The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s enforcement action primarily targeted three Chinatown operations in New York and Philadelphia: Apex Bus Inc., I-95 Coach Inc. and New Century Travel Inc. The government ordered 10 bus company owners, managers and employees to cease all passenger transportation business, including selling tickets, according to a Transportation Department statement.The crackdown is reminiscent of efforts the authorities made to ensure safe for-hire transportation by jitney operators, years ago.
Curbside bus operators, which typically sell tickets online and pick up and discharge passengers on the sidewalk, have a fatal crash rate seven times higher than terminal-based operations, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board reported in October.Among those terminal-based operations is a legacy regulated carrier, itself subject to regulation thanks to protests from passenger railroads.
The three primary targets in the U.S. crackdown controlled a network of other companies, leading to the 26 separate shutdown orders, the transportation department said. The companies’ networks included one ticket seller, nine active bus companies, 13 companies already ordered out of service that were continuing to operate and three companies applying for permission to operate.
Sophia Xu, who sells tickets at I-95 Coach in New York’s Chinatown at 87 Chrystie Street, said Transportation Department officials came to the shop yesterday and said the company needed to close, without explaining why.Greyhound's fares, the article reports, are higher than those charged by the curbside bus operators. Next a legacy bus company will invoke cream-skimming.
Signs posted on the glass outside and inside at the ticket counter give a phone number to call for online ticket refunds and say people who paid cash can get refunds at the counter.
Chen Chen, a fellow ticket seller, said Chinatown buses are being unfairly targeted.
“This doesn’t happen to Greyhound,” he said, holding a Chinese-language newspaper with pictures from the shop of police he said were rude.