Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

04 Apr 2010, 11:22 a.m.


Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2010 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

From conversation with my sister yesterday:

"So Greyhound has this new innovation called 'Reserved Seating' --"
"So you just said 'innovation' and 'Greyhound' in the same sentence. Let's just take a pause to appreciate that."
"No, no, it's sarcastic -- the end of my sentence is, this new innovation called 'Reserved Seating' where if you buy a ticket, then you will get a seat on that bus. You are guaranteed to get a seat on the bus at that date and time."
"Wow. Greyhound. Um, welcome to....the twentieth century."
"I think maybe even in the 1800s, with train tickets? I think they had that."
"Yeah, seriously."
"Or even earlier than that. With, like, coaches."
"Let's stick with nineteenth. We can be pretty certain that trains worked like that."

Now that I recall -- Greyhound (at least in the DC-NYC-Boston routes) seems to have had something called "Reserve Seating" since late 2007 although I think it was more like what they're now calling Priority Boarding, which is where you get to board the bus first (but in practice I believe you aren't limited to the exact departure time printed on your ticket).

Anyway, beware of the Greyhound website's Reserved Seating dealie; I thought I was going through the right form to buy a Reserved Seating ticket, but the purchase process didn't mention Reserved Seating after that initial screen, and then the PDF I printed didn't have the magic words Reserved Seating on it. I'll report a bug to them soon.

And now I'm wondering how train tickets worked, back when the whole passenger rail deal was starting up...


09 Apr 2010, 20:22 p.m.

This is remarkable. I just keep on reading that third line and then going back and reading it again. Because what the hell.