FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION EXTENDING FRANCHISES FOR SUBSIDIZED BUSES
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Law
“The next bill before me is Introductory Number 391, sponsored at the request of the Administration by the Chair of the Land Use Committee, Council Member Katz, along with Council Member Liu. This legislation authorizes the Department of Transportation to extend the date of the operating authority of the seven subsidized private bus franchises operating in the City, which expires tomorrow, to a date no later than December 4, 2004.
“The subsidized private bus system carries over 104 million people annually through a mix of local and express bus service provided by seven private, franchised bus companies: Command Bus Company, Green Bus Lines, Jamaica Buses, Queens Surface Corporation, Liberty Lines Express, New York Bus Service, and Triboro Coach Corporation. The system has a fleet of 1,245 buses, making it one of the largest transit bus fleets in the United States. There are a total of 82 local and express routes servicing passengers in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan. Although private bus companies provide the service, the City owns most of the buses and subsidizes their operating costs, a practice that began in 1974.
“Our Administration is committed to preserving bus service for all of the people who rely on the private bus companies for their daily transportation needs. As I have said in the past, I believe that the MTA, which is charged with the responsibility of providing affordable mass transportation for the people in our metropolitan area, has the requisite economies of scale and transportation expertise to provide the highest quality of service for the riding public and the best value for the taxpayers. We continue to have discussions with the MTA and State elected officials regarding the terms of the transfer of the private bus routes, and I am confident that such a successful arrangement will be reached.
“In the interim, signing this legislation will enable the City to continue uninterrupted bus service for the nearly 400,000 daily passengers who rely on the buses for transportation to and from work, school, and their everyday destinations throughout the boroughs.”
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958