Double Happyness Still Flouting Feds' Order by Selling Bus Tickets
CHINATOWN — Double Happyness is in double trouble.
A Chinatown bus company that is under federal orders to stop operating after being deemed an "'imminent hazard' to public safety" has continued to sell tickets, violating a cease and desist order that was issued last week, DNAInfo.com has found.
Double Happyness, which has offices at 133 East Broadway, was open for business as usual Monday morning, with customers coming and going with tickets in their hand and eager staffers lined up behind the counter, despite a staunch order from the feds Jan. 6 ordering them to end all operations.
"Where are you going?" a staffer asked a reporter who walked up to the ticket counter at around 11 a.m.
Told she was speaking to a reporter, the staffer said the company was running buses under a different management company, then changed her story to say that there were no buses at all.
A few minutes later, a reporter watched staffers sell a ticket to Mayne, 33, from Buffalo, who declined to give his last name.
"I like this company. They're convenient. It helps people get back and forth," said Mayne, who spent $30 on a Double Happyness ticket to Buffalo. He owns a sandwich shop there and comes to Chinatown frequently to buy equipment for his business.
The feds ordered Double Happyness on Dec. 23 to "immediately cease all intrastate and interstate passenger service declaring the carrier an 'imminent hazard' to public safety," the agency said in a statement.
"The imminent hazard order followed an extensive review of the company's operations, which found multiple hours-of-service, vehicle maintenance, and controlled substance and alcohol testing violations. If Double Happyness continues to operate illegally, the company will face additional enforcement action," the statement continued.
On Jan. 6, the feds followed up with a cease and desist order, "after finding that the company was operating and selling tickets in violation of a previous agency order to shutdown."
A staffer who refused to give her name on Monday tried to chase away a reporter, saying: "Go home. No more tickets. Closed. No more buses."
A spokeswoman for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which oversees bus companies, said the Double Happyness should not have been open at all on Monday.
"They should not be doing any business at all. They should not be selling any tickets. We are investigating it," a spokeswoman for the federal agency said Monday.
A source said that there was at least one other complaint about illegal operations since the cease and desist order went into effect.
The spokeswoman could not independently confirm that Double Happyness was defying the cease and desist order.