Traveling on Trains and Buses
Written by Gretchen Maune, originally for the Missouri Council of the Blind website. Reprinted with permission.
Traveling in Your State
Traveling long distance within your state can seem difficult, if not impossible, to someone with a visual impairment. Knowing your travel options better, and being aware of the right numbers to call and links to click to get your questions answered can be very helpful in getting you where you want to go, no driver’s license required. There are a variety of ways, often easy and affordable, by which travelers who do not drive can journey their state and beyond.
Traveling on Amtrak
The first method is Amtrak, where the only cars you’ll have to worry about are the snack car and the sleeper car, though, at your request, snacks can be brought directly to you at your seat. This convenient passenger railroad goes west to east and north to south throughout the country.
There are Amtrak stations in most major cities and smaller stations located outside of large cities. They even have a rewards program for frequent travelers. Hopefully, one of Amtrak’s stations is near your neck of the woods, but if not, read on to learn about other modes of transportation.
Traveling on Megabus
One of the benefits of using Megabus is the low cost. When you book your trip with them, your fare is based on the number of other passengers who have signed up to take that bus trip so far. If you’re the first to sign up, your fare can be as low as one dollar!
Since it’s a more recently established company, Megabus has newer buses, and is known for having comfy seats, and friendly service. In addition, most Megabuses have free wireless internet, as well as power outlets, so you can plug in your laptop or other electronic device while you comfortably ride across your state.
You can read more at Megabus: A Safe and Affordable Transportation Option for People Who Are Visually Impaired by VisionAware Peer Advisor Audrey Demmitt.
Traveling on Greyhound
The more traditional bus service, Greyhound, has been around since 1914, and is still available. Besides their extensive list of bus stops and their long-trusted service, Greyhound’s benefits include discounts for seniors, veterans, students, and children.
One of the downsides to choosing Greyhound, though, is that purchasing a ticket in advance does not guarantee you a ride, as their seats are taken up on a first come, first serve basis. However, their website does state that during high traffic times, they try to make sure to have extra buses available to accommodate all passengers.
Riding on Greyhound buses can get you where you need to go affordably and comfortably. Greyhound buses make frequent stops for travelers to get on and off the bus, and for hungry riders to stop and eat at mealtimes.
Despite their inaccessible online ticket purchasing form, tickets can be purchased at many bus stop locations, as well as over the phone. They will gladly help passengers with disabilities with their baggage, finding seats, and any other reasonable needs. They prefer a call to their hotline at 1-800-752-4841, 48 hours in advance if possible, so that they may plan for a slightly longer stop to help you and your luggage get settled.
All in all, Greyhound can be an excellent choice for travelers who want to journey to or from the state’s smaller cities and towns.
To learn more about car-less travel in your state, check out the resources below.
- Amtrak tickets; Amtrak Accessibility and Reservations: 1-800-872-7245
- Megabus Bus Stops and How to Book Your Trip; Megabus Customer Service: 1-877-462-6342; E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org; Megabus Info for People with Disabilities
- Greyhound Tickets and Other Information: 1-800-231-2222; Information for Travelers Who Are Disabled; Assistance for Customers with Disabilities: 1-800-752-4841