Fung Wah, the Iconic Chinatown Bus Company Closed By the Feds Last Year, Is Set to Reopen


Fung Wah, the iconic Chinatown bus company that became famous for charging just $10 to travel between Boston and New York City, will reopen early next year.

Pei Lin Liang |||

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has restored the company's operating authority, and getting its Boston to New York bus service up and running again is just a matter of logistics, says Alexander Linzer, the company's attorney.

Fung Wah was started by Pei Lin Liang, a former noodle factory deliveryman, as a local van service in New York City in 1993. Four years later, Liang extended his service to Boston, charging just $10 at a time when a Greyhound ticket between the two cities cost $50. Liang's model of picking up and dropping off passengers right off the street was imitated by companies like BoltBus and Megabus, giving rise to the "curbside bus industry," which is now the fastest growing mode of intercity travel in the U.S.

In March 2013, federal regulators ordered the company to stop operating after several of its buses were taken off the road by Massachusetts safety officials, who alleged that frame cracks in some Fung Wah motorcoaches hadn't been properly repaired. As Reason reported last year, field inspectors Steve Boleyn and Dyann Prouty

Fung Wah |||

misunderstood the safety guidelines and erred in their evaluation of Fung Wah's fleet. The episode led safety officials to quietly rewrite the official guidelines with regard to frame cracks, but it had no effect on the company's standing.

Immediately after its closure, Fung Wah spent $400,000 overhauling its fleet, retraining its drivers, hiring a full-time safety manager, and retaining an outside consultant. But, like many bus companies that lose their operating authority, Fung Wah spent the next year and a half ensnared in a bureaucratic holding pattern, at one point waiting six months for the FMCSA to consider its application to resume service, only to be turned down on a technicality.

The company appealed theatdecision, which after several months led to a negotiation between Fung Wah's attorneys and the FMCSA, finally resulting in the reinstatement of the company's operating authority.

For background on how regulators botched the inspection of Fung Wah's fleet that led to the closure, read "Why the Government Was Wrong to Shutdown Fung Wah's Bus Company."

For an overview of the company's struggles with the FMCSA, watch this report from Reason TV:

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  1. Looks like they finally greased the right palms.

    1. Yep. Fung Wah be good crony, massah, good crony!

    2. I suspect it wasn’t palms getting lubed up.

  2. Jack Daddy So So ain’t gonna be happy about thsi!

    1. When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol’ Jack Burton always says at a time like that: “Have ya paid your dues, Jack?” “Yessir, the check is in the mail.”

      1. Just remember what ol’ Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, and the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big ol’ storm right square in the eye and he says, “Give me your best shot, pal. I can take it.”

        1. Jack Burton: What’s in the flask, Egg? Magic potion?
          Egg Shen: Yeah.
          Jack Burton: Thought so, good. What do we do, drink it?
          Egg Shen: Yeah!
          Jack Burton: Good! Thought so.

          1. Which Lo Pan?!? Little old basket case on wheels or the ten foot tall roadblock?

  3. As someone who has taken a fair amount of Fung Wahs, I’m happy to hear this. I had moved on to Bolt Bus when I still lived in NYC since its nicer and the clientele is less sketchy. I felt less out of place sneaking shots of vodka on Fung Wah, however.

    1. Obviously I posted this in the wrong spot:

      Jack Burton: What’s in the flask, Egg? Magic potion?

    2. Try it on an NJTransit bus out of the PA, you’ll feel way more at home.

  4. I just feel bad for anyone who has to pay even $10 to leave either Boston or NYC to only arrive in the other. Well, at least both ways don’t involve passing through New Jersey.

  5. God damn it! Now the mass pike will be clogged with people traveling and engaging in commerce cheaply! Clogged, I say!

    1. Massholia has a pike? That sounds painful.

      Hey, I just had an idea for a new video game.

      I’ve finally started playing the Mass Effect series, still on the first one.

      So I was thinking about a new libertarian game where a revolution erupts after a mass migration starts from an over population of MA and all the Massholes move into the rest of the country and start turning every other state into just another Masshole borg outpost. Then there is an uprising to defeat the evil Massholians.

      It will be called ‘Masshole Effect’.

      1. Evil Residents.

        1. Anchor Bostonians!

  6. Jeebus, good lord christ, what the fuck?

    We need a more bigger, mostest biggest gigantestest IRS to avoid rising taxes.

    Burn the IRS deniers! Burn them, before we all perish!

    1. Years ago I had a guy tell me that the cure for all of our ills was to raise tax rates an additional 20%.

    2. If your neighbor finds a way to avoid being mugged, we’ll just have to mug you for more.

    3. For every dollar appropriated to the IRS in 2013, it collected $255 …. Spending on tax collections … is, unequivocally, arithmetically good for reducing deficits.

      So, appropriate $70.6B to the IRS and pay off the national debt.

    4. But this cash-flow-positive agency is crucial to our nation’s fiscal health. For every dollar appropriated to the IRS in 2013, it collected $255, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate. Spending on tax collections ? unlike almost any other kind of federal spending ? is, unequivocally, arithmetically good for reducing deficits.

      WTF is that supposed to even mean? It’s the fucking tax collecting agency, it’s the IRS’s fucking job! How the fuck does that make it cash flow positive?

      because Congress is effectively forcing itself to raise rates soon as a direct result of two distinctly foolhardy policies: aggressively defunding the nation’s main revenue collection agency, and continuing to complicate and Swiss-cheese-ify the tax code.

      Flat tax, no deductions/credits/exemptions it is then, deal.

      1. WTF is that supposed to even mean?

        I read the entire article and I’m sure I lost brain cells.

        Does it mean that the authors husband is an IRS agent, or that she’s looking for a comfy crony bucks position in the agency herself?

        Other than that, it lacks any plausible and sane explanation.

      2. For every dollar appropriated to the IRS in 2013, it collected $255, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate

        That actually sounds like a remarkably inefficient appropriations for tax collecting.

    5. “Loopholes” and “tax breaks” are among the most frequently denounced bogeymen on Capitol Hill (second only, perhaps, to “waste, fraud and abuse”), and yet Congress continues to multiply them. Tax expenditures ? spending through the tax code ? totaled an estimated $1.4 trillion in the last fiscal year, and that figure is likely to grow

      “Tax expenditures” is such a fucking disgusting term.

  7. You have to admit that is liek way cool man.


  8. “As Reason reported last year, field inspectors Steve Boleyn and Dyann Prouty misunderstood the safety guidelines and erred in their evaluation of Fung Wah’s fleet.”

    Nice little bus company you have there. Just a small misunderstanding could case big problems, if you get my drift.

  9. My best friend’s step-mother makes $66 /hr on the internet . She has been out of work for 10 months but last month her payment was $12188 just working on the internet for a few hours.
    have a peek at this site —– http://www.jobsfish.com

  10. When the government said it wanted people to get out of their cars and into mass transit, this isn’t what they meant.

    1. Well they’re doing a bang-up job in getting people out of their cars by seizing them through forfeiture.

  11. Sometimes man you jsut have to rol lwith it.


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