Driving from Durham, NC, to New York City should take anywhere from 7-10 hours, depending on traffic and how frequently you stop to fill up, void your bladder, or just stand up and flex your knees. But for 53 passengers on a Manhattan-bound bus, that trip took nearly 30 hours, much of it spent stranded by the side of the road.
According to CBS NY, the bus left Durham at 10 p.m., but somewhere in Virginia, the bus began acting up.
“We had to tell the bus driver to pull over, the rear of the bus was shaking, moving from side to side,” recalls one passenger.
The bus pulled over, and the passengers were left stuck on the roadside in a hot metal container without any air-conditioning.
The driver made a second attempt to keep driving, but it wasn’t just the lack of A/C that had passengers freaking out.
“Smoke filled the bus,” says the passenger.
The bus then pulled over a second time, where passengers say they were basically left to fend for themselves. Some stayed in the sweltering bus while other slept on chairs and tables at a nearby rest stop.
Passengers say some on the bus were overcome by the heat, including the driver, who needed oxygen and medical attention. He was ultimately taken to the hospital.
At some point in the afternoon on Tuesday, the police arranged for a school bus to take the passengers to a rest stop where they could shower and eat.
Yesterday evening, a Greyhound swooped in and picked up the stranded passengers, taking them to their destination. They ultimately arrived around 3:30 a.m. this morning, more than 20 hours after they were supposed to reach NYC.
The bus company said that it was trying the entire time to arrange another bus but was having difficulty because the other carriers are all booked up during the summer months.
“We weren’t trying to leave them there, not taking responsibility,” a rep for the bus company told CBS, “that’s not the right thing to do.”
But passengers say their calls to the company were ignored and some are now planning to sue.
The bus company says all passengers will be reimbursed.