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Judge puts the brakes on bus company

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:05 PM EST, Thu January 26, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The bus company was cited in December for multiple violations
  • It defied a cease-and-desist order by continuing to operate in New York
  • A federal court in Pennsylvania has issued a temporary restraining order

New York (CNN) -- A federal judge has ordered a Pennsylvania-based bus company to stop operations after an Albany, New York, TV station reported that the bus line had continued service in violation of a U.S. Department of Transportation order.

The DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on December 23 ordered Double Happyness Travel to shut down after an inspection found multiple violations, including vehicle maintenance and drug and alcohol testing rules.

The safety agency issued a January 5 cease-and-desist order against Double Happyness after federal investigators and state police discovered that the company still was operating and selling tickets in violation of the order in December.

But over the past two weeks, CNN affiliate WRGB-TV reported the company was still operating trips from Albany to New York City.

This week, the U.S. District Court in eastern Pennsylvania issued a temporary restraining order against Double Happyness Travel Inc., prohibiting the company from operating an interstate bus service. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sought the order.

"Safety is our highest priority," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. "We will not tolerate irresponsible bus companies that jeopardize the safety of bus passengers and other motorists."

A bus company official could not be reached for comment.

Over the past five years, the safety agency has doubled the number of bus inspections and comprehensive safety reviews of the nation's estimated 4,000 passenger bus companies, according to the DOT.

The agency said consumers are encouraged to review the DOT's pre-trip safety checklist before buying a ticket or hiring a bus company for group travel. The list helps consumers review a bus company's safety record, safety rating and DOT's operating authority.

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