“There is no place on our highways and roads for bus operators who disregard safety,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx of the Hialeah, Fla.-based McRea Transportation, Inc.
The company has been declared an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered to cease all operations.
McRea Transportation operated a small fleet of motorcoaches and had recently conducted passenger services for a tour provider between Atlanta and New York City.
Long wait for a replacement
On July 11, 2013, a McRea Transportation motorcoach broke-down in Northampton County, N.C., along Interstate 85 at 2:30 a.m. Fifty passengers were later transported to a Virginia welcome center by state law enforcement officers where they waited approximately 10 hours for a replacement motorcoach to arrive.
Drivers’ record books were falsified
On July 15, 2013, FMCSA safety investigators launched an investigation of McRea Transportation and found that the company owners failed to monitor and ensure that its drivers complied with federal hours-of-service requirements and controlled substances and alcohol use testing regulations. Drivers’ duty status records books were also falsified in an attempt to operate a 50-passenger motorcoach on a trip from New York City to Atlanta.
Investigators also found that McRea Transportation had failed to repair vehicle deficiencies thereby posing an ongoing and imminent hazard to the public. A copy of the McRea Imminent Hazard Out-of-Service Order can be viewed at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2013/McReaTransportationInc.pdf
This action becomes the 17th out-of-service order issued by FMCSA since the deployment in April 2013 of more than 50 "Operation Quick Strike" safety investigators targeting high-risk passenger carriers.
In the past three months, FMCSA has also revoked the operating authority of ten additional bus companies following compliance review investigations that resulted in an “unsatisfactory” safety rating.
Mobile app shows company's safety record
The FMCSA's SaferBus mobile app gives bus riders a quick and free way to review a bus company's safety record before buying a ticket or booking group travel. The SaferBus app, available for iPhone, iPad and Android phone users, can be downloaded for free by visiting FMCSA's “Look Before You Book” webpage at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/saferbus.
Travelers planning a bus trip are also encouraged to think safety first before buying a ticket or chartering a bus by using FMCSA's multilingual passenger carrier safety checklist at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/Index.aspx.