Since their arrival eight years ago, Megabus has been known for two things: ubiquitous low cost service, and unfortunately, a number of high profile incidents.
An NBC 5 Investigates examination of federal records indicates local authorities across the United States have investigated 16 Megabus accidents where a dozen people were injured over the last two years. Still, the company notes, it has received favorable safety ratings from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
“All Megabus.com companies have had a DOT audit within the past 6 months and all have been given the highest rating achievable by the DOT, which is satisfactory,” spokesman Sean Hughes said in a statement. “The trip had two drivers, which is a normal Megabus safety procedure and above the federal requirement for overnight trips. The drivers signed on at 10 pm the night before , and were on duty for a total of 6 and a half hours when the incident occurred.”
Still, the company has made numerous not-so-favorable headlines here in Chicago.
In August of 2012, one person was killed and dozens more injured, when a Megabus enroute to Chicago blew a tire and slammed into a concrete pillar near Litchfield, Illinois. In that accident, the driver was credited for not slamming on the brakes or steering in a manner which might have caused the bus to flip over.
A week later, another of the carrier’s buses struck and killed a 76 year old woman in downtown Chicago. And the next day, a Megabus traveling from Atlanta to Charlotte caught fire in Georgia. Everyone aboard that bus was safety evacuated.
In February of 2010, a Megabus struck and killed a 63 year old man near Adams and DesPlaines in the west loop.
Federal records indicate the division of Megabus which operated the bus involved in Tuesday’s crash, has not had an accident in the last two years. In that period, the company was cited for 7 traffic violations, four of them for speeding, and 6 violations of hours of service on the road.
One of those involved a driver who was cited for filing a false report of his hours, and another was ticketed for speeding and working more than 15 hours on duty.
At least eighteen people were injured in Tuesday’s accident. Another 35 were transported to Johnson county Memorial Hospital for observation. Indiana State Police say they did not report any injuries.