The U.S. Transportation Department shut Fung Wah Bus Transportation Inc., Boston’s biggest Chinatown bus operator, saying company officials tried to block a safety investigation.
The action followed a Feb. 26 order by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration idling the company’s 28 buses after inspectors spotted cracked frames and badly welded repairs.
“Bus companies that jeopardize public safety and refuse to cooperate with our investigators have no place on the road,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.
A telephone call to Fung Wah’s business office seeking comment wasn’t answered.
Federal regulators have been increasing scrutiny of bus safety at discount lines that, like Fung Wah, often operate between Chinatown neighborhoods of large cities. Their growth has been booming as passengers seek discount tickets, which may sell for as little as $1.
The earlier order applied only to the company’s buses; Fung Wah continued to sell tickets and was allowed to operate using vehicles it rented or leased. Agency investigators had continued their examination of the company’s operations and records before the company stopped cooperating, FMCSA said in its statement.
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