In light of multiple accidents involving sight-seeing buses that occurred in recent years, this bill expands licensing requirements for sight-seeing buses. This bill requires sight-seeing bus businesses to submit operating plans to the Department of Transportation for approval prior to applying for a sight-seeing bus license from the Department of Consumer Affairs. This would enable the Department of Transportation to monitor congestion and traffic caused by sight-seeing buses on the road.
Int. No. 723
By The Speaker (Council Member Johnson) and Council Member Menchaca
A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring sight-seeing bus operators to submit operating plans to the department of transportation
Be it enacted by the Council as follows:
Section 1. Subchapter 2 of Chapter 1 of Title 19 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 19-175.6, to read as follows:
§ 19-175.6 On-street bus stops for sight-seeing buses. a. The commissioner shall provide written authorization for on-street bus stops for sightseeing buses pursuant to subdivision d of section 20-374 of this code on the basis of the following criteria: (i) traffic, bicycle and pedestrian flow, and public safety; (ii) preferences of the sight-seeing bus permit applicant; (iii) consultation with the local community board for the district encompassing the location to be authorized, including but not limited to a notice and comment period of 45 days prior to the authorization or permanent amendment thereto; (iv) the number of stops proposed and the viability of a bus route as determined by the commissioner; (v) the availability and location of planned garage or other parking space for periods when buses picking up or discharging passengers at the authorized stops are not in use; and (vi) any other criteria deemed appropriate by the commissioner.
b. When authorizing one or more on-street bus stops for sight-seeing buses, the commissioner shall specify the conditions on which such authorization is based. Any violation of such conditions shall be grounds for revocation of such bus stop authorization. The commissioner shall notify the commissioner of consumer affairs of any such revocations as soon as practicable.
c. As a condition for authorizing one or more on-street bus stops for sightseeing buses, the commissioner may require an applicant or renewal applicant to collect and transmit to the commissioner bus location data in the form and frequency determined by the commissioner, including real time electronic location tracking data. Such data may be used by the commissioner in determining whether on-street bus stop authorizations should be granted, renewed or revoked.
§2. Section 20-374 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new subdivision d, to read as follows:
d. Each applicant for a sight-seeing bus license issued by the commissioner pursuant to subdivision a of this section, and each applicant for the renewal of such license, shall first obtain written authorization from the commissioner of transportation for all designated on-street bus stops for the pickup and discharge of passengers in order to be eligible for the issuance or renewal of such license. Sight-seeing bus licensees shall, in the event that a written authorization required by this subdivision is modified or revoked by the commissioner of transportation, notify the commissioner within five days of receiving notice of such modification or revocation.
§3.Subdivision a of section 20-383 of the administrative code of the city of New York, as amended by local law number 41 for the year 2005, is amended to read as follows:
a. After notice and opportunity to be heard, the commissioner may suspend or revoke any sight-seeing bus license where the holder has failed to comply with any provisions of this subchapter or of the rules promulgated thereunder, or with any other laws or rules governing sight-seeing buses, or which sight-seeing bus is otherwise found to be unfit for operation. Such suspension shall remain in effect until compliance and fitness have been established by the licensee and accepted by the department. Grounds for suspension or revocation shall include, but not be limited to, revocation of one or more bus stop authorizations by the commissioner of transportation pursuant to section 19-175.5 of this code, installation of an engine which does not meet the requirements of subdivision b of section 20-376 of this subchapter, being found to have violated the requirements for diesel fuel-powered sight-seeing buses contained in section 24-163.6 of the administrative code, failure to submit a bus for inspection, installation of an engine not covered by a certificate of conformity in a vehicle which was originally manufactured with such an engine and installation of an engine of any model year preceding the year of manufacture in a vehicle which was originally manufactured with an engine covered by a certificate of conformity. The commissioner shall, as soon as practicable, notify the commissioner of transportation of each sight-seeing bus license that is suspended or revoked.
§4. This local law takes effect 120 days after it becomes law, except that the commissioner of transportation and the commissioner of consumer affairs shall take such measures as are necessary for the implementation of this local law, including the promulgation of rules, before such date.