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Transportation & Environment

Unique Global Travel, LLC, for an intercity bus stop on the east side of Madison Avenue between East 26th Street and East 27th Street, closer to East 26th Street

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, July 13, 2023, the following resolution passed with a vote of 36 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, Unique Global Travel, LLC, requests an intercity bus stop from the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) on the east side of Madison Avenue between East 26th Street and East 27th Street, closer to East 26th Street, for three daily pickups Monday through Sunday at 7 a.m., 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and three daily drop-offs Monday through Sunday at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 1:35 a.m., and

WHEREAS, The requested location is currently marked No Standing and would be shared with Executive Coach, Inc., and the MTA BXM4C, and according to DOT the length of the site allows for the addition of another bus company; and

WHEREAS, This is an intercity bus, and the destination is Ithaca, New York; and

WHEREAS, While the DOT request specifies three pickups and three dropoffs per day, seven days a week, the Applicant clarified that they intend to operate only once or twice a week at a variable schedule, with one pickup around 7 a.m. one or two weekdays per week based on demand, a pickup around 4.p.m. one weekend day a week based on demand, and a nighttime dropoff one or two days a week based on demand; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five found little concern with the Applicant’s intended use and frequency, but expressed serious concern that DOT was preparing to license the Applicant for as many as 21 pickups and 21 dropoffs each week, despite the fact that the Applicant has no intention of operating at that frequency, and also serious concern that DOT’s letter did not explain or indicate an understanding of the Applicant’s intended operating frequency and seems prepared to license an order of magnitude more pickups and dropoffs than have been requested by any operator; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five expressed serious concern for the number of new pickups and dropoffs proposed by DOT, but would have little concern with the much more limited operating schedule proposed by the Applicant; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five has serious concerns with the licensing of as many as 21 weekly pickups and 21 weekly dropoffs that have not been quantitatively requested by the Applicant or any other operator, including the prospect that DOT could be licensing pickups and dropoffs not currently being requested but which could then begin to be utilized in the future with no further notification or oversight by the Applicant, by another operator who gains ownership of the licenses, or by an operator who acquires the Applicant, and that this kind of blanket licensure of such a high number of unrequested pickups and dropoffs would be an irresponsible move by the city; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five continues to call on DOT to develop a comprehensive plan for street use in the district in conjunction with the city’s appointed Chief Public Realm Officer, and reiterates its stated position that when the Port Authority’s reconstruction of the Port Authority Bus Terminal is complete, which will include the construction of a new intercity bus terminal, all point-to-point intercity bus service must be taken off the sidewalks of midtown Manhattan and moved into the new intercity terminal; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant posted notices of the Application on the block and delivered notices of the Application to other businesses on the block, as requested by Community Board Five; and

WHEREAS, No significant objections as to the proposed location of the stop and the Applicant’s specific intended operating frequency were raised by members of the community at committee; and therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five finds significant objections to the bus stop’s pickups and dropoffs as proposed for licensure by DOT, as they represent a frequency and order of magnitude of pickups and dropoffs that would be licensed with no request and made available in excess for potential future abuse, but notes that Community Board Five would have had no significant objection for the usage as actually requested by the Applicant for one or two pickups and dropoffs per week at the requested location by Unique Global Travel, LLC, for an intercity bus stop on the east side of Madison Avenue between East 26th Street and East 27th Street, closer to East 26th Street.

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