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What's going on with The Hound?
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 5296
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:33 pm    Post subject: What's going on with The Hound? Reply with quote

Fellows:

Today on EYEWITNESS NEWS (7) I watched a report about crowds of GREYHOUND passengers left stranded at the PABT, due to a "shortage of drivers" (I also heard of this over 1010 WINS News Radio)

GREYHOUND responded by saying that "they would hire more drivers".

It would seem that, by so many accounts and other issues, GREYHOUND is no longer the stellar, premier national bus company it once was.

Long gone are the days when sleek Scenicruisers, 4104's and 4106's, piloted by fully-uniformed men who looked more like high-ranking Air Force men, criss-crossed the country.

I have heard stories over the past several years of indifferent, often non-professional drivers, lost luggage, missed connections.....well, the list goes on and on, sad to say.

On the other hand, those GREYHOUND drivers who indeed are true professionals in every sense of the word, cannot have an easy time of it either, in dealing with unruly, obnoxious passengers and often adverse traffic conditions.

Due to de-regulation in the bus industry, coupled with other factors including changing demographics and economics, GREYHOUND is a vastly different company that it was some 60-odd years ago.

GREYHOUND has abandoned services to many cities and towns, many of which no longer have an AMTRAK option; this, of course is a far cry from the days when the buses stopped at virtually every drug store and service station, as well as the big downtown terminals in the cities.

I have to wonder.....what will the future hold for "The Hound"?

Right now, the future does not appear to be all too rosy.

This, of course, makes the job even more difficult for those GREYHOUND employees who still make professionalism their ever-present mascot.

Your input and opinions are most welcome.......

"NYO"
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 1130
Location: Queens, NY

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly, I have to agree with all of your observation's. Indeed, Greyhound of today, is really a completely different company than that which existed prior to say, 1987, and in my humble opinion, is not worthy to even bear that name, which at one time was the 'standard' of the intercity bus industry.

To be fair, the long decline actually started before that date, probably about the time of the end of the ICC, and deregulation.
The rate they are abandoning their major transcontinental routes is truly alarming. And it is even worse, north of the border, where they are shortly to end all operations in central and western Canada.

I imagine the great men who built Greyhound in early 20th century, are probably spinning in their graves over what has come of their once great company, indeed a "national institution".

I believe it is only a matter of time before the poor dog is put out of its misery.
Sad
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver:

Good points, all.

As a lifelong GREYHOUND enthusiast, I find the current state of affairs truly depressing.

When AMTRAK began cutting services to many smaller cities and towns long ago, there was (at least in some areas) a GREYHOUND option.

Sad to say, that option no longer exists in too many areas.

"BIG RED", of course, another premier intercity carrier (recall the halcyon days of "Red Carpet" service back in the 60's) was absorbed by The Hound a few decades back, thus removing yet another intercity company (many smaller bus companies that once provided intercity services in years past simply have vanished into history)

On youtube, you might want to look check out two vintage GREYHOUND films; one is "THE BUS DRIVER" (1940's) and "FREEDOM HIGHWAY" (1950's)

"THE BUS DRIVER" (in b/w) starts out at the old GREYHOUND terminal opposite Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, and ends in Pittsburgh (LOTS of vintage buses in this flick!)

"FREEDOM HIGHWAY" (in color) is truly poignant as it in indeed not only a portrait of a vanished GREYHOUND, but also, a vanished America (the timeless SCENICRUISER never looked better in this film!)

The bus drivers look like Air Force officials, and every passenger is dressed in their best.

Early on, a dapper GREYHOUND driver at a station stop tells a young Scout (who is traveling with his folks): ".....the men who drive for Greyhound are proud to have made it the safest transportation in the land......"

Sadly, the future was never the rosy, glossy, glittering Utopias that were once promised us at the '64 World's Fair, or in the movies......

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver/all:

If you are lucky to happen to have a copy of Bob Gabrick's excellent book in your library " GOING THE GREYHOUND WAY", the last chapter (6) entitled: "THE LESS ROMANTIC ROAD", is a must-read.

So much prevalent to this topic will be found in this well-written and highly-informative chapter.......

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Excerpts from the aforementioned Chapter 6):

".........as a response to continual financial difficulties, Greyhound implemented downsizing measures including cutting services in rural areas, while focusing on medium-haul trips of less than 450 miles......."

Also:

".......in many ways, the story of the Griswold family vacation(1983's "National Lampoon's Family Vacation") mirrors the fading dreams of the romance of the road for Greyhound. Ridership declined throughout the 1980's and 1990's. In 1980, Greyhound ridership totaled 54 million, falling to 33 million in 1985, with a low of 15 million passengers in 1993........"

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a personal view, here:

IMHO, I think that GREYHOUND truly reached its zenieth during the SCENICRUISER era.

When the SCENICRUISER first entered service over 60 years ago, it brought with it an entirely new era of highway travel to American bus patrons; here was a startling new bus, the likes of which not seen before, ushering in a grand new era of highway travel.

The colorful ads of those days still recall an era when "The Great Gray Dog" was indeed the "Queen Of The America's Highways".

Recall, too, it was the prosperous postwar era, and now America had time for leisure and for travel without wartime restrictions, and GREYHOUND was making sure that it rose to the ocassion in the grandest way possible.....

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Oscar Schisgall's "THE GREYHOUND STORY" , there is a political cartoon (which was printed during the bitter 1983 GREYHOUND strike, showing a greyhound dog sitting next to a businessman on an airliner; the man is reading a magazine, "DE-REGULATED AIRLINES".

The dog says to his seatmate: "......strikes, pickets-----who needs the aggravation when I can hop a flight to Miami Beach for eighty-eight bucks......"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also from the aforementioned book:

".........over the next several months, the GREYHOUND buses indeed had to adjust to the new rigors of deregulation. Anti-trust laws Anti-trust laws, for example, that had been previously overlooked, were now strictly enforced. Fare levels were left to individual operators, while the federal and state governments confined their roles to safety standards....."

"NYO"
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just saw a replay of that story on WCBS television, about the passenger's "stranded" in The Port....

All I can say is, that it must have been a "slow news day" for WCBS...

That sort of thing unfortunately has been occurring for years, usually manifesting itself during major holiday travel periods. Greyhound, and several other carrier's have suffered a perennial shortage of driver's. They have mitigated the situation to some extent by requiring reservations.

This contrasts sharply with the way it was in the "good old days", when Greyhound (and Trailways), made an heroic effort to accommodate all who wished to travel, and would run multiple sections continuously, until all were served. They did this often by hiring rental coaches and driver's from many other companies.
To be fair, back in those days, it was a whole lot easier to recruit good driver's for what was indeed considered the premier professional driving position.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver:

Agreed 100%.

Yes, recall the days when GREYHOUND would run "second sections", much in the way a railroad would, during heavy load periods?

Too, remember the elegant "RED CARPET SERVICE" offered by TRAILWAYS back in the 60's ("5 STAR SERVICE"), complete with RED CARPET and smartly uniformed hostesses?

Could you IMAGINE such a thing today?

I certainly can't, even with my vivid imagination!

GREYHOUND, for decades, truly was "America's Favorite Bus Line".....sadly, those glory days have long since disappeared down the echoing corridors of time, along with the iconic SCENICRUISERS.........

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excerpt from "TRAILWAYS BUSES: 1936-2001" by William A. Luke:

".........the bus industry was rapidly changing during the 1970's. The formation of AMTRAK and the subsidized competition it presented, the fuel crises, deregulation, and the insurance crises brought about concern not only to TRAILWAYS but to the entire bus industry......"

"..........then TRAILWAYS, Inc. fell upon bad times and was acquired by GREYHOUND LINES. The nationwide bus competition virtually ended. TRAILWAYS companies in the East remained strong, however....."

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recalling the days when The Hound was still ridin' mighty high........

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?3333

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?4238

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?4244

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
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Location: Queens, NY

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
Recalling the days when The Hound was still ridin' mighty high........

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?3333

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?4238

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?4244

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)


Good shots...not so much as a trace of those two Manhattan Greyhound Terminal's depicted remains today...Greyhound moved from them into The Port in 1963, the first time it was expanded...

Of all the Midtown bus terminal's that existed back in the mid-century, when the Port first opened, the only trace left that I am aware of, is the parking garage of the Carter (former Dixie) hotel on 43rd Street. Even the turntable remains in the floor.... Cool
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver:

I remember as a very young lad that old GREYHOUND terminal opposite Pennsylvania Station; I still have a tin SCENICRUISER that Mom bought for me at the newsstand/souvenir counter (the bus has lithographed images on its roof depicting the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the U.N., and Coney Island (replete with the Parachute Jump!)

It used to be great fun watching those big buses growl and hum as they entered and left the terminal!

For many years, I recall a large painted sign on the side of a building near the PABT, advertising the old "ALL-AMERICAN BUS TERMINAL", which, of course, predated the PABT.

I also remember a HUGE "model" Scenicruiser at the "Port-of-Authority" as a kid; it had a hallowed-out top and was used to hold (if memory serves me correctly) timetables and/or brochures.

I sure hope somebody today has that masterpiece in their collection today; it sure would have been a shame to see it tossed out as trash!

Too, recall the extensive advertising campaign of GREYHOUND back in the 60's; I especially remember the TV commercials touting to home viewers: "GO GREYHOUND.....AND LEAVE THE DRIVING TO US!"

Years later, I remember the late Pearl Bailey doing a GREYHOUND commercial.

Memories, memories.......

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's two 1950's views of SILVERSIDES at the GREYHOUND terminal opposite the late, great Pennsylvania Station.........

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?4241

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?4243 (note the 4103 on the left)

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)
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