CHAMPAIGN -- Lex Express is parking its buses. Lex Express posted on its website Thursday that it is no longer selling tickets.
This is after federal inspectors threatened to shut it down after finding safety violations. There were things like letting a driver work without a proper license and falsely reporting some maintenance records.
It's a part of an investigation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. It started in November.
The agency told the bus company that it would have until Friday to fix everything. If it didn't, its buses would be taken off the road.
Last week, Lex filed a 600-page plan with inspectors. It outlines the company's plan for fixing the problems. The agency now has 30-days to review it.
It's unclear whether Lex would be able to operate during those 30-days. Either way, for now, Lex is closed.
Update: 5:23 pm, 11/14/12, Wednesday
CHAMPAIGN -- A federal agency is threatening to shut down Lex Express Bus Service after finding several safety violations. Most bus companies have violations, but in the case of Lex, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) considers its violations to be serious.
Agency officials told Lex it has until December 7 to fix its problems, or it will have to stop service. One serious violation found last month was letting a driver work without having the proper license.
When it comes to maintenance, Lex had three serious violations. They include two instances where a vehicle was on the road without being properly inspected first. The report also found the company falsely reporting some of its maintenance records, as well as failing to promptly repair parts and accessories.
Original: 10:15 pm, 11/13/12, Tuesday
CHAMPAIGN -- A federal agency is threatening to shut down Lex Express Bus Service. An investigation into the company last month turned up several safety violations.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) say Lex falsely reported driving records, had a vehicle on the road that wasn't properly inspected and failed to promptly repair parts and accessories.
All those violations added up to a rough safety rating for the company. Now FMCSA is giving Lex until December 7, to fix the problems. If it doesn't, the company will have to stop service.
Some Lex riders weren't surprised by the news. Others say they still plan on using the service.
"They're the most frequent, so if I want to go down to Chicago on Wednesday, the only option is Lex pretty much. So if I want to go down there on Wednesday, I take a Lex," said UI student, Yogesh Italia.
Peoria Charter is a similar-sized bus company. It had 24 maintenance violations in the past two years, Lex had 77.
FMCSA investigated Peoria Charter five times in the past 12 years, but it's had to investigate Lex five times in just the past three years. FMCSA also graded Lex's maintenance rating at 72.7%. That means its maintenance rating is worse than 72.7% of similarly-sized bus companies.