Safety concerns prompted the The United States Department of Transportation to suspend the passenger service of Fung Wah bus line immediately on Tuesday. The entire fleet of motor coaches of the bus company will be subject to inspection.
The Transportation Department responded to the request of authorities in Massachusetts to shut down the passenger services of the Fung Wah. The authorities stopped 75 percent of the 28 buses in operation after inspectors found cracks in the frames of the old buses of the company.
According to report from the Globe, the Massachusetts Department of Utilities requested the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the Department of Transportation to suspend the bus line’s operation until the safety issues has been resolved.
Fung Wah is currently using charter buses between Boston and New York to make up for its reduced passenger service. The company’s south station was, however, still selling tickets for its afternoon bus service to New York City on Tuesday.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) assured the public that it will work closely with its counterparts in the states of New York and Massachusetts to main the safety of passengers.
Last week, the FMCSA also ordered Top Class Bus Company, a bus operator based in Atlanta, to stop its passenger transportation services “blatantly disregarding federal safety regulations.” According to the agency, the company is putting its own drivers, passengers, and the motoring public at risk.
The FMCSA also prohibited Top Class Bus Company from any type of commercial passenger service. It also blocked the unapproved use of its buses by any driver or another company.
In a previous statement, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, “Bus companies that operate outside the law, putting lives at risk, will be immediately taken off the road and closed for business.”
On the other hand, FMCSA administrator Anne Ferro also stated, “Yesterday, Secretary LaHood and I announced a nationwide safety crackdown on high-risk motorcoach companies. While this particular investigation was initiated earlier, it symbolizes our commitment to take immediate action and shut down an entire company if it willfully disregards the law, jeopardizing the safety of everyone.”
The agency conducted an un-announced four-day investigation against Top Class Bus Company, which operates a fixed-route passenger service between Atlanta and New York. The team of FMCSA investigators found that the bus company failed to monitor and ensure that its drivers comply with drivers’ hours-of-service requirements. The company also failed to comply with records-of-duty status, qualification, and controlled substances and alcohol use and testing requirements.