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Greyhound sold ticket to runaway teen

WILMINGTON -- How young is too young to travel alone? Greyhound sold a bus ticket to a 17-year-old Hampstead teen and now her mother wants answers. On New Year's Eve Ashley Ryan bought a bus ticket from the Wilmington Greyhound station and traveled to Florida without telling her friends or family. Her mother Julie said her daughter was not asked to show identification. Ryan said if there was a different policy required to buy a bus ticket, her daughter would have never been able to run away. Ryan said, "If they had required ID, she couldn't have gotten on the bus because she carried no ID with her." A Greyhound spokesperson said the company allows people as young as 15 years-old to buy a ticket and travel alone. Ryan said, "How many runaways could be prevented if the bus station would at least require an ID for a young looking person?" The Greyhound spokesperson said ID's are required to be checked at only some locations. Greyhound issued the following statement about teens buying tickets: "It's the parents or legal guardians who have to determine whether their children are mature enough to travel unaccompanied." But in the case of Julie Ryan, she had no idea her daughter bought a ticket until she was in Florida. Ryan said, "It makes me wonder how much else goes through the bus lines that could be stopped if they required identification." Ryan referred to the case of Cpl. Cesar Laurean, the Marine wanted in the murder of Lance Cpl. Marine Maria Lauterbach. He is said to have been spotted on a Greyhound bus in Louisiana. In the case of Julie Ryan's daughter, Ashley, there's a clear bottom line for Ryan. "It could have been prevented if the bus lines required ID," she said.

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its parents like these who

its parents like these who cant take care of their children that ruin everything for the rest of us!!!! maybe if you were paying attention to your child maybe she would have never left your house! its not greyhounds fault this woman is clearly not paying attention to her child. i attend a boarding school and use greyhound to get home for the holidays..... im 17 as well... i hope there are no other mothers like this woman because i dont want to end up having to show my passport, ID, a letter from my parents or whatever just to get on a bus! take care of your children and dont ruin the smallest bit of freedom we still have.

I agree completely

I agree completely

I think the greyhound bus

I think the greyhound bus rules are acceptable. At the ages 15 and up kids have the right to choose where they want to be. And if it doesnt work out for them then whos fault is it? Theirs. Some teens runaway because of their home life. And who has the right to tell a kid at 15 or older that they should stay at a place where they feel unhappy? im not saying that its okay for teens to runaway if they have a good life and are looking for attention. I just think that kids 15 or older have the right to make difficult decisions. Parents need to stop flipping out. Obviously your kid ran away for a reason. But i don't see anyone asking why a child would want to runaway from their home. The greyhound does well to help runaways get home. It's not their responsibility to keep track of your children. Keep an eye on them if you don't want them running away. Don't blame other people for your mistakes.

Underage Sales

The mother is absolutely right. Two weeks ago a fifteen-year-old girl ran from Florida and purchased a bus ticket to L.A. Our organization, Thursday's Child, recovered her and brought her back. Cost of the bus ticket—$200. Cost to return her—$5000. She had to be accompanied back and the trip needed to be by plane. Greyhound has their Home Free program to return runaways back home, but only those who are not flight risks. This girl had been raped by two men two years ago and now has a lot of serious issues. Had she not gotten a bus ticket, she would have remained in her area. As it turned out, she sat next to a returning soldier on the bus and had sex with him in the bathroom of the bus. She is now in a treatment hospital and will shortly go into a residential program. How difficult is it for Greyhound to require adult guardians to purchase tickets for minors, even if the minors ride alone? So, while Greyhound helps runaways get back, they also enable them to run cross continent. Not too cool.

Greyhound in many ways are

Greyhound in many ways are doing more damage than good with these tickets being sold to minors.
They are enabling these minors to runaway and making it costly to get these teenagers returned safely.
Not only are they costing financially.
They are also causing damage emotionally on whole families.
Their program to help minors return home is helpful.
But what about the damage they cause to the families of the teenagers leaving and putting these teenagers in harms way.
Such as kidnapping or being found dead if they are found at all.
They are not screening these ticket sales to teens traveling alone.
These tickets should not be sold to teenagers to enable them to runaway.
Nor should they be sold for these teens to obtain tickets if they are minors and have their legal guardian or parent obtaining these thicket with the permission of the legal guardian or parent.
Greyhounds policy of teens traveling alone as well as obtaining tickets is costly many ways.

Requiring ID?

Greyhound has no responsibility for your 17 year olds actions. We're not talking about a child here. We're talking about someone who is months away from having full legal rights. Greyhound didn't sell a cross country ticket to an eight year old here. Parents need to grow the hell up and stop lashing out. Guess what, you don't need ID to fly either. If you don't have ID your luggage will simply be put in a specially marked pile and it won't get put on the plane until you do. Try it sometime if you want. First they will try to tell you at the ticket counter that you need ID. Ask them to show you in print where you need an ID to fly. You don't need an ID to move about this country. This isn't a Big Brother state, although some sheeple are turning it into one by whining that the government let so and so do such and such because there is too much freedom. Sit down and be quiet and handle your own affairs and stop asking the nanny state to protect you from everything. I personally believe in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. If you want to be sheeple that's your own business. Now how do I dissolve the political bands that connect me to all the sheeple?


OH please people. Has anyone thought that if the kid wanted to go bad enough she would have found a way. Has anyone bothered to ask why she left? But it can't be the parents fault! No then people would actually have to take responsiblity for their children, and then you couldn't use transportation companies as a scapegoat for your childrens problems with your parenting. Is it the knife that murdered or the person weilding it?

Runaway Teen

I drive for Greyhound. This person commonsense is so on the money. It's not that we are behind the time. Not that we are not the airlines. We are radically different. As the person pointed out. We pick up people at closed agencies and on the side of the road if the station is closed. Should all the drivers be like bartenders and be able to decide who is old enough?

Greyhound and teen runaway

Like myself and other parents who have runaway teens out there...GREYHOUND SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE!!!! iT IS THERE POLICY TO CHECK ID and they sold my daughter a bus ticket as well. They assisted in my teen to runaway along with others. My 17yr old daughter ran away to be with a man who she met online, who is close to 30 yrs old. Greyhound would'nt even tell us that my daughter bought a bus ticket unless the local police asked them for the info. WHAT HAPPEN TO PARENTS RIGHTS? Greyhound does offer free rides to runaway teens to get back home, but only when instructed to do so by local police departments. For all of you out there, that makes the comments that we live in a society of lawyers and people trying to make a quick buck...HOW MUCH IS YOUR CHILD WORTH TO YOU??? cuz apperently you have not been throu the horror of not knowing where your child is at!! ITS CALLED CHANGING THE LAWS NOT MAKING A BUCK!! Teens, runaway to near by areas (hide out at friends mostly) rarely do they go outside the city limits...and only stay away long enough to cool off. You all are worried about the alternative of hitch hiking?...wake many of you would stop and help a teen who has their thumps out?? or a teen that holds up a sign that reads "need money OR food"..Not this parent...I would tell them to GO HOME!! Besides, teens today are not that stupid, they know how to get around town and they know the dangers of hitch least the city kids do. Taking a city bus is one thing...taking a charter bus is another story...and besides an Airline would not sell or transport a teen without parents approval, and they still check how does a bus company? WHEN A COMPANY LIKE GREYHOUND PUTS OUR CHILDREN ON THEIR BUS AND TAKES THEM WHERE EVER THEY WANNA GO....AND DOES NOT TELL PARENTS WHERE THERE CHILD WENT...ISNT THAT AIDING AND ABBEDDING A RUNAWAY??? I do believe that is breaking the law...isnt it?? SO HOW COME NO ONE HAS BEEN ARRESTED?????

Cut the Cord dagonit!

she 17 for godsake in the past 14 yearolds and even younger had children the only reason runaways fail is because of thier parents not teaching them to take care of themselves. Look at it this way if your kid comes home from school and has a book report you read the book with them and pretty much write the report for them this causes your kid to be in 12th grade and not know how to do a report you just need to teach your kids how to fend for themselves quit thinking that they cant handle anything unpleasant cur the darn cord and let your kids GROWUP!!!!!!!!

No ID, No Problem

Thank god not everyone has to have ID to ride greyhound. A lot of people, for one reason or another, don't have it, and a lot of minors need to ride it who aren't capable of getting it. I actually had to put a runaway back on the bus back recently and greyhound was good enough to not only give him free fare, but let him ride back without ID. This whole thing is just misplaced idiocy. I'm sorry the woman's daughter ran, but that has zero to do with greyhound who, as another commentator pointed out, provided if nothing else a safe alternative to hitching. This issue isn't even worth talking about.

come on now

Here we go the bleeding hearts are now praying for those with common sense. Our country is ruled by people who can sue companies because their coffee is too hot and their fast food made us too fat. Our education system is not only flawed but it is designed right now to best serve our weakest students and our high school athletes and leave the future leaders of our country and companies to either work harder on their own or seek private education. Why is it our country is falling behind the world? Its simple, people don't take responsibility for themselves. There are thousands of capable teenagers who with the knowledge of their parents take trains daily to get around cities and who often use longer transportation options to visit friends and relatives. So what has it come to these responsible young adults can no longer do this because of a run away? Who by the is old enough to drive so I guess if this young lady took her car to florida this article never could have happened. There are warmings on everything these days because responsibility is taken away from us. Bottom line is that this parent wants to put the responsibility of her children on an hourly wage worker for the bus company. Great parenting! Don't you dare pray for me for wanting our country to rise above stupidity and ignorance. Pray for everyone who uses and abuses the many outs and systems in place so that our citizens and non citizens can sue whom they want and blame who they want for their failures as common sense following citizens.

But for the grace of God...

Wake up people! OBVIOUSLY the mother knows there are other issues with her daughter, but the article isn't about THAT, it's about Greyhound selling a ticket to a RUNAWAY TEEN. What's the mom supposed to talk about in it? Society's permissive and dismissive attitude about runaways is the major part of the reason we have SO MANY of them. These kids KNOW that the odds are in THEIR favor if they want to take to the streets, even at age 12 or 13. It's sad, but ABSOLUTELY true. All the 'she'd have run away anyway' and 'it's the mom's fault' comments are so entirely ignorant AND representative of the wider spread problem that loving parents run into when trying to tackle the ills of society that make this EPIDEMIC of runaways possible. The fact that she'd have probably done it another way makes it ok that they sold her the ticket? 2 'wrongs' make a 'right'? She wouldn't have been able to run BY WAY OF BUS if they simply wouldn't have sold her the ticket without ID, or had declined to sell her one if the ID she may have produced showed her to be under the age of 18. This would in no way prevent parents from letting their children travel under age. Said parents would simply have to PURCHASE the kids' tickets. People like the commentors here are the biggest part of this mother and daughter's problem. I know, I's just plain easier to ignore and blame than it is to help fix the problem...especially when it's someone else's kid. YES, she could have, and probably would have found another way to go....leading me back once again to the overall permissive attitude of this society that would ALLOW the girl - who apparently comes from a home where she's loved - to run in MANY other ways. It's not just the bus company that's screwed up, it's the laws, the lack of help from agencies, the honoring of the teens "rights" over the parents' concern for their safety, the society who is willing to let the kids screw up their lives (and unfortunately, even possibly lose them)...I could go on and on. Now, we COULD lay down and say 'it's just too overwhelming, there are too many ways they can go if they really want to go' (which is pretty much what happens with most of us)...but the truth of the matter is, these things can only be tackled and fixed ONE AT A TIME in order to begin to make things better, to make this runaway epidemic not so acceptable. But THIS MOM isn't laying down and taking it quietly, and I RESPECT HER IMMENSELY for that. From one parent to another, I am VERY PROUD and SUPPORTIVE of, as well as THANKFUL FOR this mom for speaking out to try and prompt a change in Greyhound's irresponsible policy. Ever think if we made it unacceptable as a society that kids that don't have a good reason to run might think twice about doing it in the first place? Think they'd go if they knew that some stranger was likely going to care enough to report to the cops that the kid appeared to be underage and roaming the streets past curfew? Think they'd try and buy a bus or plane ticket if they knew they couldn't without being 18 and having ID to prove it? Think that just those few things MIGHT make it more trouble than it's worth to them? Maybe not for some, maybe so for others is probably the true answer...but still a responsible societal attitude to try to exercise some commense sense protective measures that will help a few families along the way. Definitely worth it. To all of you that are offering your VERY UNWARRANTED and MISPLACED judgement on the mom: all I can say is you ought to be careful about being so quick to judge, as the streets are JUST WAITING to claim YOUR kids, neices, nephews, neighbor kids, matter what kind of a stellar, attentive parent you think you are. And as for putting everything on the girl and her choices...well, we all know that some of the best decisions of our lives were made in our teen years, huh? 'nuff said about that. I agree with a SINGLE commentor below (thank you!) when I express the following sentiment... SHAME ON YOU people for the judgements you've carelessy slung around here. I hope you NEVER have to encounter the torment of the uphill battle against such ignorance as is presented here, in a situation SO crucial as protecting a child... See, her kid's back now, she's safe. It's YOUR kid she's trying to help you protect for a future day you can't even see coming. I'll pray for you. Seriously.

It is not unreasonable to

It is not unreasonable to expect bus companies to ask for identification and to not sell tickets to minors. I don't think the family of this young lady would argue that ultimately, she is their responsibility. I don't think the family in this case would argue that there are deeper issues that will need to be dealt with regarding their daughter. All the comments about them taking blame for the situation...moot points, all. None of us know what's gone on behind closed doors, and even the best of parents can find themselves in a situation where their child makes poor choices. And I suspect the girl in this case would have just found another way to accomplish her goal even without the lack of procedure by the bus company. That doesn't mean their should be none. If it weren't for this story, would you all be so against the notion? I highly doubt it.

Wasn't the subject "Should Greyhound require id?"

I am a mother of a 14yr old runaway. This is her fourth time running away from home. She has been gone for almost a month today. OBVIOUSLY, none of these comments are based on having the experience of YOUR OWN child being able to run away with society's helping hand outstretched! IT IS a shame that Greyhound doesn't ask for f'ing id! Why can you NOT buy a plane ticket at 14 or 17 years old? IT IS a shame that ATT phone company refuses to give you the phone numbers from where your runaway last called you from. But if she is murdered, a judge will sign a subpenia to find what number she called from to find her killer. WAKE UP PEOPLE! The rate of children being brainwashed into dying on our streets these days means that being a teenage runaway is now an epidemic. But it's all par for the course of this world when people leave cold hearted, hurtful comments like these about mother who probably did what she could to love her daughter and try to make sure she was successful in life and doesn't even know if her child is alive or dead tonight. Not every runaway was being neglected and not payed attention to! I eat dinner and talk with my kids everyday about life and their future. So, not shame on momma, SHAME SHAME SHAME ON ALL OF YOU who left those HORRIBLE COMMENTS!!!! Yeah, I think she has probably thought a few times now about what could happen to her hitch hiking teenage daughter before your rude comment was ever even a thought in your tiny litte cranium!

The kids aren't being brainwashed, they're waking up.

Nobody was even pointing those comments at you so don't go around 'shaming' everyone. If you're such a great mother, then why would your child want to run away, four times now? There is obviously something going on here. And the kids aren't being brainwashed, they're waking up. They're seeing what's going on and that all the parents are the ones who are brainwashing them. Nobody runs away for no apparent reason at all.
It's really not the responsibility of the Greyhound busses to keep track of your kids, or anything of the sorts. They don't have to ask for identification, and even if they did, teenagers would still find a way to run away if they wanted it badly enough. All the parents of runaways are looking for is someone to blame, because they are unable to face the fact that they are most likely the reason their child decided to run away. People need to stop trying to point fingers and stop trying to control everything because they'd rather not take responsibility.

Parents Take responsibility!

Before anything is said about this comment Id like to say I am the single mother of a 19 year old son who ran away at 14 and used Greyhound to do so...Do I blame greyhound for it NO I blame myself as well as my son, He knew better then to run away he knew what he was doing when he walked out the house and bought his ticket.My son is not a dumb kid and I bet your kids are pretty smart too. I blame myself for not listening to my son better I blame myself for not seeing that he was on the verge of doing something really stupid. He and I are ot blame for him running away I as his mother am responsible for making sure it never happened again and it didnt...Perhaps you so called parents whose children run away repeatedly need to take a look in the mirror and stop blaming others for your lack of parenting. Ask yourself why is my child so unhappy? What can I do to help them find a way to cope with there unhappiness. How can we work together to resolve this situation rather then runaway from it. Look greyhound and the rset of America is not responsible for your kids..yes it would be noce if they were but lets face it at the end of the day YOUR KIDS ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. If greyhound should be held accountable for selling the ticket to the minor Then her parent(s) should be held accountable as well. Why didnt they know where there child was going to be especially on New Years Eve? If they cant keep tabs on there kid why should Greyhound?

Nikki G

Not sure how we can get in touch with each other, but if I can offer any support with finding your daughter, maybe WWAY will give you my email address.

It has nothing to do with Ashley

It has EVERYTHING to do with forcing a major change upon an industry that works quite well. This may strike you as odd, but thousands of teens travel by inter-city bus to see non-custodial parents every weekend. Thousands more use the bus to return home from boarding schools during breaks. The vast majority of teens travelling by bus are mature and responsible, simply seeking to go from point A to point B, and back again. Don't try to force an industry to compensate for parental inability to control their offspring. Exactly how much should Greyhound have to shell out to train its ticket agents and drivers on IDs? Or did you want them to keep permanent records of everyone who rides? That ought to bankrupt them!

I have to disagree with you,

I have to disagree with you, Common. This industry is clearly lagging behind the times compared to other modes of transportation, and there is not one single reason I can think of that they cannot conform to this standard. Local buses, I'm not so worried about. But buses that take children out of town and/or back again can certainly and reasonably be asked to verify identification, and for parents or legal guardians to purchase the tickets, just like the airlines. It's not a monumental task. It's not even all that expensive. An hours training of their agents should be all that's required, and if it takes more than that, then the bus companies have deeper issues than a little conformity.

Inconvenience millions for the sake of a few?

First, with the exception of airlines and cruise ships, I'm not aware of any other mode of transportation that requires ID. Would you have expected a cab driver to ask Ashley for identification, had she taken a cab to Fayetteville and purchased a ticket on Amtrack....who will allow anyone holding a ticket to board a train without checking any identification? By placing a requirement to check IDs on bus lines, and to only allow adults to purchase tickets, you accomplish three BAD things: * You continue to shield children from the simple realities of everyday life until they are adults, never allowing them to learn half of the requirements and expectations that will be thrust upon them. Then, we're shocked when they can't handle simple tasks as adults. Exactly WHEN do we let them grow up? When do we expect them to start behaving responsibly enough to handle something as simple as purchasing a ticket and riding a bus? * You open up the bus industry to increased litigation. The next time Ashley runs away, Ashley's mom can win the litigation lottery because a ticket agent didn't notice the ID was a good forgery. * You place new financial requirements upon an industry that doesn't have a very large profit margin to play with. Do you have any idea now much a one-day, on-site training course costs for twenty people...considering only wages and the cost of the trainer? The increased cost of tracking that new training, and any re-certification? Now multiply that to include every ticket agent and driver across the nation because yes, there are still thousands of locales across this country where there is no "ticket agent," per se. You wait for the bus and pay the driver. The long-distance bus service works fine in this country. There's no need to inconvenience millions of riders and increase costs for everyone involved just because "Ashley ran away." That's Ashley's problem, not Greyhound's.


Amtrak has an ID requirement, and "minors 15 and older may purchase tickets on their own from a ticket agent or conductor if they present valid photo ID."

Get your facts straight

Antrack requests an ID if you purchase a ticket from an agent. If you use one of the many self-service kiosks, you can purchase your ticket and board the train without any ID whatsoever. BTW, the requirement for IDs by agents is BRAND new.


But to use the kiosks requires credit cards...

Forget about Ashley. Forget

Forget about Ashley. Forget about cabs. Let's deal with Greyhound. Buying a bus ticket isn't a lot harder than buying an airplane ticket. But as you mention, underage kids can't do that.. So... Litigation: "I" am not opening Greyhound up to anything. You talk a great deal about personal responsibility here, but you seem perfectly willing to allow Greyhound out of one here. Say they are required in the future to sell tickets to adults on behalf of minors, and must check ID's. Wouldn't they be opening "themselves" up to litigation if they were not diligent in their responsibility? Training: Yes. This is will be an expense for them. So? It's not like they are going to eat it..they will parse it out in the prices of their fares. Spread out, it's not going to be a huge shock to their bottom line now, is it? They are still behind the times, and they would be wise to catch up before someone sues their pants off for the millions you seem to think they would be saving. I personally wouldn't set foot on a Greyhound, so I'm not really bothered about it either way, but it seems to me like Ashley or no Ashley, they need to get with the times.

Yes, I'm a big fan of personal responsibility

As in, don't blame Greyhound because YOUR kid ran away. Blame your kid.

If she would have used a

If she would have used a fake name you would have never found her be lucky shes not that smart

I couldn't agree more

I couldn't agree more

I have traveled several

I have traveled several times on Amtrak and not once have they asked for my ID. The only place that required my ID was an airline. Why should Greyhound be any different than Amtrak? I know the parents are just trying to find someone to blame, but that doesn't mean they have a leg to stand on. And as far as what another posted, when this child got on the Greyhound, it wasn't reported that she was a runaway

There is more to this than meets the eye

Lets go back to making the parent resposible for their children. This incedent didnt just happen. I am sure there is a history about this child the mother is aware of or should be. I am sure the police are aware of it. Stop blaming Greyhound for this. They transport childen unaccompanied on a regular basis. This policy of allowing childen over 15 to travel has been in affect for many many years and only now its a problem? If your child is going to greyhound to run away you have much deeper problems than this to deal with. Stop wasting everyones time and sit down with your kid and a counselor and actually do somthig to help them.