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Transportation & Environment

Application by inter-city bus operator Hampton Jitney, Inc. for a bus stop on the west side of Lexington Ave between East 40th and 41st Streets

WHEREAS, Hampton Jitney, Inc. seeks approval from the Department of Transportation ("DOT") of an Application to operate an inter-city bus service between New York City and Long Island, New York on the west side of Lexington Ave between East 40th and 41st Street; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant proposes eight (8) daily pickups on Mondays – Wednesday, ten (10) pickups on Thursday, eleven (11) pickups on Friday, seven (7) pickups on Saturday, and five (5) pickups on Sunday between the hours of 8:30 AM and 9:00 PM; and

WHEREAS, The Port Authority Bus Terminal currently operates at or above capacity; and

WHEREAS, In response, several companies began offering low cost inter-city bus services from on-street pickup and drop off locations without formal authorization from DOT; and

WHEREAS, Without regulation, a high concentration of inter-city bus services developed in certain areas of midtown Manhattan, quickly resulting in increased sidewalk congestion, traffic gridlock, and increased on-street bus parking and double parking, all of which combined to create safety concerns for drivers, pedestrians, local business owners, and residents; and

WHEREAS, The State Legislature adopted Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1642-a in 2013 to address these concerns, empowering DOT to create a permitting system; and

WHEREAS, This law authorizes the City to:

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

2.      require inter-city 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 DOT to issue inter-city 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 existing inter-city bus services that currently have designated on-street bus stop locations, by granting a permit to continue to use those locations for up to three years; and

WHEREAS, The proposed location on the west side of Lexington Avenue is currently a highly-trafficked bus lane serving both local and express downtown service; and

WHEREAS, The proposed location is already an over-crowded intersection as a result of the prohibition on right turns at 42nd and Lexington Avenue, resulting in long lines of motor vehicles seeking to make right turns on East 41st St.; and

WHEREAS, The existing Citibike share station located on Park Ave. between 41st and 42nd Sts. further diverts northbound traffic onto East 41st St.; and

WHEREAS, Two (2) inter-city bus companies already operate 1 block south of the proposed location; and

WHEREAS, The sidewalk adjacent to the proposed location is not sufficiently wide to accommodate an increase of pedestrians; and

WHEREAS, The building owner of 360 Lexington Ave. expressed strong reservations regarding a bus stop at the proposed location, given the strong potential for queues of passengers crowding the building's main means of egress; and

WHEREAS, The Grand Central Partnership expressed major concerns regarding the placement of this proposed bus stop; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of Hampton Jitney, Inc.'s Application for a bus stop on the west side of Lexington Ave between East 40th and 41st Streets.

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