Amtrak Charters Sweet Bus When Tracks Are Unsafe

An exemplary customer service experience….with Amtrak? It’s possible! Thomas was traveling from Boston to Buffalo, NY, and learned that some of the track in New England was impassible, so passengers would be taking a bus for part of their trip. He expected to be put on a Greyhound bus…not a travel experience to look forward to. But Amtrak had something nicer planned for its passengers.

He writes:

I had an excellent experience travelling with Amtrak that I feel should be shared with you….

A few weeks ago, I was taking the Lakeshore Limited from Boston to Buffalo, NY. Due to a washout on the New England portion of the line, the Boston to Albany portion of the trip was “BUStituted.” I found this out when calling Amtrak the morning of my departure to see if my train was on time or not, and the agent said something about being a Greyhound bus… and I remember thinking, “I’ve taken that Greyhound between Boston and Albany: stops in every New England town along the way, no power outlets, cramped, etc…”

It turned out being one of my best experiences with Amtrak. Upon my arrival at South Station, an Amtrak agent actually was asking passengers on their way into the lobby if they were on the LSL heading to Chicago, when I told him I was, he brought me over to the info booth where the other affected passengers were waiting, and pointed me to where the bus was leaving from.

About 15 minutes later, the bus was ready for boarding – it was NOT a scheduled Greyhound like the ticket agent said – but high end charter bus, complete with WIFI and power outlets, along with free food and bottled water compliments of Amtrak, not luxury transport by any meansbut much nicer than the scheduled Greyhound. The six hour trip to Albany was reduced to a mere three, and because of that, Amtrak encouraged passengers heading to other destinations in Upstate New York to board the next Empire Service (New York State internal) train which left half an hour after the bus arrived – instead of waiting for the New York Segment of the Lakeshore Limited, which would have come four or five hours later. In the end, I got home to Buffalo around 6:30pm when I was originally scheduled to get in at midnight, and actually enjoyed the trip for a change – felt like Amtrak went well above and beyond to make what could have been a long, frustrating experience into something smooth and relaxing. Kudos Amtrak!