SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The tour bus accident last Friday in San Francisco’s Union Square is raising concerns among Bay Area lawmakers.
One city supervisor told KRON there should be more local control in order to keep tourists and others on the road safer.
City Sightseeing is the company that owns the double-decker tour bus that crashed Friday in Union Square. This is also where the CHP plans to send inspectors, possibly as soon as this week, in order to investigate a random sample of the company’s fleet to make sure critical items, like brakes, are in good working order. And the CHP is expected to get a look at its maintenance records.
The staff closed the garage doors a few moments after KRON arrived.
The CHP is also going to try to make sure the company did not add any other buses to their roster without reporting it. The lawyer representing the driver said the double-decker bus that crashed was brought into the City Sightseeing fleet last year.
But the CPUC, which regulates the state’s tour bus industry, said the company never told them about this particular bus.
And that is raising concern with San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim.
“I have a tremendous concern that a tour bus company that has served over 5 million people over the last five years is willing to just…blatantly violate the law,” Kim said.
Right now, the state had oversight over tour buses. The CHP admits they do not inspect every tour bus on the road.
Supervisor Kim said she is working so that the city of San Francisco can help oversee the tour buses. And that would require a change in state law.
“The terrain in the City of San Francisco is very different from the rest of the state of California,” Kim said. “We have congested streets. We have high levels of tourism. So, we have safety concerns that perhaps the state may not understand as well. And I think that we have a vested interest in making sure that our tour companies are meeting the highest level — standards — of safety.”
The owner of City Sightseeing has not responded to our requests to talk about the crash, but in an earlier statement, he said he was deeply saddened by the accident.
A hospital spokesperson said Thursday five people remained in the hospital due to the crash. One man is in critical condition, while two men and a woman are in serious condition.
One minor is still in the hospital as well. His or her condition has not been released.
One patient was discharged Wednesday.