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Bus safety grade placement should be properly enforced by Department of Transportation: Schumer

By Alison Fox

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Photo: Charles Eckert

If people wouldn’t dine at a restaurant with a “D” grade, why would they ride a charter bus with the same grade?

That was Sen. Chuck Schumer’s point Sunday when he called on the federal Department of Transportation to better enforce existing rules regarding the display of safety grades on bus windshields, and to develop a letter-grading system similar to the city’s system for restaurants.

“On the heels of the terrible Dahlia crash … your gut reaction is to ask what more can be done to prevent these kinds of crashes and improve the culture of safety,” Schumer said. “But in this case, we have a law I passed in 2012 that can not only help solve this problem, but can better inform the public, too. That is why I am asking the federal Department of Transportation to hit the gas on a federal letter-grade system for private bus companies.”

Today’s bus safety ratings were implemented in 2012 when a law required bus operators to post safety records on the buses, at the terminals and at the point of sale, Schumer said. But so far, Schumer said, the DOT hasn’t properly enforced it.

“The way DOT has it is not good enough,” he said. “No one knows these grades, passengers get on the buses without knowing whether they’re safe or not.”

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