UPDATED: February 28, 2013, at 4:23 a.m.
Fung Wah, the low-budget Chinatown bus service, has been ordered by federal and state officials to suspend service indefinitely following reports that the company’s fleet posed serious safety risk.
The Boston-based bus company, which offered services on the half-hour between South Station and Manhattan, voluntarily complied with the order Saturday evening, taking almost the entirety of its fleet off the road.
The effect the suspension will have on Harvard students remains unclear.
“I’m rattled,” said Matthew W. G. Walker ’16, who said he loved the bus. “I’d pay $15 for the cultural experience alone—last time I rode there were two elderly ladies sitting across the aisle who were performing some sort of ritualistic chant for all four hours of the overnight trip to New York. It was thrilling.”
“But actually, I dabbled with Greyhound, Bolt Bus, and Peter Pan, but found Fung Wah the most reliable,” Walker added.
This suspension is not the first time the bus service has attracted negative attention. In August 2005, a bus caught fire on Interstate 91. In September 2006, a bus rolled over, causing minor injury to 34 passengers. Recently, one of its fleet hit two pedestrians in Manhattan. Fung Wah’s drivers have also been found to be in the bottom three percent amongst their peers nationwide based on qualification, and the company has been cited for 159 maintenance violations since 2011.
Some students said they have always opted for other bus lines.
“I would never take Fung Wah, said Lexis B. Ross ’13. “I take Megabus.”
Other students, however, said they were disappointed that Fung Wah would cease operations indefinitely.
“It was nice to know that it was an option,” said Reshma A. Lutfeali ’13, who is an inactive Crimson news editor. “It’s also kind of sad that this institution of college life is being shut down.”
—Staff writer Yen H. Pham can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @yhpham.