Electeds Call for Immediate Passage of Bill to Regulate ‘Chinatown Buses’

Daniel L. Squadron

May 31, 2011

For Immediate Release  
May 31, 2011                                         

Today’s Fatal Bus Crash Another Clear Sign We Need Better Handle on Intercity Buses

CHINATOWN --  In the wake of another tragic bus crash, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Councilmember Margaret Chin will call on the State Senate to immediately pass key legislation that would better regulate intercity buses.

Speaker Silver, Senator Squadron and Councilmember Chin have proposed legislation which would authorize New York City to pass a local law to manage intercity passenger buses through a permit system. It has passed the Assembly.

The elected officials will urge immediate passage and adoption of a bus permit law.

“Today’s tragedy is yet another reminder that we need better regulation and oversight of Chinatown buses on the local and federal levels,” said Senator Squadron.  “Now is the time to end Chinatown’s wild west atmosphere. A permit system would provide the city with the information necessary to identify problems before they become tragic.”

“I want to express my deep condolences to the families of those who were lost in today’s tragic bus accident in Virginia,” said Speaker Silver.  “It is another reminder that we must do everything possible to improve safety conditions for passengers of these intercity buses, many of which are based in my Chinatown community. The Assembly has passed legislation that would allow the city to regulate these buses and establish criteria for issuing permits to their operators. It is vital that this bill be enacted into law, as well as similar initiatives that have been proposed on a federal level.”

“This morning’s bus crash is yet another reminder that we need immediate regulation to improve the safety of this industry,” said Councilmember Chin. “These buses are an important part of our economy, and connect people up and down the country for family, education, and work. But some of these operators are dangerous and poorly maintained; and the industry as a whole needs more careful oversight. The bill we currently have at the State level would go a ways to improving the regulation of the bus industry, and it must be passed now. We also need better legislation from Washington, which has jurisdiction over inter-state buses, to improve the safety of this important industry. How many more people have to die before legislators in the State Senate and in Congress get the message? There are legislative options available today that would increase the safety and regulation of these buses, in New York and Washington. What’s the holdup?”

The proposed legislation would establish the first-ever permit system to regulate intercity buses, designate pick up and drop off locations and give New York City vital information on intercity bus companies that pick up and drop off on New York City streets.