By Daniel Lovering
BOSTON (Reuters) - A new low-cost bus line began offering service between Boston and New York City on Thursday, less than a month after federal authorities citing safety concerns shut down the Fung Wah line, which operated buses on the same route.
The new bus service, YO!, is jointly operated by Greyhound and Peter Pan Bus Lines, "two of the safest motorcoach operators in the country," the bus line said in an earlier statement. It began offering service between New York and Philadelphia in December.
The new non-stop service between Boston's South Station and Manhattan's Chinatown neighborhood will include six roundtrip buses daily, with fares starting around $15 each way, according to the company's website.
The company said its name was derived from the pronunciation of a Chinese word that means "to protect," as well as serving as a slang greeting in modern culture.
"YO! provides a fun and safe travel experience for our customers, using environmentally-friendly buses and the most highly-trained professional drivers in the industry," Peter Picknelly, chairman and CEO of Peter Pan Bus Lines, was quoted as saying.
The line's new fuel-efficient engines generate nearly three times less carbon dioxide per passenger, per mile than a hybrid vehicle, said Maureen Richmond, the bus line's spokeswoman.
Last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ordered the low-cost Fung Wah bus line "to immediately cease passenger service and provide its entire fleet of 28 motor coaches for thorough and detailed safety inspections."
The Boston-based Fung Wah, which primarily ferried passengers between New York and Boston for about $15 each way, was shut down by federal authorities on March 1.
The move came after Massachusetts officials said inspectors discovered mechanical problems, including cracks in the frames of a majority of the company's buses.
The company's safety record had been spotty and included a 2006 incident when a bus rolled over on a highway ramp and a 2007 crash that left a bus stuck on a concrete barrier on the Massachusetts Turnpike.
Federal transportation authorities have taken action against several other bus operators in the Northeast in recent days. Last week, they declared New York-based Ming An "an imminent hazard to public safety," and also ordered that company shut down.
(Editing by Barbara Goldberg, G Crosse)