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Megabus, and its risks, arrive in Houston

This blog has written extensively about Houston area city and school buses getting into accidents that endanger the lives of their passengers, pedestrians and other cars. What this blog hasn't discussed too much is the rise in low-cost passenger buses like Megabus and Bolt as a transportation alternative to air and rail travel.

With a rash of passenger bus accidents over the last year, federal regulators are starting to look at the bargain buses more. Megabus began offering service in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio earlier this summer for the first time. Megabus reportedly serves 6 million passengers each year, which is huge growth from just a few years ago. The brand is distinctive for its bright blue buses that pick people up at curbside areas in many major cities.

  - Article By Richard Weaver

A passenger bus accident killed 15 people in another American city last year, and federal regulators have said speeding and driver fatigue are likely the main culprits.

The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended electronic devices that will record the amount of hours drivers are allowed to work. It has recommends prohibiting drivers from using cellphones. And while the government is working on these matters, two Megabus coaches were involved in accidents this summer because of tire blowouts. In one of those accidents, a passenger was killed.

One professor who looks at transportation issues said it's "easy" for someone to start their own bus company, because there is little regulation. That has led to the explosion of low-cost carriers.

With Megabus' arrival in Houston, potential passengers should be aware of the risks involved with companies that may not take safety as seriously as others.

Source: New York Times, "City to City, on the Cheap," Susan Stellin, Aug. 27, 2012

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