Dozens of passengers aboard a Greyhound bus traveling from New York to Washington, D.C. found themselves unexpectedly stranded at a Delaware rest stop for hours because of weather delays.
The bus departed New York at 1:30 a.m. Monday, just as snow was beginning to pile up in the region, creating some difficult driving conditions.
Passengers say that around 4 a.m., the driver of the bus pulled over at a rest stop in Newark, Del., got off the bus, and left the passengers behind.
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The driver told NBC10's Tim Furlong that he had reached his government-mandated hours limit, so he went into the rest stop to wait for another driver to show up. The passengers were left waiting on the bus for five hours.
One passenger said she was upset that the driver left them sitting for so long, but even more frustrated with Greyhound's neglect to plan ahead.
"He abandoned us. He left," the passenger said. "The weather reports are everywhere. You see that this could happen, have people set up and spaced out so that in case this does happen, people can still do what they need to do."
Passengers say the driver left the bus idling and showed them the button to open and close the bus' door before he left.
According to a spokesman from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in the Department of Transportation, federal regulations prohibit bus drivers from being on duty for more than 15 hours per day. In addition, bus drivers can only be behind the wheel of a bus for a total of 10 hours, after which they are required to take a mandatory eight-hour break before driving again.
It has not been confirmed how long the first driver had been behind the wheel before stopping at the rest stop.
A new driver arrived to the rest stop around 12:30 p.m. on Monday -- some eight hours after they first pulled over.
Greyhound officials did not admit fault, but told NBC10 that the snowy weather hampered its operations and that the company is working with the passengers.
The bus continued en route to D.C. with a bus new driver just before 1 p.m. Monday afternoon.