New controls for inter city buses likely
Legislation creating the city's first-ever permit system for intercity buses was announced by state lawmakers Monday.
Under the deal, the city's Department of Transportation would be granted the power to create a new bus permit system that would allow it to set regulations, including designated pick up and drop-off locations, for the dozens of low-cost bus carriers that operate throughout the city.
While some companies, like Bolt Bus and Megabus, have established regular stops with the DOT, others haven't, creating what some have described as a free-for-all in neighborhoods such as Chinatown and Midtown, with under-regulated buses stopping anywhere they like.
"This legislation will bring order to an often chaotic situation Downtown by allowing for regulations that will improve the quality of life for our community and make our streets and sidewalks safer," Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said.
As part of the plan, announced by Silver, state Sen. Daniel Squadron, and city Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, the DOT would be required to consult with local community boards and create a 45-day public comment period prior to assigning pickup or drop-off spots.
Companies that violate the rules could face fines, or potentially lose their operating permits.
The deal would also grant the city the power to force bus companies to provide information about the kinds of buses they use, the number of passengers they carry and where they park buses when not in use.