Feds Shut Down 52 Unsafe Bus Companies

By Joel Grover, Phil Drechsler and Chris Henao
|  Monday, Dec 23, 2013  |  Updated 11:37 AM EDT
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Federal bus safety regulators have shut down 52 companies in what they describe as a major nationwide crackdown, Joel Grover reports. A version of this report aired during the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2013.

Federal bus safety regulators have shut down 52 companies in what they describe as a major nationwide crackdown, Joel Grover reports. A version of this report aired during the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2013.

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Federal bus safety regulators have shut down 52 companies in what they describe as a major nationwide crackdown, the Associated Press reports.

Among the violations that inspectors discovered were drivers whose licenses were suspended or who drove more than 800 miles without rest. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said Wednesday that in April it started checking out 250 companies with poor safety records.

The agency announced the heightened crackdown, a month after an NBC4 I-Team investigation revealed tour bus drivers routinely speeding, using cellphones behind the wheel, and running red lights.

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The FMCSA launched a strike force in April – dubbed “Operation Quick Strike” – that began shutting down problem bus companies. But most of the companies put out of business were in the eastern half of the country.

The agency didn’t shut down a single company in California, the most populous state, until two weeks after the NBC4 I-Team aired its first investigation, questioning lax regulation of California bus companies.

On Nov. 19, federal authorities shut down Salcido Tours of Los Angeles. Manager Carlos Martinez told NBC4 he didn’t know why his company was shut down, claiming there were no problems with its drivers or buses.

But the I-Team found Salcido Tours has one of the worst safety ratings from the FMCSA: 98 percent of bus companies score higher than Salcido.

Of the 52 that were shut down, three have made changes that allowed them to reopen.

Agency administrator Anne S. Ferro said the companies aren't just low-cost, fly-by-night carriers -- some have transported school bands, Boy Scouts or senior citizens.

Ferro said that while most of the nation's approximately 4,000 interstate bus companies are safe, others "put safety by the wayside in order to compete in a very tight market."

Faulty Brakes Blamed for Tour Bus Crash

Here is a state-by-state list of 49 companies that were shut down by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and have not reopened.

That is followed by a list of three companies that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shut down but have reopened after taking corrective action, according to the agency.

Arizona:

—Autobuses Rayon Inc.

—River City Shuttle

British Columbia, Canada:

—FTS Forest Transport Services LTD

California:

—Salcido Tours

Connecticut:

—New Haven Bus Service

—People to Places Inc.

Florida:

—Ricardo Transportation

—McRea Transportation, Inc.

—Fabulous Coach Lines

Georgia:

—All Pro Motor Coach

—Best Limo Service

Illinois:

—Across USA Tour & Travel

—Nealson Coach Inc.

—Acrosstown Charter

—Irma J Tours, Inc.

—Illini Tours

Indiana:

—Rotel North American Tours LLC

Kansas:

—Midnight Express LLC

Kentucky:

—M H B S Inc

Massachusetts:

—Furtado Bus Lines

—Lynette's Limousine

—MTZ Tours

—Sovereign Transportation

Mississippi:

—Carbo Limo Of Oxford, LLC

—CC Rider Coach

New Jersey:

—Pocono Progressive

New York:

—Coach USA Tour Inc.

—Horizon Coach Inc.

—Gotham Coach Service Inc.

—Uniworld Tours, Inc.

North Carolina:

—Charter Bus

—Southeastern Tours, Inc.

—Executive Charters Lines, Inc.

—Spaulding Charters and Tours, Inc.

Ohio:

—Destiny Tours

Pennsylvania:

—Bus Go Bus, Inc.

—Travel Time Transportation, LLC

—S & V Tours Inc.

—Wilcar Tours, Inc.

South Carolina:

—Destiny Tours

—The People's Choice

—South Carolina VIP Tours, LLC

Tennessee:

—GWC Enterprises Inc.

Texas:

—Autobuses Zacatecanos LLC

—Hotel Mexicano

—Agape Tours Inc.

Utah:

—Salt Lake Shuttles LLC

Vermont:

—Advanced Ventures, LLC

Washington, D.C.:

—Onboard DC Tours LLC

 

Companies that were shut down but have reopened:

Georgia:

—Transsouth Motorcoach, LLC

Massachusetts:

—Lucky Star

North Carolina:

—DAPTCO Motor Coach Services

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