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April 24, 2013

FMCSA orders D.C. operator to cease operations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ordered Washington, D.C.-based passenger carrier Washington DC Party Shuttle, which also does business as Onboard DC Tours, to immediately cease all operations, declaring that its drivers and vehicles pose an imminent hazard to public safety.

This is the first shutdown of a passenger carrier following the deployment earlier this month of more than 50 specially trained safety investigators targeting high-risk passenger carriers.

“We are making good on our pledge to get unsafe bus companies off the road,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We are committed to protecting the traveling public and we will not hesitate to take action.”

Washington DC Party Shuttle/Onboard DC Tours operates primarily as a tour bus service in both the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and in New York City.

An FMCSA investigation launched earlier this month revealed the company had failed to monitor and ensure that its drivers comply with federal drug and alcohol testing requirements. Investigators found that one driver had repeatedly been permitted or required to operate a passenger vehicle even though it was known that the individual had tested positive for a controlled substance.

The investigation also found that the carrier does not have an effective maintenance program, which results in significant safety problems with its vehicles. These violations and conditions of operations substantially increase the likelihood of serious harm to drivers, passengers and the motoring public.

To read a copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order, click here.

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