Chinatown Bus Line Agrees to Inspections

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

By STEVE LeBLANC, Associated Press Writer

BOSTON — A company that runs a low-fare bus service between Boston and New York reached an agreement with state inspectors Monday that keeps its fleet on the road.

The owners of Fung Wah Bus Transportation were ordered to appear before state regulators after one of their buses rolled over in Auburn, Mass., on Sept. 5, injuring 34 people. The driver was cited for going too fast.

Under the agreement, Fung Wah buses will be subject to scheduled and unscheduled inspections and driver checks over the next 30 days. The company also has agreed to improve safety, including ceasing to use buses that have not been maintained in a safe and sanitary condition.

The agreement was signed by Fung Wah president Pei Lin Liang and Brian F. Cristy, director of the transportation division of the Department of Telecommunications and Energy.

Liang entered and left the closed-door hearing Monday, bypassing reporters camped in front of the agency's front door. A message left at the company's New York office Monday night was not immediately returned.

The Chinatown-to-Chinatown buses, which offer one-way tickets for $15 between Boston and New York, have become a popular alternative to trains and more expensive bus lines.

Last August, a Fung Wah bus bound for New York caught fire in Meriden, Conn. Forty-five passengers were evacuated moments before flames engulfed the bus.

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