Getting Around the USA–When is the Bus Your Best Option?

Visitors to the US have many options when it comes to getting around. In the land of (relatively) cheap gas and expensive trains, renting a car is often the most appealing option. On the other hand, for journeys between cities that are further than a few hours drive, flying quickly becomes a viable option. Still there are other times when the best option is taking the bus. How should you determine when this is your best option? Read on.Bus travel in the USWhether or not it is warranted, bus travel has a somewhat beleaguered reputation in the U.S. Many consider line run bus service to offer the most basic level of service. In truth there is a wide range of service offered, from luxury to budget, depending on the bus carrier. The bus industry in the United States is dominated by Greyhound, which is the only bus company with service nationwide. Several other companies such as Trailways and Coach USA are made up of independently owned bus companies that share marketing functions and branding. In addition there are several strong regional players in the bus industry, although they may share service with Greyhound on certain routes.A newer development in the bus industry is the “Chinatown bus”. This is a term used to describe low priced bus companies that operate pared down service on selected routes and charge much less than traditional bus companies. Originally these carriers tended to operate in, and cater to, the Chinese immigrant community. Now the phenomenon appeals to a much wider group of customers. Another trend in the bus industry is luxury service that competes more directly with the airlines. These carriers offer first class amenities and luxury coaches. They tend to be most successful for destinations that are fewer than 6 hours apart.So, how should you decide when the bus is your best option? Here are a few questions that might help you make your decision: