New Permitting System for Intercity Bus Industry
With the influx of intercity buses clogging Manhattan streets and causing major traffic congestion, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced the passage of legislation that will create a new permitting system for the industry. This bill gives the city new authority to regulate the industry and designate pick-up and drop-off locations.
“While providing a convenient, inexpensive alternative for intercity travel, these buses have often caused chaos on our city streets, by blocking intersections, endangering pedestrians and idling, which causes pollution,” said Speaker Silver. “This permitting system will help alleviate some of that congestion and bring greater accountability to the intercity bus industry.”
The bill is part of a federal, state, and local effort to bring stricter oversight to the industry. The new system would designate streets and locations for passenger loading and unloading. It would allow for community and public feedback before selecting pickup locations, and provide continuous information to the public through online posting of approved bus applications and intercity stops. It would also require that said applications include identification of the bus line itself.
Senator Daniel Squadron said, “Passage of intercity bus permit legislation in both houses of the legislature is a big step toward protecting communities and passengers alike as the low-cost bus industry continues to grow.”
Councilmember Margaret Chin, whose district includes Chinatown said, “this is not an easy issue to regulate, and I thank Speaker Silver and Senator Squadron for their commitment to seeing this legislation through. This is an important win for my district, lower Manhattan, and for all New Yorkers. There are many bus companies that operate in ways that seriously compromise the safety of their passengers. The danger this poses is very real. This legislation will require bus companies to adhere to better practices if they want to operate in New York City, while improving quality of life issues in our community.”
Penalties for buses unloading passengers without a proper permit are $1,000 for the first violation, $2,500 for additional violations and permit suspension or revocation.
In order for the bill to pass, it must be signed by Governor Cuomo.
-Written by Andrew Cohen