Worldwide Bus Travel Tips

Bus companies in the US: who they are & how they compare


This article was updated on July, 2023.

In the United States, bus travel is often seen as a cheaper and more convenient alternative to flying or driving. Bus companies offer a variety of services, from long-distance trips between cities to short-distance shuttle services between airports and hotels.

When it comes to bus travel in the USA, the biggest icon is Greyhound, America’s flagship service. Yet, particularly in rural areas and the heart of the USA, travelers will come across other bus providers.

The companies can be differentiated according to the areas they serve, their target clientele, and their pricing.

In the Northeast, Ourbus, Flixbus, Adirondack Trailways, New York Trailways and Megabus dominate the landscape. Jefferson Lines and Southeastern Stages’ buses can majorly be found in the heart of the US, as they serve routes between regional cities and rural areas. In Florida and Texas, a premium bus provider, RedCoach, offers rides in three different classes. And there are many more add to that list.

Some of those companies operate the same route. Free Wi-Fi, power outlets, a restroom, air conditioning and reclinable seats are now standard features on most buses.

But if they seem to have the same amenities and serve the same route, what makes one bus line better than another? In general, there are a few things to consider when choosing which bus line is best for you.

Here is a comparison of the coverage, booking options, and amenities for the major bus companies in the USA:



Known for: Its iconic logo and vast coverage, Greyhound is the biggest bus company in the United States. They cover all states except Alaska and Hawaii.

Coverage: Nearly 2300 destinations in the US, Canada, and Mexico (combined with Flixbus)

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, power outlets, restrooms, air conditioning, reclining seats.

Are tickets refundable?: Tickets can be fully or partially refunded in the form of a voucher. Refund percentage varies based on cancellation time: less than 1 day (25%), 1 to 6 days (50%), 7 to 29 days (75%), 30 days or more (100%). Maximum deduction is $35 USD from the ticket price. Booking & service fees are not refundable.

Boarding requirements: show your ticket on your phone or print it for the driver to scan it. You also need a valid photo ID.

The company was acquired in late 2021 by Flix SE, a global mobility provider that started services in the USA in 2018. The Greyhound brand will be a part of this global company.


Known for: being a prominent intercity bus service provider that offers affordable, comfortable, and eco-friendly transportation across Europe and the United States, with an extensive network of routes and modern amenities for passengers. In 2021, Flixbus acquired Greyhound Lines, incorporating the BoltBus brand into the Flixbus fleet and keeping Greyhound buses running normally across North America.

Coverage: The company has over 400.000 routes around the world. Combined with Greyhound, the company serves over 2.300 cities in North America.

Amenities: in general, Flixbus offers air conditioning, bathrooms, reading lights and comfy seats. On most buses, you can also find Wi-Fi, power sockets and snacks and beverages sold by the drivers.

Are tickets refundable? You can cancel your ticket and get a full or partial voucher refund depending on how far in advance you cancel. Under 1 day (25%), 1-6 days (50%), 7-29 days (75%), and 30+ days (100%). Deductions max out at $35 USD. Booking & service fees are not refundable.

Boarding requirements: show the driver your printed ticket or your online ticket on your phone. You must also show a valid photo ID.

Megabus and Busbud


Known for: its low-cost trips offered in the US, Canada, and Europe. Travelers can often find tickets for as little as $1 when booking in advance.

Coverage: hundreds of destinations in the US, with a particular focus on the Northeast (Washington to NYC, Philadelphia to NYC) and Florida (Miami to Orlando).

Amenities: Megabus buses are equipped with free Wi-Fi (on most routes), comfortable reclining seats, bathrooms, air conditioning, power outlets and panoramic windows.

Are tickets refundable? No, but Megabus does provide an option for modifying reservations. You can make changes online, but only if it’s done more than 3 hours before your scheduled departure. Keep in mind that there are trade-in fees, ranging from USD $3.00 to USD $7.50, depending on the proximity to the departure time. Additionally, there’s a USD $2.99 fee for new reservations (or USD $7 if made by phone) for altered bookings, contributing to the overall cost.

Boarding requirements: you can board after showing the driver your reservation number, which you’ll get after the booking is confirmed.


Adirondack Trailways

Known for: Their popular Montreal – NYC route and for their customer service. Clients can easily reach the company by email, phone, Facebook, or Twitter and will receive a quick response.

Coverage: 49 cities, with routes between rural areas and major cities in the heart of New York state, as well as Montreal and Toronto, in Canada. The company is part of Trailways of New York.

Amenities: Reclinable seats, reading lights, Wi-Fi, power outlets, restrooms on most buses, air conditioning, wheelchair lift, and extra leg room.

Are tickets refundable? No, but the date & time can be changed. A $20 fee may apply.

Boarding requirements: Printed ticket & a valid photo ID.

If you travel with Trailways, know that this is an association of about 60 regional bus companies. They are mostly recognizable through a similar logo – the Trailways logo. If booked online, the refund and exchange policy remains the same. If you book at a bus terminal, it may be different for each bus company. When changing from one provider to another, fees may incur for baggage within the usual limits of the first provider.

Jefferson Lines bus

Jefferson Lines

Known for: Being a major bus provider in the heart of the US, serving 14 states from North Dakota down to Texas.

Coverage: Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Amenities: Wi-Fi, power outlets, restrooms, air conditioning, reclinable seats.

Are tickets refundable?: No, but the date & time can be changed. A $20 fee may apply.

Boarding requirements: Printed ticket & a valid photo ID.


Known for: Its premium bus rides in three different classes.

Coverage: Major destinations in Florida (Miami, Orlando, Ft Lauderdale, etc.) and Texas (Austin, Dallas, Houston and more).

Amenities: All Classes: High-speed Wi-Fi, power outlets, restrooms, air conditioning, lap trays. First & Business Class: Reclinable leather seats (140 degrees), footrests, LCD screens. First Class only: Snack boxes.

Are tickets refundable?: Yes, in the form of a voucher. Standard tickets can be refunded with a 30% service fee, while flexible tickets can be refunded without fees, with both fares refundable up to three hours before departure.

Boarding requirements: To board the bus, you must provide photo identification matching all information provided during booking. Presenting a physical or electronic ticket is optional.


Barons bus

Barons bus

Known for: their comfortable buses connecting main cities in the Midwest.

Coverage: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Amenities: Wi-Fi, reclining seats, power outlets, GPS tracking, footrest, restrooms and flatscreen monitors

Are tickets refundable? Generally, no, but the company might be flexible in case of emergencies. You can reissue your tickets before travel time by paying a fee.

Boarding requirements: printed ticket and photo ID.



Known for: providing comfortable rides between NYC and DC.

Coverage: New York City and Washington, DC, with stops in Northern VA (Franconia-Springfield, Vienna-Fairfax and Manassas).

Amenities: Wi-Fi, power outlets on most buses, restrooms, air conditioning.

Are tickets refundable? The company does not offer refunds, but you can change your reservations up to 12 hours before the trip at no cost.

Boarding requirements: E-ticket and valid photo I.D



Known for: its flexible rescheduling policy and good customer service.

Coverage: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, Massachusetts, Illinois, Indiana, and Florida.

Amenities: modern buses, estimated time of arrival tracking in real-time, free Wi-Fi, power outlets, reclining seats, sanitized restrooms and free bottled water.

Are tickets refundable: YesCustomers can get all their money back up to 24 hours before the departure and full credit up to 30 minutes before the trip.

Boarding requirements: online tickets and photo ID.

go buses

Go Buses

Known for:  providing first-class inter-city bus service between Boston, New York City (Midtown Manhattan) and Washington, DC

Coverage: Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island & Connecticut, New York & New Jersey, Manhattan

Amenities: clean bathrooms, reclining seats with footrests, reading lights, temperature control system, overhead luggage storage compartments and free Wi-Fi.

Boarding requirements: e-tickets and photo ID.


Southeastern Stages

Southeastern Stages

Known for: their friendly and courteous staff.

Coverage: Major destinations in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina

Amenities: Wi-Fi, power outlets, restrooms, air conditioning

Are tickets refundable? Tickets are fully refundable if you cancel up to 14 days before your trip. If you wish to change the date of your trip, you’ll be charged a small fee.

Boarding requirements: To board the bus, you must have a printed ticket. You also have to provide photo identification matching all information provided during booking.

What can you expect from most USA bus companies:


Free Wi-Fi, power outlets, a restroom, air conditioning, and reclinable seats are the standard on most buses in the USA. Also, they all offer the possibility to book online.


The date and time of tickets can usually be changed against a fee, though some companies are flexible and reschedule tickets for free prior to 24 hours before departure.

Boarding requirements:

Printed tickets are becoming a thing of the past, but some companies still require them for boarding the bus, so don’t forget to check that when planning your trip.

Also, remember that you’ll always need a photo ID to board the bus.


To compare baggage allowances in the US, check out our article on luggage policies in the USA.

Luxury bus companies:

Numerous luxury bus companies are revolutionizing the bus scene in the USA with their extra comfortable and hassle-free services, redefining standards of convenience. Find out who they are in this article. 

Additional US bus companies

A trip through America may lead you to board one of the following companies.

Looking for the best way to travel affordably in the United States? Search and book your bus tickets to and from the United States directly on

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36 thoughts on “Bus companies in the US: who they are & how they compare

  1. My mother, father, brother, and two sisters traveled by bus over most of the USA from the time I was seven to 12 years of age. We were a vagabond family, traveling from town to town. Not for fun, but out of necessity. Greyhound was the company we were almost always on, with Trailways in some situations. From 1950 to late 1955, this was our life. There were no amenities such as wifi, power outlets, However, the seats did recline, there was air conditioning, there was heat in the cold. No TV screens, no lap trays. Small restrooms in the back of the bus. Friendly drivers who also invoked authority. Regular rest stops for resting, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As a kid, I loved it!

  2. You may want to check out Rally – they do charter to events and they have been great. Also you don’t have to charter a whole bus you can crowdshare if you want. The website is for those interested

  3. Hi,

    I want to travel from NYC to Pittsburgh by bus, so could you pleased give me the information about which bus company I can book a ticket?

    Thank you very much for your helpful information.


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  5. Thanks Admin to shared a nice description with us. Most luxurious buses is really suitable for our long tours like friend and family tours. Stay with you. Keep going and shared with us some new content about luxurious bus.

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  10. The Grayhound sucks because my son is stuck LA CA. The are telling him he has to wait until 2:30 am on Sunday 12-26-21. I am not a happy mother.

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  15. I have good impressions of the baron bus. In general, the interior and amenities are quite good and I like this car the most

  16. Excellent resource for site visitors. When you don’t know what to expect from your travel services, having access to such updates is a godsend.

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  19. The date and time of tickets can usually be changed against a fee, though some companies are flexible and reschedule tickets for free prior to 24 hours before departure.

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  21. I found so many interesting articles in your post, especially in its discussion part. It was very well explained and easy to understand for anyone. Thanks a lot to you for sharing this type of content with us.

  22. Amazing information for frequent travelers. These updates make happy for long distance travelers in luxurious buses.

  23. Thanks for sharing wonderful information. I really enjoy reading your blog.

  24. When comparing these bus providers, consider factors such as ticket prices, route availability, departure frequency, amenities, and customer reviews. Each provider might have different levels of comfort, service quality, and coverage. It’s also recommended to check for any updates related to COVID-19 protocols, as they might impact services and amenities.

  25. Some popular bus tour companies in the United States include Gray Line, Big Bus Tours, and City Sightseeing. These tours provide an organized and hassle-free way to discover the beauty and diversity of the United States.

  26. Thanks for your article, I love the bus. I usually go to school by bus. It’s save for the environments.

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