Chinatown Bus Pioneer Fung Wah Strangled by Federal Bureaucracy

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


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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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