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‘We Hear Complaints All The Time:' NYC’s Double-Decker Tour Buses Face Crackdown

September 26, 2018 - 5:02 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The City Council is considering legislation that would tighten regulations for double-decker tour buses in New York City amid growing concerns from residents.

Council Speaker Corey Johnson says New Yorkers continually voice complaints to him about the large buses, many of which don’t appear to have a designated route.

“They go down quiet side streets. They go down cobblestone streets in the West Village,” Johnson said. “We thought it was important to create some more certainty and to understand where they should be allowed to stop by having community consultation.”

Johnson is sponsoring a measure that would require sightseeing bus companies – currently licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs – to submit a list of stops for passenger pick-up and drop-off locations to the Department of Transportation for approval. Tour companies would then need approval from the DOT before obtaining or renewing a license to operate.

The bill will give the DOT the authority to approve stops based on traffic flow, public safety and community input, Johnson said.

If a company strays from their approved stops, the DCA may issue a violation. And if there’s an ongoing problem, the department could suspend or revoke the sightseeing company’s license to operate in the future.

Another measure being considered requires a closer examination of the driver records of those behind the wheel of the tour buses.