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Transportation & Environment

Application by inter-city bus operator Spanish Transportation Service Corp. for a bus stop for drop-offs and pick-ups on the south side of East 42nd Street between 5th and Madison Avenues (in front of 14 East 42nd Street).

WHEREAS, Spanish Transportation Service Corp. seeks approval from the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) of an Application to operate a commuter bus service between New York City and Paterson, New Jersey on the south side of 42nd Street, between 5th and Madison Avenues; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant proposes 55 pick-ups and drop-offs daily between 6:00 am and 12:00 am, seven days a week; 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 proposes to share an existing bus stop, currently used by New York City’s
M42 bus line; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant proposes using small buses that carry a maximum of 25 people; and

WHEREAS, The existing bus stop is 100 feet long; and

WHEREAS, Given the size of the designated bus stop, DOT has determined that the proposed additional
use of this existing bus stop would not negatively impact M42 service, as both bus services could use the
stop simultaneously without causing traffic delays; and

WHEREAS, DOT notes that the location has a sufficiently wide sidewalk to accommodate passengers
awaiting pickup; and

WHEREAS, DOT has opined that this service would not interfere with either the existing bus service or
any potential Select Bus Service in the future if that were to become an option; and

WHEREAS, The Bryant Park Corporation has expressed deep concerns regarding the potential impact on
air quality that this additional bus activity could have, as well as reservations regarding the potential for
increased traffic congestion; and

WHEREAS, DOT has committed to installing temporary time-lapse cameras to monitor the Applicant’s
service in the event it proves necessary; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of Spanish Transportation Service Corp.’s
application for a bus stop for drop-offs and pick-ups on the south side of East 42nd Street between 5th
and Madison Avenues (in front of 14 East 42nd Street).

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