Feds Shut Down 52 Unsafe Bus Companies

NY Bus Crash
Mike Groll/APRecent bus crashes, such as this one last March in upstate New York, have prompted investigators to look into bus safety.
By JUSTIN PRITCHARD

LOS ANGELES -- Federal bus safety regulators have shut down 52 companies in what they describe as a major nationwide crackdown on unsafe outfits, including lines whose drivers had suspended licenses or worked routes of more than 800 miles without rest.

The companies aren't just low-cost, fly-by-night carriers -- some have transported school bands, Boy Scouts or senior citizens, according to Anne S. Ferro, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Overall, the motor coach industry carries about 700 million passengers a year in the U.S., roughly the same as domestic airlines.

In April, the agency began scrutinizing 250 motor coach companies with poor safety records out of the approximately 4,000 interstate bus lines it regulates. "Operation Quick Strike" came partly in response to major crashes of carriers that, despite dismal safety records, the agency had let continue operating.

The agency said that for the campaign,
it trained more than 50 inspectors to look more closely at motor coach companies, and as a result, investigations which in the past might have been done in a few days in some cases took a few weeks.

The 52 companies that were shut down "put safety by the wayside in order to compete in a very tight market," Ferro said Thursday. Three companies have been allowed to reopen after making improvements.

The agency said that of the more than 1,300 buses inspected, 340 were taken off the road at least temporarily.

Just one of the companies -- Kansas-based Midnight Express -- was shut down following a death. The others were closed for safety problems, including companywide failures of maintenance and violations of "hours-of-service" rules that limit how long a driver can work without a break.

Drivers for Salt Lake Shuttles of Utah, for example, routinely worked the more-than 800 mile round-trip between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas without required rest, the agency said; Illini Tours of Illinois kept running one bus for several days while a warning light indicated problems with the anti-lock braking system.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released the inspection results about a month after another agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation faulted it for failing to crack down on tour bus and truck companies whose vehicles later crashed, killing 25 people. Inspectors had flagged the companies for serious safety violations before the crashes but allowed them to stay in business.

Ferro acknowledged that crashes in the mountains east of Los Angeles and in Oregon cited by the National Transportation Safety Board amounted to a wake-up call for her agency. "We might not have been catching all the elements" that a more in-depth inspection could, she said.

Here is a state-by-state list of 49 companies that were shut down by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and haven't reopened. It is followed by a list of three companies that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shut down but have reopened after taking corrective action, according to the agency.

Arizona:
  • Autobuses Rayon Inc.
  • River City Shuttle
British Columbia, Canada:
  • FTS Forest Transport Services LTD
California:
  • Salcido Tours
Connecticut:
  • New Haven Bus Service
  • People to Places Inc.
Florida:
  • Ricardo Transportation
  • McRea Transportation, Inc.
  • Fabulous Coach Lines
Georgia:
  • All Pro Motor Coach
  • Best Limo Service
Illinois:
  • Across USA Tour & Travel
  • Nealson Coach Inc.
  • Acrosstown Charter
  • Irma J Tours, Inc.
  • Illini Tours
Indiana:
  • Rotel North American Tours
Kansas:
  • Midnight Express
Kentucky:
  • M H B S Inc.
Massachusetts:
  • Furtado Bus Lines
  • Lynette's Limousine
  • MTZ Tours
  • Sovereign Transportation
Mississippi:
  • Carbo Limo of Oxford
  • CC Rider Coach
New Jersey:
  • Pocono Progressive
New York:
  • Coach USA Tour Inc.
  • Horizon Coach Inc.
  • Gotham Coach Service Inc.
  • Uniworld Tours Inc.
North Carolina:
  • Charter Bus
  • Southeastern Tours, Inc.
  • Executive Charters Lines, Inc.
  • Spaulding Charters and Tours, Inc.
Ohio:
  • Destiny Tours
Pennsylvania:
  • Bus Go Bus Inc.
  • Travel Time Transportation
  • S & V Tours Inc.
  • Wilcar Tours Inc.
South Carolina:
  • Destiny Tours
  • The People's Choice
  • South Carolina VIP Tours
Tennessee:
  • GWC Enterprises Inc.
Texas:
  • Autobuses Zacatecanos
  • Hotel Mexicano
  • Agape Tours Inc.
Utah:
  • Salt Lake Shuttles
Vermont:
  • Advanced Ventures
Washington, D.C.:
  • Onboard DC Tours
Companies that were shut down but have reopened:

Georgia:
  • Transsouth Motorcoach
Massachusetts:
  • Lucky Star
North Carolina:
  • DAPTCO Motor Coach Services
Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.



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85 Comments

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ty

All at once, right before Christmas, what will it do for ticket prices and who paid for this?

December 13 2013 at 1:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
justappraisals

Oh hum, the United states was built on grit, individuality and risk. I am not saying not to stop a company that puts people in unneeded risk. But if the gov was involved with the building of the U.S. we would still be pushing wagons. Every year, be it Democrat or Republican, we give more authority to the Government to run our lives. What we fail to see is, we are willingly putting ourselves into their control. Fine if you want to live in Germany or Russia in 1935. The Constitution grants us power and limits Governments. Why would the politicians want to change that? Being an American Indian I can see it coming. More people should read history not facebook. Euro ideology did not screw up this country once, but now twice.

December 13 2013 at 12:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
9RRs

They forgot CoachUSA in Maywood NJ..

December 13 2013 at 12:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cut grass

I hope they are checking out the drivers as well.

December 13 2013 at 12:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
volcraze

By the way, are there seat belts on school buses yet? There were none in my 12 yrs.

December 12 2013 at 11:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to volcraze's comment
justappraisals

you may be on to something, is there a government bus (public transportation) company that is competing against the private one?

December 13 2013 at 12:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kafienkarl

To think there's people that want government to not infere in business. Well again business shows it's greedy and will put people's lives in danger for profit. What a surprise.

December 12 2013 at 9:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kafienkarl's comment
obamaw0rstpres

You would go broke in a week if you went in business. You want the gov involved in everything. Move to Cuba. Castro would welcome you.

December 13 2013 at 1:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dad

It's about time!!!!

December 12 2013 at 9:20 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
spmazanek

Probably all owned by Republican donors.

December 12 2013 at 9:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to spmazanek's comment
dum ass

shut them all down brother

December 12 2013 at 8:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dum ass's comment
ralpmg

why ? because the big boys lobbied congress to shut down all the companies undercutting them

December 17 2013 at 7:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rlroaddog

its about time

December 12 2013 at 7:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply