Megabus safety: Statement from Director of Operations Bryony Chamberlain
In response to ABC7's Kendis Gibson's report on Megabus speeding and the NTSB report on bus safety in the United States, Megabus Director of Operations Bryony Chamberlain emailed this statement:
"Safety is always our first priority and as such we monitor all our vehicles over our GPS system 24/7. Vehicles which are off-route or send out automatic alerts on items like incorrect tire pressures are contacted immediately to resolve.
Our system also alerts us when vehicles are speeding so we can warn the driver over our GPS system to slow down and the speed is monitored through the reported GPS speed as well as the speedometer speed to ensure accuracy.
Every night, a report is run detailing all the speeding alerts, and this is passed to our Managers so that they can address the matter through retraining and, if necessary, disciplinary action. The same report is also forwarded on to our maintenance staff so they can see if the speed limiters on the vehicles are inoperative and arrange a repair.
Our system is state of the art and we believe this proactive approach to managing safety in such a manner has made significant improvements to our ability to offer a safe and reliable service.
We also employ a retired State Trooper who monitors driving standards in the area by following our vehicles along the turnpike. Each assessment is fed back to the local management for action. By far, the greatest majority of these are satisfactory.
We have investigated the data for the Feb. 9th to see if there were speeding reports as you have highlighted. Looking at the vehicles over the period of an hour we found that the fastest record was 68.9 mph on one vehicle, whilst the other two topped at 66.2 and 66.6 mph. This would indicate that our drivers were operating reasonably.
Our systems and control of our services are extremely comprehensive and we work to improve the safe operation of all of our services. Our current rating with FMCSA is 'satisfactory', which is the highest available, and our performance far exceeds the national average in the items which they assess.
In many cities we are also no longer 'curbside', as in D.C. where we now operate out of Union Station. As our company develops, we are looking for better locations with the facilities for our growing customer base.
We can not achieve this in every city due to the demands of current services on the local infrastructure, but we do always look to achieve this as our first preference when negotiating new stopping locations."