December saw two Megabus crashes in Indiana and a third removed from service following an inspection. The company had another vehicle crash last October. The incidents are calling into question the fitness of the carrier and the safety of its fleet of buses.
The most recent incident involved a bus declared out of service for suspension failure last week. The Chicago-bound Megabus was pulled over for speeding when an Indiana State Trooper noticed that it was leaning to one side. The bus was taken to an inspection facility where inspectors from the Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division found several serious problems. The Megabus suffered from suspension failure, had a defective emergency exit and a leak in the rear brakes. The suspension system involves air bags running along the sides of the two rear axles. All of the bags on one side were deflated, causing the vehicle to lean.
Megabus coaches are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They are subject to safety audits and inspections by the FMCSA. It is not clear when the vehicle taken out of service last received such an audit.
The Megabus crash that occurred the day before this latest incident involved a driver who failed to slow down with traffic following an earlier crash. The bus collided with three cars, injuring two. The Megabus crash from December 20th led to 24 injuries. The crashes and inspection results paint an unsettling picture of the safety of Megabus vehicles.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Indiana police take unsafe Megabus out of service,” 1 January 2015