Bus Company Withdraws Its Shutdown Order Appeal

The company illegally transported passengers to Philadelphia for the pope's visit, according to DOT.

A charter bus operating out of Irving, Texas, has withdrawn its appeal of a Nov. 12, 2015, order by the FMCSA to cease all operations as part of an imminent hazard to public safety. The order was submitted after an investigation discovered the operation transported as many as 500 passengers from Dallas to Philadelphia for Pope Francis' visit in September 2015.

The order affected Shahzad Chaudhry and his motor carrier companies, including HME Executive Coach, Inc. and Exec Coach, Inc. DOT reported that the carrier's registration data last updated in 2013 indicated Shahzad Chaudhry operated 43 vehicles and employed 30 drivers. "The carrier is reportedly seeking to sell its fleet of vehicles," according to the news release.

Investigators found that during the trip, two of the motorcoach drivers did not possess valid commercial driver's licenses; all drivers exceeded maximum on-duty and driving time limitations; on one of the buses, the driver became so fatigued that a passenger was permitted to take over control of the vehicle.

In all, a total of 28 out-of-service violations and 86 other serious safety defects were discovered; 11 of the 12 vehicles were placed out of service and out-of-service stickers were affixed on their windshields.

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