Schumer calls for bus company safety ratings on tickets, buses
On Monday, New York Senator Charles Schumer called upon the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to develop and implement a clearer rating system for the discount bus industry. Schumer’s idea would provide disclosure of safety ratings to passengers before they buy a ticket on intercity carriers, including discount tour buses.
Schumer’s proposal would have both federal agencies develop a system to indicate the overall safety record of each bus company at the point of ticket sales and would displayed on the buses themselves. The letter grade system would be akin to notices used for New York City restaurants. Schumer believes the proposed system would allow passengers to make more informed decisions and motivate the industry to improve their safety standards.
Numerous deadly crashes in the last few months have raised serious questions about safety oversight of the tour bus industry. Two weeks ago, a Sky Express Bus traveling from North Carolina to New York City’s Chinatown crashed in Virginia when the driver fell asleep behind the wheel, killing four passengers and leaving scores injured. That crash came on the heels of several other crashes including one in New Jersey that killed two and one in the Bronx in March which left 15 dead and scores of other injured. Many of these companies had long track records of accidents and violations.
“If bus companies have a poor safety record, passengers should know about it before they purchase a ticket,” said Schumer. “It seems like every week we hear of another crash involving the discount tour bus industry. It is crucial that passengers are clearly and unambiguously alerted to a company’s safety record before they ever board a bus.”