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#1 Koopa

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 08:27 PM

I live in the suburbs and work in a major metropolitan city. As much as I hate to depend on public transportation, I find myself riding a commuter bus daily in my commute to/from work. It is approximately a 30-mile 75-minute bus ride with only the first/last 15 minutes being stops, and the rest of the trip is highway driving. 

 

I hate being restricted to the bus's schedule and route, and I hate not having my vehicle with me (and the gear in it). I hate depending on the shoddy maintenance that the buses receive. I hate sharing space with other passengers who may be unpredictable. The bus allows concealed carry, but my workplace does not, and I have nowhere to secure a firearm downtown, so I am unable to bring one at all. Taking the bus saves me $700 per month in fuel and parking, it saves wear and tear on the car, and it gives me an about an hour of nap/reading time each way. And riding the bus is "green" if you're into that sort of thing. Due to the nature of my job, and the nature of the other passengers' jobs, I am dressed more sharply than most anyone on the bus, so being a "gray man" is next to impossible.

 

Alas, the advantages unfortunately outweigh the disadvantages, and I take the bus to work 5-days a week (for now). What tips does everyone have for "tactical" bus riding? Here are some tips I already observe for my own safety, comfort, and situational awareness:

  • Sitting in the rear half of the bus, in a window seat next to an emergency window exit.
  • Not sitting directly under air conditioning units, as these always drip condensation on me.
  • Keeping an eye on fellow passengers, identifying who is totally oblivious, who might be a threat, and who might be able to back me up.
  • Only napping during the highway portion of the trip, and if I do nap, looping the strap of my backpack through my belt so nobody can steal it without pulling me along for the ride.
  • While waiting for the bus, trying not to be a sitting duck and keeping my head on a swivel.
  • Observing patterns about which passengers board and exit at which stops, and noticing when a pattern is disrupted.
  • Trying to obscure my own patterns by changing the stops I get on and off at randomly.

What else can I do?



#2 mangeface

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 08:57 PM

I woukd suggest to sit more towards the middle of the bus if possible. While it may be a little more harder to keep tabs on who is who, which shouldn't be much of a problem on the highway portion, in the event of any hijacking or any shit like that the perpetrators are more likely to be near the front and rear of the bus.

Also, and this is a far out one, is there anyone at work you may trust to store yiur firearm in their vehicle throughout the day? Like I said, that's a far out suggestion, but may be worth jiggling around in your mind a little bit.

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#3 tdbarge

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 11:04 PM

What area are you in? I know here in NoVA there is always the option of ridesharing/slugging. Still putting yourself in the hands of a stranger, but at least there are fewer strangers in a car vs. a bus and it could make it easier to vary your routine a little bit.  Doesn't do much for the firearm aspect, just something to think about. 



#4 Koopa

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 09:26 AM

Thanks for your suggestions. Yes I usually sit torwards the front of the rear half of the bus (So about the middle anyway).

I will look into carpooling, that's a good suggestion. And it could offer me a place to secure a weapon, if not in a coworkers vehicle.

I'm fairly new to the company so I don't yet trust anyone enough to stash a firearm with them. But eventually this sounds like a possibility.

#5 Corbs

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 02:15 AM

I have a folder synced to my phone and tablet with ebooks, manuals and videos. I also have a couple of legal apps I use to refresh knowledge.

It's dead time otherwise, you don't get it back, make it work. Safety and security wise, I don't think I can add much to what you do already.

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#6 Koopa

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 09:00 AM

I certainly bring along plenty of reading material. Sometimes I read the news on my tablet, or a book, or a blog. It adds 2 hours of "productivity" to my day (1 hour each way). I tried brining a piece of rope along to practice knots for a while, but I get strange looks. Aside from observational skills, there's not much I can practice skills-wise in a bus full of people.

I spend all day at work reading ITS anyway :P so by the time I get on the bus, I'm all caught up on that.

#7 Koopa

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 10:09 PM

Another thing I don't like about riding the bus is leaving my vehicle parked at the park-and-ride all day long. It (and a 200+ other vehicles) are literally sitting there for 10+ hours a day in a fairly isolated lot with nobody keeping the thugs away. Sooner or later there will be a string of vehicle break-ins there - just a matter of time. 

 

The lot is about 5 miles from where I live. I'm considering driving another 5 miles to another park-and-ride lot that is located immediately adjacent to the Sheriff's Office, just for security purposes. I'll have to check the bus schedules for that lot and make sure that works with work.



#8 Whyatt

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 12:22 PM

A couple things that I do on my bus ride.

 

1) Music -  I use the popular over the head, cover the ears head set. It serves two things other then music. a) makes me look less attentive (aka fitting in with the rest of the crowd), which I am not as my music is low and I can hear better then ear buds with them.  B) protects my hearing from the engine noise of the bus. Also gives me an excuse not to talk to the crazies.

 

2) I sit in the side ways seat across from the rear exit door when I can. This allows me able to see front and back, watch who is getting off (or trying to sneak on), provides me with the biggest escape door, and provides me with more leg room (and fighting floor space if needed)

 

3) vary my bus route - simple but effective. I also do a lot of tactical pauses on my walk home (3 blocks)

 

4) I carry a city map with data on bus routes. In case of an emergancy I can take a different route without much incident. I am also prepared to get off the bus at any stop in needed.

 

5) Make nice with the bus driver. Please, thank you, minor chit chat. Best to have an authoritive figure in your court if SHTF.

 

6) Keep off my phone. Zombies everywhere I tell you.

 

7) (in my city) Bus passes expire, bus tickets don`t.



#9 PHWOARchild

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 02:01 PM

One of my friends said, the only people that ride the bus are the old, the poor, the mentally ill and those who have lost their license for DUI. He fell into one of those groups.

 

Use the same situational awareness you would on a train. I ride a lot more trains than busses. I still see people nicely dressed for work hop on the train and immediately go to sleep. Briefcase on the seat, pocketbooks yawning open next to them.



#10 Marinemarc82

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 11:52 PM

One of my friends said, the only people that ride the bus are the old, the poor, the mentally ill and those who have lost their license for DUI. He fell into one of those groups.

 

Use the same situational awareness you would on a train. I ride a lot more trains than busses. I still see people nicely dressed for work hop on the train and immediately go to sleep. Briefcase on the seat, pocketbooks yawning open next to them.

Stay vigilant on the bus and these days it seems like a major portion of buses are equipped with cameras. Recently I was taking the #1 bus in Boston along Mass Ave and not only did it have cameras it also was equipment with an LED screen in the front that actually showed passengers a "live feed" of what was being recorded. I think this was to deter any crime further. 



#11 farcyde07gti

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 01:32 AM

As a 2A supporter I don't like seeing employers that do not respect the right to carry, much less if someone has gone to the trouble of getting permitted to carry concealed.  We don't need a class and permit to speak freely, but I digress.

 

It is a reality we face so one suggestion is to get a IIIA panel for your bag on the body side with laptop on the outside.  If you carry a backpack style, you can don it on your chest and if you are UA'ing a situation, across your back.  Sad to say, but when you are stripped of your right to carry at work, you are stripped of your right to carry to and from.  I suspect we'll see civil litigation some day for a person victimized to or from work and w/o means to defend themselves from a deadly threat.  It is a shame.

 

You're doing it right by being aware and planning ahead.  While you think you may not be the 'gray man' by wearing a suit I think, unless you're wearing bates oxfords and a cheap gray suit and white shirt, you will look least threatening to an attacker and most like a victim 9-5 accountant.  Bonus points if you don't warrant a second glance from a bad guy.  That gives you the edge to deal with it, or turtle up and let it play out if the stakes are your dollars or something replaceable.  

 

If you have a chance to repetitively train basic disarm techniques do so.  Traditional Krav teaches these but you really have to train with Krav practitioners or you'll break the fingers of your partners and they might not like you anymore.


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#12 Ryl4nd99

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 03:13 AM

I take a bus every day and something you'll probably notice is that every bus has it's 'regulars.' You know, those people that are on the bus pretty much every day (like me) or regularly (every Tuesday or something like that), so you watch and observe, taking note of these 'regulars.' These are the ones that 99% of the time won't bother you at all.

What you should look out for are the non-regulars, as these are the ones most likely to cause trouble.


Edited by Ryl4nd99, 02 June 2015 - 03:13 AM.





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