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New rules proposed for intercity buses

April 23, 2012 2:35:53 PM PDT
State lawmakers are proposing legislation that would create new regulations for intercity buses, including permits and assigned pick-up and drop-off spots.

A low cost way of getting to Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, intercity buses are largely unregulated once they move through the streets of New York City, officials said. Some providers such as Bolt Bus and Megabus have established regular stops, but others are stopping essentially wherever they want.

As glaring examples, officials point to one bus blocking an intersection while passengers board, large crowds of people trying board at once, and another case where one parked at a city bus stop forcing commuters to walk out into the street to board a city bus.

State lawmakers along with city transportation officials are proposing a bill in Albany that would allow the city to better regulate the low cost buses. It would require a permit for each bus for a term up to 3 years. There is a fee of $275 per bus paid annually. The city would assign pick-up and drop-off locations with community input. There would be fines for violations up to $2500.

In Chinatown, where buses make numerous stops, business owners believe the move will ease congestion. Others think it would seriously affect a low cost option for travelers.

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