ABA Joins Local NYC Bus Companies in Representing Industry in Face of Sweeping NYC City Council Prop

On Sept. 26, the New York City Council’s Committee on Transportation and Consumer Affairs met jointly to discuss proposed regulations that would institute new licensing and operational planning requirements for (double-decker) sightseeing bus companies, in addition to proposing to set a limit for how many sightseeing buses could be in operation annually.

ABA - as the national trade association representing the motorcoach, tour and travel industry - along with representatives from several of sightseeing bus and tour operators testified in front of the New York City Council and helped raise awareness with local lawmakers on several topics, while also positioning themselves as a resource for future legislative initiatives impacting the motorcoach industry.

The industry’s testimony touched on the differences and nuances in industry definitions, the nature of sightseeing and charter bus planning/operations, the need for increased bus parking in New York City, potential perils of creating competitive monopolies with licensing caps as well as providing perspective on national safety initiatives.

On Sept. 27, the New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection also met to discuss legislation that could have sweeping effects for the motorcoach industry and potentially all vehicles entering the City. The proposal in front of this committee looked to not only significantly increase the fines (50 percent) for violating New York City’s strict 3-minute anti-idling laws, but also looks to allow for the “deputizing” of citizen’s to expand the reach of law enforcement in policing this law along with encouraging the submission of video evidence of violations. The proposal goes further and actually incentivizes and will pay citizens for the successful prosecution of idling violators from the fines collected, as much as 50 percent of the fine amount.

ABA and the industry representatives testifying on the idling measures helped position the motorcoach industry as an environmental and anti-idling solution as well as a resource for lawmakers to use as the Committee moves forward with this legislation. Keeping safety and bus parking needs at the forefront of the Council’s consideration of additional anti-idling efforts, the narrative shifted to better enforcement of these idling requirements on cars and truck fleets rather than motorcoaches. A new opportunity may emerge in future discussions of this legislation by allowing companies to contest an anti-idling summons by submitting data remotely rather than having to appear in person.

There could be big changes coming from the New York City Council in the near future that impact local and interstate motorcoach operations in New York. ABA will continue to serve as the voice of the industry and collaborate with local representatives to keep in close contact with the Council and ensure a positive result for continued motorcoach operations in the United States’ number one tourism destination.

These measures are expected to come up for vote sometime over the next year, as this set of City Council members do not face another election until November 2017. ABA was the only national motorcoach and tour organization battling these potentially wide-sweeping proposals at the recent hearings.

About the American Bus Association

The American Bus Association (ABA) is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry, with more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.


Melanie Hinton, Vice President, Communications & Marketing, ABA
Office: (202) 218-7220
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