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Research Bus Safety

Anyone can research bus safety online, or by using the convenient SaferBus mobile app. The tips below help trip planners and passengers conduct safety research.

Choose a Company Authorized to Operate

To search a bus company, you should have its official business name, or its Department of Transportation (DOT) number.  Many bus companies use trade names instead of or in addition to their official business names - and because many bus companies have similar names, searching by DOT number tends to give the most reliable results.

You can find the DOT and/or MC number on the side of the vehicle; by contacting the bus company, or searching online  [link to specific search page] by company name and headquarters location.

Next use the online search or SaferBus app to verify that the company is operating in accordance with federal requirements. An interstate, for-hire passenger motorcoach bus operator must:

  • Have both safety registration, identified by a US Department of Transportation (DOT) number and operating authority registration from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  • Maintain insurance coverage of at least $5 million.
  • Provide accessible motorcoach service in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and DOT regulations, 49 CFR Part 37.

You will see a red alert if the company you’re researching is not allowed to operate. Never book with a company that is not authorized to operate.

Compliance and Safety Performance

FMCSA provides safety performance information through the Safety Measurement System (SMS).  SMS is used to prioritize companies for interventions based on their performance in several categories called “BASICs” (Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories). You will see a Carrier may be prioritized for an intervention action and roadside inspection. if the carrier exceeds the FMCSA intervention threshold relative to its safety event grouping based upon roadside data and/or has been cited with one or more serious violations within the past 12 months during an investigation.  FMCSA may be working with the carrier to improve compliance in the identified BASIC, or may be pursuing an investigation or enforcement action for non-compliance.

To determine whether a carrier exceeds the intervention threshold, SMS produces a percentile (on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 indicating the best safety performance) based on a carrier’s roadside inspection results.

Updated: Thursday, June 18, 2015
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