WASHINGTON – Following a four-month, multi-state investigation, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it has revoked the operating authority registration of four commercial bus companies for willfully failing to comply with federal safety regulations.
Specifically, each of the four passenger carriers was found to have intentionally provided a misleading and/or a false physical address as its principal place of business. Federal safety regulations prohibit a registered motor carrier from falsely designating its physical address/principal place of business when the motor carrier is not engaged in business operations related to the commercial transportation of persons or property at that location.
The bus companies who had their USDOT operating authority registration revoked are:
- Homewood, Alabama-based AKAI LLC, USDOT No. 2444704
- Norcross, Georgia-based Luxury Express Bus Company LLC, USDOT No. 2442687
- Waltham, Massachusetts-based Magnum Coach Lines, LLC, USDOT No. 2489680
- Raleigh, North Carolina-based Hermes Luxury Coach LTD, USDOT No. 2430448
A motor carrier found to be operating without possessing valid USDOT operating authority may be liable for federal civil penalties of up to $25,000 for each violation.
FMCSA also announced today that as part of the recent strike force investigation, two additional bus companies are to receive federal civil penalties for multiple violations of federal safety regulations.
- Doraville, Georgia-based Transtate Travel Inc., USDOT No. 2450783. Transtate Travel was found to be in violation of federal statutes (1) prohibiting making a fraudulent or intentionally false entry on a USDOT operating authority registration document, and (2) for operating beyond the scope of its USDOT-granted authority. Based upon the results of FMCSA’s compliance investigation, Transtate Travel has received a proposed Conditional Safety Rating.
- New York City-based Forever Yours Tours, Inc., USDOT No. 2042615. Forever Yours Tours, was found to be in violation of federal statutes (1) prohibiting the aiding, abetting, encouraging, or requiring a motor carrier or its employee(s) to violate federal safety regulations, and (2) for making fraudulent or intentionally false entry on a USDOT application for operating authority registration. Based upon the results of FMCSA’s compliance investigation, Forever Yours Tours has received a proposed Unsatisfactory Safety Rating.
Commercial passenger carriers that receive a proposed Conditional or an Unsatisfactory Safety Rating have a period of 45 days to submit an acceptable corrective action plan outlining in detail the steps it will take to bring the carrier into compliance with FMCSA safety regulations, or to submit a formal Administrative Appeal to the agency, or otherwise contest the proposed Safety Rating.
Commercial bus and truck companies that receive a final Safety Rating of Unsatisfactory are prohibited from operating in interstate and intrastate commerce.
Operating in violation of a final Unsatisfactory Safety Rating may result in federal civil penalties of at least $25,000, as well as a criminal penalty, including a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment not to exceed one year.
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.
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.
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 website: https://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/nccdb/home.aspx.
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