Management & Operations

Idling rules, parking hinders operators, ABA says

Posted on November 18, 2003

Current idling and parking regulations are unworkable and are a detriment to tourism in New York City, according to testimony by the American Bus Assocition (ABA). ABA Vice President of Government Affairs, Clyde Hart, testified last week before the City Council of New York City Committee on Environmental Protection oversight enforcement and of compliance with idling restrictions in New York City, for which the city is considering altering. Currently, buses have only three minutes to idle on city streets, and must load and unload passengers in the time frame. New York City is considering increasing fines for idling and expanding enforcement of the regulations. ABA's position is that the unloading and loading of passengers cannot be governed strictly by time, and increased penalties will result in fewer buses bringing tourists to the area. The ABA is urging the council to modify its regulations to allow motorcoach operators latitude to idle a bus. "Frankly, there is no way for any motorcoach to safely load or unload within three minutes," said Hart in his testimony. "A bus with 50 or more passengers requires more time and the disembarking of the passengers and their personal baggage adds more time to the process." There is also a concern by the ABA that regulating idle time will interfere with the safety features of the bus. Running a motorcoach engine is require for the vehicle's air conditioning and brakes to be functional. The ABA contends that the three minutes bay be an insufficient amount of time to ensure that enough air has gone to the brakes. The ABA is also asking the city to help in finding ways to alleviate the bus-parking crisis.

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