With all of the hubbub concerning the bus accident last week with the bus returning from the Connecticut casino to New York City, and much of it deserved, there are some glaring factual errors in Sen. Schumer’s presentation on all of the news outlets.
First, Schumer frequently misuses transportation terms because he does not know this area of the law and has no one to assist him, whether it is writing a speech, or crafting legislation to remedy the situation.
A tour bus describes a bus which operates charters and special operations, not on a regular basis and not between fixed termini. The “Chinatown buses”, as they are called, provide regular route service on a fixed schedule between NYC and Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington and Boston, for the most part. They are regular route operators. The same may be said for the transportation service provided to the casino hotels, if it is regular enough in its operations.
Each bus, regardless of the nature of its operations, is issued interstate operating authority by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)/US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and is inspected twice annually by the State Department of Transportation in the State in which the company is located. Commercial Drivers’ Licenses are issued by the State Motor Vehicle Commission in the State in which the driver lives. That State MVC sets the requirements for same.
It is fine to target certain types of buses, but if the truth be known, the City buses and the non-Asian buses would be found to have the same equipment defects which arise, not necessarily from faulty maintenance, but from excessive use. In NJ, the State MVC/DOT targets the Hispanic minibuses, and ignores the State-owned NJ Transit.
In the past I have offered Transportation Law assistance to legislators, including, Sen. Menendez, who have chosen to do without my assistance.
Jerry A. Casser, Esq. (Fairfield NJ Transportation attorney) www.jcasser.com