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Are Buses Any Safer? A CBS Sunday Morning Report

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With high gas prices and high airfares, it’s probably no surprise that bus travel is experiencing a sudden resurgence.┬á More than 700 million passenger trips are now made on motorcoaches each year, surpassing the number of trips taken on commercial airlines.

Curbside bus operators, like BoltBus or Megabus, are a large part of the growth. According to a study by DePaul University of Chicago and the Chaddick Institute for Urban Study, bus operations expanded by 7.1 percent in 2011 and curbside bus operators grew 32.1 percent.

With ridership up, so too are high-profile bus accidents. In 2011, there were several fatal accidents. And one accident in March 2011 killed more than a dozen passengers.

Are riders sacrificing safety for low fares? In 2012, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has ramped up bus inspection and shut down 26 companies as of May. The industry remains under scrutiny, but passengers still might not find a seat belt on their bus. Despite a legislative push, there is no rule requiring seat belts in buses already on the road.

On CBS Sunday Morning, Peter took at hard look and the history and safety of the bus industry. Watch his cover story to find out how the industry has changed, what the the DOT is doing to ensure your safety and what you need to know before your next bus trip.

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