FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Widespread Accounts of Law-Breaking Raise Safety Concerns
Washington, DC –Citing a rash of safety lapses and widespread accounts of legal, environmental, and civil rights abuses, leaders of AFL-CIO transportation unions today called on government regulators to clean-up or shut down poorly regulated, low-cost “curb-side” intercity buses.
“Government agencies all too often look the other way as these fringe bus companies make a mockery out of our laws. This grave safety threat to the traveling public must end now,” said Edward Wytkind, President of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department (TTD), adding that “companies like Greyhound and Peter Pan – which follow the rules and provide good jobs for their workers – suffer from this double standard.”
Twice in recent months curb-side buses have become engulfed with flames on busy Northeast highways. An August fire on a Boston-New York route destroyed a bus owned by a Fung Wah, a motor carrier that, according to news accounts, has been cited for failing to conduct random drug and alcohol tests of its employees, as well as for allowing a driver to work more than 70 hours in eight days. In March a similar fire occurred on board a Travel Pack bus, operated by a company that, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s own rating system, has one of the industry’s lowest safety ratings.
Saying “occasional and lax enforcement… is simply not working,” leaders of TTD’s 29 affiliated unions unanimously adopted a policy statement calling for a multi-pronged governmental response to this growing problem. More specifically, they called for:
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to immediately audit curb-side operators to ensure compliance with hours of service rules, drug and alcohol testing requirements, maintenance rules and other safety critical procedures;
- The Department of Justice to act on complaints that curb-side operators are not making their service accessible to passengers with disabilities;
- The Environmental Protection Agency to examine whether providers are improperly disposing of waste from their buses; and
- Cities to follow the lead of Boston to fully enforce traffic laws and require all fixed-route intercity bus providers to operate out of a central bus terminal where oversight and accountability can be assured.
Please visit www.ttd.org to see the full statement.
TTD represents 29 member unions in the rail, aviation, transit, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit www.ttd.org.