It seemed too good to be true. The Megabus, with free Wifi, comfy seats and really cheap fares, promised to be an affordable and luxurious way to connect Chicago and more than 100 cities across the country. Some advertised fares were as low as a dollar!
But the behemoths have been involved in an astonishing number of accidents—at least 22 known collisions involving Megabuses have been reported since 2013. Just last month, one of the vehicles went up in flames just outside of the windy city—fortunately, no one was hurt.
The carrier’s safety woes have been well-documented for the better part of the last decade. A Megabus in New York hit a bridge in 2010, with four people dead. Another swerved off the road on I-95 in New York City in 2011, killing 15. Law enforcement officials say that the company’s drivers have been cited numerous times for violations of the law, from speeding to drunk driving. It’s also been reported that the company allows drivers back on the road without taking the time off required by state and federal regulations.
In light of the continued safety problems—the fire on the bus outside of Chicago was not the first of its kind on a Megabus—many are shocked that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has consistently given the Megabus a “satisfactory” rating. Under the law, Megabus is what is known as a “common carrier.” Common carriers are generally held to higher standards than other drivers, generally doing “all that human care, vigilance and foresight reasonably can do under the circumstances to avoid harm to passengers.”