The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says a Springfield-based passenger transportation company poses a hazard to public safety, and has ordered the company's vehicles off valley highways.
The DOT says Santana Busline, Inc. had operated an improperly-run van service between Springfield, Hartford and New York City since late 2012.
In January, state inspectors found that Santana Busline was operating unmarked 15-passenger vans. The investigation also revealed that Santana allowed unqualified drivers to operate vans, did not conduct vehicle safety inspections, failed to maintain vehicles, and allowed drivers to violate federal hours-of-service requirements. Investigators also found that the company knowingly allowed vehicles with safety defects on the road.
In October 2012, the DOT denied Santana Busline, Inc. the ability to conduct interstate passenger service based on its relationship to Santana Xpress, Inc., a passenger carrier that was shut down by the FMCSA in April 2012 after receiving poor safety ratings and failing to pay civil penalties.
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