Bus Strike Force
I have it on good authority that the FMCSA will very shortly initiate a nationwide strike-force of audits on all bus or motor coach companies. Obviously, FMCSA has not shared the details with me, and I choose not to reveal my source, but I suspect this will include any company that transports passengers of any quantity across state lines. This will include motor coaches, school buses, party buses, even limousines.
I predict these will not be routine audits. These are going to be intensive, microscopic audits. For example, they may very well dig into the maintenance of the buses. Look at their most recent IMMINENT HAZARD Out of Serive Order they just issued to Fung Wah Bus Transportation, Inc. of Massachusetts. They are prohibiting Fung Wah from operating based solely on the maintenance of their buses. Therefore, I would expect that maintenance will be a big issue for FMCSA in their upcoming nationwide assault.
Other issues they may dig into are whether or not bus drivers have multiple jobs. For example, a bus driver may drive for a school district Monday through Friday, and then run charters to the casinos on the weekend for a motor coach company. When you add all that time together, the driver could be violating the hours of service rules, but it is possible the motor coach company does not know (or chooses not to know) the driver has another job. I suspect FMCSA may dig into this.
The fact of the matter is, FMCSA is convinced there is an epidemic of bus crashes happening, and they are going to act on it. Whether there actually is or not is irrelevant. If you are bus company: BEWARE. They are coming for you. Now is the time to get your ducks in a row. If you want some help in this regard, I offer my services. Or, if they’ve already gotten you, I can help you fix your compliance issues, and mitigate the damage FMCSA has done. Good luck.