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FMCSA shuts down fifth bus company this year

Ming An is the second bus company to be placed out-of-service by the FMCSA in the past eight days.

The Trucker News Services

3/8/2013

WASHINGTON   The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Friday declared Ming An Inc., an interstate passenger carrier based in New York City, to be an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered the company to immediately shut down.

Ming An is the fifth bus company shuttered this year and the second in eight days as the agency continues to target unsafe bus companies in the wake of several high-profile accidents involving so-called tour buses.

On its website Ming An bills itself as a “low cost and reliable” bus service with transportation between New York and numerous East Coast cities including Roanoke, Va., Tampa, Orlando and Atlanta.

An FMCSA investigation of Ming An’s operations and its vehicles concluded that the carrier operated in blatant disregard for federal safety regulations, the agency said in a news release.

Investigators found that Ming An failed to conduct pre-employment drug and alcohol testing and allowed unqualified drivers to operate its vehicles in an unsafe manner with its drivers receiving numerous citations for speeding in excess of 15 miles per hour over posted speed limits. 

The company did not require drivers to maintain log books or conduct vehicle safety inspections as required by federal regulations, the agency said.

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FMCSA investigators found that the company lacked a systematic vehicle inspection, repair and maintenance program. 

In addition, inspections of Ming An’s buses and vans revealed that many had been modified with after-market seats in violation of federal safety requirements.

The FMCSA order stated that the violations and conditions of operations substantially increase the likelihood of serious injury or death to Ming An’s drivers, passengers and the motoring public.

“This is a company that operates unsafely,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro.  “It frequently uses part-time, unqualified drivers, and often ignores basic safety maintenance and operating standards.”

FMCSA urges consumers and whistleblowers to report any unsafe bus company, vehicle or driver to the agency through a toll free hotline 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) or FMCSA's consumer complaint Web site: http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/HomePage.asp.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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