My bus trip to New York last week cost me $13 (one-way). We left on time, arrived on time, and had (sluggish) wifi all the way. With Baltimore-New York train tickets hovering around $100+ and often plagued by delays (and no wifi!), no wonder more people are turning to the low-cost bus lines that run up and down the east coast. They’re so convenient that I sometimes wonder what the catch is. Well, we got one answer this week: the catch is that your bus might catch on fire.
Yep, an MVP bus from New York to Baltimore caught fire on the New Jersey Turnpike after a right rear tire blew out. (Dramatic photo here.) Sure, accidents happen — but these low-cost bus lines seem to be plagued with more than their share. A speeding bus overturned int he Bronx in March, and 14 people died. A Greensboro-New York Chinatown bus flipped in May, leaving four people dead. A Greyhound bus turned over on the Pennsylvania Turnpike last week, sending 21 people to the hospital. A double-decker Megabus had its second level sheared off by a bridge last year, killing four passengers.
Low-cost bus services stay cheap by being efficient; sometimes, it seems, that means cutting corners, letting sleepy drivers go out for one more run (they’re supposed to be restricted to 10 hours of driving a day), and not enforcing safety regulations. The National Transportation Safety Board recently announced a safety review of the industry. But with gas and train prices staying the way they are, I’ll probably keep taking them anyway.
Do you feel safe on these buses?