Megabus driver involved in Turnpike incident no longer with company

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The driver of a Megabus that was guided to a stop by a passenger on the Pennsylvania Turnpike on Monday "is no longer employed by our company," a spokesman said today.

The passenger helped steer the Pittsburgh-bound bus to the shoulder near Bedford at about 6 p.m. Monday after the driver suffered an apparent medical problem.

The bus company previously had said video and physical evidence debunked a claim by other passengers that tractor-trailers had bumped the bus to keep it from running off the highway.

In an email to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today, a passenger on the bus said the driver drove erratically and at high speeds throughout the trip.

Megabus.com, responding to those allegations, issued this statement:

"Safety is our absolute priority and we have carried out a detailed investigation into this incident, including reviewing GPS data and videos. This shows that there was no contact between the bus and any other vehicle and that the driver remained conscious throughout with both hands on the steering wheel. We are extremely grateful to the quick-thinking passenger who assisted her by holding on to the steering wheel and guiding the bus with her to safety.

"The driver was fully medically qualified to drive the vehicle under Department of Transportation standards. She was seen by supervisors prior to departing Philadelphia and did not appear to be unwell. Our driving team is provided with extensive training and this includes clear instructions that if they do not feel well enough to drive then they must inform us.

"As part of our commitment to safety, we have in place a number of communication channels if customers on our vehicles or other members of the public have any concerns. These include Drivers Alert (888-970-7233), customer service (877-GO2-MEGA), via @megabushelp on Twitter, email and Facebook. Safety related alerts are always dealt with immediately. At no point during this trip was megabus.com contacted.

"We fully expect our employees to meet our high safety standards. We can confirm that, following our investigation, the driver involved in this incident is no longer employed by our company."

breaking - region - Transportation

Jon Schmitz: jschmitz@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1868.


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