Low-cost Chinatown bus carrier Fung Wah's been dead for about a month now, and yesterday the feds dumped the final lump of dirt on its coffin, issuing a new, permanent shutdown of the company. And they're pretty serious about this one, once again calling the Boston-based company's bus fleet an "imminent hazard" and adding that the company's "irresponsible actions substantially increase the likelihood of serious injury or death" to drivers and passengers. But, then again, what's a little risk of death or dismemberment when you can get a ticket for $10?
CBS New York obtained the order [pdf], issued by the Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and there's some scary stuff in there. Like, that almost all of the vehicles in Fung Wah's 21-bus fleet had serious structural damage, that the company fudged inspection reports, that drivers were not subject to background checks before hire, or tested for drugs or alcohol prior to getting behind the wheel. According to the FMCSA: "In sum, Fung Wah Bus Transportation, Inc.'s continued and blatant disregard for the FMCSRs substantially increase the likelihood of serious injury or death and is an imminently hazardous and potentially deadly risk for its own drivers, passengers and for the motoring public."
The feds say Fung Wah can continue its operations if it undergoes another safety inspection and completely overhauls its drivers, vehicles and maintenance policies, but for a company that kept afloat by significantly cutting corners, it might take a while for that to happen (if ever). Meanwhile, the FMCSA's been increasing its low-cost carrier oversight of late, shutting down another Chinatown bus company, Ming An, earlier this month. And, though the feds might have saved the general public from the wretched grasp of Fung Wah's duct-taped bus fleet, people are sad to see them go. Someone even made a music video in tribute to the company; have a box of Kleenex handy before you watch it.