Gothamist thinks it's great that Senator Charles Schumer would like more regulation on the Chinatown buses; it's great that he's thinking about the welfare of young voters ("My daughter goes to college in Boston, and many of her friends ride these buses, and they said they were worried about them."). And, sure, more "surprise" inspections and having safety ratings posted would be helpful. But we feel he's forgetting the basic reason why Chinatown buses still have customers in spite of the less-than-comfortable environment and tempting fate with each ride: They are dirt cheap. Once the government starts to insert themselves into the process, the riders will probably get a better ride, but we'd imagine the ticket prices will go up $5. And the police have been trying to crack down on them since last year... and has that been going well?
What do you think of the Chinatown buses? Are some lines better than others?