Gena Kiu

All Aboard, Next Stop Chinatown

Started as cheap transport for Chinese restaurant workers, discount bus companies have developed loyal ridership, despite safety issues.

A packed coach pulls off a Chinatown sidewalk, away from a smiling woman holding a wad of $20s. The driver, speeding down 1-95, speaks little English and turns up the volume on the Jackie Chan movie blaring throughout the cabin. A diverse group of passengers talk loudly on their cell phones while others turn up the volume on their iPods to drown out the yelling. But after paying only $15 a ticket for a 200-mile ride, who can complain?