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State inspectors have begun weekly surprise spot checks on Greyhound buses because of widespread mechanical defects in the strike-bound company's fleet, officials said.

"Half the buses we inspected were potentially unsafe," said state Department of Transportation spokesman David Murray.

The DOT conducted its latest inspection Wednesday at Greyhound's Albany terminal and ordered that nine of 18 buses be taken out of service, Murray said. Defects on those buses included faulty brakes and defective fuel lines, he said. Greyhound was fined $900.

Since August, 121 out of 229 Greyhound buses inspected were pulled from service because of defects, Murray said.

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