sockpuppet1234 (sockpuppet1234) wrote in little_details,

Greyhound Bus Travel (US) 2007-2008

I'm seeking information and anecdotes regarding travel by Greyhound bus in the United States, specifically in 2007-2008, but more generally post-9/11 and post-Patriotic Act and subject to various TSA regulations.

My characters are on the run from bad guys and the law, and they split up and take Greyhound buses to different locations, intending to meet up when "the heat is off" in a different city all together.

1) My research seems to indicate that metal detectors and x-ray machines were not routinely used by Greyhound, especially in smaller cities, until Dec. 2010, although random security checks and screenings were instituted to "keep the terrorists off guard".

Orlando Sentinel article about a random search
News report on youtube about new screening policies

This is part of a TSA program known as "Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response". It's not crucial to my story that this type of terrorist prevention is either there or not there, but it would affect how I write some sections.

I'd like my main characters to each be able to either carry a gun on the bus in their backpack or stow it in their luggage (also: one will have a taser and another a significant size jackknife).

2) I have never ridden Greyhound. It looks like if you have a ticket to, for example, Chicago, you could leave the bus at Evansville without scrutiny and book another trip to another location. Or you could even boogie at a rest stop that is not a scheduled destination. True, not true?

3) What are the ID requirements in the time period I'm interested in? Drivers license sufficient? And how strict were the ticket agents about examining identification?

4) I'm interested in crazy but true anecdotes about riding a Greyhound bus (or similar bus) if anyone has anything to share. Silly details that would make my story more lurid, if possible. Crazy people riding the bus who annoy my characters. Dank and depressing bus terminals. Shady characters hitting on my hot female character.

This is for a fanfic, and no monetary benefit will be derived from your anecdotes.

Searches performed: the entire Greyhound site and Greyhound on Wikipedia
"Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response" and VIPR
"Greyhound metal detection"
"Greyhound security"
"Greyhound identification requirements"
"Greyhound VIPR"
Tags: 2000-2009, usa: public transportation, ~terrorism, ~travel: ground & rail
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