I thought Fung Wah bus lines was bad.
On Friday, the Department of Transportation issued an order for the Billings-based bus company to cease operations, calling it a danger to itself and others.
“This condition of operation is an imminently hazardous and potentially deadly risk for Rimrock Stages’ drivers and passengers, and for the motoring public,” the 11-page order stated.
The order was signed by William R. Paden, regional field administrator for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
A March 19 compliance review of eight buses revealed 79 violations of federal safety requirements. All of the buses, which were preparing to transport customers, were immediately ordered out of service.
All other buses owned by the company in transit were directed to proceed to their next destination and then cease operating.
The buses weren’t the only problem, the order said.
“Rimrock Stages does not have basic safety management controls to ensure that its commercial motor vehicles are systematically inspected, maintained and repaired, and that the commercial motor vehicles it operates meet minimum safety standards,” it read.
Employees of Rimrock Stages responsible for maintaining and repairing the buses don’t know how to perform basic vehicle inspections, it said.
“Additionally, Rimrock Stages knowingly dispatches vehicles before defects discovered during inspections have been corrected,” the order stated.
It cited the company’s “continuing general disregard for safety,” and said that disregard “increases the likelihood of serious injury or death.”
In fact, a Rimrock bus had a fatal crash on Interstate 90 near Clinton just a year ago. Two people died in that accident, and dozens were injured.
A Rimrock Stages official could not be reached for comment on Saturday.
Dan Ronan, senior director of communications for the American Bus Association, said that his organization is in complete agreement with the DOT’s actions.
“We believe that companies need to run safely, and they need to run with their equipment in good shape,” Ronan said. “And in this case, the department inspected them and found they weren’t.”
The DOT announced about a month ago that it was going to begin a crackdown against motor coach companies, Ronan said.
“And they’ve been very methodically looking at companies, and as they inspect them, they’re putting companies they believe to be an imminent hazard out of service.”
Before the company can resume operations, it will have to take specific steps to demonstrate its compliance with federal regulations. That includes ensuring all of its buses are in good working order, and that its employees are trained to inspect, maintain and repair the buses.