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SkyExpress, a discount bus service, was shut down by federal regulators after a crash in Virginia that killed four people and sent more than 50 others to hospitals. As the DC area is a hub for many cut-rate bus services, news reports of the crash and the subsequent safety violation record of the transportation company gave cause to reconsider travel on this recently popular transit services. Bus injury lawyer Doug Landau has seen passengers being loaded onto these common carriers at cheap express bus stops in Arlington Virginia, Bethesda Maryland and Washington, D.C. due to the DC Metro area’s proximity to Interstate 95.

A SkyExpress bus headed to New York City swerved off northbound Interstate 95 last month, hit an embankment and overturned about 30 miles north of Richmond, near Bowling Green. According to the Washington Post, SkyExpress offers $30 bus trips between New York and 15 cities in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. It also goes to Washington, D.C. The carrier is part of an industry of inexpensive buses on the highways of the East Coast offer cheap fares, convenient routes and in some cases free wireless Internet. The industry is in the fifth year of a boom, but a string of fatal accidents also has prompted calls for tougher federal regulation.

The U.S. Department of Transportation issued an unsatisfactory safety rating and prohibited Charlotte, N.C.-based SkyExpress from operating interstate transportation. It said in a statement Tuesday the bus company violated multiple federal safety regulations. The driver, Kin Yiu Cheung, was charged with reckless driving and police say his fatigue was a factor in the crash. Federal documents show the company has a particularly poor safety record. In tomorrow’s post we will look at the safety record of this budget bus company.

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