U.S. Officials Shut Down Unsafe Bus Operators From New York To Florida

Federal officials just executed a mighty coup against 26 bus operations that transported more than 1,800 passengers a day between New York and Florida, closing them down for safety violations. The government says this is the largest single safety crackdown of the motor coach industry in at least a decade.

The companies shuttled customers along Interstate 95 on a daily basis, says the Associated Press, and were shut down for posing imminent hazards to public safety by teams of officials from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

While the companies were based in six states: Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, most of the 233 bus routes originated or terminated in NYC’s Chinatown neighborhood.

The crackdown was the end result of a yearlong investigation by the safety administration that focused mainly on three companies. Each of those then oversaw a broad network of other bus businesses.

Every year, the motor coach industry transports more than 700 million passengers in the U.S., almost equal to domestic airlines. Investigators found that those carriers that were shut down had multiple safety violations, including the bad habit of using drivers who didn’t have valid commercial driver’s licenses and operating buses that hadn’t been subjected to regular inspections and repairs.

Gov’t cracking down on unsafe bus companies [Associated Press]

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  1. JGKojak says:

    Everybody’s talkin’ at me…

  2. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Does that mean there won’t be any more Bang Bus videos?

    • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

      Those mostly take place in a van…..at least that’s what my friend, who watches those types of videos, says.

    • Bsamm09 says:

      As long as Capt. Stabbin’ is around, we’ll be fine.

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        LOL,,bang bus and captn stabbin. I’ve always wondered where in the world do they get these girls to do this?

  3. MaytagRepairman says:

    I could never ride a bus from New York to Florida. All I would think is the end of “Midnight Cowboy” was real and I might be riding in the same seat.

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    “Federal officials just executed a mighty coup against 26 bus operations”

    26 down, 598 more discount bus lines to go.

    MegaFungWahChinatownLuckyStarApexStarExpress Bus Lines FTW!!!

  5. MathMan aka Random Talker says:

    “Apex Bus Inc. and I-95 Coach Inc., both of New York, and New Century Travel Inc. of Philadelphia. “

  6. nugatory says:

    “Safety officials long have complained that their attempts to put unsafe bus operators out of business are frequently thwarted by “reincarnated carriers” that simply reopen for business under a different name…”

    Where have I heard of this idea before?

    • Tim says:

      It’s actually a pretty big problem in the truck and bus industries. It’s so easy to get the federal approval you need to operate, so companies who are shut down will just create a new company, transfer their assets and employees to the new company and they’re ready to go. The federal government largely lacks the resources necessary to find them, and even when they do, it can be legally messy to shut down a corporation that is technically separate from the previous one.

  7. frodolives35 says:

    Buses should have to be stopped and paperwork(for inspections safety etc not people that’s to much like Papers please citizen )checked at weigh stations. I wonder how many illegal’s just lost their transportation?

  8. shepd says:

    Clicked the article, searched for Megabus, was sorely disappointed. :(

  9. seth1066 says:

    “Every year, the motor coach industry transports more than 700 million passengers in the U.S.”

    700 million passengers? The US population is 311 million.

    • nishioka says:

      > 700 million passengers? The US population is 311 million.

      700 million a year – 2 million passengers a day for the entire country doesn’t sound that bad.

    • aleck says:

      Some people travel more than once a year.

    • soj4life says:

      Yeah and domestic flights carry about 655 million passengers a year. We are a very mobile population.

  10. Press1forDialTone says:

    THIS action is why we need our government to help protect us again
    aholes that could care less whether we live or die, they just want our
    money or want us to grant them power. More government oversite of
    all industries and major fines for violators. Make ‘em feel our outrage!

  11. gman863 says:

    I wonder if the buses had signs posted in “Engrish”:

    “If you view oversleepy bus captain with lowered face kindly slap it to wake and not have death accident happen.”

  12. aleck says:

    This investigation was brought to you by ….
    GREYHOUND!!!

    A year long investigation!!! You would think they trained a guy to infiltrate a century old mafia clan, brought down the Don himself and found 500 kilos of coke in a warehouse.

    Now the NYC asians who want to go to Florida have to pay twice as much to ride buses that are just as crappy, but passed the inspections.

    • Razor512 says:

      with what they reported in the article for injury and death, if you calculate the stats of the injury of death per 100,000 people as compared to the governments stats, you are more likely to be killed riding on a fully government regulated bus than on one of those “illegal” buses.

      http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/TSF2005.PDF

      that detailed pdf should be more than adequate to prove that, especially when ti comes to proving that a license does not automatically make someone a safe driver, and a commercial license which has to be renewed more often and cost significantly more to renew does not make you any safer of a driver than those who use a personal license which is renewed less often and is cheaper.

      • Lisse24 says:

        This.

        The purpose of licenses has more to do with raising the bar for entry and regulating the amount of competition then ensuring quality. It’s a way for the major players in a business to ensure that they remain the major players and has been around in one form or another since the middle ages.

  13. StutiCebriones says:

    … in bed.

    Jennifer 8. Lee’s “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles” has a lot of background on these operations and is pretty good reading anyway.

  14. soj4life says:

    I have no problem with this, those buses ride my ass my daily commute in delaware.

  15. Razor512 says:

    this whole thing has nothing to do with safety.

    Those buses are licensed but but instead of the commercial license which requires a steep yearly renewal fee, they use a non commercial one that can be renewed more cheaply and less often.
    Furthermore, consider this, when you renew your drivers license, does it magically make you a better driver, and when your license expires, do you suddenly forget how to drive a car?

    there is no evidence linking more frequently drivers license renewals to safer/ better driving, it is simply the state extracting more money from people and thus leading to higher cost to the customer.

    Also, those buses are inspected more often than most city buses, when they are operating in a legal gray area, an accident or major problem on the road, why do you think they could not point to actual problems during the years in which those companies supposedly transported 700 million people a year?

    The reason why they can offer low prices like that (generally a fraction of the price of those companies that follow all of the governments rules), is because they are not meeting all of the wasteful regulation. Most government regulation on businesses is not due to safety, instead they are to get more money for the state. (on average, for most products and services, 70 cents on every dollar goes to the state when you count the cost of all of the taxes that are paid at every level of the products production before it finally makes it’s way to the consumer where in which the consumer pays an additional 8-9% sales tax.

    The government only counts inspections that are done by a select few groups and due to the small selection of inspectors, they are able to charge exorbitant rates (in some cases upwards of $5000, mainly because it is hard to get into that business without a politician owing you a few favors, but once they get that position, they basically get a captive consumer base)

    (when the businesses opt to do their own inspections (which are often more thorough than a state controlled inspection (eg my uncle works at a trucking company that makes local shipments to grocery stores, the inspectors will often miss things like tread separation on the tires, but the workers will catch those issues in their personal inspections and have the issue fixed.

    remember the people actually putting their life on the line behind the wheel have more invested in meeting a good level of safety than an inspector that gets your money whether they do a good job or not, most of these companies just see the government inspections as the cost of doing business with the understanding that it offers no real safety as they have to do their own inspections anyway.

    actual safety issues are bad for business and the fact that they cant point to any manifestation of said safety violation as compared to the businesses that jump through all of the governments bureaucratic hoops, shows how this is all about the money and not about safety.

  16. AEN says:

    So where’s the list?

  17. Bickle says:

    Thank god someone is finally doing something about these assholes. One of them used to clog traffic in Philly at 12th and Walnut (MAJOR intersection for 20 min at a go

  18. econobiker says:

    How about all of those “bus lines” which are just multi-passenger vans which run back and forth to states on the border with Mexico?

  19. Clyde Barrow says:

    Between New York and Florida?

    Ratso and Joe Buck unavailable for comment.

  20. Clyde Barrow says:

    Between New York and Florida?

    Ratso and Joe Buck unavailable for comment.

  21. scoosdad says:

    Next up, the New York to Boston run.

    Watch out, Fung Wah.