chinatown buses are seven times more deadly

Careful, bus riders. According to a new report from the National Transportation Safety Board, curbside bus operators -- like the so-called Chinatown buses -- are seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal wreck than intercity lines with more conventional business models: Chinatown Buses' Death Rate Said Seven Times That of Competitors.
The study -- the most detailed look at curbside lines to date -- shows regulation hasn't kept pace with the fast-growing industry, Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, said in a telephone interview.

"It cries out for action to make this industry safer," Schumer said. "The consumer now buys a ticket in the dark."

Fatal crashes have surged as intercity bus travel becomes the fastest-growing U.S. mode of commercial transportation. In 2011, 28 people have died in eight fatal crashes, including three in an 11-week period involving carriers operating out of, or carrying passengers between, Chinatown neighborhoods in East Coast cities.

"For too long, some bad apples have played fast and loose with passenger safety," Schumer said today at a news conference on a block of Allen Street in New York's Chinatown where three curbside carriers operate. "We're here to say enough is enough."
In an increasingly competitive industry, with more curbside companies popping up all the time, things get harder to regulate. Some bus operators start cutting corners, leading to safety violations and other concerns. And then you've just got a dangerous ride. Sure, it's a cheap trip, but there are apparently risks. Like possible death.

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