Feds Shut Down Another Chinatown Bus Company Over Safety Violations

By Serena Solomon on March 8, 2013 6:18pm 

 Passengers board a low-cost Chinatown bus. City, state and federal authorities have been cracking down on safety violations in the industry.
Passengers board a low-cost Chinatown bus. City, state and federal authorities have been cracking down on safety violations in the industry.
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DNAinfo/Serena Solomon

CHINATOWN — Another Chinatown bus company has lost its license over safety concerns.

A week after the US Department of Transportation shut down Fung Wah, a pioneer in the low-cost Chinatown bus market, the agency on Friday revoked the license of Ming An, which runs routes to cities including Atlanta, Georgia and Greenville, S.C. from its stop at 59 Canal St., according to a statement from the agency.

The DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) declared Ming An an "imminent hazard to public safety" when an investigation revealed numerous violations, including using unlicensed drivers, and ordered its immediate shutdown.

Last Friday, the federal government revoked Fung Wah's license when the company denied investigators access to some of its safety records. Previous inspections had already found cracks in the frames of 21 of Fung Wah's 28 buses.

"We are committed to removing unsafe bus and truck companies from our highways and roads," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. "We will not let up and we will not slow down. Companies that ignore our safety regulations will not be tolerated."

No one answered either of Ming An's two listed numbers Friday afternoon.

The investigation found Ming An "failed to conduct pre-employment drug and alcohol testing and allowed unqualified drivers to operate its vehicles," the FMCSA said.

Drivers had received numerous tickets for speeding, clocking more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, according to the agency.

Other rules breached by Ming An include drivers failing to maintain logbooks and a lack of "a systematic vehicle inspection, repair and maintenance program," according to the FMCSA's statement.  

The low-cost bus carriers that use the streets of Chinatown as bus stops have increasingly come under scrutiny for their safety practices.

Cinatown's intercity buses companies have been involved in a handful of fatal accidents over the past several years, including a March 2011 crash that left 15 people dead when a Chinatown-bound bus flipped over in The Bronx.

In May 2012, the federal government shut down 26 bus lines running through Chinatown.

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