CHICAGO (CBS) — A couple hundred travelers found themselves stranded overnight at the Greyhound bus station in the West Loop, after several buses were canceled or delayed due to the winter storm on the East Coast.
Many stranded passengers said they did not have enough money to pay for a hotel room, let alone a plane or rental car to get home without Greyhound.
Betheny Mattix said she arrived in Chicago around 7 p.m. Thursday, on her way home to Minneapolis. She said she was supposed to arrive in Minneapolis around 5 a.m. Friday, but as of 6:45 a.m., she was still waiting to leave Chicago.
“I’m upset, I’m frustrated, I’m tired, and I just want to get where I’m supposed to be. It’s really upsetting,” she said.
Mattix’s bus, originally scheduled to leave Chicago at 9 p.m. Thursday, took off at 9 a.m. Friday.
Meantime, Cheri Stevens had been traveling nearly 40 hours Friday morning on her way from Detroit to Colorado Springs, with no end in sight.
“I started in Detroit 3:30 on Wednesday. Well, actually 2 o’clock. You’ve got to get there early,” she said.
Like many others, she arrived in Chicago late Thursday night, and missed a connecting ride. As of Friday morning, she still wasn’t sure when she’d be on her way to Colorado.
Many complained of the cold inside the unheated station, as well as expensive food they couldn’t afford. However, they said the worst part was simply not knowing what was going on.
“At least if we were on a bus, we would be warm. We’re freezing,” Karen Graham said. “They don’t give us an explanation.”
“They’re not telling us anything that’s causing it. They’re not telling us nothing,” Mattix said.
With many tired and angry passengers growing frustrated waiting in the unheated bus station, police were called to respond to at least two fights overnight.
Greyhound said it has had trouble getting buses out of the Northeast, due to the winter storm.
“We are working to accommodate the large increase in ridership as many travelers are returning from the holiday season. However, we currently have limited resources as many of our buses from our Northeast schedules are unavailable due to the winter storm,” spokeswoman Lanesha Gipson said. “We are working diligently to secure resources from other locations and expect to start getting customers back on the road this morning. We are doing our best to accommodate our customers with the resources we have available.”
Tiandra Waters was travelling home to Atlanta with her three children, including a 10-month-old girl. They left Michigan Thursday morning, and Waters said she has been awake for at least 24 hours.
“I haven’t been to sleep,” she said.
Waters was feeding her baby watered-down juice, until reporters went to a nearby store to buy her some formula.
Although Greyhound said they were providing passengers with food, those at the station in the West Loop said they didn’t receive anything.