Texas Bus Operator had 15 Violations in the Past Two Years

This article contains information on recent news, and we will have more details on the bus operator’s violation history, an area in commercial transportation safety law our firm has significant experience. While the investigation is ongoing, we offer our deepest condolences go to those who lost their loved ones in this deadly crash.

Although it was raining that morning, authorities have not ruled inclement weather as a significant factor in the accident. “Our troopers are going to look into what happened but it’s going to take us some time,’ said Texas Department Safety Trooper Conrad Hein, “we just know the driver lost control.”

The driver of the bus is listed among the survivors of the wreck however was described as suffering major injuries. On Sunday, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) began investigating the cause of the crash, but the final outcome could take months to decide.

However, early investigation into the bus company – OGA Charters, also located in Texas – shows the company was ordered to sideline a bus in May 2015 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association due to severe brake problems. Additionally, the company had a total of 15 violations in the past two years. It is unclear at this time if the bus involved in the accident is the same one ordered to be sidelined.

“The fact that the operator had 15 violations is the past two years is alarming. It raises serious questions not only about the driver, but about the entire operation. These violations and the whole safety culture are things we will be aggressively investigating on behalf of claimants who require representation.” As stated by Joseph Fried, a lead trial lawyer in commercial transportation accidents including semi-trucks and bus charters.

When any transportation company fails to maintain their fleet and injures passengers, however inadvertently, that company should be held accountable. Certainly the families of these 8 victims and those injured on what should have been an enjoyable Saturday deserve justice for their pain and suffering.

Texas State Transit

I’ve been riding buses for the last three years that I have lived in San Marcos. Whether it be to the Texas State Campus, to the outlet mall, or even to Austin, I’ve relied on multiple buses to get me there. When I first moved here, the apartment complex I lived at did not have a Bobcat TRAM stop near it, so I had to take the CARTS city bus to campus. CARTS busFor those that don’t know, the CARTS bus works like this: there are different routes that run at different frequencies throughout the day, similar to the Bobcat TRAM. The difference is that the rider has to transfer to a different route to get to a certain place. For example, you want to go to campus from Wal-Mart. You hasve to catch the bus at Wal-Mart to go to the station and transfer to another bus which will take you to campus. A little more complicated than the TRAM but no too difficult. The second year I was here I moved to an apartment that had a TRAM stop near it. The TRAM runs a lot more frequently because it only goes to campus. Now, I am back at the apartment complex I lived at my first year here and I am riding the CARTS bus again.

The CARTS bus has its pros and its cons. First, since you do have to take one bus to the station and then get on another bus to campus, the ride can be a bit long which means leaving earlier. The CARTS bus routes have changed recently and now the ride to campus is even longer. Instead of going to campus and back to the station like it used to which only took 30 minutes, the bus now goes from the station to the outlet mall, back to campus and finally back to the station. The route is now an hour long which means it runs less frequently. I now have to leave my apartment even earlier, at least two hours before my class starts. I used to be able to come back to my apartment in between classes, but now since the route is longer I can no longer do that.

TXState Bus That was one of the good things with the TRAM. It runs so frequently that going back to my apartment, even if it was just to eat lunch, was very easy. Another thing with the CARTS bus is it only runs until 6 PM, which means if you have late classes you will probably miss the last run. The TRAM runs much later. Even though the TRAM runs so frequently and late, it is still always packed with people because of the number of  students here at Texas State. Sometimes it would get to the point where I would have to wait for the next bus because the one there was full. That’s really inconvenient if you are in a hurry.

Overall, both the CARTS bus and the Bobcat TRAM have their pro’s and cons but they both are a great alternate mode of transportation. Did I mention they’re free to ride?! Well, not exactly free. The fees and included in tuition, but you already paid for it so you might as well use it, right?

Five Off Beat & Inexpensive Texas Road Trip Ideas

When out of state tourists think of Texas road trips, only a few hot spots come to mind: The Alamo, Austin night life, and that is about it. I wanted to point out some other lesser-known city and outside attractions that might make for an interesting road trip.

Schlitterbahn – For your summer time road trip, drive your water-amusement-park-lovin’ self down to New Braunfels, Texas and get your feet wet in this German themed oasis of fun. There are two parts to this park, and I personally enjoy the older classic part. I don’t know, there is just something nostalgic about that muddy water tube slides and river tubing.

I am sure the kids and the wife would prefer the newer part with a man-made river of the chlorinated persuasion one can lounge on alligator floaty on all day. It keeps you moving whether you want to or not. There are also huge slides that make for a real tongue swallower!

Tubing on the Guadalupe River – While in the area, this is definitely something to write home about a Texas favorite. There are several different routes ranging from one hour to four that will make your day on the river a time flexible reality. You can even drink beer while tubing, but be careful and don’t get carried away (no pun intended). As a recent rule, they do limit it to one six pack per person.

I’d advise doing some research online for quality “float the river” tips. For inner tube coupons from various providers, type in Tubing on the Guadalupe River in Google without quotes. Bring a picnic basket and you family can have a pretty inexpensive day of fun.

San Antonio’s Haunted Railroad Crossing – After tubing all day, you still have time to make a trip that night an hour away in San Antonio. South of San Antonio, in a low key neighborhood not too far from the San Juan Mission is an intersection of roadway and railroad track that has become known in a catalog of American ghost lore.

In 1941, a catholic school bus full of kids made its way down the road and toward the intersection. It stalled on the railroad tracks and a speeding train crushed the bus, sacrificing all of the children. The bus driver, a nun, survived, until she went insane and committed suicide.

Since the accident over 60 years ago (as the story goes), any vehicle stopped on the railroad tracks will be pushed by tiny unseen hands across the tracks to safety. This is the only part of the city where ghost children help with your defensive driving in San Antonio. Try using baby power on your bumper, so you can see their prints! This is definitely spooky, and from experience it works too!

In the last ten years, the railroad crossing has grown has grown rapidly in popularity, with tourists visiting nightly mostly due to online ghost and haunting stories research.

Fredericksburg, Texas – If you’re not down for ghost chases, here is a little less paranormal sabbatical, for the next day in your vacation. Known for bed and breakfast houses and antique stores, Fredericksburg, Texas is a small town located in Gillespie County (almost the exact middle of Texas). A perfect get away for you and your honey after a day on the river. They have over 300 accommodations for a town with 8,911 in population.

Only 63 miles north of San Antonio and 67 miles west of Austin, you could make a half day of a visit, the whole day and spend the night in a bed and breakfast. There are also quite a few hunting and fishing opportunities. Men, you might save that for another road trip with your buddies when you aren’t with your wife or significant other.

Luckenbach, Texas – While in Fredericksburg you might as well hit Luckenbach not very far away. “Everybody’s somebody in Luckenbach, Texas” because it is officially Texas’ smallest town with an official government census population in 1970 of 3. Waylon and Willy sang about it.

The oldest building in town is a general store/saloon opened in 1849 by Minna Engel, whose father was an itinerant preacher from Germany. The store is also a gift shop where you can get a shirt and a shot glass, your merit badge to any city along your Texas road trip.

There you have it folks, five off beat and inexpensive Texas road trip ideas.

Choosing A Texas Location for Your New Home

The state of Texas, is the second largest in all of the United States. Spanning over two hundred thousand miles, this great state is compiled of ten climate regions, ranging from hill country coolness to deep south sunshine. Holding fifteen rivers and three thousand seven hundred named streams, the state is as wet as it is dry and warm. It is no wonder so many families flock to Texas to start a home, build community and enjoy the weather.

So when looking for the perfect Texas location for your family home, what specifically should you be looking for? Even as the state itself has a plethora of amazing attributes, it’s important to choose a portion of the state that fits your family needs, hobbies and culture and lifestyle.

City Verses Country:
Depending on your needs regarding, shopping, everyday cultural events, arts, etc., one must first ponder city living verses country living. Some find easy access to shopping and city stores of great benefit to their family, while other choose to shop once a month or online, and live within the country portion of beautiful Texas.

Perhaps your family also consists of animals, such as outdoor dogs, horses, etc. If this is the case, perhaps a city or town with more land might be the choice for you. While others with indoor pets prefer less outdoor maintenance with a smaller yard.

Some families may look forward to enjoying cultural events, arts, and/or lectures. In this case, perhaps Nacogdoches real estate is more your flavor. With the heart of a downtown arena, home to the Stephen F. Austin University, as well as a local flavor all types of families could easily desire; a history town might be a fantastic choice. For those who respectively desire a strong and active nightlife may direct their ideals toward a larger city, such as Houston or Dallas, Texas.

Transportation and Travel:
Transportation is a realm that most people don’t ponder much on when deciding which location is best for their family to grow roots within. In the case that you choose to have one or more vehicles, and do not mind driving yourself from place to place, the country, or a more historic or suburban area may be a good option.

Although, if it is the case that you wish to not own a vehicle, enjoying the everyday walk or bike ride to and from work, to and from your local grocery store; perhaps a city with public transportation is a better area? Public transportation normally is present in larger cities, but it is also good to research if a local trolley, bus, etc. is available within smaller towns and cities as well. Often times you can live the life of walking and enjoying the outdoors with public transportation, even in a location that is less dense.

No matter what your family needs are, there are many considerations when deciding where to build or purchase a new home. With diverse weather conditions, nightlife and history aspects, each piece of Texas is as unique as the next. Speaking to a local contractor, builder or realtor in locations you are interested in, can always give you a better idea of what your daily life may look like. Never hesitate to also ask the locals their opinions of a particular location, as you observe each diverse area.

South Padre Island Texas – Why Your Next Trip Will Be Here

South Padre Island Texas is starting getting a well deserved reputation for being an excellent beach vacation spot. Good beaches, temperate weather, and other advantages make it an ideal vacation locale for not only Texans, but the entire United States. Some of the many advantages of South Padre Island Texas include:

1. Great Fishing Opportunities. There are definitely plenty of fish in the sea and in South Padre, you can go after a ton of them. Whether you are into deep sea fishing or bay fishing, you will have a chance to go after the big fish. There are a number of experienced captains to guide you and your family on fishing tours around the Island.

2. Wide Variety of Activities. Water sports are probably the most popular at South Padre Island. Popular choices include windsurfing, parasailing, windsurfing and many others. However, you can also get in plenty of fun shopping and Island sight seeing while vacationing. The many gift shops and t-shirt shops are hits with the locales and vacationers alike. These are especially good for finding mementos and last minute supply items like boogy boards and swimwear.

3. Splendid Seafood. One plus that is not as advertised as much as it should be is the treasure trove of seafood options in South Padre. Popular dishes include red snapper and shrimp, but others have raved about everything else at one point or the other. Whatever your seafood interests are, you are sure to find at least a few places that will get you what you are looking for.

4. Wonderful and Friendly People. Southern Hospitality is in full swing in Texas where you are sure to meet some good natured and happy people. South Padre has long been known for its laid back approach to live where t-shirts and shorts are the norm. This works great for vacationers and help you enjoy your trip more as you don’t have to worry about restaurant dress codes and fitting in.

5. Fantastic Accommodations. The number of housing options at South Padre is quite diverse. However, finding a hotel, condo or rental that meets your needs for a good vacation home should not be difficult. You can find spots near the beach or the bay and even in the inner island. All these spots give you different benefits and you should give this some consideration when choosing your accommodations. Regardless of the spot though, you should have little difficult getting around town. There is even a free bus transportation system.


Moving? Don’t Get Snarled in Texas Traffic!

Many people like to wait for a weekday, if they can, to move from one home or office to another, or to move items into or out of a Texas self storage unit. Self storage facilities and moving companies alike tend to be less busy on weekdays than they are on weekends. Be careful, though — do not make plans to move on a weekday to save yourself time, only to wind up getting snarled in rush hour or construction traffic.

To find up-to-the-minute information about construction-related traffic delays and rush hour traffic flow, try checking the city traffic website for the city you are moving into and the city you are moving out of. Most traffic websites include a list of recent traffic incidents and road closures, a construction report, and reports on the average speed at which highways are moving. Many also show the route maps and locations of transit centers and “park and ride” centers, which can be very useful if you are taking a bus to your local moving company before renting a moving truck.

Many traffic sites also are accessible via mobile phone.

Here are some of the most commonly used traffic and construction links to get you started:

– If you live near Houston, San Antonio, or El Paso, you can get your traffic information from a “smart highway” or Intelligent Transportation Site, which uses highway cameras to provide information about current travel times, lane closures, and traffic incidents. These sites also offer emergency information. In addition, Houston Transtar also has links to the Houston/Galveston Area National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center, in case you are moving during the Atlantic hurricane season. The “Hurricane Information and Links” page even includes evacuation route maps. San Antonio’s TransGuide includes links to roadside assistance and the phone number for the Stranded Motorist Hotline. El Paso’s TransVista also includes a link to El Paso’s public transportation website, Sun Metro.

– DalTrans. The Dallas/Fort Worth traffic site is still in the beta stage, so you may have to be a little patient with it. You can discuss any problems that arise at the DFW Traffic Data Discussion Forum, a Google group. DalTrans does have close-up street maps of the downtown areas for Dallas and Fort Worth. It also has special pages set up for browsers that use KML (Keyhole Markup Language, like the files used by Google Earth), so that if you want to see DalTrans maps on your iPhone, for example, you can simply point it to the KML version of the site. You can get Arlington and Plano traffic information here too, or you can check the City of Arlington Traffic Update. Plano does not have a city traffic site, but Topix has a traffic site for Plano that includes current traffic incidents and a “jam factor” for each highway, indicating the average speed at current conditions and the level of congestion.

– Navteq Traffic.com (Austin). Austin does not yet have a dedicated city traffic site. But if you are willing to sign up for a free account, you can get the same information from Traffic.com. If you plan to make the same drive regularly, you can sign up to receive SMS or email alerts warning you when traffic will be particularly slow. If you prefer, you can view a list of traffic incidents at the Austin-Travis County Traffic Report Page. For road closures, go to Roadworks, which lists construction-related road closures, closures for special events, and county and state road closures.

– Corpus Christi’s traffic site offers little local information, but has a link to a county and state roadway database.

Good luck with your move, and — don’t get stuck in traffic.

Are You a Texas Driver? Know the Texas Inspection Sticker Law – 6 FAQs

If you drive on Texas roads, whether it is in a passenger car, motorcycle, pickup truck, van, bus, moped, or other motorized vehicle, that vehicle must display a Texas inspection sticker. Many people attempt to have their vehicles inspected, but fail due to some mechanical problem or other. If your inspection sticker is expired, you face a fine. What do the inspectors look for? What happens if your vehicle fails? Your best bet is to be prepared as to what your vehicle needs to pass the inspection. Do you know the Texas inspection sticker law? Below are six FAQs.

What parts of my vehicle will the inspection address?

The inspection will ensure that all of the important safety aspects of the vehicle are working as they should, not only to keep you safe, but to keep other Texas drivers safe as well. The inspection center will check a variety of things, including, but not limited to, the vehicle’s headlights, turn signals, windshield wipers, tires, brakes, steering, reflectors, mirrors, horn, and beam indicators.

Some vehicles require emissions testing, including gasoline powered vehicles, vehicles from two to 24 years old, and vehicles registered in designated counties that required emissions inspections.

Are any vehicles exempt from requiring a current inspection sticker?

Some vehicles are exempt from inspection. These include school buses, farm machinery, road building equipment, any vehicle required to show a slow moving vehicle emblem, and those trailers, semitrailers, pole trailers, and mobile homes whose gross weight is 4,500 pounds or less. Other vehicles included in this exemption are those displaying certain kinds of license plates, such as antique vehicles, those holding a parade or disaster license, and more. Other less common exemptions can be found at the Texas Department of Public Safety website.

When should I get my vehicle inspected?

If you are currently driving a vehicle registered in Texas, you should get your vehicle inspected in the month showing on your current inspection sticker. While an inspection certificate expires on the last day of the month indicated on your windshield sticker, there is a five-day grace period after the last day of the month for motorists to obtain their new sticker.

What are the most common reasons for a vehicle failing the inspection test?

The most common problems that prevent a vehicle from passing inspection are those concerning windshield wiper blades, brakes, parking brakes, tires, and bulbs, including turn signals, headlights, and stop lights.

What happens if my vehicle fails inspection?

If your vehicle fails inspection, you have 15 days to have the item repaired. If you take your vehicle back to the same inspection station that failed it, the re-testing will be free. If you take it to another inspection station or if you do not have the vehicle repaired and re-tested within15 days, you will be charged for a second inspection.

Where do I get my vehicle inspected?

There are many places to get your vehicle inspected, with inspection stations in most cities and towns. However, some stations offer more services than others. Some offer substantial discounts on needed repairs, such as new windshield wiper blades, headlights, and other bulbs. Believe it or not, some inspection stations even offer year-long, free replacement of windshield wiper fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and gas caps for one year as long as you go to one of their official inspection stations.

The Main Transportation Hubs in the United States

Businesses and consumers have vested interests in transportation services within this nation. As the pace of life accelerates, quickly getting goods to and from different locations becomes increasingly important. Transportation hubs have developed in response, serving as centers for shipments traveling over land, sea, and air. These hubs are essential to keeping goods moving throughout the country and to and from overseas.

What Are Transportation Hubs?

A hub or interchange devoted to transport is a location where cargo or passengers are exchanged between the same or different modes of transportation. Included are train stations, bus stations and bus stops, tram stops, airports, ferry slips, and rapid transit stations. Hubs for freight include truck terminals, seaports, and classification yards.

A hub is the center of the hub and spoke distribution model. Each hub allows transport of cargo and passengers from one place to another without requiring direct service between the locations. The hub and spoke system for aviation was pioneered by Delta Airlines in 1955. During the 1970s, FedEx began using this model for its overnight package delivery services.

Major U.S. Transportation Hubs

Some of the largest cities in the country including Chicago and Philadelphia have become major hubs for transportation. Memphis is home to FedEx and a major hub for various modes of transport. The largest port on the eastern coastline of North America, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, experienced near-record levels of cargo volumes during 2010. Houston is home to three airports and a port and is located along the proposed Interstate 69 NAFTA superhighway.

Exports are responsible for a large part of the recent economic recovery, making trade hubs very important to this nation. In 2012, the leading hub for international trade was the port of Los Angeles. Due to its proximity to the Mexican border, El Paso is a leading hub for land trade as is the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area. New Orleans is a major air hub and Savannah and Charleston are among the top marine transport hubs.

Other important hubs include Detroit, where trucking serves as the main mode of transportation, and Laredo, Texas, the most important truck passage on the border between Mexico and the U.S. The city of Long Beach in California and the port of Houston are other major water hubs. More than 900,000 tons of international air cargo was handled by John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York during 2008, making it a top air hub.

Party Bus Rentals for Your Next Party

If you reside in a big city chances are you’ve seen those giant buses that people rent for private use. Party buses are becoming very popular in Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta, Texas and most other big cities in the United States. Many smart partiers like to rent a party bus so they can get to their destination with class and of course safety. When you rent a party bus for your event you don’t have to worry about anything other than having fun!

How much does it cost per Hour?

That all depends what city you live in and what options you prefer. If you are in California and you want to rent a small 10 to 20 person Bus, chances are you can find something decent around $100 to $250 per hour. Another thing to keep in mind is if it’s a Vegas trip, you can split the costs between all the passengers to make things more affordable. We did that on our last trip to Vegas and we all had a blast. We ended up renting a Freightliner Bus since we had 34 people in our party. We split the costs between 30 of us and I can honestly say we would have spent more on gas if we all took our own cars instead.

Where can I find a reliable Limo/Bus rental company?

Your best friend should be Google or other search engines you like. You should do a local search with the keyword “Party Bus Rental” and contact couple of them and get more details and pricing.

Party Bus Rental Scams

Before I end my article I did want to bring another important matter to your attention. Be extremely cautious when renting a party bus for your next event. Always verify the limo company you are dealing with and make sure they are an “actual” business and not someone who is operating a “party bus” without all the legal permits. Cops are well aware of the problem and they are cracking down on the “Bandit Party Buses” but we the consumers need to be more alert and verify everything.

Can you drink in a Party Bus?

Why else would they call it a Party Bus if you weren’t allowed to drink alcohol? You can but as I mentioned before please make sure the company you are dealing with is licensed and bonded. You can end up getting in lots of trouble and end up losing lots of money if you end up hiring a person/company who are not properly licensed. So gather all your friends, rent a Party Bus and spend the night having fun and enjoy life a little!

Check out Party Bus Rentals Ventura County for more Information about Party Bus rentals and all the party buses available in the LA and Ventura area.

Austin Charter Bus – A Great Way!

Every American should visit the State Capitol at least once in their lifetime. Those who have not come here after the restoration of the 1990s must visit Austin again. The Texas State Capitol and its sprawling grounds are among the most enchanting landmarks of Austin. Fascinating legend and historical background combine to make a tour of Austin memorable.

Austin is situated on the Colorado River and is surrounded by three manmade lakes which draw hordes of visitors. And this is for the reason that Austin features the hottest clubs, the hippest restaurants, and the coolest places of seclusion. As the only principal metro in the heart of Texas’ Hill Country, Austin is known for its and panoramic beauty.

Whether it is a business trip or sports meet or a birthday bash or a wedding or any other special events in Austin, the one exciting and pleasant and economical way to travel with your team is by availing a charter bus. The principal benefit of using charter bus is that it reduces the tensions and hullabaloos related with group travel.

The Austin charter buses will be larger, more comfortable, affordable and safer with experienced drivers who are familiar with the terrain. The charter buses would have facilities like air conditioning, entertainment systems, comfortable and reclining seats and lot more to make the trip comfortable. The charter buses in Austin are environmental friendly in a large way.

However, there are a few factors you need to bear in mind before availing a charter bus service. Choose an established Austin charter company that is reputed and reliable and owns modern, well-maintained equipment. Verify that the charter line is insured by looking at the certificate of insurance from its insurance company.

Avoid signing an agreement with any Austin charter bus line that has ambiguous wording making you responsible for probable injuries the passengers would sustain while riding in a bus driven by a charter operator. The agreement should explicitly state that the charter company is responsible for injuries that are the result of the operation, or use of the vehicle.

You may also consider buying accident and sickness travel insurance for participants on the trip. This would help cover medical costs that may be incurred during travel.

The Austin bus charter company should also furnish evidence of primary insurance coverage that conforms to all applicable Texas State and federal motor carrier requirements look for any hidden fees stated deceptively in fine print.

The Austin bus has to be clean and well-maintained and the drivers licensed to drive charter buses. It is essential that you carefully scrutinize the antecedents of the charter bus company before signing a contract with them. Also check with the Better Business Bureau for background information. It is suggested you book Austin charter bus a few weeks in advance to avoid disappointment.

There are several charter bus companies out there that are offering 24/7 services for their customers. Searching for the best charter bus company will certainly make your journey pleasurable.

Arrange a tour to Austin with your dear ones by chartering a Charter Bus from our best services. Make your tour an amazing by traveling in Austin Charter Bus from Prompt charters.