Feds shut NYC bus line that stranded 53 in Va.AP , Associated Press
Aug. 17, 2013 11:29 AM ET
NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City bus line that stranded 53 passengers at a Virginia truck stop for 24 hours has been closed by federal authorities.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said it shut Staten Island-based All Nations Coach after discovering it was a reincarnation of another company shut down a year earlier for safety violations and for failing to pay fines.
The agency says All Nations had the same owners, drivers, routes, managers and vehicles as the previously closed Tichy Express.
The investigation was already underway when an All Nations bus traveling from Charlotte, N.C. to New York broke down at midnight on I-95 last month. A replacement bus didn't arrive until the following night.
All Nations owner Aryana Dilla said in a phone interview Saturday that she did everything she could to help the stranded passengers, and only balked at sending another bus from her fleet because she initially thought it would be quicker to fix the broken-down vehicle on the road.
"I'm not the villain they make me out to be," she said.
Dilla also denied that she or her husband, Isa Nebi, who had run Tichy Express, had engaged in any subterfuge regarding the company's ownership.
Tichy, she said, "was my husband's company. I'm entitled to have my own company."
The Motor Carrier Safety Administration said the bus line is the 16th to be shut down since April, when transportation officials stepped up enforcement because of concerns about safety at small, discount bus companies.