if provided, or carry an extra plastic bag for trash.
  • Schedule tight connections — Leave enough room in between connections. Also, where your next bus or train takes off from isn’t necessarily at the same stop where they let you off. Research ahead of time to make sure you have enough time for transfers.
  • Miss your stop — Make sure you pay attention to where you are (using your cell phone’s GPS). Buses only stop for a few minutes. Even better, confirm with your driver where you need to get off ahead of time, and pay attention.

Best Bus Companies in Europe

Flixbus on ground at bus depot

There are many different bus companies in Europe. Some are regional and others travel on a network of intercity bus services in several countries.

Here are some of the most popular bus lines in Europe.

  • FlixBus — The largest transport network in Europe, covering 26 countries. Their modern coaches feature plenty of legroom, power outlets, and free wifi. They have acquired Megabus , too.
  • Eurolines — A network of cooperating bus companies and is a popular method of travel between neighboring European countries.
  • Regiojet — The main bus company in the Czech Republic and Slovakia with international connections to other major cities.
  • National Express — Buses in the UK and long-distance travel in Europe.
  • BlaBlaCar Bus (formerly OUIBUS) — A growing network of buses, now the one of the largest in France, that connects to many places in Central Europe.
  • Alsa — This is the main bus company in Spain, and it also offers a cheap and convenient way to get to Portugal.
  • Avanza  — Operates primarily out of Madrid and other major Spanish cities.

In addition to booking with the booking engines we listed above like Omio or Trainline , you can also book coach tickets directly with each bus company’s website. We have found that it’s not always the easiest if you don’t speak the language — even when translated to English, they are sometimes tricky to navigate. However, if they aren’t working with one of these ticket consolidators, you may need to book bus tickets directly.

Negatives of Bus Travel in Europe

Woman reading local bus schedule

Of course, with every pro, there are some cons to bus travel in Europe.

Buses are not as comfortable as trains. To explain, on trains, you can get up and stretch as much as you want, the restrooms are larger, and you can even book a bed on a sleeper train when traveling overnight.

Sometimes bus routes are hard to decipher , especially the smaller regional routes that might not even have websites. Read your ticket carefully or ask for help so that you understand where to get on (remember, it isn’t always at the bus depot), where to transfer, etc.

When it comes to schedules, sometimes the routes are only at night. Others have long layovers or odd transfer locations, causing the total trip duration to be extra long. We suggest you always compare bus and train travel to see if the trip time is worth the savings.

Solo female travelers in particular may want to avoid bus stations or stops at night as an extra precaution.

Buses in Europe FAQ

Are there buses in Europe?

Yes, there are a number of intercity buses in Europe that will take you just about anywhere you want to go.

Are buses cheap in Europe?

If you’re wondering if it’s cheaper to travel by bus or train in Europe, the answer is typically yes. However, it depends on the country and the route. Sometimes train travel is the same or cheaper. Use a site like Omio or Trainline to compare trains and buses across Europe.

How do you buy a bus ticket in Europe?

The easiest way to get a bus ticket for European travel is by booking online using one of the top booking engines like Omio , Trainline , or BusBud . If your preferred provider hasn’t partnered with these third party ticketing providers, you can buy directly via the bus company online or at the station.

Do I need to print my ticket?

Post-COVID, we’re finding that more and more operators are using mobile tickets. When you purchase your ticket, you should have instructions as to whether or not you need to print it out. If you’re unclear on the directions, ask at the reception desk at your hostel or hotel for help.

Are European buses comfortable?

Coach travel in Europe is relatively comfortable. Many have reclining seats, tinted windows, and in-seat power. Toilets are sometimes available, and if they don’t have them, buses will stop every few hours for a break.

Is it safe to take a night bus in Europe? It’s generally considered safe to take a night bus in Europe, just like it is during the day. Just be sure to keep your valuables on you at all times. You can wear a money belt , or drape your jacket or sarong over your valuables for an extra layer of protection.

Which bus service is the best in Europe?

It depends on the region and/or country, but FlixBus, BlaBlaCar Bus, Eurolines, and National Express are some of the main players when it comes to European coach travel.

How much luggage can I take on a bus in Europe?

Luggage is limited like it is on an airplane. Roller bags and larger backpacks won’t fit in the bus. Depending on the provider, checking luggage underneath the bus is free or the fee is nominal. There may also be a limit on how many bags you can bring.

Can I cancel or change my ticket?

If your plans change, you may be able to cancel or change your ticket depending on the company you are traveling with and the type of ticket purchased. A flexible ticket can often be changed, maybe even refunded. Unless you really need to save money or are sure of your plans, consider buying a flexible ticket. 

Where do buses leave from?

Although most buses leave from a bus station, they can depart from stops around the city or even airports. Never assume the bus leaves from a bus station, and give yourself plenty of time to find the stop.

Are there sleeper buses in Europe?

There are no sleeper buses with beds comparable to sleeper trains in Europe. However, there are overnight buses. If you’re lucky, you might even get an entire row to yourself to stretch out.

Do they check passports on buses in Europe?

When you show your ticket to the driver, you will usually show your passport so that the driver can verify your identity. While there aren’t generally checks between Schengen countries, random checks have been reported. In any case, you should always have your passport with you. Also, you may be asked for your passport number when purchasing long-distance train or bus tickets — this is normal.

Do bus drivers speak English? It depends, but I wouldn’t count on it. Downloading Google Translate ( Apple or Android ) can be a huge help for when you need to communicate in a language you don’t speak.

Is taking a bus in Europe worth it?

In our opinion, European long-distance bus travel can totally be worth it!

On the plus side, traveling by bus is convenient, relatively cheap, and safe . It’s also sometimes the only option to get to the smaller towns you might like to visit.  When it comes to buying bus tickets in Europe , there are many online ticketing platforms like Omio that make searching and comparing the best ticketing options pretty seamless.

On the negative side, sometimes the bus journeys are really long! You really have to do a cost-benefit analysis when it comes to routes that will take almost an entire day. Of course, sometimes night buses can alleviate that concern.

If you’re ready to try bus transport in Europe, start searching for a route now!

More Travel Tips & Information

For more information on traveling in Europe, check out these blog posts.

  • 20 Safest Cities in Europe
  • Best Packable Daypacks
  • Omio Review
  • Travel Essentials for Women
  • Emergency Numbers in Europe

it travel bus

Blogger & Ex-Spanish Teacher

Tristina Oppliger has traveled to 35+ countries on five continents. Having previously lived in Spain, she loves studying foreign languages and cultures. In fact, she has a Master's in Foreign Language Education and is a former Spanish Teacher! Tristina is passionate about living free—remote work, exploring the world, and finding adventure wherever she goes.

OCDSB school-bus deficit could climb to $17 million by 2027

The funding gap for bus transportation was $2.9 million this year. But that is expected to widen significantly after the province withdraws 'transitional' funding in 2027.

Article content

The gap between what Ottawa’s largest school board gets from the provincial government to pay for school buses and what it actually pays could grow to $17 million a year by 2027, a report to trustees warns.

Recent changes to provincial funding for student transportation are expected to have a significant impact on the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board’s budget, said the report released this week as part of its budget process.

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The new funding framework is based on a routing simulation that optimizes the number of vehicles needed to provide services for eligible students.

For the 2023-2024 school year, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board received $48.9 million in provincial funding for transportation. The actual cost is estimated to be $51.8 million.

“This $2.9 million gap not only takes money away from other priorities, but the gap is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years,” the report said. About $13.9 million of the provincial funding is transitional and will only be available until 2027, widening the gap considerably.

The transportation deficit figures were released less than six months after thousands of households were thrown into turmoil only days before the start of the school year as the families of about 7,500 Ottawa students learned their school buses had been cancelled.

The Ontario Student Transportation Authority, the bus consortium that manages school bus transportation for the OCDSB and the Ottawa Catholic School Board, has been faced with covering routes after one bus operator did not renew its contract and other school bus operators struggled to hire drivers. 

The situation has improved since then, although some families still lack school bus transportation. At the beginning of the school year, OSTA was short by 65 bus drivers. In a Feb. 15 update, OSTA reported the shortage had been reduced to about 12.

There were 49 long-term cancelled runs as of last week. That represents less than one per cent of all transportation services managed by OSTA, the consortium said.

Even with the provincial transition funding, there will still be $6 million that will not be funded next year, Randy Gerrior, the board’s associate director of operations, told trustees on Tuesday.

The OCDSB covers more than 2,760 square kilometres. About 8,000 students living outside the Urban Transit Area must take buses or vans to get to school. There are a number of possible alterations to the existing transportation system, but these will not be simple changes and they won’t happen quickly, Gerrior said.

“There is not going to be a big fix in this,” he said. “There are going to be a lot of little fixes, five per cent here, 10 per cent there, just changing the way we do business.”

A number of the potential changes were mentioned, but not discussed in depth, including:

  • Aligning eligibility standards for bus transportation between the OCDSB and the Ottawa Catholic School Board where they are not already aligned.
  • Leveraging the relationship with OC Transpo for high school students where public transit is available. “There may be ways for us to find some synergies,” Gerrior said. But he also pointed out that the school board would have less control over OC Transpo than it did over a third-party bus company.
  • Changing from small vans to small yellow buses. This could be a significant cost saver, Gerrior said. OSTA uses six times more small vans than any other consortium in Ontario, he said.
  • Identifying children who don’t need school bus transportation. In September, trustees heard that parents were reluctant to decline their children’s reserved seats on buses even if the children were not using the seats.
  • Changing bell times. A djusting school start and end times could allow transportation of more students. This would not be part of the 2024-25 budget process, Gerrior said.

The Ministry of Education hired the auditing and consulting firm Deloitte last fall to conduct a third-party review of student transportation at OCDSB and OCSB. The review, aimed at assessing current operations, identifying ways to reduce overall costs and finding opportunities to enhance procurement and contract management, is expected to be released within the next few weeks.

The Catholic board has not yet released updated projections for how much it will spend on student transportation this year, but expects to do so at an OSTA meeting on Monday.

Tuesday’s OCDSB budget update also looked at other areas with significant funding gaps. These included a $20-million gap between the money provided to replace employees who are sick or away and actual costs.

In 2022-2023, the OCDSB received $15 million in provincial funding, but sick-leave usage rates are rising steadily. The actual expense was $35.8 million last year and it could increase by an additional nine per cent this year, the report said.

“This money has to be found elsewhere in the budget, which can have an adverse impact on student learning,” it said.

The report called the shortfall a “structural problem” and said it was “rooted in provincial legislation and underfunding” after 2012 legislation changed the design of sick-leave plans for all school board employees.

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Condé Nast Traveler

What NYC’s Port Authority Bus Terminal Could Look Like After a $10 Billion Redesign

T wo decades ago, when I first moved to New Jersey, I was repeatedly warned to avoid taking the bus on my commute into Manhattan because it would mean going through the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Dark, dank, and dated, not much has changed since then, despite connecting millions of commuters and travelers to the city's sprawling network of airports, subways, and train stations.

With 260,000 passengers running through the terminal on high-volume weekdays, the Midtown Manhattan transit hub is the busiest bus terminal in the world—and one of the most outdated. Now, after years of planning and debate, the Port Authority has unveiled a $10 billion redesign it hopes will erase that reputation once and for all.

The sweeping ground-up renovation plan released in February includes a new 2.1 million-square-foot main terminal, a separate Storage and Staging Facility, direct ramps for access in and out of the Lincoln Tunnel, and even 3.5 acres of green space. And like every good rebrand, it also comes with a shiny new name: the Midtown Bus Terminal.

“Anything that was built as a major transportation hub nearly 75 years ago is almost by definition going to be outdated,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton tells Condé Nast Traveler , explaining that the terminal which opened in December 1950 has gone through intense usage and deterioration. “Time has not been kind to the old facility.”

In particular, he says that buses these days are bigger and heavier, a challenge for the aging building to handle. “The designers back in the day weren’t oriented to thinking about anything other than something which buses pull into and pull out of,” he says, unabashedly calling the current design “an eyesore.”

A bright and airy design

The architects tasked with taking the bus terminal into the modern era are from the British architectural firm Foster + Partners , best known for their work on Hong Kong International Airport and France’s Millau Viaduct bridges . The first priority: turn dark and dank into “light and airy.” The current building lacks skylights, and even windows. “It’s exactly the reverse of today’s architecture,” Cotton says. “The point is to have an experience that is uplifting and appealing, and where natural light is a major part of the architecture.”

A small peak at that feel can be found in the terminal’s current bathrooms, which started going through a restroom rehabilitation project renovation in 2015. In contrast to their previous iteration with disheveled, crowded stalls, those willing to step inside are treated to brightly-lit restrooms that are surprisingly Instagram-friendly and have even become one of the trendiest places in town to primp .

“There’s no question that the Port Authority has made an effort to have the old building function as well as it can within the very severe constraints of the original architecture to make it top-graded,” Cotton tells Traveler . “But to really do justice to the bus riders and to really have a profound impact on the community, it's just got to be redone.”

Improved navigation

While aesthetics might decide a visitor's first impression of a space, getting lost underground is the surest way to permanently turn off travelers from using public transit. Arguably the most pressing design challenge that passengers face in the current terminal is the simple act of getting to the correct gate. With 41st Street bisecting the building, many people find themselves navigating a maze of passageways connecting the north and south wings with little directional signage along the way, sometimes traveling up and down stairs and escalators just to get between the two sides.

The project's proposed solution to this is a permanent closure of a portion of 41st Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues in order to create a multi-story indoor atrium that would serve as the bus station's main hub with clear digital signage offering simple directions.

“That way when you come in, you can visually see where the bus gates are,” Cotton says, adding that passengers will also be able to use their phones for step-by-step navigational directions. “Wayfinding can move up a step order of effectiveness by virtue of today's technology—I suppose, actually yesterday's technology."

Bus traffic coordinated by AI

With buses currently letting passengers on and off on the third and fourth floors in an intricate, but outdated, series of pathways, backups have become the norm for both arrivals and departures, leading to frustrating delays for riders.

“In order for the busiest bus terminal in the world to serve its ridership, you need gates to be used multiple times an hour during rush hours,” Cotton says. The goal is to have five to six buses use each gate in an hour. In order to coordinate that “ballet,” he says artificial intelligence will be key. By increasing the technological capabilities of the terminal, AI can help decide which gate each bus should go to as they arrive in order to keep a constant flow.

Also essential will be the construction of a new building west of the current terminal called the Storage and Staging Facility, where buses not being used during peak hours can park. The space would be built by putting a deck over the current open trench on Dyer Avenue, where vehicles exit the Lincoln Tunnel and head downtown toward 30th Street from 42nd Street.

The additional bus parking space would also relieve surrounding areas of the extra buses currently operating from the local streets, including some regional buses (like Megabus) and airport transfer services —one of the top pain points voiced by the community. A new set of ramps providing direct access into the Lincoln Tunnel would also help alleviate traffic build-up.

A commitment to accessibility

Getting to many of the bus terminal gates currently requires climbing stairs, as some areas lack elevator options or have difficult-to-find escalators. But the improved design will prioritize an accessibility-first mentality, Cotton says.

That includes both the number and placement of elevators and escalators, as well as how the gates themselves are designed. The new terminal could also include spaces for neurodivergent travelers and travelers on the autism spectrum, similar to the Port Authority's sensory room at Newark Liberty International Airport.

In addition to bringing in outside professionals to assess accessibility needs of all kinds, the Port Authority will also tap its own Abilities Network, an employee group organized through its diversity and inclusion initiative. Cotton describes the network as a “real world sophisticated set of users of our facilities" who help identify accessibility issues and potential barriers to individuals with special needs.

“We are designing it to be as accessible as possible right from the beginning,” he says. “Today's standards are very rigorous, and we won't stop at the minimum.”

Green infrastructure

With such a large number of gas-operated buses operating through the terminal, another important pillar of the new design is to build green infrastructure that will help the Port Authority reach a net-zero emissions target. Currently, the terminal isn't properly prepped for electric charging, meaning the redesign will need to include charging stations capable of handling a large volume of heavy vehicles.

Not only is full electrification a government mandate, but the terminal’s biggest carrier, New Jersey Transit , aims to transition to an all-electric fleet by the mid-2030s. “This facility absolutely has to be capable of handling their buses,” Cotton says.

The green mentality starts with the construction itself. That includes using concrete that’s the least energy intensive, as well as modern construction vehicles that aren’t the historically “dirty diesel industrial equipment,” he says. Additionally, the heating and cooling of the massive midtown structure will be designed to minimize greenhouse gasses and carbon emissions. “You really have to identify every aspect of the construction and the operation of the building," Cotton says.

When construction is complete, the remaining area of the new deck for the Storing and Staging Facility will provide 3.5 acres of park space, a potential boon for the dense urban neighborhood.

A community gathering place

While old reputations take time to heal, Cotton says he now often hears about travelers wanting to go to arrive extra early to New York’s LaGuardia Airport since it started rolling out its recent renovations in 2020—and that’s his hope for the Midtown Bus Terminal as well.

“The terminal as it currently exists was built almost like a fortress, with the outward facing walls having virtually no concessions,” Cotton says. “The structure wasn't built to be really a major positive influence on the community and we're committed to changing that.” That includes outward-facing cafes, shops, and other outlets that truly merge with NYC's western midtown offerings .

Beyond that, he always says that one of the most commented upon aspects of LaGuardia is its public art, which the Midtown Bus Terminal will also emulate.

“Historically, in many of New York's transportation hubs, it's been an experience which is been intensely negative,” Cotton says. “These civic structures are part of the fabric of the city—that's what we aspire to be.”

Renovation timeline

The proposed redesign is currently in a 45-day public comment period following the release of the environmental impact statement draft earlier this month. After a review of the comments, a final environmental impact statement will be issued and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will decide the project's final approval. Cotton is confident that the approvals will come later this year.

After ground-breaking, the project will roll out in two phases over eight years. The first four-year stage is to build the new ramps as well as the Storage and Staging Facility, followed by the second period, which will require tearing down the existing terminal and building the new one from the ground up.

Compared to other major infrastructure projects in the New York City area, like the current Hudson Tunnel Project , this one will have a tremendous effect on residents and commuters during construction.

“It’s going to be tough on the community,” Cotton admits. “It’s going to be inconvenient with $10 billion worth of construction in the middle of the westside of Manhattan." However, he believes that the long-term benefits of the area's revitalization will make the challenges in the short term well worth it.

“The building itself will be a pleasant experience,” he says. “We hope people will forward to enjoying it and not feeling as if it's something to be endured. Our goal is to have it not just be the busiest bus terminal, but have it be the best.”

What NYC’s Port Authority Bus Terminal Could Look Like After a $10 Billion Redesign

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  • 5 Piedmont Road / Sandy Springs Route 5: NB trips from Lindbergh Center are canceled at 12:55 PM, 2:35 PM, 4:45 PM and 7:00 PM. Route 5: SB trips from Dunwoody are canceled at 1:45 PM, 3:35 PM and 5:50 PM, Expire at: 02/22/2024 07:37 PM
  • 8 North Druid Hills Road Due to: Detention Pond Installation Route # 8, Brookhaven Bus loop. Starting on Monday, February 19, 2024. From begin of revenue service - End of revenue service. Full Closure Expire at: 02/22/2024 01:22 PM
  • 12 Howell Mill Road / Cumberland Route 12: NB trips from Midtown are canceled at 5:00 PM, 7:30 PM, 9:30 PM and 11:00 PM. Route 12: SB trips from Cumberland Transfer Center are canceled at 3:53 PM, 6:16 PM, 8:35 PM, 10:12 PM and 11:42 PM. Expire at: 02/23/2024 12:20 AM
  • 12 Howell Mill Road / Cumberland Route 12: NB trips from Midtown are canceled at 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM and 5:20 PM. Route 12: SB trips from Cumberland Transfer Center are canceled at 2:01 PM, 4:13 PM and 6:41 PM. Expire at: 02/22/2024 07:25 PM
  • 25 Peachtree Boulevard Due to: Detention Pond Installation Route # 25, Brookhaven Bus loop. Starting on Monday, February 19, 2024. From begin of revenue service - End of revenue service. Full Closure Expire at: 02/22/2024 01:22 PM
  • 40 Peachtree Street / Downtown Route 40: SB trips from Arts Center are canceled at 6:40 AM, 8:10 AM, 9:40 AM, 11:10 AM, 12:40 PM, 2:10 PM, and 3:40 PM. Route 40: NB trips from West End are canceled at 7:20 AM, 8:50 AM, 10:20 AM, 11:50 AM, 1:20 PM, and 2:50 PM. Expire at: 02/22/2024 04:16 PM
  • 42 Pryor Road Route 42: SB trip(s) from Five Points (Alabama St & Peachtree St) are canceled at 6:05AM, 7:45AM, 9:20AM, 10:40AM, 12:00PM, 1:20PM, 2:40PM. Route 42: NB trip(s) from Lakewood/Fort McPherson are canceled at 5:20AM, 7:00AM, 8:40AM, 10:00AM, 11:20AM, 12:40PM, 2:00PM. Expire at: 02/22/2024 03:11 PM
  • 47 I-85 Access Road Due to: Detention Pond Installation Route # 47, Brookhaven Bus loop. Starting on Monday, February 19, 2024. From begin of revenue service - End of revenue service. Full Closure Expire at: 02/22/2024 01:22 PM
  • 51 Joseph E Boone Boulevard Route 51: WB trip from North Ave is canceled at 2:25 PM. Route 51: EB trip from Hamilton E Holmes is canceled at 1:35 PM. Expire at: 02/22/2024 02:54 PM
  • 51 Joseph E Boone Boulevard Route 51: WB trips from North Ave are canceled at 6: 05 am, 8:55 am, 11:55 am and 2:55 pm Route 51: EB trips from Hamilton E Holmes are canceled at 8:00am, 11:05 am and 2:05 pm Expire at: 02/22/2024 03:24 PM
  • 58 Hollywood Road / Lucile Avenue Route 58: NB trips from West End are canceled at 6:15AM, 7:45AM, 9:15AM, 10:45AM, 12:15PM, and 1:45PM. Route 58: SB trips from James Jackson Pkwy & Bolton Rd. are canceled at 5:21AM, 6:49AM, 8:20AM, 9:55AM, 11:25AM, 12:55PM, and 2:25PM. Expire at: 02/22/2024 03:00 PM
  • 94 Northside Drive Route 94: NB trip from West End is canceled at 4:40 PM. Route 94: SB trip from Arts Center is canceled at 3:50 PM. Expire at: 02/22/2024 05:18 PM
  • 103 Peeler Road The City of Chamblee is undergoing construction at the intersection of North Peachtree Road & North Shallowford Road, commencing on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, and continuing until Saturday, June 1, 2024. This construction will necessitate a full closure of this location. The road closure will be enforced from the start to the end of revenue service. Expire at: 02/22/2024 01:22 PM
  • 124 Pleasantdale Road Route 124: WB trip from Lawerenceville Hwy & H Howell Rd is canceled at 1:15 PM. Route 124: EB trip from Doraville is canceled at 12:35 PM. Expire at: 02/22/2024 01:50 PM
  • 165 Fairburn Road Route 165: NB trip from Barge Rd Park and Ride is canceled at 12:47 PM. Route 165: SB trips from Hamilton E Holmes are canceled at 12:15 PM and 3:05 PM. Expire at: 02/22/2024 03:33 PM
  • 165 Fairburn Road Due to: The City of Atlanta Watershed Management Route # 165 will be rerouted at Fairburn Road and Benjamin E Mays. Starting on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 thru Wednesday, March 20, 2024. From the Beginning to End of Revenue Service. Full closure. Expire at: 03/20/2024 11:59 PM
  • 165 Fairburn Road Route 165: NB trip (s) from Barge Rd Park and Ride are/is canceled at 7:16 am, 10:17 am and 1:17 pm Route 165: SB trip (s) from Hamilton E Holmes are/is canceled at 6:45 am, 9:45 am and 12:45 pm Expire at: 02/22/2024 01:45 PM
  • 181 Washington Road / Fairburn Route 181: EB trip (s) from Smith St & Broad St (is) canceled at 12:36PM. Route 181: WB trip (s) from East Point is canceled at 11:40AM. Expire at: 02/22/2024 01:25 PM
  • 185 Alpharetta Route 185: NB trips from North Springs are canceled at 11:55 am, 1:55 pm, 3:55 pm and 5:55 pm Route 185: SB trips from Old Milton Pky & Park Bridge Pky are canceled at 12:53 pm, 2:53 pm, 4:53 pm and 7:07 pm Expire at: 02/22/2024 07:40 PM
  • 194 Conley Road / Mt Zion Route 194: SB trip from Lakewood is canceled at 13:05 PM. Route 194: NB trip from Southlake Mall is canceled at 12:05 PM. Expire at: 02/22/2024 01:56 PM
  • 194 Conley Road / Mt Zion Route 194: SB trip from Lakewood is canceled at 11:45 AM. Route 194: NB trip from Southlake Mall is canceled at 12:45 PM. Expire at: 02/22/2024 01:30 PM
  • 813 Atlanta University Center Route 813: EB trip (s) from West Lake are canceled at 4:30, 5:50, 7:10, 8:30, 9:50, 11:10, 12:30 and 13:50. Route 813: WB trip (s) from Georgia State are canceled at 5:15, 6:35, 7:55, 9:15, 10:35,11:55, and 13:15. Expire at: 02/22/2024 02:20 PM
  • Select train trips may be canceled, because of staffing shortages. Please allow extra time for your travel. Patrons may register for service alerts to be informed of future train cancellations. Expire at: 02/23/2024 06:00 AM
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  • East Lake East Lake, Escalator 2 is out of service for renovation. Expire at: 02/23/2024 06:00 AM
  • Garnett Garnett, Escalator 3 is out of service for renovation. Expire at: 02/23/2024 06:00 AM
  • Dome/GWCC/Phillps Arena/CNN GWCC/CNN Center, Escalator 3 is out of service for repair work near escalator. Expire at: 02/23/2024 06:00 AM
  • Vine City Vine City, Escalator 2 is out of service for renovation. Expire at: 02/23/2024 06:00 AM
  • Five Points Five Points, Escalator 1 is out of service, due to nearby rehabilitation construction. Expire at: 02/23/2024 06:00 AM
  • North Ave North Ave, Escalator 3 is out of service for renovation. Expire at: 02/23/2024 06:00 AM
  • Lenox Lenox, Escalator 3 is out of service for repair. Expire at: 02/23/2024 06:00 AM
  • GWCC/CNN Center, Elevator 3 (west end of platform) is out of service for renovation. Use elevator on east end of platform. Expire at: 02/23/2024 06:00 AM
  • North Springs, Elevator 3 (parking garage) is out of service for repair. Use Elevator 2 (parking garage). Expire at: 02/23/2024 06:00 AM
  • Sandy Springs, Elevator 7 (parking garage) is out of service for renovation. Use Elevator 6 (parking garage). Expire at: 02/23/2024 06:00 AM

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Riding the bus, about marta buses.

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Bus Travel in Italy: What You Need to Know

I am an unabashed fan of Italian train travel. I will almost always opt for the train between two places, all things being relatively equal, but in some cases the bus is really the better choice. This is especially true if you’re staying in one region, and buses often provide a cheaper alternative if you’re on a really tight budget. There are some challenges with taking the bus to get around Italy, however, so don’t assume you’ll be taking all buses (or all trains, for that matter) until you do a little bit of research.

Which starts right here.

Generally speaking, if your Italy itinerary consists mainly of big cities, or is limited to the northern half of the country, chances are good you’ll be taking trains most of the time. There are plenty of towns in the countryside between the big metropolitan centers, though, that either don’t have train service at all or are simply better served by buses. The main thing to understand when you’re learning about getting around Italy by bus is that there’s no national bus network . Trenitalia operates on the same network no matter what region it’s in, but the vast majority of Italian buses are only regional. This is fine if you’re limiting your trip to one region, but can make things extraordinarily complicated if you’re crossing regional borders.

Bus Travel Within One Region in Italy

Bus terminal in Rome || creative commons photo by ludovic

This? This is the sweet spot when it comes to bus travel in Italy. This is when buses come into their own, getting you outside the main tourist centers and into smaller towns where the trains don’t go. (Yes, cars will do this, too, but if you don’t want to drive in Italy then at least the bus driver will handle that part for you.) There are sometimes multiple companies serving one region, and bus terminals are often near the train station in major cities, but sometimes they’re harder to find. Ask around to find the local bus station, and then you can find out your bus options from that city to the one you want to visit.

I would tell you to do some of this research online before you go, but many of the Italian bus companies don’t even have websites (or they’re rarely updated, or they’re only in Italian). This site (only in Italian) is dreadfully designed, but it does seem to have some good information on bus schedules for every region in Italy (click on “Orari Autobus” to get a list of regions), plus bus schedules for the buses that only go back and forth between cities and their airports. The Bus Station site (English) covers way more than just Italy, but it’s got a pretty extensive list of bus and coach services in cities and regions throughout the country.

On the whole, if you’re planning to take buses whenever possible, I would recommend making time to find the bus station and do your route research well before you’re actually planning to get on the next bus. This gives you time to figure out your options and plan your next move without the stress of doing it all in five minutes while the bus idles outside the station.

Bus Travel from One Italian Region to Another

SITA bus in Tuscany || creative commons photo by Chris Sampson

As mentioned, there’s no over-arching bus network that connects all twenty regions of Italy, where you can book travel through one system. There are some methods of travel-hacking you can employ if you’ve got the time and the adventurous inclination, where you’ll cobble together a cross-country route – it involves figuring out where you’ll do a DIY transfer at each regional border – but on the whole, traveling from one region to another in Italy is still more easily accomplished by train.

Having said that, there are some bus companies in Italy that serve more than one region, and a few that have a very limited number of what could even be called national routes:

  • SENA Autolinee (English option) – SENA is a Tuscan bus comapny that has partnered with Baltour, another Italian bus company. Together, they’ve also partnered with Eurolines (a European coach network – more about them in the next section). They’re the closest thing to a national bus network Italy has, and you can actually search bus schedules on their site for 17 of Italy’s 20 regions. They also offer a couple of bus discount passes – the ItalyBus Card, a €30 card that grants you 15% off tickets in the SENA/Baltour network; and the Italy Pass, which is like a Eurail Pass for SENA/Baltour buses. Plus, they sometimes offer spectacular €1 ticket prices if you book online in advance. All that said, their network doesn’t cover the country, and sometimes there’s only one city served within a region. So this is definitely an option worth considering if you’re on a budget and you can book tickets ahead of time for a whopping €1, but I’d suggest checking all your potential routes on their site beforehand to make sure SENA/Baltour go where you need them to go.
  • SAIS Autolinee (site only in Italian) – In addition to operating the city buses in one Sicilian town and regional buses throughout Sicily, this company also has some national routes . Cities connected via SAIS Autolinee include Palermo, Agrigento, Pescara, Ancona, Urbino, Perugia, Florence, Pisa, La Spezia, Genoa, Siena, Bologna, Parma, Piacenza, Milan, Turin, Padua, Venice, and Verona. The schedule is limited, so if this is your transport of choice be absolutely sure you know when and where to catch the bus.
  • SAIS Trasporti (English option) – Not to be confused with SAIS Autolinee, SAIS Trasporti has its own set of national bus routes in Italy. (The logos are similar. There’s probably a connection. But this is Italy – one never knows.) This company also has a Sicilian concentration of destinations, and many of their routes are a combination of train travel and bus travel (although you buy both in one transaction). Still, some are all buses and reasonably priced.

Bus Travel Between Italy and Another Country

Eurolines bus || creative commons photo by Sludge G

You’ve probably heard of Eurail passes, right? Those train ticket substitutes that backpack-wielding teenagers and twenty-somethings have been toting around Europe for decades? Well, there are bus companies that act sort of like European trains in that regard, ferrying backpackers around the continent in an oversized hop-on/hop-off tour. Companies like Eurolines and Busabout offer organized tours or simply long-haul coach (bus) transit from one major European city to another. These options may include multiple stops in Italy, so if you’re on a trip through several countries in Europe this is one option that could get you from one Italian region to another by bus. It isn’t, however, an Italian bus network.

Bus Travel Within Italian Cities

City bus in Florence || creative commons photo by Chris Sampson

Many Italian cities have city buses that are excellent options for getting around. Some of the city bus networks are listed on the Bus Station website (discussed earlier), but you may also need to stop in at the tourist information office when you arrive to find out the best way to get around. Tickets for city buses are often sold at tabacco shops (they’re indicated by a big T hanging outside the door) and newsstands, but not usually on the buses themselves. And don’t forget to validate your ticket when you first get on the bus – in some places, not doing so can result in hefty fines.

76 responses to “Bus Travel in Italy: What You Need to Know”

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Hi — great info on your site. I’m in an out of the way place, and am going to try to pick up a bus on a road (not close to any station). Can you buy a ticket on the bus? And, it looks like from the Italian bus website that you have to pay 7 Euros each time you transfer…in your experience, is that correct?

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Hi, Rick: Yes, you can usually buy a ticket on the bus. It’s best if you have small bills so you can make exact change in that case. And I haven’t heard of paying for a transfer – what you might be paying for is a new ticket with a different company, since they wouldn’t have the same tickets or share revenue.

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Hi!! So glad that I came across your site! Have been researching about the Italy Pass but there isn’t much info about their routes and how it works etc etc.. So if you’d be so kind to help me solve my problems here: 1) How does the Italy Pass work? Can I use it on any SENA/Baltour bus, anytime without limit? 2) Does the pass allow me to go from regions to regions any easier, by any chance? 3) would you recommend buying the Italy Pass, Interrail Pass or simply reserving tickets from point to point? FYI, we’ll be travelling to Italy this summer for about 2 weeks, and we’re hoping to cover every corner of Italy, at least most of it.. 😀

Do you know, I’d never even heard of a pass for bus travel in Italy! Most bus tickets are inexpensive enough, it didn’t even seem like something to look up. I see one that covers a number of bus lines within Italy, including SENA and Baltour, which it sounds like is the one you were looking at. As with a rail pass, however, I’d suggest looking up actual bus ticket prices on the routes you’d be traveling, add them up, & compare that to the price of the bus pass. It may offer some savings, but it may not – sometimes buying individual train tickets is much cheaper than a rail pass.

As for the ease of movement from region to region, I wouldn’t think so – it’s the same bus network you’d be using, just with a pass instead of tickets. The pass doesn’t change inter-regional bus travel.

Now, when you ask about buying this bus pas or an Interrail Pass, I’m confused – Interrail is train travel. If you’re asking whether you should travel by train or bus, my suggestion is train nearly all of the time. Some trips are easier/better with a bus, but most of the time the train wins in my book (no pun intended, although I did literally write a book on Italian train travel).

I hope that helps!

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Thank for the information on your site,wish I had found it earlier,However you might be able to help with one question.We have found the bus service we want(autolinee marino)with a return trip from Naples to Matera.We have emailed the service with a couple of questions and have had a response but we cannot seem to get a response to this one.Do they have toilets on the coach or stop at a predesignated place for the toilet.The journey we want to book is about 4.5 hours so you can see the reason for the question,I am sure we are not the only ones asking.Thanks.

Thanks for the note, Mick! The Marino website has a page about their bus fleet , which lists all of the amenities on board – including toilets. 🙂

Thanks Jessica,That was quick.It`s knowing where to look for the information you need,That`s the problem.Anyway thanks again,there will be no damaged bladders on our trip!!

Haha! Sometimes it takes a little creative searching… Finding not where you might put information, but where someone else might store it. I’m glad I could help!

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Hi I am just wondering the best way to get to Pescheria Del Garda from Bergamo Airport.

As I will not be driving can anybody advise please.

Thanks Aine

It looks like there’s a bus from the Bergamo Airport (BGY) to Peschiera del Garda , but you should probably also check how long it would take to get a bus from the airport into the city of Bergamo and then, from there, the train to Peschiera del Garda.

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Love your site, as this is my first time going to Italy. Is there a kind of bus and train card that is valid for 6 days?(Im staying there for 1 week) I need a card that works on both busses and trains. Where do I buy that and how much does it cost me?

Thanks for the question, Adam. As far as I know, there’s no combination card for trains and buses. You can get a rail pass for however many train trips you’ll be taking, and I think there are similar passes for some of the international coach touring companies, but I don’t think there’s something that covers both. This article might help you decide whether it’s better to buy a rail pass or point-to-point tickets .

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hi. i want to book bus in italy (online). suddenly, i found website. when i try to book online, webssite jump to website. this is scammer or trusted? because ticket price very cheap. if trusted, this is agent or bus company?

Thanks for the question, Zack. I’m not familiar with either of those sites, but they look similar. I don’t know where you were trying to book, but it’s possible that you were transferred to another site because the latter is the official ticket site for that particular city or region.

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Sena is the worst bus company you can take, overpriced tickets, lack of support, credit cards or any payment online often having issues on their website, delays delays delays, unapologetic staff, though it’s the only one that serves some routes which otherwise would take 2-3 times the time by train, guess why it’s only them? Yes you can say it’s fishy.

My experience with Sena is limited, but it wasn’t bad… Lucky for me, perhaps?

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Does anyone know if the Eurail goes to Cinque Terre? we couldn’t find it on their routing but I know you can get there by train?? Or Lake Garda? We tried looking at the bus pass but it also does not post the routes.

Thanks for the note, Leeane! There are a few things to unpack in your question… “Eurail” is a special ticket some foreign travelers can buy to travel in Europe (not just Italy), so what you really need to know is whether Italian trains serve the Cinque Terre (learn more about Eurail passes ). The second thing is that “Cinque Terre” is the name of a collection of towns, so when you’re looking on a route map you won’t see “Cinque Terre” as a destination – you need to look up specific towns to find out whether buses or trains go there. You can read more in my Cinque Terre guide , and learn more about each of the five towns in the Cinque Terre .

You’ll need to do the same regarding traveling to Lake Garda – find out the names of towns you might use as your destination, and check routes for those specific towns.

Finally, I find getting around by train much easier than by bus in Italy, for many of the reasons outlined in the article above. Bus travel can be useful within one region, but harder to manage to get around the whole country.

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Hi how to run bus ticket center in italy? is that possible to open bus ticket center in any bus station like milan,rome etc

I’m not sure I understand your question, Haider. Are you asking about where to buy a bus ticket, or about starting a business that sells bus tickets?

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I’m taking a train from milan to colico in como area .. i need to take a bus the c10 i believe to gravedone ..where can i purchase the bus ticket? is there a site online where i can purchase my bus ticket or do i have to find a store that sells them ?

This page has a link to the timetable for the bus you’re talking about, and this page shows you where in Colico you’d need to buy a ticket. There’s also a ferry that takes less than 15 minutes to get across the lake (it leaves Colico twice a day).

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Hi! Thanks for the information on your site. I have a question, though. I’m planning a trip from Milan to Rome by bus. Found some cheap options like and baltour, since i’m on a tight budget. Buying online however requires either a paypal account or a credit card, both of which I don’t possess. I’d like to know if it is recommendable to buy tickets directly from the bus station or anything like that compared to buying online. If so, is it easy to find counters selling the bus tickets?

The only way I’ve ever purchased bus tickets is at the stations in Italy or from ticket sellers that are right there (news agents, cafes near a bus stop, etc.), so if you’re asking whether it’s safe to do so, I’d say yes. 🙂 The bus station hubs almost always have a ticket window (it’s just like buying train tickets), and for some buses you can buy tickets from newsstands and cafes like I mentioned above.

Thanks! Really appreciate the help 😀

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Hi, do you have any idea how to travel from the city Bassano del Grappa to Asiago? (both in the Veneto, Vicenza region, approx.40km away from each other)I think I´ve had searched the whole internet already;) but have not found anything…(I actually need to get from Venezia Santa Lucia to Asiago -the closest I can get by train is Bassano but then…is taxi in Italy expensive;)?) Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

It looks like there’s a bus that will get you the last leg of the trip, from Bassano del Grappa to Asiago. On this site , click on “EXTRAURBANO” under “ricerca orari” in the middle. A new window pops up. Choose Bassano del Grappa in the “Partenza” box and Asiago in the “Arrivo” box. When you click OK, you’ll get some more things to enter – date and window of time. You can choose “corse di andata” if you’re only going one way, or “corse di ritorno” if you’re needing a round-trip ticket. I hope that helps!

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Hello Jessica,

My husband and I are going to Italy in September and we plan to take the Marino bus from Naples to Gallipoli. We are both over 60 and our daughter says it would better advised to take the train. The problem is that there are no direct trains and we would have to change several times which is a bit of a worry as we do not speak Italian and only I can speak English ( our native language is French) and we come from a small island where trains do not exist so we have no experience in the matter. It is a five hour bus ride and I wonder if it won’t be too long. What is your experience of such a long ride? Thank you for your site and your help. Best regards. Angas

Thanks for the question, Angas. It looks like the train trip would require 2 changes – one relatively soon after leaving Naples (in Caserta) and one near Gallipoli (in Lecce), but it also looks like the train trip would take longer than the bus trip! According to the Rome2Rio site , the train trip is nearly 8 hours while the bus trip is about 6.5. So the bus might really be the better option all the way around. I haven’t taken a bus trip that long in Italy, but I suspect for that kind of long-distance bus trip it’s a coach-style bus – so something more comfortable, where you put your luggage in the hold below and there’s a toilet on board, etc. You may be able to tell whether it would be that type of bus by looking at the website of the bus company that serves the route. I hope that helps!

Thank you very much Jessica. I checked, it is indeed a coach with toilet etc. on board. I hope everything will be fine. Best regards, Angas

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Hey friends.. im planning to come down to Italy in May. Few of the Places which we would be visiting is Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome , and Salerno. However i am bit confused between Salerno and Bari. What would be better option. We are 3 couples with 2 Kids. And also is it safe and fine to travel in buses between this location or should prefer Train. Could any one guide me with this.

All of the cities you mention – whether you visit Salerno or Bari – is served by high-speed trains, so I’d suggest that’s the better option for getting around. As for which is “the better option” between Bari or Salerno, it really depends on what you want to see/do in each one, and how long you’re willing to travel to get there (Bari is significantly further away than Salerno).

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Hi, So glad to have found this site. we have a month to spare and are planning to visit: Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice then cross boarder to Slovenia, Austria and Hungary. Would you recommend Eurail Global Pass? Could we hop-on hop-off on trains with this pass in Italy and other central European countries? Thank you.

Yes, Anita, to answer your last question, a Eurail Global Pass gives you unlimited train trips in the 28 countries covered by Eurail – including all the countries you’ve listed – for as many days/months as the pass you buy is valid for. Whether that’s the best option for you is something you’ll need to figure out based on comparing the cost of the pass against an estimate of what train tickets would cost. Here are my tips for deciding whether to buy a rail pass or point-to-point tickets in Italy , which may help you choose. I hope that helps, and I’m glad you’re enjoying the site so far!

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Hi Jessica, I was wondering if the bus timetables you linked is the same throughout the summer? Also, is there a way to prepay for bus tickets? Finally, is there an option to purchase tickets in english while in Italy?

Most of the time, bus schedules will differ by day of the week (fewer buses on Sundays) and holidays rather than summer/winter. If there are summer-specific schedules, you’ll probably the word “estate,” which means “summer” in Italian. I’m not sure what you mean by “prepay for bus tickets” – like a Metro card? That’s available for public transit in some cities, but not for longer-distance bus trips as far as I know. As for purchasing in English, that depends on how fluent the person at the ticket counter is! It’s always a good idea to learn a few Italian words for a transaction like that, especially if you’ll be using them repeatedly.

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Is it better to take a bus from Genoa to Florence? looks like it takes almost the same time by train, given that a change is required in Pisa. What do you think? is there a reliable website that I can buy bus tickets from?

I would generally say the train is the best option for cross-regional travel in Italy (there’s no national bus network), but I looked at the Rome2Rio options for Genoa-Florence and the bus and train routes are pretty comparable. I found a new-to-me bus service (it appears to be German) that serves several Italian cities, including Genoa and Florence. Change the language and currency and you can buy tickets on that site. (I’ve never used it, so I can’t vouch for it personally.)

Thanks Jessica, I checked Flixbus before I emailed you, however they have pretty bad reviews. I would prefer to take the train, however I noticed that the schedule for Sunday, Sept 10th is not showing the nonstop train that leaves early morning. Is it too early to book for September? If so, when is it a good time to book for Sept 10th? We have to check in at the B&B in Florence before 1:00 pm as they close the reception after that. Since we also have luggage, it will be quite impossible for us to change trains at Pisa given that the switch-over time is around 8 minutes! What do you recommend we do?

Eight minutes isn’t long, but it’s actually possible to make the switch – provided your incoming train is on time. You only need to get on the right train – in any car – before it leaves the station, since you can walk through the whole train to find your seat later. Pisa’s station only has 16 platforms, and if you’re anticipating arriving in Pisa (i.e. you’ve already retrieved your bags and are standing in the vestibule by the doors) you can hop right off when the train stops. That gives you a minute or two to find the track number for your Florence-bound train and then another few minutes to walk to the right platform. Of course, if that timeframe makes you uneasy, then you don’t want to do that! I like it when travel pushes my boundaries, but I’d rather not have it stress me out. 😉

As I outline in my article about using the Trenitalia website , the official train schedule seems most reliable for a few months in advance, which may be why you’re not seeing a direct Genova-Firenze train on the 10th of September. Having said that, I tried a couple other dates (including weekdays) and I didn’t see a direct train at all. You might try using the ItaliaRail site, which has a partnership with Trenitalia but is an American company with an infinitely more navigable site. (Italy Explained is an affiliate partner of ItaliaRail.) They’re showing earlier trains leaving Genoa, if you want to hedge your bets. You could leave at 5:15am, and if you miss the 8-minute connection time you know there’s a later train from Pisa that will get you to Florence in time. There’s also a 5:44am train that goes through Milan, though the ticket is more expensive and the trip is longer. Have you asked the B&B if there’s another way to check in if you miss your train and arrive after 1pm?

Thanks very much for the information!

Cheers! Anjali

You’re welcome, have a great trip!

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Hello! I would be trying to get to Amalfi from Castrovillari in mid August. I’d prefer a train but don’t think there’s one that connects the two. Is bus a better option and how do I plan this in advance? Or can I purchase tickets day of travel? Which bus station is near Castrovillari?

There’s no train service on the Amalfi Coast at all, and I just looked up Castrovillari to find that its train station closed in the late 1970s. So you’re going to need to drive or take a bus, yes. I like the Rome2Rio site for checking out transportation options ( here’s the Castrovillari-Amalfi result ), but I’ve never bought anything through the site so I can’t vouch for their ticket sales. You might need to do more investigation when you’re in Castrovillari, to find out the best route (or what’s available when you want to travel).

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What is the best way (fastest, but comfortable) to get from Amantea to Montedoro on a Saturday I checked Rail Europe online but had no luck. I also checked Oraribus online and again, no luck and it was only in Italian!

It looks like the fastest way would be to drive – even a bus will only get you as far as a town called Canicatti, from which point you’d have to have a car anyway. It appears Montedoro doesn’t have a train station or bus service. A train/bus/car combo would take 9+ hours (train to Catania, bus to Canicatti, drive from there).

Thanks, Jessica. I looked into train with and the girl told me there would be 5 connections to go from Amantea to Serradifalco. That’s a lot when you are dragging luggage along.

Yeah, train travel in the south – and especially to the islands – is much more challenging than in the north. And buses don’t always cross regional lines. If you’re willing to drive, that would be the fastest way to get there.

How is the driving there? Is that route from amantea to Montedoro/ Serradifalco dangerous? along the coast?

I don’t know that route, but here’s some general information about driving in Italy .

Thanks for that enlightening article !

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Hey Jessica!

I just found out your blog and LOVED it 🙂 Thanks a lot for the super useful tips. So I’ll be traveling in northern Italy for quite sometime, and one of the place I’d love to visit is Cinque Terre, via a few days of stay in La Spezia. I’ll be traveling there from Florence and there is no direct train, I’ll need to use the regional train plus fast train. Did not hear the best things about the regional trains but what was your experience? I’ll be traveling with a small cabin luggage as well, and the comments I heard were mostly around not leaving the luggage at the common area – yet I guess that’s unavoidable.

Thanks for the kind words about the site! I’ve never had any problems with my luggage on Italian trains, but in some cases the regional trains are un-crowded enough that you can stow your bag by your seat without being in anyone’s way. There are also sometimes overhead racks for storing smaller bags.

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Hi, I plan to travel by bus from Albinia Stazione FS to Terme di Saturnia. According to google maps public transport directions i’ll have to change buses in Manciano. Are the bus timetables in this area reliable? Also, is the 41p bus different from the 41/p bus? Any tips you have for catching the bus in Italy would be much appreciated

I can’t say whether the timetables in that area are reliable, as I’ve not traveled by bus there myself. My guess is the 41P is the same as the 41/P, though. I like the Rome2Rio site for trip details on buses especially – this page has your journey , and if you click on “Bus” and then on each of the two bus trips next to the ticket prices you’ll get more detailed schedule options and more information.

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hi jessica me and my husband planning for italy in december last week.. could you please suggest me what places we should visit in this season..

Here’s the series of steps I use to plan any Italy trip , which may help you as well. Here are also my suggestions for a one-week trip in Italy , information about December in Italy , and about Christmas in Italy so you know what to expect during the holiday season.

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Hello I’ll go to Italy tezze Sul brenta is 80 km far from Venezia ..I will return ask is the long distance busses work at Sunday?

Yes, buses usually run seven days a week, but the schedule is much less frequent on Sundays and holidays. You can consult the actual schedule when you get to the bus station.

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Hello, Ill like to visit Italy in 4 days, any suggestions?

Meaning for 4 days.

I’ve written a bunch of articles that offer suggestions on how to plan an Italy trip. Try my ideas for a one-week Italy itinerary (obviously you’d have to adjust for only a 4-day trip), or my overall guide to planning an Italy trip for any itinerary .

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I am a travel advisor. My clients are looking for an upscale sleeper bus that they can hire for 10 people to travel around Italy for 10 days. Can you direct me on who to contact in Italy that might be able to assist me?

Sincere thanks!

Phyl Andersen

I’m afraid I don’t have contacts like that, sorry.

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Could you tell me if there are washrooms on buses from Rome to San Giovanni Rotondo, and Rome to Assisi?

I’m not aware of the amenities on those buses specifically, but some buses do have a toilet in the back – which would have a minimal space for washing up. But I emphasize minimal. And that’s most likely on long-haul buses.

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What is the best way to travel (train or bus) from florence to Greve in Chianti and Castello di Verrazzano. I want it to be cost effective half day drip starting in the afternoon.Please help

This article may help you a bit – “ How to Figure Out of Trains Are Your Best Option for Getting Around in Italy .” You can also look up bus schedules for bus lines in Tuscany, or choose a guided tour where all of the transportation is taken care of. There are some links to tours on my “ Day Trips from Florence ” page.

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thanks so much for all the detail. I am finding it a little harder than I thought to figure out how to travel from La Spezia to Bellagio which is on Lake Como. Google maps is suggesting a train (trenitalia to Milano) another train (Trenord to Lecco) a bus (linee lecco to Bellagio – lungo lago Marcone) and finally another bus (ASF Autolinee within Bellagio). My two questions are: Do we need to book tickets for the trains? and Do the buses take cash or do we need to buy a card or something beforehand?

My articles about Italian trains should help answer many of your questions. As you read above, buses from one region to another – which is the route you’re talking about – are few and far between, so even though it’s a many-stop process I’d still recommend the train. ( Or a car, if you want to drive .) Buses don’t typically take cash, so you’d need to buy a ticket beforehand – often at a tobacco shop or newsstand.

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Hi Jess , i may go and spend some says in italy , and i wanted to know if the busses are working 24/24 or not ? there are some festivals that i want to go to and i need to move from one city to another , and im afraid that i cant find busses in late hours , can you help me ?

It depends a great deal on where you are, but in my experience the only buses that run late or overnight are within a city like Rome. Some long-haul buses may have overnight routes, but – again – that really varies. Your best bet is to find the bus companies that serve the routes you’re looking at and check their websites (if they exist) or ask at the bus stations.

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hi there. thanks for so nice info about italy buses. just a question-what time is it latest bus to Naples airport on sundays?

Here’s the most updated schedule I could find for buses from the main Naples train station to the airport. Looks like the latest one leaves at 23:10.

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I see INV and EST on a time table for the LN02 bus time table between Desenzano and Riva del Garda. I understand EST refers to summer. Are you able to tell me when EST commences on time tables in Italy and when it ends?

That’s an interesting question… I don’t know whether they go by the solstice (my guess is no!) or if they’re referring more to high and low seasons . You’re right, though, EST would be short for “estate,” or summer,” and INV would be short for “inverno,” or winter.

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  14. Bus Vs Train Vs Plane Travel: Pros and Cons

    Bus Travel, Travel Home » Travel » Bus Vs Train Vs Plane Travel: Pros and Cons While traveling overland between cities, you often have a choice between several modes of transport. In this guide, I break down the pros and cons of bus vs train travel to help you decide which is the best way for you to get to your next destination.

  15. USA Travel Guide: What You Need to Know About Bus Travel

    Greyhound Jefferson Lines Megabus Peter Pan Trailways Traveling by bus is a popular and affordable way to get around the USA. Enjoy free Wi-Fi, onboard restrooms and comfortable reclining seats with headrests for trips between major and smaller towns.

  16. Trailways offers bus tickets on the best city-to-city routes all over North America. Whether you're traveling to New York's state capital, Albany, or to the heart of NYC for a night out, Trailways gets you there for less.

  17. How to Travel by Bus in the USA

    Not only is bus travel in the USA an affordable way to get around the country, bus travel is the more eco-friendly option for traveling. Win-win! Travel by Greyhound Bus in the USA Greyhound Bus is the largest network in North America and is one of the best ways to travel by bus.

  18. North Carolina Bus Tickets

    Wanderu is the simplest way to book bus and train travel. With just a quick search on Wanderu, you can compare bus and train schedules and prices from hundreds of travel companies in one convenient place to find the trip that works best for you. Wanderu's simple checkout process makes it easy to book cheap bus and train tickets hassle-free.

  19. Bus travel through Europe

    With FlixTrain, you can travel across Germany and Sweden comfortably and affordably. Enjoy amenities such as free WiFi, spacious seats, and power outlets on board. FlixTrain is committed to sustainable travel, making it an excellent choice for eco-conscious travelers. So whether you prefer to travel by bus or train, FlixBus has you covered for ...

  20. Travel by bus in Italy

    Travel by bus in Italy | Offers and Tickets from €0.59 Book now From To Departure date Add Return Promo Return Adults Children 0 - 13 years old Do you have a promo code? Search Destinations Tickets Bus tracker Itabus Offers WOW PRICE The Wow Price is the cheapest price for tickets for a given route. Prices start at €0.59.

  21. How to Travel Cheaply by Bus in the U.S.

    Greyhound Buses. Greyhound buses still rule the road in the U.S., with far more routes and potential flexibility for you than any of the cheap buses. And you can make your journey cheaper still if you apply a student discount. Greyhound buses are basic and don't have many of the fancy features of BoltBus and MegaBus, but they're safe and they ...

  22. Met Council: Transit rides up 16% as bus services expand in Twin Cities

    The Metropolitan Council says transit ridership increased 16% in 2023, with more than 48.7 million rides were served. It marks the second consecutive year of growth following a pandemic-driven drop. Of the 48.7 million rides, 30 million were bus rides (up 14%) and 14.7 million were light rail (up 19%). The Met Council says the hiring of more ...

  23. Complete Guide to Buses in Europe: How & Why to Travel Europe by Bus

    Eurolines — A network of cooperating bus companies and is a popular method of travel between neighboring European countries. Regiojet — The main bus company in the Czech Republic and Slovakia with international connections to other major cities. National Express — Buses in the UK and long-distance travel in Europe.

  24. OCDSB school-bus deficit could climb to $17 million by 2027

    Article content. The gap between what Ottawa's largest school board gets from the provincial government to pay for school buses and what it actually pays could grow to $17 million a year by 2027 ...

  25. What NYC's Port Authority Bus Terminal Could Look Like After a ...

    With 260,000 passengers running through the terminal on high-volume weekdays, the Midtown Manhattan transit hub is the busiest bus terminal in the world—and one of the most outdated. Now, after ...

  26. Find Your Bus Schedule

    About MARTA Buses. MARTA runs hundreds of buses over 91 routes covering over one thousand route-miles. Bus times vary by individual route, so be sure to check the schedule for your specific route. Customers are allowed to bring bikes on buses that are equipped with a bike rack. Learn more about bikes and MARTA.

  27. Bus Travel in Italy: What You Need to Know :: Italy Explained

    Bus Travel from One Italian Region to Another SITA bus in Tuscany || creative commons photo by Chris Sampson As mentioned, there's no over-arching bus network that connects all twenty regions of Italy, where you can book travel through one system.

  28. Manchester bus passengers to be reimbursed for fare rises

    Greater Manchester's mayor says compensation is available if bus fares rise under network changes. ... His seven-day ticket, which he uses to travel to Victoria Station, currently costs £14.50 ...

  29. Thousands of care leavers aged 18-25 to benefit from half-price bus and

    Announced by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan in October 2023, the new concession will support between 15,000 - 16,000 care leavers across London aged between 18 to 25 who are now eligible to apply for the travel concession, and will directly support those who have left care once they turn 18 by allowing them to be able to travel more affordably while they transition into independent living.