26 Curbside Bus Companies Shut Down in New York and Five Other States

Last month, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an arm of the United States Department of Transportation, ordered 26 curbside bus operators based in six states to cease operations over alleged imminent public safety hazards. The shut down followed an investigation by the FMCSA into several curbside bus companies which took place over a one-year-period. According to federal investigators, the carriers used motor coaches that were not inspected and in disrepair to transport passengers, had a pattern of allowing drivers who did not possess a commercial driver's license to transport passengers, allowed drivers to exceed hours-of-service limits, and failed to implement a drug and alcohol testing program. The FMCSA investigation began in response to a series of fatal bus crashes along Interstate 95 in 2011.

The motor carrier closures constitute the largest safety crackdown in the history of the FMCSA. The agency ordered three primary curbside bus companies, I-95 Coach, Inc., Apex Bus, Inc., and New Century Travel, Inc., to cease all operations. Prior to the closure, the companies oversaw a network of smaller bus operations that transported nearly 2,000 passengers along Interstate 95 between New York and Florida each day. The smaller operations were also shut down by the federal agency. A ticket seller, nine active curbside bus operations, and three bus companies that were attempting to gain operating authority were ordered to close. An additional 13 curbside bus companies affected by the crackdown were previously ordered out of service yet still continued to operate. In addition to the 26 curbside bus closures, the FMCSA instructed 10 owners, managers, and employees of the companies to cease their involvement with all passenger operations.

According to the Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, the crackdown was designed to send a message to other bus companies that may choose to violate safety standards and place the lives of passengers and others on the nation's roadways at risk. FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro stated she hopes the closures put other would-be unsafe motor carriers on notice that serious safety violations will not be tolerated. The FMCSA also reportedly put measures in place designed to keep the shuttered curbside bus carriers from merely reopening under a new name. A new FMCSA rule published in April allows the agency to take action against companies that attempt to reincorporate or illegally continue operations after a safety shutdown.

Prior to the curbside bus operation closures, the FMCSA and local law enforcement officials carried out more than 2,200 safety inspections on school buses, tour buses, motor coaches, and other commercial passenger buses in May. 116 commercial drivers and 169 buses were removed from the roadways in 13 states due to alleged safety violations.

If you were hurt or a loved one was killed while traveling as a passenger on a commercial bus in New York, you need a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer on your side. Accident victims may be eligible to receive financial compensation for medical expenses, pain, suffering, and other damages. If you were injured as a result of a motor carrier's negligence, contact a skilled New York personal injury attorney to discuss your options for recovery.

At the Paleudis Law Firm, LLC, our experienced New York City personal injury lawyers are available to assist clients who were hurt through no fault of their own achieve the compensation they deserve based on the severity of their injuries. With more than 45 years of combined experience, our hardworking attorneys are ready to seek justice for injured clients throughout the State of New York. To speak with a diligent lawyer today, call the Paleudis Law Firm, LLC at (212) 835-6768 in New York City. You may also contact our committed attorneys through the law firm's website.

Additional Resources:

U.S. Department of Transportation Shuts Down 26 Bus Operations in Unprecedented Sweep, U.S. Department of Transportation News Release dated May 31, 2012