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The U.S. Transportation Department shut down 26 bus companies as imminent safety hazards, closing dozens of routes out of New York’s Chinatown in the government’s largest safety sweep of the motor- Coach industry.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-05-31/chinatown-bus-compan...

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With Bolt and Megabus adding more routes, investing more money (like Mega's newish NYC tent city waiting area), they are likely getting more in the ear of politicians and regulators about the fast cheap and out of control C-town operators. So this was bound to happen. I remember when there would be three C-town buses arriving at the Baltimore travel plaza at the same time and would have impromtu reverse auctions to the NYC-bound crowd (before the dawn of gotobus.com). I used to regularly get to NYC for under $10, and the maniac behind the wheel would get you to Time Square in about the same amout of time it would take Amtrak, and 1/20th the price.

This is silly. Don't the government have better things to do than shutting down innovative and legit businesses?

Innovative lol. If they simple stay compliant safety-wise with their buses and frankly their drivers, they'll be back driving.

fatxman said:   This is silly. Don't the government have better things to do than shutting down innovative and legit businesses?

Yes it does; protecting the bus riding public from unsafe operations.

Agreed that this is a worthwhile effort. Claiming this is a waste of time is about the same as claiming the FAA should be shut down and aircraft maintenance left to the airline companies... ridiculous!

Imho, the government's job is to protect its citizens from what they cannot protect themselves from and this would qualify as one of those situations in my book.

not to say some of these outfits need to be closed, but you got to wonder how much of this crackdown could have been influenced by larger bus companies to eliminate competition.

Honestly, having ridden a number of these buses, Fung Wah (which wasn't shut down) is the pick of the litter, and their safety record is still well below the norm. Yeah, it's cheap, but it's clear that they're cutting serious corners in terms of driving training, rest, and vehicle maintenance.

It's also not just an issue for passengers, if you've got buses on the road that are either mechanically unsafe, or being driven unsafely, that's a serious problem for people sharing the roads with them.

jw530 said:   not to say some of these outfits need to be closed, but you got to wonder how much of this crackdown could have been influenced by larger bus companies to eliminate competition.


I enjoy cynical Govt. bashing as much as the next guy, but if the "competition" offers lower prices by breaking the law, then it needs to go. Let the competition be between companies that oobey the law.

I have been using New Century Travel bus service for many years. In fact, I just used it last weekend. It is my preferred way to go to Philly. I would even pay a premium to ride it instead of Ghetto Grayhound, slow and expensive Amtrak, or doing the miserable drive on 95 myself.

But best of all, I am not paying a premium. I am paying $14/ticket at the station whereas Grayhound costs about $45-50.

I hope they work out their issues.

Witold said:   I have been using New Century Travel bus service for many years. In fact, I just used it last weekend. It is my preferred way to go to Philly. I would even pay a premium to ride it instead of Ghetto Grayhound, slow and expensive Amtrak, or doing the miserable drive on 95 myself.

But best of all, I am not paying a premium. I am paying $14/ticket at the station whereas Grayhound costs about $45-50.

I hope they work out their issues.


I live in Chinatown in Philadelphia so I walk by these buses daily and I would never ride one. They look like they are never repaired and they don't seem to have any restrictions on what can travel on these buses. I saw one person loading a dog on the bus without issue a couple of months ago. The dog wasn't in a pet travel container and was, I assume, expected to sit in a seat next to her. Good luck getting help if that dog bites someone or if it decides to mark its territory.

I don't get the complaints about Greyhound though. They hire drivers who are legally allowed to work (meaning they have a Commercial Drivers License)... You also do NOT have to pay $45-$50 to take Greyhound between Philadelphia and NYC. BoltBus.com is owned by Greyhound and the last time I took them the max you would pay is $15 and that is if you didn't buy online. The online max was $10 a ticket. There is also Megabus.com which is owned by CoachUSA and they also have similar pricing.

So the legitimate bus companies already offer cheap high quality service between major cities in the North East. Just some people seem unwilling to pay for high quality? I don't know what the reason is for people like you to take buses like these that were shutdown.

frazell said:   Witold said:   I have been using New Century Travel bus service for many years. In fact, I just used it last weekend. It is my preferred way to go to Philly. I would even pay a premium to ride it instead of Ghetto Grayhound, slow and expensive Amtrak, or doing the miserable drive on 95 myself.

But best of all, I am not paying a premium. I am paying $14/ticket at the station whereas Grayhound costs about $45-50.

I hope they work out their issues.


I live in Chinatown in Philadelphia so I walk by these buses daily and I would never ride one. They look like they are never repaired and they don't seem to have any restrictions on what can travel on these buses. I saw one person loading a dog on the bus without issue a couple of months ago. The dog wasn't in a pet travel container and was, I assume, expected to sit in a seat next to her. Good luck getting help if that dog bites someone or if it decides to mark its territory.

I don't get the complaints about Greyhound though. They hire drivers who are legally allowed to work (meaning they have a Commercial Drivers License)... You also do NOT have to pay $45-$50 to take Greyhound between Philadelphia and NYC. BoltBus.com is owned by Greyhound and the last time I took them the max you would pay is $15 and that is if you didn't buy online. The online max was $10 a ticket. There is also Megabus.com which is owned by CoachUSA and they also have similar pricing.

So the legitimate bus companies already offer cheap high quality service between major cities in the North East. Just some people seem unwilling to pay for high quality? I don't know what the reason is for people like you to take buses like these that were shutdown.



High quality + Mega Bus gave me my laugh of the day. They get more of my business now since the stop near me has free parking, (and usually a bit less interesting clientele), but I've been on two MBs that have broken down, one where the driver disappeared at a rest stop for an hour, and three times they oversold the bus and bumped me to the next. None of those ever happened to me on the C-town buses, though I will admit the C-town drivers do drive like absolute maniacs. I'd prefer spending an extra 10-20 minutes on the road than hear the tires squeal when swerving across 3 lanes every 30 seconds.

Bolt was great NYC->PHL

FKAKS said:   frazell said:   Witold said:   I have been using New Century Travel bus service for many years. In fact, I just used it last weekend. It is my preferred way to go to Philly. I would even pay a premium to ride it instead of Ghetto Grayhound, slow and expensive Amtrak, or doing the miserable drive on 95 myself.

But best of all, I am not paying a premium. I am paying $14/ticket at the station whereas Grayhound costs about $45-50.

I hope they work out their issues.


I live in Chinatown in Philadelphia so I walk by these buses daily and I would never ride one. They look like they are never repaired and they don't seem to have any restrictions on what can travel on these buses. I saw one person loading a dog on the bus without issue a couple of months ago. The dog wasn't in a pet travel container and was, I assume, expected to sit in a seat next to her. Good luck getting help if that dog bites someone or if it decides to mark its territory.

I don't get the complaints about Greyhound though. They hire drivers who are legally allowed to work (meaning they have a Commercial Drivers License)... You also do NOT have to pay $45-$50 to take Greyhound between Philadelphia and NYC. BoltBus.com is owned by Greyhound and the last time I took them the max you would pay is $15 and that is if you didn't buy online. The online max was $10 a ticket. There is also Megabus.com which is owned by CoachUSA and they also have similar pricing.

So the legitimate bus companies already offer cheap high quality service between major cities in the North East. Just some people seem unwilling to pay for high quality? I don't know what the reason is for people like you to take buses like these that were shutdown.



High quality + Mega Bus gave me my laugh of the day. They get more of my business now since the stop near me has free parking, (and usually a bit less interesting clientele), but I've been on two MBs that have broken down, one where the driver disappeared at a rest stop for an hour, and three times they oversold the bus and bumped me to the next. None of those ever happened to me on the C-town buses, though I will admit the C-town drivers do drive like absolute maniacs. I'd prefer spending an extra 10-20 minutes on the road than hear the tires squeal when swerving across 3 lanes every 30 seconds.


Hmm... That is one of the things I like about those Chinatown buses, their drivers drive like maniacs and they're always switching lanes within the two lanes they're allowed. Plus there's only one stop and they get you there quick. I usually take them during the day, I think maybe at night they get tired. Also if you read about some of the accidents they had, they've caused more damage to non-passengers than passengers so they're actually more dangerous if you're driving near them.

While their track record isn't great relative to other bus companies, statistically they're still safer than driving yourself and now that they've closed down a bunch of them, maybe they will be safer still.

It's one of those weird things like how people fled the cities due to high crime, yet way more suburbanites have died on the roads than there are homicides in the city.

FKAKS said:   I live in Chinatown in Philadelphia so I walk by these buses daily and I would never ride one. They look like they are never repaired and they don't seem to have any restrictions on what can travel on these buses. I saw one person loading a dog on the bus without issue a couple of months ago. The dog wasn't in a pet travel container and was, I assume, expected to sit in a seat next to her. Good luck getting help if that dog bites someone or if it decides to mark its territory.

I don't get the complaints about Greyhound though. They hire drivers who are legally allowed to work (meaning they have a Commercial Drivers License)... You also do NOT have to pay $45-$50 to take Greyhound between Philadelphia and NYC. BoltBus.com is owned by Greyhound and the last time I took them the max you would pay is $15 and that is if you didn't buy online. The online max was $10 a ticket. There is also Megabus.com which is owned by CoachUSA and they also have similar pricing.


I have taken that bus on probably 50 round trips over the years.

Yes, you can take your small dog with you and I have seen it happen. The bus is rarely filled so there is always tons of free room. (except holidays) If you are paranoid about getting bitten by a Chihuahua, it's clearly not the bus for you, but to me it is not an issue. I would rather have a Chihuahua in the next row than poor people from the ghetto blasting rap music on their ipods or smelly and sketchy transients, which is what you get on Greyhound. The relaxed atmosphere and normal people riding the bus is why I take this bus. They don't mind if you eat or drink and they don't mind stopping on other streets to let you out. Since the bus passes 1 block away from where I live in DC, I just get off there. It's great. The drivers also speed a little and don't have as many stops as Greyhound so it's a quicker trip.

If you show up at the bus station and buy a Greyhound ticket, it WILL cost you $40-50. That is what I have paid in the past when I missed the Chinatown bus. Oh yeah, Grayhound will charge you an arm and a leg for extra bags, too. But for Chinatown bus, you just show up 10 minutes before departure, buy our $14 ticket with no BS fees, and you're ready to go. It's about convenience. I'm not going to go coupon hunting and preordering tickets for Greyhound online - that's way too much work than it should be to take a stupid bus. They seem to have deluded themselves into thinking they are an airline or something.

I have yet to try Boltbus/Megabus but I guess I will have to try them soon since Chinatown buses are not running.

Witold said:   FKAKS said:   
I have yet to try Boltbus/Megabus but I guess I will have to try them soon since Chinatown buses are not running.


Having read your posts (here and elsewhere) about your beloved Chinatown bus service, it's good to see that you've finally reached stage five of Kübler-Ross' model.

The NTSB just released yesterday their preliminary findings on the motorcoach crash occuring last March that killed 15 of the 32 passengers heading back to NYC from Connecticut. Apparently, the driver didn't get much sleep in the 72 hours prior to the accident.

Human Fatigue and Speed Cited by NTSB as Probable Cause of Motorcoach Crash that Killed 15 in New York City



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