Last month, local elected officials put out a press release asserting that the city’s Department of Transportation and the NYPD had agreed to begin enforcing New York’s two-year old intercity bus law by today, August 15. This afternoon the offices of State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Councilmember Margaret Chin and Borough President Gale Brewer are out with another missive, proclaiming that enforcement is, in fact, in place:
We are pleased to announce that DOT and NYPD have begun enforcing intercity bus permit regulations, as they agreed to at a meeting at Senator Squadron’s office, co-hosted by Speaker Silver, Councilmember Chin, Borough President Brewer, and Community Board 3. Squadron and Silver authored legislation to create the permit system, require consultation with local community boards, and provide penalties for non-compliance. Un-permitted intercity buses have contributed to a “wild west” atmosphere in the Lower East Side and Chinatown, and elsewhere in Manhattan. With the enforcement of the permit system starting today, intercity bus companies should no longer be able to operate outside of the law with impunity. While the discussion about how to best manage lawful permits is ongoing, effective enforcement is key to understanding the challenge facing our communities and to improving quality of life. We will continue to solicit feedback from the community as implementation proceeds. We look forward to working with local police precincts, DOT, Community Board 3, and bus operators to monitor the process as it unfolds, and we will continue to push to increase the safety and quality of life for all residents.
Given the large number of bus companies operating in the neighborhood without permits, enforcement will, of course, be a major undertaking. So it remains to be seen how the 7th and 5th Precincts will get control of the situation. But we’ll be following their efforts closely.