FAQ

General

What is BoltBus?

BoltBus is a premium brand of service launched in 2008 offering safe, non-stop, premium level bus transportation with fares as low as $1 between New York, NY and Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA, Cherry Hill, NJ and Boston, MA. In 2009, service was added to Baltimore, MD and Greenbelt Metrorail Station, MD. In 2011, we added more service from Philadelphia, PA and Boston, MA to Newark, NJ. BoltBus is owned by Greyhound Lines, Inc. and is operated in the Northeast region in partnership with Peter Pan Bus Lines, Inc. of Springfield, MA.

In 2012, Boltbus also expanded its operations to the West Coast with service between Portland, OR, Seattle, WA Bellingham, WA and Vancouver, BC, Canada. In 2013, we added service in this market to include stops in Albany, OR and Eugene, OR. In 2013, service also started in the California/Nevada Market between the major cities of Los Angeles, CA, San Jose, CA, San Francisco, CA, Oakland, CA, San Diego, CA and Las Vegas, NV. The service on the West Coast of the United States and Canada is exclusively owned and operated by Greyhound Lines, Inc.

Terms and Conditions of Purchase and Travel

How do I buy a ticket?

There are two simple and convenient ways to purchase your BoltBus tickets—online and over the phone. Advance purchase of a ticket guarantees a confirmed seat with your reservation. While we recommend that you buy in advance, we also sell higher-priced walk-up fares on a space-available basis.

  • Buying tickets online - You can purchase tickets online at www.boltbus.com until 30 minutes before departure (for example, we would stop selling the 3pm schedule at 2:30 pm). After purchase, you will receive an email confirmation that also serves as your boarding pass and a receipt for your purchase. We don’t oversell our schedules so this boarding pass will guarantee you a seat on your ticketed schedule provided you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time to claim your seat. At 5 minutes prior to departure, any unclaimed seats are released to walk-up and standby passengers.
  • Buying tickets over the phone — A simple call to 1-877-BOLTBUS (1-877-265-8287, Option 1) allows you to speak directly with an operator and book advance purchase fares. A $3 booking fee plus the normal $1.00 processing fee will be added to the ticket price. After purchase, you will receive a confirmation number that will serve as your boarding pass and a receipt for your purchase. Like online purchases, a confirmation number guarantees you a seat on your ticketed schedule. Our customer service lines are available daily from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET.
  • Walkup purchases – We will first board and seat the reserved passengers who purchased advanced tickets and if we have seats remaining, we will offer walk-up tickets. Walk-up tickets will be sold on first-come/first-served basis. We accept cash only for walk-up fares. You may obtain a receipt for your walk-up purchase from our driver, if requested.

Can I rebook or change a trip I’ve already booked?

Rebooking Services are available only by phone at 1-877-BOLTBUS (select Option #2). Passengers are allowed to rebook up to the day prior to the original planned departure between 7:00 am and 11:00 pm ET. There is a $3 rebooking fee and a $1 transaction fee plus any fare differential between the old fare and the new fare. For example: If you bought a $1 ticket and want a $20 ticket, you’ll be charged the difference of $19 plus the fees described above. Please note: it is possible that your newly rebooked fare costs less than the original fare. Should this happen, we apologize in advance but we do not issue credit for the difference.

Can I purchase tickets with my mobile phone?

Yes, you can view our website and make ticket purchases from your mobile phone. We currently support most mobile web browsers; however, we apologize if your device is not currently supported and we’ll work on that.

Can I get a refund?

No, tickets are non-refundable and only good for travel on the schedule and date that you have purchased. However, tickets can be rebooked to another date and time up to the day prior to departure.

What happens if I miss my schedule?

Tickets are non-refundable and only good for travel only on the schedule and date that you have purchased. You can use your ticket as a standby passenger on earlier or later schedules from your ticketed origin to your ticketed destination on your ticketed travel date. Standby passengers will board on a space available basis and will only have a guaranteed seat on their ticketed schedule.

What documents do I need for international travel?

Crossing the United States/Canadian border requires you to have valid, current identification and/or travel documents. In some cases, a VISA might also be required. We will do all we can to help facilitate the process, but it is your responsibility to research the requirements and understand what is needed and/or prohibited for international travel.

The primary forms of ID we recommend are:

  • Passports
  • US passport cards
  • Nexus card
  • Washington enhanced driver’s licenses

We recommend these because they will expedite the process, whereas other forms of ID may cause a delay while the border guards do research and/or decide to interview the passenger before allowing entry into their country.

As part of our boarding process, the driver will ask to see your documentation and they will review it before boarding. If the driver learns that you lack proper documentation for border crossing, we will not allow you to board. We will also supply both Canadian and US customs forms to you as part of the boarding/deboarding process. Please fill these out prior to reaching the border crossing.

The process at the border is very straightforward: You’ll need to claim your bags for processing and inspection. Any bags left on the bus and unclaimed will not be allowed to cross the border. The agent will review your documents and bags and approve your entry across the border.

If for any reason you are not allowed to enter, we will provide transportation (on the next available bus) back to your origin point. No refunds will be issued if you were unable to complete your trip due to a border crossing issue and you may be required to pay additional expenses caused by your inability to cross the border.

What happens when my schedule is cancelled?

We’ll make every effort to operate our published schedules, provided we can do so safely. Events will happen both within our control and beyond our control that may cause us to cancel schedules. We will automatically issue you a refund for any schedule that has been cancelled. There is no need to call or send an email in order to obtain this refund. If the cancellation was our fault we reserve the right (at our discretion) to give you a free trip (or two!) and ask for your forgiveness.

If you have provided us with a contact number (cell phone or other) we will contact you by email and/or text message the moment we know the schedule is cancelled. We will also post a scrolling message on our website notifying customers of any cancellations of service.

How do you set your fares?

Our goal is to offer our customers as good a deal as possible. Our fares are as low as $1 (plus a transaction or booking fee) with a minimum of one $1 fare available on every schedule we operate every day. The fares we charge will vary by day of week, overall passenger demand and how many days until the travel will take place. Typically, someone who purchases a week or two out will receive the cheapest fares so it will save you money to plan ahead. Even our higher walk-up fares will be reasonable and will allow for inexpensive spur of the moment travel.

How do I get a $1.00 ticket?

Every schedule will have at least one $1.00 ticket. The $1.00 ticket will be sold at random and generally within the first handful of seats sold. The earlier you book your ticket, the greater your odds are of grabbing a seat for a buck.

What are your children fares?

One infant under the age of two is allowed free of charge with a full fare passenger provided the infant is on their parents lap. For example, two full fare adults would be allowed to transport two infants under the age of two free of charge in their laps. The only exception is if you plan on using a child seat, see below.

Can I bring a child safety seat on board?

Customers are welcome to use child safety seats on buses that have lap and/or shoulder belts/harnesses. However, you must also purchase a ticket and reserve a seat for the child/safety seat. You should ensure that your child seat has been approved for use in a motor vehicle, and is used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

It is your responsibility to secure the child seat to the bus seat using the lap and/or shoulder belts/harnesses provided. Unfortunately, our drivers will not know how your child safety seat works and will not be able to help you. Boltbus may not provide lap and/or shoulder belts/harnesses on all coaches.

Can children travel unaccompanied by an adult?

No children under the age of 16 are allowed to travel unaccompanied and we assume no responsibility or liability for unaccompanied children.

Boarding & Baggage

How does your boarding process work?

Please arrive at the pickup point a minimum of 15 minutes before departure. If you have purchased online, please bring your email confirmation (either printed or electronic). You’ll need to show your email confirmation to your driver as this will act as your boarding pass. In the top left hand corner of your email confirmation you will find a large letter. This letter designates which boarding group you are assigned too. Customers board the bus based on assigned boarding group (A, B, or C) with our loyalty program members boarding first, followed by customers who purchased tickets online and lastly any walk-up passengers. Feel free to sit in any open seat.

What do I do if I’ve forgotten my email confirmation?

After the first two groups have boarded, approach the driver and explain you’ve forgotten your email confirmation. You’ll need to show a picture ID and the driver can verify whether you have a reservation; or, you can call our customer service team at 877-265-8287 and give them the name of the purchaser of your ticket and they can give you your confirmation number over the phone.

What happens if I arrive late... very close to departure time?

Five minutes before departure, we reserve the right to release any reservations as “no shows”. Walk-up passengers will be loaded at this time. You could lose your seat to a standby or walk-up passenger. We encourage you to arrive at the pickup point a minimum of 15 minutes before departure time.

What are the rules on baggage?

You are allowed one piece of baggage under the coach and two small bags to carry on (purse or backpack). The carry on bags should be small enough to fit in the overhead bin. You are responsible for placing your bags in the baggage bin under the bus and retrieving your bags at your destination. If you need assistance with your baggage, ask and the driver they will be glad to assist you. We recommend that you properly tag all bags and place your name, address and phone number on the inside. If a bag is left mistakenly behind and is properly marked, we will return it to you free of charge. We are not responsible for damage to baggage.

Can I take a bicycle or golf bag?

We do allow oversize items as long as space is available in the baggage bin. The oversize item will count as your one bag allowed under the coach. You’ll be responsible for placing the item in the baggage bin. We will not charge you an additional fee for oversized item provided it is within your limit of one bag under the coach.

What can’t I take in my luggage?

We don’t allow the transport of any type of weapon. We also do not allow the transport of any material that may be deemed hazardous such as acids, ammunition, animals, combustible liquids, compressed gases, corpses, cremated remains, explosives, firearms of all types, fireworks, flammable liquids, furniture, poisons, radioactive materials, or the like.

Can I bring my pet on board?

Sorry, no animals will be transported on BoltBus except a legitimate service animal.

Can I bring food on the coach?

Food and non-alcoholic beverages may be carried on board for personal consumption.

The Trip

What about your drivers?

We employ professional, highly trained drivers. We expect our drivers to act as professionals at all times and also be quick with a smile or a helping hand. Drivers are allowed to accept tips (for a job well done) however they are not allowed to solicit tips from passengers.

What about your bus fleet?

The majority of our buses are 2008/2009 Prevost X3-45 motor coaches. This is terrifically designed motor coach with numerous design features for both the comfort and safety of its occupants. The X3-45 has a longer wheel base for an especially smooth ride. These coaches are equipped with ABS, disc brakes, and stability control. We’ve recently added 2011/2013 MCI D4505 motor coaches to our fleet. All of our buses go to a garage every night and all receive a full and rigorous periodic maintenance check. We are very serious about safety at BoltBus.

What makes your bus different?

We’ve done some things to make the trip more enjoyable.

  • More legroom - we’ve taken a standard coach configuration and removed some seats. This adds about three extra inches of legroom per seat.
  • Internet - Our buses are equipped with Wi-Fi. While we are working hard to make sure it is working, there are spots on the trip where the service may be unavailable. We also do not advise downloading large files, as the speed will be relatively slow. The Wi-Fi service is free of charge…enjoy.
  • Power outlets - Located throughout the coach are standard 110-volt plug-ins. To make the trip more enjoyable, plug in your laptops, iPods and portable DVD players, and enjoy yourself.
  • Standard amenities - restroom, air-conditioned, panoramic views, the normal coach accoutrements.
Disclaimer: BoltBus makes every effort to provide these services free of charge to every passenger. For operational reasons, BoltBus may need to substitute a replacement vehicle which may not have all of the regular amenities. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause you. However, if for whatever reason any of the amenities mentioned above are not available on your trip, we will not issue a credit or refund.

What is the trip like?

Fast and hopefully fun. On trips less than four hours, the service will be non-stop from origin to destination. On a trip over three hours, we will typically make a quick comfort stop. This stop will be at a location with vending machines and public bathrooms. The stop is quick -- about 10 minutes -- long enough to use the restroom or grab a quick snack. This gives our driver and passengers a chance to get some fresh air and stretch their legs.

Are there any rules?

Not many. We do ask that you be respectful of your fellow passengers and our drivers who are working very hard. Please keep any personal phone calls to a minimum. Use headphones if you listen to music or watch a movie. We don’t allow disruptive behavior such as loud conversations, music or fighting. The driver will warn the offending parties once and if needed, the driver will escalate to the proper authorities. We have a zero tolerance policy for alcohol, drugs, weapons and any behavior which might cause a safety hazard.

Be Loyal

Do you have a loyalty program?

Yes, we try and have a little fun and at the same time reward our most frequent riders. You can review our program details on the Reward Member page of our website at www.boltbus.com/rewards.aspx

How do I enroll in the loyalty program?

Enrollment is easy: just click on the “Join Us” loyalty-program link on the homepage at www.boltbus.com and you’ll be guided through the process. It only takes a few moments to enroll.

What perks do I get from the loyalty program?

When signed into your rewards account, any purchases online will build reward points which in turn may award you a free trip or two. Currently, for every 8 trips you take (one way) you’ll get a one-way trip free. This free trip is yours to use whenever you want: next weekend, the next big holiday or next year, your choice. Just make sure you’ve signed in as a loyalty member when you make your reservation so you’ll get credit.

Do I get anything else from being a loyalty member?

Loyalty members will be first to board the bus. Just make sure you’ve signed in as a loyalty member when you make your reservation. Our ticketing system is unable to re-assign boarding groups once tickets have been purchased. We also reserve the right (at our discretion) to have some fun and give our loyalty members free stuff (if you’ve been good!!).

Can I lose my points in the loyalty program?

BOLTBUS reserves the right to close any loyalty account that has been dormant for 18 months. If you go this long of a period without traveling with us you could lose any points or awarded trips you’ve built up. Once these credits expire, they cannot be extended or reinstated. We also reserve the right to add or remove credits from a loyalty account for any reason at anytime.

How do I redeem reward travel?

To redeem your loyalty reward ticket, simply follow these steps:

  1. Login to your loyalty rewards account on www.boltbus.com
  2. Select the trip you want to take and proceed to purchase tickets
  3. Once on the payment screen, enter the number of trips you would like to redeem in the “Redeem Awards” box, located on the right hand side of the payment screen. Type “001” into this field for a one-way reward or “002” for a round-trip reward.
  4. After entering the number of rewards you want to redeem, hit the “Submit” button.
  5. Once the reward has been entered, you will notice a discount has been applied and your ticket and the cost is $0.00; however, certain fees may be added and you may be required to pay a little bit. Please carefully review the trip summary and hit “Purchase” to buy the tickets.
  6. Enjoy the free trip on BoltBus, you’ve earned it!

Customers With Disabilities

I have a disability and want to travel, what do I do?

On the home page you’ll see a link under the heading entitled “Special Needs Preferences” located directly under the Travel Date Selection Box on our main webpage. Click on the “edit” link and you’ll be guided through the process. We recommend (as with all our customers) that you use this link and make a reservation in advance, save some money and guarantee your place on the bus. Walk-up customers are always welcome on a space available basis. Passengers with disabilities will be boarded first on all buses.

Let us know what you need

Even if you have let us know of any special accommodations you might need through the “Special Needs Preferences,” please in all cases let the driver and any BoltBus associates know what you need once you arrive. We are happy to assist you with getting on/off the bus, baggage or any other reasonable accommodation but we need to know what you need from us. We are here to help.

What is Essential Accessibility?

Our goal at BoltBus is to connect communities across the Northeast and West Coast of the United States with our service and through the programs we support. Now we’ve found a way of connecting with one more of the many communities we serve. Through our partnership with eSSENTIAL Accessibility™, BoltBus is taking part in a Disability Community Involvement Initiative launched in association with leading advocacy groups for people with disabilities. If you have trouble typing, moving a mouse or reading, eSSENTIAL Accessibility™ can greatly enhance your experience at boltbus.com. By clicking on the eSSENTIAL Accessibility™ icon, users can download keyboard and mouse replacement solutions free of charge, including a webcam-based hands-free movement tracking system, a page reader, predictive typing, and other customizable options.

eSSENTIAL Accessibility

eSSENTIAL Accessibility™ tools can be used on a standard PC* by anyone with dexterity challenges or reading difficulties arising from a variety of conditions, including:

  • Stroke/paralysis
  • Mild visual impairment
  • Arthritis
  • Limited proficiency in English
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Literary deficiencies
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Dyslexia
  • Cerebral Palsy (CP)
  • Other learning issues
  • Age-related factors
BoltBus and Greyhound Lines, Inc. are proud to be a Founding Member of this Disability Community Involvement Initiative. It brings us one step closer to mirroring our society’s diversity in the people we employ and the customers we serve.

*Using a Mac? Click here to learn about using eSSENTIAL Accessibility™ on an Apple computer.

Is your fleet wheelchair lift equipped?

Yes, the BOLTBUS fleet is 100% wheelchair equipped.

For more information about services we provide, visit our customers with disabilities page.

Additional FAQ’s

What if I have additional questions?

If you have any additional questions, comments, or other general customer service inquiries, please email us at webmaster@boltbus.com. For other, immediate questions call us at 1-877-BOLTBUS (1-877-265-8287). We’ll be happy to assist you!

  • Charter our Bus - If you would like to charter one of our BoltBus buses, please call 1-888-692-6582 (1-888-MYBOLTB) and one of our experienced travel coordinators will be happy to work with you and your agenda to arrange your trip. We have the expertise to accommodate your needs, large or small, efficiently, professionally and above all, safely.

       Our goal is your complete satisfaction at BoltBus.

Now the legal stuff

Liability for baggage is limited by applicable tariff. All baggage must be claimed promptly upon arrival. There is no liability for unchecked baggage. Baggage must be properly identified including name and address. Carrier may open and inspect baggage.

BoltBus is responsible only for transportation on its own lines in accordance with applicable tariffs and limitations and assumes no responsibility for any acts or omissions of others, except as imposed by law. In no event shall carrier be liable for consequential or incidental damages for loss, damage or delay, including weather delays.
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