Greyhound Lines — lack of customer service and how they treat passengers that are disabled
I booked passage on Greyhound from London Ontario to Ottawa Ontario and return trip on August 11, 2018. I was travelling on August 24th, and again on August 27th. I have travelled on Greyhound many times in my lifetime. I believed it was a pretty good service for the most part. Until now. My first complaint, the bathrooms at all 3 stations - London, Toronto and Ottawa are absolutely horrible. I don't expect them to smell like a rose garden, but they shouldn't smell like an outhouse or uncleaned portapotty either. Also 1 wheelchair accessible bathroom on the main floor in the Toronto Station is hardly adequate!
I arrived at London Greyhound terminal at 8am for my 8:30 bus, since it was an express bus I went and sat in the red seats. The protocol I knew from my last Greyhound trip to Toronto a few years ago. I waited patiently for a Geryhound rep to come by and check my ID and Ticket and to discuss boarding process as I walk with a cane due to mobility issues and wanted to see about being one of the first people on the bus so I could more easily pick my seat. At 8:25 am there was an announcement over the P.A. System that the express bus to Toronto was now boarding at Gate 8. No Greyhound employee bothered to see if there were seniors, children or disabled that should have been boarded first. I thought, oh maybe Greyhound has discontinued this process.
But when I arrived in Toronto, low and be hold there was not one but 2 Greyhound employees doing the express boarding procedure for the bus to Ottawa. I was asked to take a seat for a few minutes by Avril, who I have to say is a very pleasant person to deal with. She approached me and told me to go wait at gate 1 to board the next Ottawa express bus. My bus left on time, though due to heavy traffic on the Don Valley Parkway and the 401 we got behind schedule. Arriving in Ottawa after 5pm.
I booked an overnight return bus trip for August 27th from Ottawa to London. The bathroom was the first problem, the stalls are awkward to get into and neither are truly handicapped sized. The odor in there could take your breath away. There was no instructions on which gate the bus would be boarding at, and since there is 2 - Toronto Local and Toronto Express, it is confusing! After several people lined up at gate 8 I thought I should inquire with the only Greyhound employee I could see. I did not get her name, although she ended up being the driver of the bus from Ottawa to Madoc, ON. I inquired which gate to board the bus at, and my cane was very clearly visible. I was told Gate 8, I was not informed to remain by the front of the line in order to board with seniors etc. I joined the long line, and we boarded. The driver once ready to leave the depot informed passengers in the seats behind her and by the door as well as those directly behind them that they had to turn their cell phone lights off. There was no explanation given for this just a blunt "Turn your cell phone lights off". As we got going, once of them must have been using their cell phone and she barked at them "I said turn your cell phone lights off".
The lack of good customer service in Ottawa and London is very upsetting. People with disabilities shouldn't have to approach staff and request to board the bus ahead of others. At all Stations it is should be a rule that staff approach passengers with walkers, canes, etc and suggest they go to the front of the line to board ahead of others. This is how it is done with Via Rail, and at every Airport I have been in! As ridership with Greyhound is decreasing, keeping customers happy should be priority #1 and good customer service is a good way to keep customers happy. I can tell you that this passenger is not happy with the customer service I received. And the way Greyhound London and Ottawa treated this disabled passenger is terrible. And it has made me definitely consider not taking Greyhound in the future when I travel.
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