Lynwood Commuter Bus Firm Obtains Insurance, Will Continue in Operation

A Lynwood commuter bus firm affected by the bankruptcy of insurance giant Transit Casualty has been able to find insurance that will permit operations to continue uninterrupted, a company official said Saturday.

A scramble for insurance was triggered Friday when the state Public Utilities Commission suspended operations of the 90 to 95 private bus companies in California that had lost liability coverage because of the Nov. 26 failure of Transit Casualty.

James C. Carson, vice president of Commuter Bus Lines of Lynwood, said Saturday: "We are up and rolling. Our concern now is to be able to live with the increased costs."

Carson said the new insurance, obtained Friday through All Ways Insurance, was three to four times as expensive as the coverage provided by Transit Casualty.

His firm operates 30 routes, carrying 900 commuters daily throughout the greater Los Angeles area.

Desert Bus Line

Desert Stage Lines Inc., based in Twentynine Palms, is the only other "significant" bus operation in the Los Angeles area that was affected, according to the PUC.

Its president, Ardella Cook, said Saturday that her firm also had managed to get insurance through All Ways and was continuing operations.

"I renewed yesterday to the tune of $98,000, about three times more," she said, adding that she will seek permission from the PUC to raise rates, a process that she said normally takes six months.

Desert Stage Lines operates 14 buses, running two trips daily from the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Station to Los Angeles and San Diego bus terminals.

Cook said she will seek to raise rates to Los Angeles from $17 to $18 and to San Diego from $20 to $22.

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