Firm suspended from charter work
Bus company’s driver had convictions, records show
The West Baltimore company at the center of the bus crash that killed six people Tuesday has been suspended from providing charter bus rides in Maryland since last year.
The driver of the school bus had convictions for assault, violating protective orders and vehicle registration violations, according to online court records.
AAAffordable Transportation LLC owned the school bus that collided with an MTA bus in Southwest Baltimore. Records show the Public Service Commission suspended the company’s for-hire charter bus authority in October 2015 after the company failed to report revenues to the state.
Charter bus operators must pay a share of their revenue to the state, officials said.
“This was an administrative violation,” said Tori Leonard, spokeswoman for the Public Service Commission. “This was not a safety issue.”
Leonard said the company failed to report A bus from AAAfordable transportation was involved in Tuesday’s fatal crash. about $12,000 in revenue from 2014 to the commission. It owed the state about $30.
Leonard said AAAffordable remains suspended from transporting customers by charter bus in Maryland because it has not filed the proper forms with the state and has yet to pay a $100 civil penalty.
She said the suspension did not affect the company’s ability to contract with Baltimore City Public Schools to transport students.
“The suspension was only for charter services,” she said.
Fifty-one companies in Maryland have their for-hire charter bus authority suspended.
AAAffordable had a clean federal safety record the past two years, but one of its buses was involved in a crash four years ago that injured at least 13 people.
The crash Tuesday morning in the 3800 block of Frederick Avenue killed six people, including both drivers, and injured 10 others.
AAAffordable is one of seven bus companies contracted by Baltimore schools to transport students. The school system has contracted with AAAfordable since 2010, school officials said.
Glenn Chappell, 67, was on his way to pick up the first of about18 students before 7 a.m. when he rear-ended a Ford Mustang and struck a concrete pillar, police said.
The school bus then continued another block and smashed through the driver’s side front of the MTA bus, police said.
There were no students on the school bus. Police found no indication that the brakes on the school bus were applied before the collision.
Bus drivers contracted by city schools must meet health standards. Chappell passed an annual physical in June, school officials said.
Judges in Howard County and Baltimore issued protective orders against Chappell in domestic-violence cases in 2011 and 2012, according to online court records.
He was found guilty of violating protective orders three times between 2012 and 2013. He pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in December 2012 and was sentenced to a year of probation.
He pleaded guilty in 2014 to failing to show a registration card on demand and in 2015 to driving a vehicle with a suspended registration.
In 2008, Chappell was sued in a motor tort case, which typically involve car accidents. The case was settled in 2010, online records indicate.
Further details of the cases were not available late Wednesday.
AAAfordable owner Mark Williams said Tuesday that the driver had a good record. He declined to answer further questions, saying the company and its drivers were grieving. Williams could not be reached for comment Wednesday.