Chinatown Bus Company Fung Wah Flattened by the Feds

The company has burned through $3 million, as regulators spend a year and a half deliberating its fate.


This story was released on September 17, 2014. Here's the original write-up:

In 1993, Pei Lin Liang, an immigrant from Guangdong province and a former noodle factory deliveryman, started a local van service in New York City that would later become Fung Wah, the very first "Chinatown bus" company. Liang deserves credit for launching a revolution in "curbside busing"—in which motor coaches pick up and drop off passengers right off the street—now the fastest growing mode of intercity travel in the U.S.

Fung Wah was the first chinatown bus company. |||

Last March, the U.S. Department of Transportation forced Fung Wah to halt its operations, which was part of a broader safety crackdown on the industry. As Reason reported last year, the closing of Fung Wah was the result of regulatory incompetence—but an even greater injustice is what's happened in the year and a half since.

For more on the shutdown of Fung Wah, read "Why the Government Was Wrong to Shutdown Fung Wah Bus Company."

Click here to read about a charter bus company in North Carolina that's in a similar predicament to Fung Wah.

Click here to read about Lucky Star, a Chinatown bus operator that was forced off the road last year after federal safety inspectors issued a report on the company rife with factual inaccuracies and false charges.

Click here to read about an October 2011 federal study that fueled the government's crackdown on the Chinatown bus industry—but used incorrect datasets and committed "statistical malpractice."

About 7 minutes.

Produced and narrated by Jim Epstein, with help from Joshua Swain and Todd Krainin.

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  1. Forget it, Pei Lin Liang. It's Chinatown.

    (I can't believe no one thought of this one before.)

    1. I thought it got covered the first time they ran this piece.

  2. Why did they revoke the licence in the 1st place?

    They are a federal agency and not a Local Municipal agency. So I don't think it is cronyism.

    The article states that the buses "were safe". Who really knows.
    I do know that there are many bus companies in NYC area. And, the FED didn't close down all of them, nor most of them, nor many of them.

    Where there's smoke, there is fire.

    1. Is that you Alice Bowie?

      1. No, Alice doesn't usually post druggy stream-of-consciousness like this.

    2. So I don't think it is cronyism.

      Well, it can't be. It has to be that damn slanty eyed bastard, Fung what the fuck was his name? He's not like us Murikans, why aren't we bombing those slanty eyed fucks yet... oh wait, we were bombing them before we got bored and decided to bomb those camel fuckers instead.

      USA government, always right.

      Funny looking fureners: Bad.

      But you super tolerant 'liberals' already understand all of that.

      1. I don't know if arguing like they do is a good idea. Eh, maybe they'll see themselves in it and think about it, but I doubt it.

  3. Let's liven this thread up.

    Attack of the Clones was the best Star Wars movie.

    1. Heletic!

    2. You're dead to me.

    3. OK: once again the Seahawks are dominating the Broncos.

    4. The Remastered trilogy wasn't that bad.

    5. Greedo shot first!

    6. Just red a Peter Thiel interview that said he prefers the capitalist Star Wars over the commie Star Trek. Whatever that means.

      1. Just red


        1. Smartass! (:

          1. You did the smiley wrong.

      2. How is Star Wars even remotely capitalistic, beyond Uncle Owen owning a moisture farm?

        1. Ask Thiel.

        2. Mos Eisley? Space smugglers? Bounty hunters? Sales on power converters...?

          It's Libertopia!

        3. Apparently Lucas' original vision was that the Empire was a front for the merchants and there was a deleted scene showing that the Empire was nationalizing commerce.

          However knowing Lucas I find it doubtful that his solution to this was free markets but more likely more socialism.

          1. Lucas did the typical Hollywood thing. Makes billions off of his capitalist enterprise, now claims to be against capitalism. Which is weird because THX 1138 is a really brilliant example of a nightmarish collectivist dystopia.

            1. He was young when he made THX 1138! He didn't know any better!*

              *Ie he didn't know that in Hollywood, the only good villains are corporate conservative villains.

            2. Like all Hollywood types as he grew up he learned that we need Prog TOP. MEN. to take over and utopia will result.

      3. "Commie" Star Trek? TOS was Neo-Con (if the term had been there at the time), TNG was just a look at a post-scarcity society (assuming I understand the term correctly) and VOY was a lone ship against the universe. DS9? Well, I can see that one with all the different, disparate races all turning into the Federation. But it isn't as stark a contrast as the guy makes it out to be.

        1. TOS was Neo-Con

          I think you mean Kennedy-Era liberalism?

        2. TNG was just a look at a post-scarcity society

          After Roddenberry left there was a distinct reduction of the communist propaganda.

          1. I remember a lot of "world government", "we don't use money" crap from some of the 80s movies and all through TNG but if they were so "post-scarcity" why were they always running out of dilithium crystals?

            1. Because Roddenberry et al had no idea what the fuck 'post-scarcity' meant and needed something to drive storylines. Ignoring dilithium crystals, the Federation was still limited by population and only being able to colonize planets. 'True' post-scarcity is pretty rare in fiction, Iain Banks' Culture utopian fantasy is the only real example I can think of.

          2. For TOS, well, I'm not sure of the fundamental differences between Kennedy-era flag-waving interventionist collectivism and the late-90's Neo-Con flag-waving interventionism.

            TNG? Well, you may have got me there. Given that Roddenberry had far more control over content in syndication his real views were more strongly represented. But that could have easily been culture-elite snobbery rather than politics.

            1. For TOS, well, I'm not sure of the fundamental differences between Kennedy-era flag-waving interventionist collectivism and the late-90's Neo-Con flag-waving interventionism.

              What is more likely to influence TOS, an extant ideology or one that won't be defined for years later?

              But that could have easily been culture-elite snobbery rather than politics.

              Yeah, sure.

        3. DS9 at least recognizes the fact that an organization like the Federation would require some murder-happy bureaucrats hiding in the shadows making sure everything runs smoothly.

          1. That was because Roddenberry was gone and the writers were free to show that the Federation was no utopia.

            1. Well that, and Ronald D. Moore was writing a lot of the show. He's the guy who turned the new Battlestar Galactica into a War on Terror commentary.

              1. Roddenberry didn't like his first script because People Accept Death in the Federation. Why Troi is needed then is anyone's guess.

                Apparently The Federation is supposed to be a place where everyone agrees on everything. Uh huh.

                1. Yeah, the wonderful, caring Federation. Just don't get any genetic modifications or cybernetics or they'll deem you a threat to society. Remember, you don't own your body, the Federation does.

                  1. To be fair, gene-modded or cybernetic races did always seem bent on destroying humanity. Perhaps that was just a failure of imagination.

                    1. The 1990s were so much better with the genetically engineered Supermen ruling the world. They were true TOP. MEN.

                      Khan: greatest libertarian or greatest libertarian?

                    2. And even he had to live with Section 31 dogging his steps all the time.

                      I'd have loved to see a series with Data, the Doctor, and Bashir all teaming up to take down S31 and secure the rights of all sapients, including beings like themselves.

                    3. Well, except this guy. But that's DS9 again.

                      Yeah, Roddenberry would have turned him into a rampaging monster. Instead, they just tossed his dad in jail.

                  2. Here's some atheism porn for Reasonoids!

                    According to Brannon Braga, Roddenberry made it known to the writers of Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation that religion and mystical thinking were not to be included, and that in Roddenberry's vision of Earth's future, everyone was an atheist and better for it

                    Except for the aliens apparently. And what ever New Age Eighties ideas the writers liked. And knowing Roddenberry he meant "everyone" literally since Everyone Agrees with Everything in the Federation.

                    1. Yeah, Roddenberry was the laziest sort of utopian writer, the kind who just shrugs and goes 'everyone would agree with my perfect future because it's perfect, who wouldn't like that?' It's just circular logic and the inability to empathize with other people's beliefs.

                    2. It's just circular logic and the inability to empathize with other people's beliefs.

                      IOW, textbook prog.

  4. Star Trek the Motion Picture is the best Star Trek Picture.

    1. You misspelled "Star Trek: Generations".

      1. No, he misspelled "Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country"

        1. Star Trek: The Final Frontier

  5. The Time Machine I Bought at a Yard Sale is the Greatest Movie Ever.

  6. Anchorman 2 is the most important film of the Year.

  7. This story looks familiar. I bet I saw it in the liberty section of the NYT, right between the story about burning climate change deniers at the stake and the story about how government needs more money and power or children will starve, or heard it on NPR.

    Flattening shit is the Feds specialty, if not villages of poor brown folks in the middle east, then Murikan businesses will do just fine.

    1. I'd say Murikan businesses are even better. They, after all, aren't people, because CORPORATIONZ AREN'T PEOPLEZ!!!

  8. Seahawks getting the benefit of some major non-calls.

    1. Have they called any rape between huddles yet? I mean these are really fast athletes here and there's a rape crisis, a crisis! Someone has to be raping someone, they have to be! This is the new NFLPC, formerly known as NFL.

      1. It's always rape. Never forget.

        Now if Seattle can allow the Broncos to score a FG and then go on to score 26 more points they can repeat the Superbowl score.

        1. There goes that.

    2. Really? Another year of that shit? That's...annoying.

  9. You guys think you can troll? Try this:

    Libertarians give Rand Paul a pass

    "Rand Paul insists he's not an isolationist. Luckily for him, many in his libertarian base are willing to let him keep saying that."

    Read more:

    1. (the story so nice, I linked it twice)

    2. Well, since an isolationist, IMO, is someone not willing to engage outside their own sphere, then I am willing to accept that Rand is not one and that I am not also. I want to trade with other countries and interact with them in other ways, including easier immigration, free travel.

      So now, what the GOP establishment is saying is that the only way to not be an isolationist is a willingness to kill other people?

  10. So the Scots get the Obo treatment:

    "Scottish leader claims voters 'tricked' into staying in UK as politicians fall out over reform"

    See, Cameron promised, but he didn't promise-promise!

    1. Prime Minister David Cameron drew bitter attacks from rival politicians after he said that plans to empower Scotland should be linked to constitutional reform in England.

      Does seem a little bait-and-switchy. OTOH, it doesn't make sense to me that Scotland gets to vote on certain English issues but not vice versa.

      1. "OTOH, it doesn't make sense to me that Scotland gets to vote on certain English issues but not vice versa."

        I don't disagree, I'm just amused that he sold that steaming pile of stuff without anyone calling him on it before the vote.
        I can see Obots buying Obo's crap, but Cameron doesn't have a lap-dog press as far as I know.

        1. Cameron doesn't have a lap-dog press as far as I know.

          True. But I prefer to think that his blathering had no effect on the outcome, because no true Scotsman would fall for that crap.

  11. "NASA finds 'monster' black hole in tiny galaxy"

    1. Maybe the galaxy is tiny because the black hole already ate most of it? Blackholes are like governments, no?

      If I'm not mistaken, all older galaxies have a black hole in their center, including our own.

      1. Apparently they have to, because the gravity of the stars isn't enough to keep them in the patterns we see. And apparently, you need dark matter on top of that.

        The universe is fucking weird.

    2. So, the universe is expanding and contracting all at the same time.

      Eventually all of the matter in the universe will coalesce.

  12. Jesus Christ what a game. That OT drive by the Hawks was incredible.

    1. The drive by Denver to force OT wasn't bad either.

      1. Oh totally. The Broncos came back beautifully. If the Superbowl had been this game instead...holy shit it would have been insane.

  13. So, reason, advice: Do I buy Wasteland 2 off GoG, or do I buy it in the bundle with Torment: Planes of Numera? The bundle is 65$ but they warn that it may take a few days to clear for Wasteland 2 to actually deliver.

    Basically, how patient should I be/should I support torment in some other way and get different goodies?

    1. I'd just buy both individually, I think Torment's going to be awhile. But I'm a massive fanboy who threw too much money at their kickstarter campaigns.

  14. I think my favorite thing ever is SJWs who own Macs.

    You own a designer brand computer but bitch about poverty?!

    1. You don't understand, they NEED those aluminum laptops with more computing power than the entire soviet nuclear arsenal.

  15. "Fuck this, I'm going to a capitalist country!"

    *Returns to China*

  16. my best friend's sister makes $85 hourly on the computer . She has been without a job for 8 months but last month her pay was $15854 just working on the computer for a few hours. published here ...


  17. This story contrasted against the incredible stupidity of California's high speed rail debacle ought to be a rallying cry against Obama's banana republicanism.

  18. As a frequent bus traveler to NYC from Boston for many years, I agree with your blog that Fung Wah was unfairly singled out and mistreated by both the Feds and the media. I remember how the Boston Metro newspaper headlined their story about how a "bus crash" killed a pedestrian in NYC. The bus was parked with motor off. It was an out of control truck that slammed into it propelling it forward. The headline should have said "truck crash" instead. Furthermore, that Metro article went on to detail Fung Wah's safety record and their driver's records but none of that was detailed on the truck company's safety records or its driver's record. Metro wasn't alone in its biased reporting of Fung Wah. Shame on them. Of all the many bus trips I took with Fung Wah there was never an accident of any kind. The only bus accident I ever had was on a Greyhound express bus which caught fire in Bridgeport. We had to disembark, wait an hour for the next bus which was a local to NYC making all the stops on the way into Manhattan arriving three hours late. It's not a coincidence that big government came down on the side of big business by driving out the competition. Thank you Jim Epstein for your fair, balanced, and thorough coverage. It is refreshing to find reporters who do the proper research. I get so weary of the shallow coverage in mainstream media.

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