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Greyhound's failure happened years ago because of a changing demographic in America. Small-town America rode buses all over the place between WWI and WWI and Greyhound prospered in meeting the market demand for this service. At that time, the interstate highway system did not exist and travel of this type was best done by bus. With the advent of the freeway system, and with the rise of modern air travel, the glory days of back-road bus service ended. Greyhound eventually filed for bankruptcy and, after emerging, has been a ghost of its old self. "Is this 1958?" the author of this piece asks in amazement. Well, for a company long operating at the margins, it might as well be and its customer service appears to be nothing more than a reflection of this reality.

Greyhound's "failure" happened in reality long ago and what we see now is a company that is among the walking dead. This does not excuse what happened to this poor, hapless customer but it probably explains it.

The British FirstGroup PLC owns Laidlaw Int'l which owns Greyhound. FirstGroup, with the tag line "Transforming Travel", seems to see this relic of America's past as its ticket to Britain's future and features it prominently on FirstGroup's UK home page. A bankrupted company that is part of the "holdings" of a clueless company that itself is a property of an investment vehicle for moneyed "Lords" on the other side of the planet is about the closest thing the capitalist west has to a Soviet / Chinese / French government agency in terms of service orientation.

I meant to add "in the private sector." It's a great way to turn a private company into a pseudo-gov't bureau.

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