Chinatown Buses Seek to Add Safety to Savings

Thursday, September 15, 2005

New Yorkers who like to travel on the cheap know about all about the "Chinatown bus." Fifteen dollars to Boston. Twenty to Washington. Twelve to Philadelphia.

The companies that run these somewhat chaotic cash businesses started out several years ago, ferrying Chinese restaurant workers up and down the East Coast. But thrifty travelers caught on, and now a series of companies carry college students, professionals, and anyone else looking for a low-priced convenient trip. It's estimated that about 350 buses leave New York's Chinatown a week.

But a pair of fires in recent months has prompted some federal and state officials to take a closer look at the safety of the buses, and the companies that run them. Reporter Lizzie O'Leary has more.

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