Bus company in Chinatown forced to shutdown

December 30, 2011 3:02:55 PM PST
A popular tour bus in New York City's Chinatown neighborhood was ordered to stop operating because of unsafe conditions.

That was on Tuesday, but they were found to still be operating on Friday until police arrived and forced them to shutdown.

There's outrage from customers who've waited all afternoon for buses that never came.

"I was outside since 1:30 in the cold with my children," said one customer.

It's anger that the City Council's Transportation Committee Chairman James Vacca says, should have been reserved for the customers, who earlier actually got on buses operated by Double Happiness Travel Incorporated.

"Many passengers are putting their lives in jeopardy when they get on some of these buses," Councilman James Vacca said.

That's because on Tuesday The Department of Transportation ordered Double Happiness to stop operating, saying they found the company which offers service from Midtown and Chinatown to have several potentially life-threatening violations.

The list includes: allowing drivers to stay behind the wheel longer than the legal limit and failing to ensure the buses are properly inspected, maintained and tested.

It's something the feds take seriously, especially in light of several fatal bus accidents involving other low cost bus carriers, including one in March in the Bronx. Yet, Friday morning, three days after the order to cease operations, Eyewitness News found the buses still running.

When Eyewitness News returned a few hours later, the company name was scraped off the front, and police told customers that the shutdown was being enforced.

It's something Double Happiness employees still won't confirm for customers or for Eyewitness News.

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