February 25, 2014
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered Atlanta-based STSC Transportation Services, Inc., USDOT No. 2350604, to immediately cease all passenger transportation operations after finding that the company was endangering the traveling public by failing to ensure the safety of its vehicles and drivers. Although the company is registered in Atlanta, Georgia, the company operates service between Philadelphia and New York City.
"Safety is our top priority and we will continue to use every means available to ensure everyone on our roads and highways reaches their destinations safely," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "This includes shutting down unsafe bus companies that ignore vitally important safety rules."
FMCSA safety investigators found that STSC Transportation had failed to ensure that its buses were systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, and that the company had failed to ensure that its drivers were properly qualified and licensed. STSC Transportation had been cited for not providing many required and vital safety related records which were not maintained at the company's registered Atlanta address. The federal shut-down order includes all interstate and intrastate operations.
Beginning in November 2013, FMCSA investigators found serious and widespread violations of multiple federal safety regulations, including:
- Lack of management controls to ensure proper inspection, repair, and maintenance of vehicles. STSC had repeatedly been cited during inspections on six occasions for continuing to operate buses after being placed out of service for serious safety violations. STSC failed to produce any proof of annual inspection, preventative maintenance, and repairs completed for its buses. Three inspections found inoperable emergency exits.
- Failure to conduct required random tests for alcohol and illegal drug use by drivers.
- Failure to ensure that its drivers adhered to federal hours-of-service limitations to prevent fatigued driving. STSC Transportation was cited for missing records of duty status, exceeding hours of service limitations, and falsifying records of duty status.
"FMCSA investigators work diligently across the country to prevent crashes from occurring by shutting down bus companies that put their passengers and the public at risk," said Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "In the past three years, we have more than tripled the number of dangerous companies and drivers we have taken off the road and we will continue taking aggressive action against carriers that disregard our safety standards."
A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2014/STSCTransportation.pdf.
As part of FMCSA's work to make safety data readily available to the traveling public, the 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 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/lookbeforeyoubook.
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.
Consumers who bought a ticket on a bus company that FMCSA has recently placed out-of-service may be entitled to a credit from their credit card company under the Fair Credit Billing Act if they paid for the ticket by credit card. For more information, visit: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/bus-credit-refund.aspx.