The Transit Coalition has long explored ways to improve longer distance inter-regional mobility transit options throughout the Inland Empire. The expansion of private sector coaches and intercity bus competition can certainly address this. One sector that is performing well in terms of ridership are casino buses which ferry patrons from pick up points all over Southern California to the gaming resorts.
However, with the ridership growth came the unexpected uprising in bus collisions. During the 2013 Christmas holiday season alone, four separate reported casino bus wrecks occurred on Inland Empire highways which included fatalities. In addition, a Riverside Transit Agency bus crashed in December along State Highway Route 74 near Hemet.
Because of this serious situation, regulators and lawmakers at the state and federal level are being pressured to act. Existing law on inspection of fleets needs to be better enforced. Accountability of the proper training of casino bus drivers needs better oversight. Officials also need to be careful not to drive out the industry by over-regulating the market. Drawing a sound solution will require productive debate between the affected parties.