Greyhound facing serious Ca. lawsuit over Border Patrol tactic

Nov. 11, 2018

OPINION:

There hasn’t been a more serious challenge to the free flow of interstate bus travel since authorities betrayed the Freedom Riders in the 1960’s; civil rights activists rode Trailways and Greyhound buses in mixed racial groups with the purpose of breaking up Jim Crow travel laws in the South.  Then, as now, the promise of interstate carriers to not discriminate nor allow prejudice of our precious passengers regardless of their race, skin color, national origin, age, gender, or language (accent) is at a crossroads. In particular, there is no federal requirement, nor has there ever been a federal requirement, for a passenger who boards an interstate bus to retain on his person a document that proves citizenship, or permanent residency, or visiting rights to this country.

The only time that an interstate bus operator checks for such type of border crossing documents is if the bus is intended to go through a border crossing.  To think, or consider, that a bus, any bus, can be halted and inspected by Customs and Border Patrol agents at any location within 100 miles of the US border which encompasses surface square miles of roughly 22 percent of the nation – and covers the densest populated areas, over 200 million people! – without a specific probable cause of a felony, is outrageous and wrong. These actions must be held to a higher standard and should not be the original intention of the 1953 law that established a 100-mile border zone. ACLU publishes a brief explanation of this law: The Constitution in the 100-Mile Border Zone

This week, a passenger, Ms. Rocio Cordova from California, has filed a lawsuit against Greyhound, also seeking class-action status, with a high profile law office. Ms. Cordova, as plaintiff, accused Greyhound of violating state consumer protection laws barring unfair and unlawful business practices by allegedly consenting to racial profiling by law enforcement officers despite promises not to discriminate on the basis of race, skin color, national origin or language. Córdova said she also suffered economic injury from delays, and the suit seeks a court order barring the alleged practice. Lawsuit targets Greyhound over warrant-less stopping of buses by border agents. Washington Post (Nov. 8, 2018).  This lawsuit will be a landmark case. This should not be a politically-charged issue. All interstate bus operators recognize and respect the importance of police protection and law enforcement.

Our union brothers and sisters at ATU 1700 have encouraged their employer to “send an official letter to Department of Homeland Security saying that Greyhound will not consent to agents boarding company buses without probable cause or a warrant, the Fourth Amendment’s legal standard for domestic routes that don’t cross formal check points.” Read more: ATU 1700 Oct. Bulletin  Karen Miller, President of Local 1700, says it best: “For us this is about passengers, not politics…management must stand up for constitutional law enforcement that respects all of our customers’ right to travel with dignity.”

WBUR-Boston Public Radio Podcast

 

 

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New Flyer of America opening $30 Million bus parts factory in KY

Sept. 30, 2018

Sherperdsville, Kentucky. New Flyer of America, a subsidiary of NFI group which owns  MCI International, New Flyer/America and two other entities opened a new $30 Million facility here in Kentucky, expecting to employ over 550 employees.  The main mission of the factory is the manufacture of motorcoach and transit bus parts and components. The 300,000 sq. foot factory will be a state of the art addition to one of the largest bus manufacturer companies in the world which began in 1930. NFI also owns New Flyer of Canada which is where the MCI J-4500 is assembled (in Winnipeg, Manitoba). 

New Flyer of America opens Kentucky manufacturing plant

New Flyer Bus home page

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Ma DOT BusPlus Western Tier Albany run ending

Sept. 21, 2018

Sept. 30, 2018 will be the last day of BusPlus Mass DOT subsidized Peter Pan service from Springfield to Albany, NY and return. (Originally two busses: one in each direction daily.) This ends a three year run where bus service was provided under state partnership to Springfield, Northampton, Deerfield, Greenfield, Shelburne Falls, Charlemont, North Adams, Williamstown, Troy, and Albany. Details of the contract change are not available. 

There will be a “bump bid” from Miles down effective Oct. 1, 2018 in Springfield division. 

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CVC Partners inquiring of First Group buyout

Sept. 9, 2018

CVC Partners, a global private equity and credit firm with over $69 Billion in assets and 24 offices worldwide is in early stages of investigation of possible buyout of First Group LLC of UK which owns Greyhound US, Greyhound Canada, and other subsidiaries.  No details of the meetings is public, but First Group has floated the possibility of selling its business, or parts of its business to outside parties. First Group shares are currently trading on the UK exchange at $1.20 US per share.  More details below:

CVC Partners equity investment firm looking at First Group

What is CVC Partners Private Equity and Credit firm?

 

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Mayor cuts ribbon at new Peter Pan offices

Aug. 28, 2018

Mayor Sarno, Congressman Neal, and other dignitaries were invited to the new third floor offices of Peter Pan Bus Lines corporate headquarters in Union Station, Springfield. Ribbon cutting ceremony and announcement of new street designation as “Peter Pan Way” was held in the offices where Peter Picknelly said “this is a special place, for thousands who visit Springfield, this is their first impression”.  Peter Pan has signed a five-year lease on the office space through year 2023.

Peter Pan open house, ribbon ceremony

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Tire blowout on 18-wheeler causes head-on collision with Greyhound bus

Aug. 31, 2018

An 18-wheeler truck lost control after a tire blew, and crossed the median head on with a Greyhound bus travelling in opposite direction on I.40 in New Mexico today. The bus was heading from St. Louis to Los Angeles. The collision caused major damage and there are multiple fatalities expected. The bus was travelling with 48 on board. The truck driver managed to survive without injuries.

NTSB sends a go-team to investigate.

Truck collides with Greyhound bus in New Mexico

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