Buses aren’t the most luxurious mode of transportation, but they’re a cheap and a decently reliable option for those who don’t want to empty their bank accounts for travel. As much as we would love to say that buses are among one of the safest options for travel, there are many bus lines, both big and small, that have come under scrutiny for safety reasons. According to Governing, only about half the states in the U.S. require annual inspections on buses that cross state lines. For buses that only operate within a state, the state decides how often they are to be checked.
What this means is we all need to be more aware of which lines are safe and which ones aren’t. Whether it’s the vehicle itself or the stops along the way that are a little scary, these five bus lines should be avoided whenever possible.
1. New York City MTA Route B46
New York City is huge, diverse, and in some areas, a little dangerous, so you’ll want to be careful when choosing your mode of transportation. There’s one bus line in particular that’s known as the most dangerous line of them all: Route B46. According to New York Daily News, B46 runs through a “hot spot for crime,” and this line once carried an ex-con who boarded without paying the fare before shooting a rookie cop. Though you can’t judge an entire bus line based on one incident, there have been numerous assaults and fare evasion is also common. This route is definitely one to avoid.
2. Washington, D.C. Metrobus
Washington, D.C. is a main hub for young professionals and business-minded individuals in the U.S., but if you plan on taking the capital’s Metrobus system, you’ll want to be very careful. According to The Daily Caller, this line is known as one of the most dangerous public bus services in the country. Crime is one problem, but it’s also worth noting the risk of a collision or passenger injury on this bus line is higher in D.C. than it is in New York City, Boston, or Chicago. Just how bad is it? The story reports the buses were involved in 46 crashes with pedestrians and bicyclists, in 2015 alone. We suggest finding other ways to get around D.C.
If you’re looking for a cheap ride through cities in California or you’re on the East Coast and need a lift from Philly to New York City for just $10, BoltBus is likely the first place you’ll look. If safety is a top priority, though, it shouldn’t be. In 2015, a horrifying incidence occurred where a BoltBus actually caught fire outside of Boston while passengers and the driver were inside. The New York Post even shares the video footage, which shows flames and smoke coming from the bus before it ultimately explodes. Though no injuries were reported in this incident, mechanical issues like these are not rare on buses. Greyhound owns BoltBus, which is a company known for its decent safety measures, so this line’s unsafe past is rather surprising.
4. Yep Tour
Bowery Boogie reports you won’t hear a whole lot about Yep Tour on a commercial level because they operate without a legal permit. This company’s buses are also known for dangerously idling in spots designated for other bus lines, and a Yep Tour bus from New York even caught fire when heading toward Atlanta. The story also says records indicate Yep Tour was taken out of service on six separate occasions in one year because their buses failed to meet standard safety guidelines — there were no emergency exits or fire extinguishers on most of the buses. Definitely say no to this bus line.
This bus line also offers incredibly cheap deals, travel to many locations across the country, and huge double-decker buses so that allow you to travel at the last minute. In terms of safety, Megabus could stand to make some improvements. According to ABC7 Eyewitness News, there were four Megabus crashes in the state of Indiana alone from October 2014 to April 2015. Additionally, the Chicago Sun-Times reports a bus caught fire in Lake Forest, Ill., earlier this year. If you are going to ride on a Megabus, we suggest sitting on the lower level just in case.