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Transportation & Environment

Application by Greyhound Lines d/b/a Bolt Bus for a new passenger pick up location on the south side of West 36th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues

WHEREAS, The Applicant, Bolt Bus, seeks to move its pick up location for its intercity bus service to Boston from its current location at 33rd Street and 11th Avenue to a new location on the south side of West 36th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant proposes between five (5) and nine (9) daily pickups staggered throughout the day; 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 the Department of Transportation (“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, DT Transit, similar intercity bus company, currently operates at the proposed location with 86 pickups and drop-offs per week; and

WHEREAS, Bolt Bus is not required to move its current location from Hudson Yards at this time, but believes that that site will become unusable in the near future due to construction; and

WHEREAS, Neighborhood residents have expressed overwhelming and unanimous opposition to the proposed pick up location on a variety of grounds; and

WHEREAS, Specific concerns were voiced concerning the existing service on the block regarding the hazardous emissions to the surrounding neighborhood and the escalation of traffic congestion caused by idling and double parked buses on 36th Street; and

WHEREAS, The re-location of the Applicant’s pickup activity to this block would add dozens of buses to the already over-crowded street, further exacerbating an already difficult traffic situation on a crosstown artery from the Lincoln Tunnel; and

WHEREAS, The re-location of the Applicant’s pickup activity to this block would add hundreds if not thousands of passengers further clogging an already crowded sidewalk; and

WHEREAS, Midtown Manhattan is already suffering from extreme motor vehicle traffic congestion and the increasing number of inter-city bus service Applications is unsustainable; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of Bolt Bus's application for a new passenger pickup location on the south side of West 36th Street 7th and 8th Avenues; and be it further

RESOLVED, Community Board Five calls on DOT to engage the Manhattan community boards and the intercity bus operating companies in a master planning process for the siting of on-street intercity bus stops, with consideration given to possible locations beyond the midtown area, as Midtown Manhattan cannot further support the increased traffic congestion and hazardous emissions caused by these services.

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