Greyhound turns 100
The Centennial Tour celebrates the iconic brand in stops across America
This year, Greyhound, the largest provider of intercity bus transportation in North America, commemorates its 100th anniversary with a series of events scheduled throughout the year. The events will showcase Greyhound’s growth from its first vehicle operating out of Hibbing, MN, to its current stance as one of the most iconic integral brands in America’s transportation infrastructure, carrying passengers to and from more than 3,800 destinations across North America.
“Greyhound has joined an elite group of brands that have withstood the test of time to celebrate 100 years of business, but we’re only here because of hardworking employees doing what’s right when no one’s watching and dedication to delivering an exceptional customer experience,” says Dave Leach, president and CEO of Greyhound. “We’re proud of our rich heritage, and the changes we’ve made in the past five years to improve the travel experience are what we’re highlighting this year. We’re not done yet either, as we continue to look for innovative ways to enhance our technology, training, customer service, and ultimately our guest experience.”
The company launched its Centennial Tour in May, with two buses converted into mobile museums simultaneously moving across the United States through December, visiting nearly 40 cities. The Centennial Tour features displays of memorabilia that include vintage signage, driver uniforms and an entire wall of history that presents Greyhound’s century transformation, as well as video displays showing on interactive touchscreens.
The tours also feature several restored classic coaches, such as the 1914 Hupmobile, 1931 Mack, 1937 Yellow Coach, 1947 Silversides, 1948 ACF Brill I-41, 1954 Scenicruiser, 1968 Scenicruiser and the 1984 Americruiser 2, with the several of Greyhound’s new, modern coaches bring the exhibition to the present with such 21st century amenities as free Wi-Fi, leather seats, power outlets and extra legroom.
From its humble beginnings in Hibbing, Greyhound has continued to lead the pack with innovations that have become standard in the intercity bus industry today.
Greyhound was the first to introduce:
• Rear-mounted engines with its 1936 Super Coach, giving the driver better visibility of the road ahead, along with the first belly compartments for luggage.
• On-board air conditioning as a new feature in the late 1930s, along with other passenger comforts such as washrooms and an air-suspension ride
• Express service between cities in as early as the 1950s, a service that was resurrected as Greyhound Express in 2010 with an enhanced offering, including free Wi-Fi and a guaranteed seat
• Introduced in 2013, personalized on-board entertainment delivered to customers’ personal devices with BLUE™
In 2007, Greyhound became a division of FirstGroup, the leading transport company in the United Kingdom and North America.
Greyhound began buying new buses in 2000 which feature a neoclassic livery and equipped with modern amenities, the latest in safety features and environmental technology.
By the end of this summer, nearly all of Greyhound’s fleet of more than 1,200 coaches will be new or like-new. Additionally, Greyhound is already working on a massive upgrade to its digital platforms, with a more modern reservations system, new online and mobile offerings and providing guests with real-time travel updates.
“I started at Greyhound as a bag handler more than 25 years ago, and it is incredible to see where the company is today,” Leach added. “Bus travel is different now; the travel industry as a whole is different now. We’re always looking for ways to make the company better. I’ve stayed at Greyhound throughout the years because, in my opinion, I work for the greatest company in the U.S. We, as a Greyhound family, are passionate about this brand and are dedicated to bringing it into the next 100 years.”