Fung Wah buses are making a comeback, and that could mean a few more greenbacks in the wallets of people traveling between New York City and Boston. Fung Wah Bus Transportation, Inc., best known for its $15 bus fares between the two cities, has been granted permission to reopen after being shut down by the federal government in February 2013.
“We’re hard at work ramping up operations,” Alexander Linzer, a lawyer for Fung Wah, told DNAinfo.com. The company says it hopes to be back on the road in the first three months of 2015.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is allowing Fung Wah buses to return to the roadways after federal officials called its practices “an imminently hazardous and potentially dangerous risk for its own drivers, passengers and for the motoring public,” the New York Post reported.
The FMCSA issued a statement clearing the company to resume "limited operations to prove they can safely transport passengers and protect the motoring public" on Dec. 11 -- that is, after Fung Wah improved its safety procedures and passed inspections, DNAinfo.com reported.
"FMCSA will aggressively and continually monitor Fung Wah’s operations and subject its vehicles and drivers to unannounced inspections to ensure that the company fully complies with all federal safety regulations," the statement said.
The government closed the company down in response to issues including cracked coaches as well as its failure to test its drivers for drug and alcohol use. The company spent hundreds of thousands of dollars upgrading its buses in the 22 months since it closed, according to Reason.com.
But it turns out that inspectors had erred in their inspections of the outfit’s buses, and Fung Wah appealed the decision to shut it down, eventually leading to the company being cleared to reopen, Reason.com reported.
Launched in New York in 1993 as a local van service, Fung Wah grew to be one of the better-known of the many inexpensive bus services in the Northeastern U.S. These companies compete with giants such as Greyhound by offering ultracheap fares -- Fung Wah once offered $10 one-ways between New York and Boston -- but cut corners to make up for the lower revenue stream.
Fung Wah is one of a number of budget bus operators to be closed by regulators in recent years, and its closure came in the wake of a series of horrific bus crashes that sparked fear among travelers.