Many Travelers Not Deterred by Deadly Bus Crashes
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 10:34 PM
Many travelers have remained undeterred from taking Chinatown buses in the wake of two deadly crashes this week involving smaller bus lines.
Fifteen passengers died in a bus crash on Interstate-95 in the Bronx early Saturday. A second accident on the New Jersey Turnpike late Monday night involving a bus leaving from Chinatown for Philadelphia resulted in the death of its driver and a passenger.
On Tuesday, Bruce Johnson arrived on a crowded Fung Wah Bus from Boston to his home in Brooklyn.
"When you live in New York, you learn to take risks," he said.
Johnson said he thinks the Chinatown buses are more dangerous than the Greyhound and Peter Pan bus companies. But despite his concerns, he confessed that he can't beat the cost and convenience.
Chinatown buses to Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., can typically cost $15 for a one-way ticket.
Jenorah Hutchinson also traveled on a Fung Wah bus from Boston on Tuesday. She said she'll continue to take the cheap bus rides, but plans to keep a closer eye on the driver in the wake of the recent accidents. Hutchinson stayed awake for the entire ride so that she could make sure the driver "looked fresh" and was "drinking coffee to stay awake," she said.
Federal data shows that Greyhound and Peter Pan bus companies rate higher than Fung Wah and the bus lines that crashed on at least two criteria: fatigued driving and vehicle maintenance.
Federal safety investigators are expected to interview the driver of a tour bus that crashed, killing 15 people. They are trying to determine whether driver fatigue played a role. They also said they'd interview the driver of that bus Tuesday but had not responded to a request for comment.