Cheap — But Are Megabuses Safe?
What could be better than getting a cheap ride wherever you want to go and having someone else drive? The Megabus is the greatest things on wheels — or is it? The latest Megabus incident has many asking whether the cheap ride is worth it, or if other options that may cost a little more can keep you and your belongings safe.
The Megabus is the one you see driving around town that looks like a double-decker. Similar to a jumbo jet, the whole idea is that it can carry a lot of people at once, which helps to lower the fuel costs, and that savings is passed down to the consumer. Although no one was injured when a Megabus recently caught fire on its way to Minneapolis from Chicago last week, the accident did make people question whether the Megabus is a good idea or not.
Taking the industry by storm, the Megabus gives people the option to get where they want to be at a cost they can afford. In the current economy, that is highly attractive. But with so many incidents reported due to Megabuses losing property or having mechanical issues, many are concerned about safety. Known for their “can’t beat it” low fare, the Megabus ticket can cost as little as a dollar, which is why they are hard to overlook.
Since it was introduced to the public in 2006, the Megabus has transported as many as 50 million passengers across more than 120 major metropolitan areas. For instance, a one-way ride from Boston to New York only sets passengers back about $15, which was unthinkable before the Megabus came along.
Before the Megabus, your only other option was the train, and that same Boston to NY route would be somewhere around $100. The incredible discount offered by the Megabus, however, has started being overshadowed by the many accidents that have arisen, especially in the Midwest. High-profile accidents might cause those considering hopping on the bus to change their minds.
In 2012, a Megabus on its way to Chicago was in a collision with a pillar when a tire blew; it resulted in one person dying and dozens being injured. Later that same week, a woman was struck and killed in the middle of downtown Chicago. Making a bad impression on the Midwestern audience, it was just two years later that four passengers died on a Megabus in New York when the bus hit a railroad bridge.
Since then, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there have been a rash of 22 accidents where Megabuses were involved. Although none of the other cases resulted in fatalities, that doesn’t mean that there weren’t several personal injury incidents that stemmed from those who took the cheap fare to get where they wanted to be.
The truth is that although they receive a huge amount of publicity, mega bus accidents comprise a very small portion of overall auto accidents. In 2013 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported a whopping 48 bus crashes that resulted in more than 32,000 injuries. Although high-profile cases happen, you are putting yourself at risk when you get on any public transportation vehicle or large bus.
26 bus companies were forced to stop operations due to an investigation of their practices and the risks that they were causing to the public. Many bus drivers were found to be unlicensed, and others failed to pass a drug and alcohol test given in 2012. There is no such thing as a completely safe ride to your destination, whether you are driving or someone else is.
The hazards of buses are exacerbated because they carry so many passengers at once; if they crash, it can be catastrophic. If you are injured in a bus accident, you are eligible to sue for your damages. Make sure to consult a lawyer who specializes in the complexity of bus accidents to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.