FMCSA Shuts Down Sky Express, Inc.
June 05, 2011
An investigation following a fatal bus crash on May 31 has revealed that Sky Express, Inc. was operating and selling tickets under several different company names, including 108 Tours and 108 Bus.
On Friday, FMCSA issues a cease and desist order against the bus operator, and has issued subpoenas for various records of three internet bus ticketing websites affiliated with Sky Express.
On Tuesday, May 31, 2011, FMCSA issued an unsatisfactory safety rating and placed North Carolina-based bus company Sky Express out-of-service for violating multiple federal safety regulations. Under the out-of-service order, Sky Express is prohibited from operating interstate and intrastate commerce. Sky Express was involved in a fatal crash on I-95 near Fredericksburg, Va., that killed four people.
"We are relentlessly targeting unsafe and illegal bus companies," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "This action sends a strong message that the U.S. Department of Transportation will utilize every legal and enforcement tool available to shut down unsafe bus companies and protect passengers and motorists."
Last month, FMCSA and its state and local law enforcement partners conducted more than 3,000 surprise passenger carrier safety inspections over a two-week period that resulted in 442 unsafe buses or drivers being removed from the nation's roadways. The strike force issued out-of-service citations to 127 drivers and 315 vehicles during the unannounced inspections that took place from May 1 - 15, 2011.
Additionally, over the past five years, FMCSA has doubled the number of bus inspections and comprehensive safety reviews of the nation's estimated 4,000 passenger bus companies. Roadside inspections of motorcoaches jumped from 12,991 in 2005 to 25,703 in 2010, while compliance reviews rose from 457 in 2005 to 1,042 in 2010.