State DOT cracks down on charter bus companies

BOHEMIA - The state Department of Transportation (DOT) has begun inspecting charter bus companies based on Long Island in the aftermath of the fatal crash on I-95 in March that claimed 15 lives.One of the largest local bus companies that could potentially face fines and suspensions is the Long Island Airport and Limousine Service. According to inspection records released by the DOT, 75 percent of the company's vehicles failed safety tests.Three other local bus companies also have been cited for violations ranging from failing to provide proper log book entries to having burned-out taillights, and even faulty brakes.John Grando, the owner of A-1 Party Ride, is accused of allowing one of his drivers to work 11 hours a day instead of the limit of 10. Bill Schoolman, the owner of the Bohemia-based Classic Transportation, which has a clean safety record, says one thing some bus companies do is avoid required inspections every six months, instead risking getting caught with a violation and facing a small fine. A suspension hearing for the four Long Island bus companies will take place tomorrow at the DOT headquarters in Albany.

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