Megabus, known for its blue, double-decker style buses and fares as low as $1, ranked worse than nearly 80-percent of 19,636 carriers – according to scores from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Tim Brown, a research scientist with the University of Iowa based National Advanced Driving Simulator, says driver fatigue is a condition that has similar effects to drunken driving.
“We’ve done some work looking at alcohol and drowsiness,” Brown said. “They tend to impair the same sorts of vehicle controls, but they do it in different ways.” Megabus is especially popular with students at the University of Iowa. Megabus spokesperson Mike Alvich characterized most of Megabus’s log violations since 2010 as administrative errors and said the company is working to make sure drivers understand the rules.
“We’ve only had, perhaps, one driver taken out because of a violation of service due to a fatigue issue,” Alvich said. “All the rest of the entries in that driver fatigue category are on the administrative side.” The federal government limits bus and truck drivers to 10 hours of driving before eight hours of rest.
Megabus requires drivers to take nine hours of rest between shifts, Alvich said. Megabus also assigns two drivers to overnight routes. The company is considering an electronic system that would automatically log miles through GPS, Alvich said. Megabus drivers have had six log violations since August 2010, four speeding citations and several other moving violations.
A Megabus driver was convicted of drunken driving after the Iowa State Patrol spotted him weaving on Interstate 80 while carrying 77 passengers from Chicago to Iowa City in October 2011.
By Erin Jordan, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids