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The Truth About the Power Outlets on the Greyhound Bus

Updated on October 2, 2017
timothyjward profile image

Timothy is frequent Greyhound bus rider who has made countless cross-country bus trips in the last 10 years. He currently resides in Florida

There are power outlets on all Greyhound buses!
There are power outlets on all Greyhound buses!

As the self-proclaimed 'Greyhound Guru' I get asked a lot of questions about the Greyhound bus.

One of the questions I get asked the most is: 'Are there power outlets on the bus?'

This surprised me. I would have never thought that more people are worried about whether or not they can charge their cellphones on the bus than are worried about whether or not there are clean bathrooms. (The answer to both questions is the same by the way: Kinda).

The good news is that there are power outlets on the Greyhound bus.

Yay! You can breathe easy now. You will be able to keep whatever the latest cool phone is that you recently stood in line 10 hours for fully charged throughout your trip. I know you were afraid that somewhere between Cleveland and Baltimore your battery would run down and you would have to spend the rest of your trip doing something unheard of like talking to another human being, or worse reading an actual book.

Fortunately, for you Greyhound has in their extreme generosity provided power outlets on each and every row of seats on the bus.

Outlets By Window Sill

Outlet Location on New Buses

Location of Power Outlets

Where the outlets are located depends on whether or not you are on a new bus or an old one.

If you happen to get on one of the older buses (yes Greyhound is still using some of the older buses even after the fleet upgrade) the power outlets will be on the sill near the window. (see photo).

This was a horrible design because it means that the person sitting in the seat next to the aisle has to reach over the person sitting by the window to plug anything in.

Or worse, the person sitting near the window has to actually touch your charger and plug it in for you.

I don’t know about you but my phone charger is far to sacred to me for some random stranger to be handling it.

It’s like a member of the family, or better yet like a girlfriend.

I mean think about it, I take my phone charger with me most places I go, it's near or in the bed with me every night, and I always keep a backup in case my main one starts acting up.

So I definitely don’t want some weirdo I just met named Derek putting hands all over my phone charger and doing who knows what to it on a Greyhound bus. I mean he might say he was just plugging it in but can I really believe that. And what if I doze off? How do I know he won’t take my charger out of the outlet and have his way with it? I just can’t trust a stranger like that.

It was for reasons like these that Greyhound wisely decided to put the power outlets on the new buses on the back of the seats, down near foot level. This way each passenger has his/her own plug that they can reach without any assistance from the potential home wrecker in the next seat.

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More Hard Facts About The Power Outlets

Now before you go and get too excited and start having these wonderful fantasies about fully charged electronics please remember that this the Greyhound bus we are talking about.

So while there are ample outlets I hate to have to be the one to inform you that these outlets may not always have power.

Yes fellow travelers, if you spend enough time on Greyhound buses you will find yourself on a bus where the power outlets will not work. And there won't be a sign or an announcement about it either. You'll sit down and get your device plugged in fully expecting it to be extracting much needed electricity from the outlet, only to find out 25 minutes later that nothing is happening. In fact the outlet will probably be drawing power from your device.

I've noticed that when the power outlets aren't working it's usually a whole side of the bus that has the malfunction. Apparently there are a couple of breakers or switches or something in the back of the bus that controls the power outlets and if one goes out it shuts down power to a whole side of the bus. When this happens it is a total pain because everyone on the side of the bus with no power will be bothering you throughout your whole trip to let them plug their devices in your outlet.

We've already been over my views on strangers handling my chargers and it's just as bad when I have to handle other people's chargers. I don't know where these people's chargers have been and I don't want to know. And then there's the question of where to put the person's phone or laptop while it's charging. Since their seat is elsewhere on the bus it falls on you to deal with it while it is charging. So now I have to deal with your charger and babysit you tablet as well. This was not part of the bargain when I gave Greyhound my $37.15!

So now you see why my answer to the question about power outlets on the Greyhound bus is: Kinda. There are outlets and on a perfect trip they all work. But we don't live in a perfect world, and even if we did the Greyhound bus wouldn't exist there, so expect to have issues with the outlets on occasion. Instead of getting mad do what I do: Put away all you fancy technological gadgets and get to know the person sitting next to you. Conversation makes the time fly quicker, and you might even make a new friend. Just don't get too friendly, you don't want your phone charger getting jealous....

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