On Thursday, federal regulators mandated 26 curbside bus operators to cease operations, including three in Philadelphia and eight elsewhere in Pennsylvania. This was the largest bus safety crackdown in United States history.
The tour buses which carried approximately 1,800 passengers a day along I-95 between New York and Florida were cited for dangerous conditions or safety hazards such as bus drivers without valid licenses or medical certifications, uninspected brakes, tires and lights, and drivers who were fatigued and without mandatory rest periods. Altogether, three bus operators, with 26 subsidiaries, were ordered to cease operations immediately due to an “imminent hazard” to the bus riders. The crackdown came after a yearlong investigation that started after three fatal bus accidents that killed 21 people last year and catastrophically injuring others.
New Century, Apex Bus, Inc., and I-95 Coach, Inc., both based in New York City with 16 subsidiaries, including Wahoo Tour and Charter Inc., and the Philadelphia company Universe Bus were all ordered to cease operations and shut down. Eight other companies in Pennsylvania were also ordered to shut down, including New Egg Bus Inc., Asia Tours Inc., All State Travel Bus Inc., RA Transportation Inc., Antai Tours Inc., Super Luxury Tours Inc., 2003 Coach Inc., and Fujian Tourism Co. Ltd.
In March, Super Luxury Tours, which was ordered to shut down after one of its buses crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike, killing Troy Nguyen, and the bus driver, continued to operate through New Century Travel, whose operating privileges was revoked in 2010. The new federal rule that was enacted in April expands regulators' abilities to track down these “reincarnated” companies by linking all companies that are owned by the same operators.
The discount tour bus and motor coach bus industry in the United States is currently made up of approximately 3,900 companies running nearly 34,000 coach buses and transporting 750 million people every year. The majority of tour bus accidents are caused by driver fatigue, driving violations, mechanical failures, faulty brakes, faulty tire pressure, monitors, defective tires, and inadequate inspections.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a tour bus or motor coach accident, please feel free to contact one of our experienced bus accident lawyers at (215) 866-2424 for a strictly confidential and free consultation. For over 60 years our attorneys have investigated thousands of auto or bus accident claims and have been awarded over $2 billion on behalf of our injured clients.