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Bus service close to home shut down by feds

The east coast is filled with amazing cities with long histories and certain futures, which make them some of the best places to visit -- even for residents who live nearby. Some Northern New Jersey residents take advantage of the extensive and inexpensive bus options from New York City to a number of these other cities. The discount bus services are cheap and efficient, but are they safe? 

This past week federal transportation regulators not only flagged an unsafe bus company that runs from New York City to Boston but shut it down completely. The U.S. Department of Transportation called the service a threat to public safety, risking the lives of the passengers who accept a ride. 

Bus accidents could happen at any time under almost any set of circumstances, but there are certainly some negligent actions that significantly increase this risk. According to the federal regulators, the Lucky Star bus company was riddled with many of these dangerous facors. 

First, the vehicles themselves were incredibly unsafe. The lack of safety inspections and maintenance on the vehicles went a lot further than a burnt out turn signal bulb, which is incredibly unsafe in itself. One example of the unbelievable lack of safety standards is when a bus was dispatched and carried passengers with an eight-square-foot hole in the floor. On average, the busses broke down at least 80 times per year. 

Not only were the 21 busses in the fleet a danger, but those that operated them were as well. The report detailed that the company failed to ensure that drivers acted in a safe manner. They were not required to submit to alcohol or drug testing. The company also failed to check the drivers' hourly records -- something that can leave drivers to unsafely push the limits. 

Source: The Huffington Post, "Lucky Star, New York City-Boston Bus Service, Shut Down By Feds," June 6, 2013

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