June 7, 2012
NEW YORK — With the recent federal shutdown of 26 bus companies, it appears that the era of the Chinatown bus has come to a close. Fast Company weighs in on what these companies did wrong and what they did right. To read the full story, click here.
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I believe this type of operation is going on in most gateway cities utilizing minibuses. Most of these are mom & pop, use cheap second hand equipment, sell cheap tours and tranfers, probably don't do safety checks or carry adequate insurance. Unfortunately, the State level enforcement is lacking due to budget cut backs. Unfortunately the agents use these type of carriers because of the prices and when something happens like a major accidents with deaths, they ask carriers such as ourselves to provide safety measures that we do on a daily basis. Won't they ever learn, that cheap often results in maintenance shortcuts, cut rate insurance etc.
I'd hazard a guess that there is a surpluss of used, run down buses, and that as a a result it won't take long for 'new' fly by night bus services to pop up on assorted street corners to take over for the ones that got shut down. Very possibly by the same owners. There is clearly a strong market for it and plenty of people willing to 'drive cheap'. And when the next crop of dangerous but cheap buses gets shut down, another one will soon pop up.
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