May 31, 2012, was a bad day for Pennsylvania transportation as eleven bus firms were shut down by regulators from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Many of the companies shutdown late in May had already been issued orders to cease operations.
The need for what the Philadelphia Inquirer is calling “the largest bus safety crackdown in U.S. history” was evident since 2011 when records kept by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety reported a nationwide total of 34 deaths and 467 injuries related to bus accidents in 2011. Of the 26 bus operators shut down by regulators, one was located in Delaware County, three were located in Philadelphia, and seven were located in other parts of Pennsylvania.
These are the bus companies in Philadelphia that are no longer functioning:
New Century Travel Inc., 55 N. 11th Street
Wahoo Tour & Charter Inc., 913 Wood Street
Universe Bus Inc., 2300 S. Ninth Street
These and the other firms were shut down due to the “imminent hazards” they posed to bus drivers, passengers, and other drivers on the road. Among the safety hazards attributed to these companies are:
Not enough rest periods for drivers
Drivers operating buses without valid licenses and/or medical certifications
Buses with uninspected brakes
Buses with uninspected light
Buses with uninspected tires
Among the many changes currently being proposed to combat safety hazard among bus firms, federal regulators are calling for increased fines for rule breakers.
And to help keep the public safe, new mobile apps are emerging which will help passengers choose the safest bus companies. For instance, the application SaferBus analyzes and evaluates bus companies based on their accident records, identifying those companies which are most prone to accidents.