In 2009, Tri-State released a report on improving New York City’s booming intercity bus business, which, over the past decade, has significantly altered the way that people travel between the metropolises of the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic. Now, New York State lawmakers and New York City politicians have announced legislation that would implement one of Tri-State’s recommendations: establishing a set of rules for intercity buses. Separate bills on the topic have passed the New York State Assembly and Senate, and the legislation unveiled today bridges the gap between them.
The bill, which has the support of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Senator Daniel Squadron, New York City Councilwoman Margaret Chin, and New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, would authorize New York City to establish a permit system for intercity buses. The bill would grant municipal control over where the vehicles can load and unload and require bus operators to provide information about planned bus timetables, proposed stops, and off-duty parking locations when applying for a permit. In approving bus stop locations, the city would have to consult with community boards (and, if necessary, the MTA). The city would also be free to charge up to $275/vehicle annually for permits and could fine bus operators up to $1,000 for their first violation and up to $2,500 for further violations.
The legislation, if passed, would address concerns raised by bus riders and Manhattan neighborhoods such as rotating, overcrowded bus stops and hard to find bus arrival information.