by Adel Manoukian
Governor Cuomo signed the Silver-Squadron bill into law this past Friday, signifying the first-ever permit system for intercity buses.
The law gives the city the power to designate bus stops, as well as require bus companies to provide information about the buses they are using, the number of passengers they expect to carry, and where they will be stored when not in use. Those who do not provide this information can face fines of up to $2,000 in addition to the loss of their permit.
This comes after State Senator Daniel Squadron and Speaker Sheldon Silver proposed the system this past June due to congestion, idling and overall safety concerns many residents in areas like Chinatown had.
Intercity buses are affordable but have been involved in a number of serious and sometimes fatal accidents. The agreement on the bill is part of an effort to bring stricter oversight to the industry and Silver, Squadron, along with Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Council Member Margaret Chin applaud Cuomo for signing the bill.
“By creating the first-ever permit system for intercity buses, we’re taking a big step toward protecting communities and passengers alike,” said Senator Squadron in a statement. “Our new system will bring oversight to the growing and important low-cost bus industry, helping to end the wild west atmosphere in Chinatown and around the city while allowing us to identify problems before they become tragedies.”
Commissioner Sadik-Khan agrees.
“Intercity buses are a lifeline for people and business. But intercity bus transportation shouldn’t turn our neighborhood streets into de facto bus depots. This law will help eliminate this legal blind spot and bring order to the free-for-all on our neighborhood streets and sidewalks.”
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