Boom. Cheap but not necessarily safe "Chinatown busses" have been one of the bright spots in inter-city travel over the last few years, and that has gotten the Feds attention. Now, after numerous accidents, Federal transportation officials today ordered the shut down of 26 bus operations run by three companies (Apex Bus, I-95 Coach and New Century Travel). And that's not all! They also forced 10 other companies to cease all passenger transportation operations for the time being.
At the end of last year the Feds shut down the Double Happyness Travel bus company calling it "an imminent hazard," and that's pretty much the same reason they've given for today's shut down. "The egregious acts of these carriers put the unsuspecting public at risk, and they must be removed from our highways immediately," Anne Ferro, the administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), said in a statement. That same press release went on to explain:
Federal safety investigators found all of the carriers had multiple safety violations, including a continuous pattern of using drivers without valid commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) and failure to have alcohol and drug testing programs. In addition, the companies operated vehicles that had not been regularly inspected and repaired. The companies’ drivers also had serious hours-of-service and driver qualification violations.
Some of the lines shut down today include Asia Tours, All State Travel Bus, I-95 Coach, Hu Mei Express, and Black Leopard Travel. You can see the full list in this PDF.
Meanwhile, the Feds really want to make it clear they are taking these buses seriously. So! If you've had an unsafe bus experience they ask that you call the FMCSA hotline at 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238).