As we have reported in recent months, residents are fighting back against the onslaught of intercity buses on the streets of the Lower East Side and Chinatown. A state law meant to tame the largely unregulated industry was implemented last year but has so far not made much of a positive impact. Now there’s been a tacit admission of what has been obvious to residents for some time: the law isn’t currently being enforced. Yesterday, local elected officials released the following statement regarding the situation:
Today, DOT and the NYPD committed to enforcing intercity bus permit regulations no later than August 15 at a meeting at State Senator (Daniel) Squadron’s office co-hosted by (State Assembly) Speaker Silver, (City) Councilmember Chin, (Manhattan) Borough President (Gale) Brewer, and Community Board 3. The permit system was created by legislation authored by Squadron and Silver. We called the meeting because of the ongoing “wild west” atmosphere created by intercity buses in our community. While there is also an ongoing discussion about lawful permits, it will be impossible to understand our challenge without effective enforcement. We are pleased that the city agencies and local precincts are committed to working as partners with us to take the challenge. Our offices look forward to working collaboratively with the local police precincts, DOT, Community Board 3, and local bus operators to ensure the permit system is enforced properly and within the time frame DOT and NYPD have committed to. This is an important step to improving the quality of life of Chinatown and Lower East Side residents.