FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 01, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION EXTENDING FRANCHISE BUS OPERATING AUTHORITY
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
"The first bill before me today is Introductory Number 502, sponsored at the request of the Administration by Council Members Katz, Avella, Comrie, Boyland, Seabrook, Weprin and Fidler. 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 on December 4, 2004, to a new staggered schedule.
"In order to facilitate the smooth transition from the service provided by the subsidized bus service to the MTA, the MTA will begin providing service in these areas on a staggered basis. Consequently, the length of the extensions will vary from company to company. The operating authority for the seven subsidized private bus franchises will be extended according to the following schedule:
"The subsidized private bus system carries over 104 million people annually through a mix of local and express bus service provided by these seven private, franchised bus companies. 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 operated by these carriers. They serve 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.
"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
Watch the bill signing in 56k or 300k