Greyhound bus line to increase security in Canada

Tue Dec 2, 2008 8:02pm EST
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Greyhound will tighten security at its main Canadian bus terminals, including screening passengers with hand-held metal detectors, North America's largest intercity bus company said on Tuesday.

The new rules come four months after a horrific attack in which a man was beheaded by a fellow passenger on a bus near Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, though Greyhound said the change was the result of a two-year security study.

Passengers will be screened with a magnetometer for weapons and required to stow their luggage in the bus's sealed storage compartment rather than take in on board, the company said.

Greyhound said it would take other security steps that it was not announcing publicly. The new rules will start December 15, beginning at the company's terminals in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In the Manitoba incident, a man who brought a hunting knife onto a bus launched an unprovoked attack on a man sleeping next to him, cutting off the victim's head and displaying it to other horrified passengers before police detained him.

Greyhound, a unit of FirstGroup Plc and headquartered in Dallas, Texas, already conducts hand metal-detector screenings at random terminals in the United States, a spokeswoman said.

The company did not release the cost of the increased security but said it was "several million dollars" and was hoping the Canadian government would foot part of the bill.

(Reporting Allan Dowd, Editing by Anthony Boadle)

<p>A bus stop in Baltimore, Maryland August 12, 2008. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton</p>