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Safety Violations Lead to Norfolk, VA Discount Bus Company Shutdown

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Double Happyness, a discount tour bus service that transports passengers from Norfolk, Virginia (VA), to Chinatown in New York City has been ordered to shut down by federal transportation officials who have cited the Pennsylvania (PA)-based company for more than 220 safety and recordkeeping violations since 2009. Under the order, Double Happyness hmust take all its motor coaches out of service in order to protect passengers and other people on the highways from fatigued buses drivers and substandard vehicles.

Double Happyness is just one of eight discount bus comapnies that run a total of 13 daily routes from the cities of Hampton Roads to New York. Such so-called "curbside" buses have made news in recent months. In March 2011, for example, 14 people were killed in a tour bus crash after the driver lost control of the vehicle. Other passengers suffered severe injuries.

During the busy holiday season, it can be tempting to save a few dollars by buying a ticket for one of these discount buses. As evidenced by this latest shutdown, the savings are just not worth the safety risk. Many of the drivers work shifts back to back, with no time to rest in between lengthy drives. Additionally, many of the buses are old and poorly maintained.

Curbside bus companies are unreliable at best, and downright dangerous at worst. Consider this shocking statistic: The death rate is seven times higher on a discount bus than on a Greyhound.


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