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Feds Shut Down Chinatown Bus Company Over Safety Violations

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Concerns over vehicle and driver safety led federal regulators to shut down a bus company that took passengers from several cities to New York City's Chinatown.

U.S. transportation officials have ordered Double Happyness Travel Inc. to immediately cease operations, deeming the company's bus service "an imminent hazard." Investigators said they found numerous violations of rules on vehicle maintenance and driver safety, including drug and alcohol testing and records on how long drivers were working.

Double Happyness runs buses from Albany, N.Y., Baltimore, Md., and Wilmington, Del., to midtown and Chinatown in New York City. Authorities did not cite any accidents involving the company in its press release.

The company did not immediately return a message Thursday at its corporate office in Huntingdon Valley, near Philadelphia.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said it has doubled inspections and safety reviews of the nation's 4,000 bus lines in the past five years.

Low-priced bus service has exploded in popularity in recent years, and there have been several deadly crashes along the East Coast that led to criminal charges and other repercussions.

The driver of a tour bus involved in a March crash that killed 15 people returning from an overnight gambling trip was later indicted on manslaughter charges in New York City. The World Wide Travel bus ran off Interstate 95 at daybreak as it was returning to Manhattan's Chinatown from an overnight trip to the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Conn.

In September 2010, a Megabus driver missed a turn late at night and failed to clear a low railroad bridge near Syracuse, N.Y., after missing 12 warning signs, some with flashing lights, before the bus slammed into a low bridge, killing four people and seriously injuring others. The driver is charged with negligent homicide, while at least one civil suit is pending against parent company Coach USA.

In June, federal transportation officials shut down a bus company involved in a fatal crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike after finding the two drivers involved never took required drug tests and falsified records. The bus, run by Mr. Ho Charter Service of Bethlehem, rear-ended a tractor-trailer that month in western Pennsylvania, killing a driver and injuring two dozen Asian tourists.

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Comments [5]

buses from chinatown from Napoleon

I just now wanted to inform you about how much I appreciate almost everything you’ve discussed to help increase the value of the lives of individuals in this subject matter.

Feb. 18 2013 10:57 AM
Chinatown Bus lines from Australia

I don't like the idea of Concerning over vehicle and driver safety led federal regulators to shut down a bus company that took passengers from several cities to New York City's Chinatown..What would passengers do than?

Jan. 17 2013 01:28 AM
CT williams from ATL GA

on Dec of 2011 I was aboard one of these buses. I boarded in ATl and we broke down in VA. I have the pic of all of us they left stranded from 4am until 2pm the next day. we would still be there if I had not call the VA state troopers to help us get to NY. If anyone is interested in my story please feel free to contact me at my email address.

Jun. 04 2012 01:31 PM

Thomas, Thank you for your comment. The picture was meant to be an example of one of the many low-cost buses that drive in and out of the city, not to say that Lucky Star was a bad bus company or having problems like Double Happyness. I did not think that it would be construed as such. WNYC understands your concerns and has removed the photo. Thanks.

Dec. 29 2011 02:57 PM
Thomas from Brooklyn

I want to make a formal request that wnyc.org remove the photo accompanying the above posting. The photo is of an entirely different bus company, Lucky Star, which is completely independent of the company the Feds have shut down. Lucky Star isn't even headquartered here in NYC they are located in Boston, MA, and have had little if any problems with Federal regulators. This is not only inaccurate reporting on the part of wnyc.org, but it is a complete misrepresentation of the facts.

This inaccuracy has me completely surprised at the wnyc.org news page, and the mistake could be easily misconstrued to accuse wnyc.org of biased reporting, or even racism (lumping all passenger bus transportation companies operated by Chinese-Americans into the same homogenized group). Would wnyc.org post a picture of a Megabus if Boltbus were shut down by the Feds? Replace the photo with an accurate one of Double Happiness, or remove it altogether.

Dec. 29 2011 01:23 PM

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