Major tristate area private bus companies form new alliance to educate and advocate on the industry’s behalf in New York City
On March 26, a new coalition comprised of private providers of public transportation and related businesses and associations, announced the launch of BUS4NYC. The alliance, representing millions of annual passenger trips to and from New York City, promotes the bus industry as a viable transportation solution and critical economic engine powering the regional business and tourism marketplace.
The group will raise the industry’s profile in NYC through a sustained education outreach and public awareness campaign. BUS4NYC members will seek out supportive public policies that will encourage the growth of the private bus company industry serving the transportation needs of thousands of New York City businesses and millions of visitors and commuters on an annual basis.
Private bus companies operating in New York City have seen a meteoric rise in non-safety related tickets, ever-shrinking parking options, and overburdened drivers struggling to comply with mandated driving hour limits. These are all symptoms of unmanageable street congestion as too many one-passenger vehicles choke the flow of traffic. BUS4NYC joins the many public voices calling for policy changes to address congestion and is committed to being part of the solution.
BUS4NYC president Glenn Every said that cars are for the few, but buses are for the many.
“You cannot reduce congestion and air pollution in New York City without buses, when you consider all the efficiencies connected to having a busload of passengers traveling to a single destination rather than having all of those people traveling in separate vehicles to the same place. All buses — whether public or private — are a form of mass transit,” Every said.
Every is also president of Tonche Transit, a regional bus provider for more than 45 years.
Cam Morris, president of the Bus Association of New York State, said it’s becoming too costly for private bus company operators to do business in NYC.
“From unnecessary ticketing to a lack of parking infrastructure, there is a clear need for a strong, unified voice in the city to amplify these concerns to elected officials and city agencies. We are thrilled to be a part of the BUS4NYC coalition and look forward to moving these important industry issues to the top of the list,” Morris said.
BUS4NYC will address the “three Ps”:
- “Congestion pricing” is a proposed fee imposed on vehicles traveling into or within Manhattan’s central business district. BUS4NYC is supportive of congestion pricing and agrees with the recommendation in the Fix NYC report advocating exemptions for all buses. If a pricing plan is implemented, it wants to ensure there is equality in how investments are made — including bus-related infrastructure — since buses remain a major part of the solution to the congestion challenges in New York City.
- While public buses are viewed as an important component of the city’s mass transit system, private buses are wrongly regarded as contributors to the region’s poor air quality, unmanageable traffic and a threat to public safety. In actuality, private buses help reduce the number of vehicles coming into (and out of) NYC, provide service to areas where public transportation options are lacking, and deliver a safe, comfortable ride to millions of tourists, commuters and area residents alike. Private buses should be treated as equals to public buses and receive all the benefits offered to its mass transit counterparts — such as dedicated bus lanes and congestion pricing exemptions.
- With the elimination of hundreds of spots, areas and zones once utilized for temporary parking for buses, drivers are more often than not forced to remain in motion for longer periods of time, which impacts overall quality of life for both the driver and the streets on which they operate. Discussions regarding mitigating traffic, reducing air pollution and maximizing operational efficiency should include designated areas where private buses can safely offload, park and reload passengers in a timely and efficient manner.
According to the American Bus Association Foundation, each bus has the potential to take as many as 55 cars off the road, reducing congestion, saving fuel and significantly cutting emissions.
BUS4NYC founding members include: Academy Bus, Adirondack Trailways, American Bus Association, Bus Association of New York State, Big Bus New York, Coach USA, Gray Line CitySightseeing New York, Hampton Jitney, Lancer Insurance, National Express Transit, Starr Bus and Transit, Tonche Transit, Trans-Bridge Lines and West Point Tours.
This release originally appeared in an email from BUS4NYC.