BOSTON (CBS) – Fung Wah Bus Transportation, Inc. has found a way around a federal order to “immediately cease passenger service” by contracting outside charter buses to transport passengers back and forth from South Station to New York City.
On Tuesday, The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued the shutdown order after a WBZ-TV I-Team investigation that found major safety concerns on a number of the company’s buses.
Read: Shutdown order
An FMCSA spokesperson later clarified the order, saying it only prohibits Fung Wah from transporting passengers in its 28 buses.
“The company, if it chooses, has the prerogative to rent or lease other vehicles; the company is not shut down,” Duane DeBruyne said in a statement to WBZ-TV.
The FMCSA also ordered Fung Wah to “provide its entire fleet of 28 motorcoaches for thorough and detailed safety inspections.”
“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,” an FMCSA statement said.
It appeared that Fung Wah complied with the order, but the company continued to sell tickets out of South Station for trips that were being made by contracted charter buses.
Following revelations by the I-Team, but before the feds decided to shut down the entire operation, Fung Wah had already agreed to take 21 of their 28 buses off the road for repairs.
The reported safety violations included cracked frames, engine oil leaks, nuts and bolts that weren’t secure, faulty lights, defective airbags, and broken door latches.
In an email obtained by the I-Team, a Boston Police sergeant reported that Fung Wah buses that failed inspections were driven off the lot and the company put them right back in service.
Documents obtained by the I-Team showed state inspectors had asked the FMCSA to declare Fung Wah an “imminent hazard.”
Fung Wah buses travel between Boston and New York. A one-way ticket costs $15.