June 13: Bus transit forum

IPA to host policy forum on curbside intercity bus transportation

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9:12 a.m., June 11, 2012--“Feds Shut Down 26 Discount Bus Companies,” “Fatal Chinatown Bus Kills 15,” “Bus-Safety Proposals have Languished for Years.” In the last year, these sensational headlines have highlighted policy questions about the appropriate role of transportation regulation in light of the rapid growth of the curbside intercity bus industry.

To facilitate discussion on transportation policy issues related to the industry, the Institute for Public Administration (IPA) at the University of Delaware will host a Curbside Intercity Bus Transportation Policy Forum at the Perkins Student Center on Wednesday, June 13. 

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The forum will feature speakers from Rutgers University, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the American Bus Association. Representatives from the City of Philadelphia, New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), District of Columbia DOT, Union Station (D.C.) Redevelopment Corporation, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will discuss new solutions to managing intercity curbside bus operations.

Stakeholders attending the forum will consider issues impacting the industry including the recent crackdown against unsafe and unethical operators, need for concurrency in federal rulemaking, tolling costs along the I-95 corridor, competition among bus carriers and rail, and impacts of state and local government attempts to regulate and manage curbside operations. 

IPA’s research team includes associate policy scientist Marcia Scott, UD University Transportation Center (UD-UTC) fellow Arthur Wicks, and public administration fellow Eileen Collins.

In addition to hosting the policy forum, the team has conducted a literature review and field assessment of curbside operations that involved photographing curbside conditions, surveying passengers, and riding various intercity buses—including a so-called “Chinatown” bus that was cited as an ”imminent hazard” and shutdown by the federal DOT.

IPA’s research is supported by UD-UTC, whose theme is resiliency of transportation corridors.  UD-UTC is among the Tier II University Transportation Centers, which are grant-funded programs of U.S. DOT designed to advance the state-of-the-art in transportation research and develop the next generation of transportation professionals. 

The curbside intercity bus industry now represents the fastest growing mode of intercity transportation in the United States—outpacing air and rail transportation. 

About 720 million American travel by this mode, yet the industry has been marred by “rogue” bus companies that put passengers at risk by operating unethically and unlawfully.  Since March 2011, crashes of so-called “Chinatown” bus lines along the I-95 corridor have killed 22 and injured 169 people.

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University of Delaware • Newark, DE 19716 • USA • Phone: (302) 831-2792 • © 2013
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