The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered Philadelphia-based Bus Go Bus, Inc., USDOT No. 1956734, to immediately cease all commercial operations, declaring that its vehicles and drivers pose an imminent hazard to public safety.
"We will not allow bus passengers or the motoring public to be put at risk by unsafe vehicles, commercial drivers or business operators," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Safety is our number-one priority, and we will remain vigilant in removing bad actors from our nation's highways and roads."
In late September, a team of specially trained FMCSA safety investigators conducted an investigation of Bus Go Bus as part of the agency's passenger carrier safety initiative.
Investigators found serious and widespread violations of multiple federal safety regulations, including:
inadequate inspection, repair and maintenance of vehicles;
instances of falsified driver on-duty status records;
failure to ensure that drivers submit vehicle inspection reports and other safety documentation as required by federal regulations;
unqualified drivers being dispatched by the company;
lack of medical examiner certificates for drivers; and
widespread instances of drivers operating commercial passenger vehicles at speeds in excess of posted speed limits.
"Every passenger who boards a commercial bus or van deserves to reach their destination safely," said Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "It is unacceptable to needlessly expose highway travelers to harm, and we will continue to demand that bus and truck companies comply with safety regulations that protect lives."
A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2013/BusGoBus.pdf.
The action announced today becomes the 19th out-of-service order issued by FMCSA since the deployment in April 2013 of more than 50 "Operation Quick Strike" safety investigators targeting high-risk passenger carriers, and the 26th out-of-service order against a bus company this year. In the past five months, FMCSA has also revoked the operating authority of 25 additional bus companies following compliance review investigations that resulted in an "unsatisfactory" safety rating.
Since the beginning of 2013, FMCSA also has issued out-of-service orders to a total of 10 trucking companies, and has declared seven commercial driver's license holders as imminent hazards, blocking them from operating in interstate commerce.
As part of FMCSA's work to make safety data readily available to the traveling public, the SaferBus mobile app gives bus riders a quick and free way to review a bus company's safety record before buying a ticket or booking group travel. The SaferBus app, available for iPhone, iPad and Android phone users, can be downloaded for free by visiting FMCSA's "Look Before You Book" webpage at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/saferbus.
Travelers planning a bus trip are also encouraged to think safety first before buying a ticket or chartering a bus by using FMCSA's multilingual passenger carrier safety checklist at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/Index.aspx.
FMCSA urges consumers and whistleblowers to report any unsafe bus company, vehicle or driver to the agency through a toll free hotline 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) or FMCSA's consumer complaint web site: http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/HomePage.asp.
Consumers who bought a ticket on a bus company that FMCSA has recently placed out-of-service may be entitled to a credit from their credit card company under the Fair Credit Billing Act if they paid for the ticket by credit card. For more information visit: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/bus-credit-refund.aspx.