SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Nearly two months after an out-of-control tour bus crashed in Downtown San Francisco, state lawmakers are trying to put the brakes on problem buses that slip through the cracks.
After a City Sightseeing bus careened down Post Street and slammed into a construction site on November 13th, Senate Bill would drastically change the way the tour bus industry operates.
The bill would end the practice of so-called “ghost buses” like the one that crashed, which are brought in from out of state without getting a once over from the CHP.
“It had not been inspected, it was a ghost bus. This will eliminate those buses in California,” said State Sen. Jerry Hill, who introduced SB812 on Monday.
Surprise inspections are also part of the bill, with 25 percent of all checks under the proposed law would be unannounced.
Currently, operators like City Sightseeing, have warning before the CHP takes a look at their fleet.
“When they did the first inspection before the accident, there were no problems or very little, minor problems,” Hill told KPIX 5. “When they did the re-inspections, unannounced, they found considerable violations. A number of buses that were performing and not operating in a safe manner that they had to take out of service.”
The new bill would also up the price of inspections, which right now stands at $15.
Hill said, “The cost to perform that inspection is between $300 and $400. Right now, the citizens of California are subsidizing the bus operators through the general fund of the state.”
One round of poor inspection reports would trigger even more inspections.
KPIX 5 reached out to the California Bus Association for their take on this bill Monday, but did not hear back.