Squadron Announces First Enforcement of Intercity Bus Law He Wrote

Sheriff Seizes 2 ‘Yep Tours’ Buses for Intercity Bus Violations

Partnership With Sheriff, NYPD, Electeds, Community Leads to Strong Enforcement

NEW YORK – State Senator Daniel Squadron announced that Wednesday night, January 11, the NYC Sheriff seized two ‘Yep Tours’ buses in connection with $11,000 owed by ‘Yep Tours,’ among hundreds of thousands of dollars in tickets issued to the company. Squadron wrote the Intercity Bus law in 2012 to crack down on the wild west of buses operating illegally on the Lower East Side and in Chinatown.

Squadron convened an Intercity Bus Working Group to help ensure enforcement last year, after years of bus companies thumbing their noses at the rules established by the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) in 2013, as well as violations issues by the NYPD’s 5th and 7th Precincts. The Working Group was convened along with Community Board 3, Rep. Velázquez, Borough President Brewer, Councilmember Chin, DOT, NYPD, the Sheriff, and the NYC Department of Finance. Additionally, Squadron participated in a Community Board 3-convened Town Hall on enforcement last February, along with colleagues and agencies.

“There’s a new Sheriff in town, and it’s the same sheriff who has been doing great work all across the city,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “The days of intercity buses operating like the wild west in our communities are numbered. Since writing the intercity bus law, I have stayed on the case to ensure it actually works – from writing the rules to routing 311 calls correctly to ensuring NYPD enforcement to involving the Sheriff. Thank you for the extraordinary work of the Sheriff, and the 5th and 7th precincts as well as NYC DOT, Department of Finance, Rep. Velázquez, Borough President Brewer, Councilmember Chin, the NYPD and the community who deserve real credit and thanks for their years-long efforts to solve a complex problem.”

“Intercity buses operating outside the law have created real congestion, quality of life, and safety problems for Lower East Side and Lower Manhattan residents, but for a long time city government couldn’t find a way to do anything about them,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Thank you to the NYPD, the Departments of Finance and Transportation, and the Sherriff for working together to enforce this new law, and congratulations to Senator Squadron for making this enforcement action possible.”

“I am proud to be part of a joint effort between city agencies, NYPD, our state elected officials, and the community to finally hold intercity bus companies accountable for the congestion, safety problems, and serious quality of life issues they create,” said Councilmember Chin. “I thank the NYC Sheriff’s office for taking action, and Senator Squadron for passing legislation that cleared the way for effective enforcement of rules covering intercity buses.”

“The recent crackdown on YEP Tours' illegal intercity bus operation has been a long time coming,” said Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou. “Any business that disregards, in this case openly, regulations to protect safety and quality of life in our neighborhoods must face steep consequences. I'll work to ensure that enforcement against bus companies like YEP Tours continues. I thank Senator Squadron and CB3 for their leadership and persistence on this issue, going back to the passage of state legislation to address intercity bus parking regulations. I also applaud NYC Sheriff Fucito, the 5th and 7th precincts, DOF, DOT, and my colleagues for their ongoing work on this issue.”

“Community Board  3 members and the community are thrilled that after approximately 14 years of work we have finally seen the first successful major enforcement against noncompliant intercity buses,” said Susan Stetzer, Community Board 3 District Manager. “It was a long journey-first working with the City and then with State Senator Squadron to pass legislation. Then with Councilmember Chin to pass City legislation to require buses to use permitted designated stops.  We expected  immediate calm and orderly bus drop off and pick up-and now four   years later we are  delighted that this is finally working. This would not have happened without our rockstar Sherriff Fucito who dedicated many hours to analyze the data and  work with NYPD until he was able to overcome technical problems. We owe great gratitude to the Sherriff and Dept of finance for many months of working along  with NYPD, DOT,  elected officials, and the Community Board to finally be on the path to regulation of intercity buses.”

“In mid-2012, Senator Squadron and former Assemblyman Sheldon Silver successfully managed to push through a bill to create the first ever NYC permit system for the intercity bus industry. This was a huge first step to managing the vast, wild west transportation industry which has befallen the Lower East Side and Chinatown. Soon enough it became apparent that this law was not being enforced. Once again, Senator Squadron stepped in to get the wheels into motion on this law. While the seizure of the two YEP buses is really just the beginning of effective enforcement, it is the right step and a definitive message to other illegal operators that violators will be held accountable. Further, without full enforcement of the current law, it is impossible to know how the law may need to be tweaked in the future to further control this very out-of-control industry. It has taken a lot of time, diligence and patience on the part of Senator Squadron and his staff, the Sheriff, CB3 District Manager Susan Stetzer, the CB3 Transportation and Public Safety Committee, and the 5th and 7th Precincts to stay on top of this ongoing and complex situation. The SPaCE block association is very grateful to all those involved who have worked so hard for our community and, hopefully, will continue to do so,” said Emma Culbert, SPaCE Block Association.

“We appreciate the continued efforts of Senator Squadron, the NYC Sheriff's Office, CB3 District Manager Susan Stetzer, the CB3 Transportation and Public Safety Committee, the 5th and 7th Precincts and the many others committed to ensuring the enforcement of current intercity bus laws. We hope that the seizure of two YEP commuter buses by the NYC Sheriff's Office, sends a strong message to all bus operators who continue to flaunt existing regulations. With continued enforcement, our neighborhood now stands a chance against all of the illegal bus operators who have flooded our streets. Once again, we thank everyone for their commitment to making our neighborhood a better place to live,” said Trever Holland, resident leader, Two Bridges Tower Resident Association.