More than a third of buses owned by company involved in fatal I-84 crash previously failed state inspections
New details are emerging about the bus company at the center of Thursday’s fatal crash involving band students from Farmingdale High School.
Team 12 Investigates has spent two days digging into the history of Regency Transportation and found that the New York state Department of Transportation first inspected the bus involved in the crash in August 2023. It was new to the fleet at the time and passed a semi-annual inspection.
The bus was subject to four random roadside inspections since 2021, including one by NYSDOT after the August inspection. The other inspections were performed in other states. A department spokesperson said it passed each inspection.
Team 12 Investigates uncovered that NYSDOT put the company, Regency Transportation, on its “Unacceptable Operators” list on May 15.
Seven of its buses, which is more than a third, failed inspections over the last two years. Companies in this category are subject to more frequent inspections and reviews—and face tougher penalties for violations.
The majority of issues identified in those inspections had to do with braking systems. Those buses were immediately taken out of service until the problems were fixed, a department spokesperson said. The other reasons for failed inspections were due to recordkeeping and rear axle issues.
NYSDOT has a Performance Based Bus Safety Program that allows parents to look up bus company profiles online. Companies are placed into three categories based on safety inspections. These safety performance categories are:
• Preferred ‐ Operators with less than 10% of buses that fail inspection
• Acceptable ‐ Operators with more than 10% and less than 25% of buses that fail inspection
• Unacceptable ‐ Operators with more than 25% of buses that fail inspection
News 12 reached out to Regency Transportation. A woman on the phone said she only works as an answering service and that someone would return our calls. News 12 has not yet heard back.