federal officials shut down chinatown bus companies

Oh snap. Last week in New York, federal transportation officials ordered 26 Chinatown bus companies to shut down, citing imminent safety hazards: Federal Officials Shut Down 26 Bus Operators.

Considering all the negative attention these companies have been getting lately -- including several fatal crashes and shady practices -- this move was probably a long time coming.

The rides may be cheap, shuttling you up and down everywhere from Manhattan to Boston to Washington and beyond, but many of the companies were ignoring safety regulations, and it was getting deadly.

That's when transportation regulators had to step in:
The safety administration, which regulates more than 4,000 bus companies, started investigating the curbside bus industry last June amid what seemed like a wave of crashes en route to or from Chinatown. Inspectors found that many of these companies hired drivers without checking their backgrounds, testing for use of drugs and alcohol or verifying that they had the proper licenses, Ms. Ferro said. Some also failed to monitor the hours drivers were working and to ensure they were getting adequate rest between trips, she said.

When confronted about their practices, some of the operators scoffed at the regulators, Mr. Schumer said. "They seemed to say, Hey we're going to get away with this, so don't even bother," he said.
Don't worry. Not all of the discount bus companies were affected by the shut down. Several of the big ones are still in business (and probably quite okay with the competition getting sidelined), so you can still get your cheap rides on. More here: Feds Shut Down 26 'Chinatown' Bus Companies For Alleged Safety Violations.

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