Fung Wah Bus Transportation Inc.


Fung Wah Bus Transportation Inc.

Fung Wah Bus Transportation Inc. is a bus company that operates between Boston and New York City. Founded in 1997, Fung Wah operates more than 20 buses a day with hourly scheduled service. Like other Chinatown bus services, Fung Wah both operates from traditional bus terminals (South Station in Boston) and stops in New York's Chinatown.

Fung Wah is known for its low fares in comparison to other bus and rail routes between Boston and New York. Due to the low prices, Fung Wah has become a popular way for young people and other travelers on a budget to travel between Boston and New York. [cite news
url=http://www.gonomad.com/transports/0512/fungwahbus.html
title=Fung Wah Buses: The Lines are Long, but the Price is Right
first=Daniel
last=Derouchie
publisher=GoNomad.com
] Recently, the company has also become known for its high rate of accidents, as well as a discrimination lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts Attorney General for refusing to sell tickets to a visually-impaired couple with a guide dog.

The name "Fung Wah" comes from the Cantonese pronunciation of the Chinese name, , which means "magnificent wind."

History

Fung Wah began in 1997 as a dollar van service shuttling Chinese immigrants in New York between Brooklyn and Chinatown.cite news
title=Ratings signal warning for fast-growing Fung Wah
url=http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2005/09/04/ratings_signal_warning_for_fast_growing_fung_wah/
first=Slack
last=Donovan
publisher=The Boston Globe
date=2005-09-04
accessdate=2007-04-07
] A year later it expanded to connect the Chinatowns in New York and Boston, and gradually grew to being a low cost intercity transit provider.cite news
url=http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0915/p20s01-litr.html?s=widep
title=Backstory: Travel noir - the Fung Wah 'extreme'
first=Clayton
last=Collins
publisher=Christian Science Monitor
date=2006-09-15
] It originally operated out of the Boston Chinatown, but moved to the nearby South Station bus terminal in 2004 due to traffic concerns from the city. [cite news|url=http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/01/23/loyal_riders_now_moved_to_choose?pg=full
publisher=The Boston Globe
title=Loyal riders now moved to choose
first=Courtney
last=Gross
date=January 23, 2005
accessdate=2007-03-23
]

Safety

The Fung Wah bus has been involved in several safety-related incidents. In 2005, the company was given a federal safety rating of 73 out of 100, 100 being the worst, and 75 or above considered at risk of being unsafe and subject to investigation. Ian Grossman of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that Fung Wah drivers rated in the worst 2 percent of drivers nationwide based on regulatory violations, and nine out of 71 Fung Wah drivers were suspended after inspection between 2004 and 2006.

*August 16, 2005: A New York-bound bus caught fire on Interstate 91 near Meriden, Connecticut. Though the passengers later criticized the driver for being unhelpful and untrained in evacuating the bus, all passengers were eventually evacuated and no injuries were reported. [cite news
title=Flames engulf Fung Wah bus in Connecticut
url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/bostonherald/access/883280971.html?dids=883280971:883280971&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Aug+17%2C+2005&author=CASEY+ROSS&pub=Boston+Herald&edition=&startpage=006&desc=Flames+engulf+Fung+Wah+bus+in+Connecticut
first=Casey
last=Ross
publisher=The Boston Globe
date=2005-08-16
accessdate=2007-01-24
]
*September 6, 2006: A bus rolled over in Auburn, Massachusetts and caused minor injuries to 34 passengers. [cite news
title=34 hurt, driver cited for Fung Wah bus rollover in Auburn
url=http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2006/09/06/34_hurt_driver_cited_for_fung_wah_bus_rollover_in_auburn/
first=
last=
publisher=The Boston Globe
date=September 6, 2006
accessdate=2007-01-24
] Excessive speed was cited as a factor and the bus company was fined. [cite news
url=http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2006/10/31/fung_wah_bus_company_fined_31k_for_rollover/
title=Fung Wah bus company fined $31K for rollover
first=
last=
publisher=The Boston Globe
date=October 31, 2006
accessdate=2007-01-24
]
*January 3, 2007: In Framingham, Massachusetts, a New York-bound bus lost its back two wheels. No injuries were reported. [cite news
work=WCVB-TV
date=January 3, 2007
title=Fung Wah Bus Loses Wheels
url=http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/10662200/detail.html
]
*February 14, 2007: The driver of a New York-bound bus lost control in a winter storm and hit a guardrail on the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) in Allston, Massachusetts. No injuries were reported. [cite news
work= WCVB-TV
date=February 14, 2007
title=Fung Wah Bus Crashes On Turnpike
url= http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/11011419/detail.html
]
*March 23, 2007: A New York-bound bus got stuck on a concrete barrier in front of a tollbooth on the Massachusetts Turnpike at Route 128 in Weston, Massachusetts, when the bus drove up on a cement lane divider. The driver had entered an automobile-only lane and tried to change lanes. No one was injured in the incident, but the bus was taken out of service and passengers boarded another Fung Wah bus that arrived later. [cite news
title=Fung Wah Bus Involved In Mishap |url=http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/11346015/detail.html
first=Tim |last=Ryan |publisher=WCVB-TV |date=March 23, 2007 |accessdate=2007-03-23
]
*June 23, 2008: A bus loading passengers was struck by an out of control dump truck at the corner of Bowery Street and Canal Street in New York’s Chinatown. The force of the impact pushed the bus onto the sidewalk and into a bank. As the result of the accident, a sign attached to a light pole fell, injuring a 57-year-old woman; the woman later died as the result of a heart attack. Several people, including two police officers, were treated for minor injuries. [cite news
title=Boston-bound bus hit by truck in NYC; pedestrian is killed |url=http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2008/06/24/boston_bound_bus_hit_by_truck_in_nyc_pedestrian_is_killed/?p1=Well_MostPop_Emailed6 |author=Noah Bierman|publisher=Boston Globe |date=2008-06-24 |accessdate=2008-06-24
] [cite news
title=Bus Crashes Into Bank In Manhattan |url=http://www.myfoxny.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=6827391&version=7&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1 |author=|publisher=WNYW |date=2008-06-23 |accessdate=2008-06-23
] State Department of Transportation inspectors found the dump truck, owned by CPQ Freight Systems, had eight mechanical issues including faulty brakes which led to the accident. [cite news |title=Rig in fatal crash had faulty brakes |url=http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2008/06/24/2008-06-24_rig_in_fatal_crash_had_faulty_brakes.html |author=Tamer El-Ghobashy|publisher=Daily News |date=2008-06-25 |accessdate=2008-06-25]

Discrimination lawsuit

In January 2004 the Fung Wah Bus Company refused to sell tickets to a blind couple traveling with a guide dog under the company's policy barring pets from buses. Even when informed by the couple, and later by police responding to a disturbance call, that they had the right to board the bus with a service animal, the company refused to allow the couple to buy a ticket.

In conjunction with the Massachusetts Attorney General, the couple later filed a discrimination lawsuit against the company. Per the Attorney Generals office: "Massachusetts law prohibits discrimination against blind persons and requires businesses to allow service animals in their establishments even when there is an existing “no pet” policy, as long as the animal is controlled and does not otherwise pose an undue burden."

In July 2007, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination awarded the couple $60,000 in damages, assessed a $10,000 civil penalty payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and ordered the company to take several steps to prevent discrimination in the future. [cite news
title=Fung Wah Loses Discrimination Lawsuit: MCAD: Bus Co. Discriminates Against Blind Travelers |url=http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/13671183/detail.html |author=|publisher=WCVB |date=2007-07-12 |accessdate=2008-06-23
] [cite news
title=ATTORNEY GENERAL COAKLEY WINS LAWSUIT AGAINST FUNG WAH BUS COMPANY FOR REFUSING TO SELL TICKETS TO BLIND COUPLE |url=http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=cagopressrelease&L=1&L0=Home&sid=Cago&b=pressrelease&f=2007_07_12_fung_wah_settlement&csid=Cago |author=Amie Breton |publisher=Commonwealth of Massachusetts |date=2007-07-12 |accessdate=2008-06-23
]

References

External links

* [http://www.fungwahbus.com/ Fung Wah Bus official website - Purchase eTicket at www.fungwahbus.com]


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