Known affectionately as “the Chinatown bus,” the Fung Wah bus service was a beloved — and cheap — mode of transportation for New Yorkers and those living in the tri-state area (“New Jersey-ans,” “Connecticut-ites,” and “Suburban New Yorkers”) to other cities on the East Coast, and vice versa.
On February 26, 2013, the Fung Wah died a not-entirely-unexpected death when the U.S. Department of Transportation demanded that all service cease immediately and all FW buses submit to safety inspections ASAP. The Fung Wah had been ill for some time, having recently pulled almost all of its’ New York/Boston buses from the road due to safety concerns.
Fung Wah, you took me from New York to Philadelphia when I was merely 17, a trip that included attending the Live 8 Benefit concert, where Will Smith performed the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song; my friends and I stealing onion rings from a neighboring Ruby Tuesday’s table after its group left, because we were starving, our waiter was slow, and the onion rings were untouched (I swear); and my first-ever (and only) experience making out with a frat boy at UPenn, during which I received a bruised lip — a lip hickey, if you will.
And then you dropped us back in New York and we got lost in Chinatown for an hour because we were just quaint suburban teens and had no idea what we were doing, really.
It goes without saying, Fung Wah, that I loved you for being the vessel that carried me to these Philly memories, even though I never used you again after that 2005 trip due to increasing reports of safety issues.
Fung Wah is survived by the buses it inspired—Bolt, Mega, and so forth.