Fung Wah, the low-cost bus Chinatown bus service that was shut down last year after officials deemed its fleet posed an "imminent hazard" to drivers and passengers, will resume operations some time early next year. It's unclear whether the company will continue to offer $10 trips to Boston, though hopefully their vehicles will no longer be held together with safety pins and duct-tape.
Federal officials pulled Fung Wah's license in March 2013 after state inspectors found serious violations among its fleet, including cracked frames, structural damage, fudged inspection reports and broken doors. Later that month, the government shut down the carrier permanently, declaring Fung Wah's "continued and blatant disregard" for federal regulations "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 company's had a number of dangerous and/or deadly incidents over the years, including a 2007 crash in Pennsylvania that resulted in two fatalities and a Massachusetts highway crash in 2006 that injured 33 passengers. As recently as 2013, two pedestrians were fatally run over by a Fung Wah bus in Chinatown.
But hey, now they're back! The Reason reports that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) approved Fung Wah's $400K overhaul, which included retraining drivers, chucking its most battered buses and hiring a full-time safety manager. The company told the Boston Globe they require "at least two weeks" to get up and running, but expect to resume service soon.
"We are pleased with the progress we have made over the last year," Barry Lewis, a consultant to Fung Wah, told the Globe.
Safe travels, daredevils!