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Long-Distance Bus Companies Skirting Safety Issues

The orders were targeted at curbside bus companies. These are companies that sell tickets online and pick passengers up at designated locations, not at bus terminals. Curbside bus tickets are much less expensive than tickets sold by bus companies that operate through terminals. The problem, however, is that curbside bus companies have a fatal accident rate that is seven times greater than that of other long-distance bus companies.

All the companies cited had multiple safety violations. These violations ranged from bus drivers who did not have valid commercial licenses, to the companies’ failure to test their drivers for drugs or alcohol. Drivers had also violated federal rest requirements, and some of the buses operated by these companies were not being properly maintained or inspected. Bus industry officials argue that these issues represent a minority of passenger bus companies.

This is an important crackdown by the federal government because the number of individuals using long-distance buses in one year is almost the same as the number who travel by domestic airlines.

Last year, there were 24 long distance bus crashes that killed a total of 34 passengers and injured 467 people.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Government Cracking Down on Unsafe Bus Companies,” Joan Lowy, May 31, 2012