Feds Shut Down Fung Wah "Chinatown" Bus

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 26 2013 1:41 PM

Feds Shut Down Fung Wah "Chinatown" Bus

82176297
Passengers prepare to load a Fung Wah bus before leaving Manhattan for Boston on Aug. 4, 2008

Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images

One of the most popular cheap travel options between Boston and New York—the Fung Wah "Chinatown" bus—was shut down by the feds today. But judging by what Massachusetts state inspectors found on board their fleet, that might not be such a bad thing. 

According to the Boston Globe, the notoriously unsafe bus company parked 21 of their older buses on Saturday, almost their entire fleet, after inspectors found "cracks in steering axles, motor mounts, engine cradles, and other locations." They operated a reduced schedule until federal regulators acted at the behest of the state's Department of Public Utilities, who said the company's attempts to repair their aging fleet “appear to be substandard because the welds have not been completed and/or have failed and the cracks appear to be larger than they were when the buses were initially inspected.”

Advertisement

Here's the shutdown order from the  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, via Boston Magazine:

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered Fung Wah Bus Transportation, Inc., to immediately cease passenger service and provide its entire fleet of 28 motorcoaches for thorough and detailed safety inspections by qualified inspectors...FMCSA’s safety investigators are continuing their examination of Fung Wah’s operations, including examining the safety records of its vehicles, drivers and other company safety performance requirements prescribed by federal regulations, and may consider additional actions against the company if warranted."

As indicated by that order, it's not just the old buses that are of concern. The Globe notes that Fung Wah's drivers, ranked in the bottom 3 percent of drivers in experience and training across the nation, have in the past decade been responsible for a number of high-profile crashes.

Abby Ohlheiser is a Slate contributor.

TODAY IN SLATE

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 4:33 PM Walmart Is Killing the Rest of Corporate America in Solar Power Adoption
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 1:47 PM The Best Way to Fry an Egg
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 21 2014 4:14 PM Planet Money Uncovers One Surprising Reason the Internet Is Sexist
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.