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Transportation & Environment

Application by Hi Bus, Inc. for an inter-city bus stop for drop offs and pickups in front of 368 8th Ave. (on the east side of 8th Ave., between 28th and 29th Sts)

WHEREAS, Hi Bus, Inc., seeks approval from the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) of an Application to operate an inter-city bus stop as part of its service between Maryland and New York City; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant proposes one pickup at 7pm Monday through Sunday, and one drop off Monday through and Sunday at 2am; 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 number of curbside bus companies operating within community district 5 has increased dramatically over the past 5 years; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant currently operates a bus stop in Chinatown and now seeks to add an additional curbside bus stop within Community Board Five (“CB5”); and

WHEREAS, The proposed location is in the heart of one of the busiest sections of Manhattan, which already is over-crowded with buses and other motor vehicles, bicycles, commuters, and tourists visiting Madison Square Garden; and

WHEREAS, The M20 bus currently uses this location; and

WHEREAS, The Top View tour bus company currently uses this location; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant proposes to have two staff members on location to assist passengers; and

WHEREAS, The proposed location is across the street from a healthcare facility and a ground floor home for people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, The proposed location is surrounded by residential apartments; and

WHEREAS, A significant number of members of the public expressed strong opposition to this Application, noting that the 2:00AM pickup time will result in excessive noise; and

WHEREAS, The Fashion Institute of Technology expressed strong opposition to the Application, noting the lack of proper trash facilities and bathrooms for disembarking passengers as well as the number of buses that already crowd the area, due to the nearby MegaBus curbside stop; and

WHEREAS, Council Member Corey Johnson has expressed opposition to the Application based on the 2:00AM proposed drop off time; and

WHEREAS, CB5 believes it is impractical and unfair to local residents to have a daily curbside bus stop at 2:00AM; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application by Hi Bus, Inc. for an inter-city bus stop for drop offs and pickups in front of 368 8th Ave. (on the east side of 8th Ave., between 28th and 29th Sts.).

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