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Transportation & Environment

Request on behalf of Fozia Thurston Bus Company (“Applicant”) to support its application before the New York City Department of Transportation (“DOT”) for an on-street bus stop at 247 W. 46th Street, between 7th and 8th Aves.

At the monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, June 12, 2014, the Board passed the following resolution with a vote of 25 in favor, 5 opposed, 2 abstaining:

WHEREAS, Applicant seeks approval from the DOT of an application to operate an intercity bus service between New York City and upstate New York via New Jersey from 247 W. 46th St. between 7th and 8th Aves; and

WHEREAS, The Port Authority Bus Terminal currently operates at or above capacity and is not accepting new buses; and

WHEREAS, In response, over the past 15 years several companies have begun offering low cost intercity bus services from on-street pick-up and drop-off locations without formal authorization from the DOT; and

WHEREAS, Without regulation, a high concentration of intercity bus services has developed in certain areas of midtown Manhattan resulting in increased sidewalk congestion, traffic gridlock, increased on-street bus parking and double parking, and safety concerns for drivers, pedestrians, local business owners, and residents; and

WHEREAS, The State Legislature adopted Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1642-a to address these concerns, empowering the DOT to create a permit system; and

WHEREAS, This law authorizes the City to:

1.      prohibit intercity buses from loading or unloading passengers on City streets, except at designated on-street bus stop locations;

2.      require intercity bus owners and/or operators to submit an application for each proposed on-street bus stop location;

3.      establish criteria for assigning on-street bus stop locations, including traffic considerations and the applicant's preferences;

4.      provide for consultation with the local Community Board and, where appropriate, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey;

5.      authorize the Department of Transportation to issue intercity bus permits and to charge a fee;

6.      provide for the relocation of an existing permitted on-street bus stop, upon 90-day notice to the permit holder and the local Community Board;

7.      grandfather intercity buses that currently have designated on-street bus stop locations, by granting them a permit to continue to use those locations for up to three years; and

WHEREAS, CB5 visited the site and expressed significant reservations about this particular location in the center of the busy theater district but DOT testified that this particular spot is used only as a stopping point for intercity buses, has been used in this capacity for years, and the schedule of buses is coordinated by DOT; and

WHEREAS, No members of the public commented about this application; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant proposes three daily pickups at 8:30am, 9:30am, and 10:30am and three drop-offs at 5:30pm, 6:30pm, and 7:30pm 7 days a week; and

WHEREAS, Applicant would like to work with the surrounding community; and

WHEREAS, Based on complaints and using its discretion, the DOT can revoke these permits in the future for non-compliance and in the case of bad actors; and

WHEREAS, Although Community Board Five recognizes that the management of intercity bus companies requires greater study, it is supportive of the DOT's efforts to decrease road and sidewalk congestion in midtown Manhattan, address safety concerns of drivers, pedestrians, travelers, and residents, and better regulate the increasing number of intercity bus services; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of Fozia Thurston Bus Company's application to the New York City Department of Transportation for an on-street bus stop at 257 W. 46th St, between 7th and 8th Aves for three daily pickups at 8:30am, 9:30am, and 10:30am and three drop-offs at 5:30pm, 6:30pm, and 7:30pm 7 days a week.

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