The official news was out today (May 31, 2012) after 6 bus operators informed GotoBus that their services were closed down yesterday (May 30, 2012). A total of 26 bus companies (actually 13 companies since other 13 bus companies were previously shut down) were identified by FMCSA in its press release on May 31, 2012. http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/about/news/news-releases/2012/I-95-Bus-Release.aspx
According to the press release, these 26 bus companies are categorized into 3 major companies: Apex Bus, Inc., I-95 Coach, Inc. and New Century Travel, Inc. half of the 26 companies appear to have been shut down in the past for various reasons including safety issues.
The collective act to shut down these Chinatown bus companies simultaneously came in as a surprise, especially after frequent and tight inspections by government agencies since one year ago.
The fatal accident on Mar 12, 2011 resulting in 15 deaths was cited in many news reports. Interestingly enough, the bus operator in that accident was not owned by Chinese immigrants and that operator is still in the bus business. The media clearly is doing the same thing as they did for a government report on curbside bus operators. They associate Chinatown bus with all bad statistics (see signaling out Chinatown bus as curbside bus when bad statistics are discussed) .
Bus fares with other competing Chinatown bus operators, for many routes previously serviced by these bus companies, jumped today as the result of elimination of competitors.
Based on a specific order on each of these three companies “must agree to operate under one certificate of registration”, it suggests that those live companies are having the same ownership structure (same owners with same percentage ownership). It is hard to believe that these companies, formed in different time, would all share the same ownership structure.
If two partners co-own three restaurants with different percentages (one with 60/40, one with 50/50 and one with 40/60) due to their initial investment choices, these three restaurants (or entities) should be allowed to operate separately in their respective ownership. Even though the owners are limited to the same two parties, three entities probably should apply for different licenses.