Greyhound Bus Drivers say Company Opposes Safety Reform

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1700, which represents Greyhound bus drivers, has been speaking out against the company’s safety record.

“Members of the National Association of Bus Crash Families said they recently learned that Greyhound did not support HR7, a bill introduced by Georgia Democrat John Lewis and Texas Republican Ted Poe. The Lewis-Poe Amendment, as it is known, is identical to language in the MESA Bill, and replaces earlier provisions in the House version with a “Greyhound Compromise.”

“We negotiated with Greyhound in good faith and gave up important safety priorities in the interest of enacting a bill acceptable to Greyhound,” the National Association letter said. “As family members who have lost loved ones in motor- coach crashes, we are frankly incredulous that Greyhound would now turn your back on the commitment you gave us when you personally pledged your sup- port for this compromise.”

Leach was a featured participant in a July press conference urging passage of the revised MESA legislation with Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison, Sherrod Brown, Jay Rockefeller and Frank Lautenberg. At the event, Leach said, “We should support the strongest safety legislation that we can, not the weakest legislation we can. If we can do it, let’s do it.”

According to the National Association, Leach said Greyhound had already built seat belts, safer seats and other improvements into its new buses, and believed that such improvements should be adopted industry-wide. Bloomberg, for example, reported the bus company would support “legislation to overhaul motor-coach safety, including its mandates for seat belts and stronger roofs to reduce rollover fatalities.”

The Union, which held a rally in Dallas May 22nd, also contends that Greyhound is replacing union drivers with good safety records with cheaper, less safe drivers that they can pay less.  These replacement drivers are from a line Greyhound acquired called “Americanos”

“Here’s how the US Dept. of Transportation compares Americanos to Greyhound and the rest of the bus industry:

  • For Vehicle Maintenance and Driver Fitness, DOT ranked Americanos in the bottom third and cited it for serious violations within the last 12 months.
  • For Driving Safety, DOT gave Americanos what amounts to a “C minus” grade, ahead of 71.8% of competitors (and well behind Greyhound)”

Driver fatigue, vehicle maintenance, and poor safety decisions are all major factors in litigation over catastrophic commercial vehicle accidents.  Lets hope Greyhound gets these issues figured out.

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