Riding a bus or train in a foreign country can be daunting, especially for Americans (like us) who have limited non-car ground transportation options at home.
But I hope my post yesterday convinced you that you should at least consider alternatives to flying for your next trip. Buses and trains are obviously the more environmentally-friendly options, but there are other advantages, too. You get to see the countryside when you travel by land, which will give you a different perspective on the region. And you’ll have a chance to chat up fellow travelers and locals, especially on longer journeys. What else are you going to do when you’re stuck on a train for 5 days?
These websites will give you the info you need – from route maps, to ticketing information, to departure schedules – to travel by bus or train just about anywhere in the world.
Regional Bus Systems
East Coast (Washington D.C., New York, Boston, Philadelphia)
- Bolt Bus
- Fung Wah
- Apex (Warning: Google the safety records of the last three companies before you choose to book a trip on them. I have plenty of friends who have ridden the buses and found them to be nice enough, though with the safety record of these companies it may be wiser to pay a few more dollars and ride Greyhound.)
Eurail has the most extensive (but sometimes pricey) network. Countries may also have their own networks. For example, we’ve gotten a pass and ridden extensively on the Polish and Russian train systems.
photo credit: Smabs Sputzer
- JR Bus Kanto Japan
- Alpico Japan
- Nishitetsu Japan
- The Transport Company, Ltd. Thailand
- Greyhound Australia
- Firefly Express Coaches
- Premier Motor Service
- Integrity Coach Lines
- Kynoch Coaches
- Rail Australia
- Sydney to Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra
- Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide,Perth, Alice Springs, Darwin
- Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns
- V-Line Victoria
A phenomenal resource for train and sea based travel is Seat61, although it doesn’t have information on bus systems.
Too often people (myself included) look at flights only and never even consider the alternatives. Not only are trains and buses better for the environment; they are often cheaper than flights and provide a true adventure.
Bus and Train Routes Across the World is the seventh post in Go Green Travel Green’s 25 Days to Green Travel series. You can see the complete list of articles in the 25 Days to Green Travel Index.
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- 4 Principles for Choosing Green Transportation: 25 Days to Green Travel, Day 6
- 25 Days to Green Travel: Intro to the Series
- Ultimate Directory of Top Green Travel Destinations: 25 Days to Green Travel, Day 3
- 12 Paper-Free Guidebooks: 25 Days of Green Travel, Day 5
- Learning About the Local Culture: 25 Days to Green Travel, Day 4