Feds: Chinatown bus service ignored shutdown order

January 26, 2012 3:00:53 PM PST
Federal transportation officials have obtained a restraining order against a charter bus company that serves New York City's Chinatown.

Eyewitness News discovered that Double Happiness Travel was still selling tickets when we were able to purchase one a couple of weeks ago.

Government officials found out too and went back to court to shut them down.

Even after Federal Transportation officials ordered Double Happiness Travel Inc. to shut down following serious safety concerns, the company's tickets could still be purchased.

Eyewitness News reporter Darla Miles made that purchase two weeks ago.

But now federal officials are claiming that Double Happiness continues to operate in defiance of a shutdown, and have obtained a restraining order to cease operations at the company.

At the site where Eyewitness News recently purchased the ticket, one person at the ticket counter says they are not selling Double Happiness tickets and the company isn't running busses.

In the area where where many of the various bus companies pick up passengers in Chinatown, many of the buses have little or no markings on them.

Eyewitness News was not able to determine if Double Happiness was still carrying passengers.

Janet Perisa, who purchased a ticket online from a different bus company, was having second thoughts about traveling to Virginia.

"There have been so many stories about these Chinatown buses. I don't know. Honestly, I'd rather not chance it," Perisa said.

After several deadly bus accidents, including the one last March, in which 14 people, mostly from Chinatown, were killed, Federal Transportation officials have been cracking down.

They've been trying to shut down Double Happiness, calling it an "imminent threat" following the discovery of numerous violations involving maintenance and drug testing.

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