Yesterday's WNJ carried a story entitled Stopping 'Chameleon' Bus Lines is No Easy Task.
Notice first, the assumption inherent in the title: somebody in authority is trying to look out for you.
Here are the first several paragraphs:
At the end of 2011, federal regulators slapped a shutdown order on Double Happyness, a private, super-low-cost bus line running from Wilmington to New York’s Chinatown, for what they called “a management philosophy indifferent to motor carrier safety.”
But buses kept running from the station, a spartan storefront at 3 W. Fourth St., under the name New Everyday Bus Tour, a company owned by the brother of Double Happyness’ owner.
Last month, after racking up a long list of violations of its own, New Everyday’s authority, too, was revoked by the U.S. Department of Transportation after it did not provide proof of insurance. And, once again, buses are still running from in front of the station, to the same terminal in New York that both New Everyday Bus and Double Happyness used.
They are now operating under a separate company named Rockledge Bus Tour, which also has a long list of safety citations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, including failure to make repairs. Although it is still authorized to run, the administration has ranked Rockledge in the bottom 5 percent of U.S. bus carriers for driver safety and fitness.
So what's happening here? Are doughty, committed regulators attempting to save unwitting passengers from an unsafe experience? Are we looking at a couple of sleazebags attempting to rip off the public?
Or is something completely different occurring, both in real life and in this story?
The answer is far more complex than that, so if you read on, prepare for a longer ride than usual . . .