FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2010
STATEMENT OF MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG UPON SIGNING LEGISLATION REQUIRING HEADPHONE-ONLY SOUND EQUIPMENT FOR OPEN AIR TOUR BUSES
“Yesterday, after listening to members of the public speak about the legislation requiring tour buses to use headphone-only sound equipment, I decided to wait a day to make a final decision to consider it further. This morning, after speaking with Speaker Quinn about the bill again, I signed it.
“My concern was making sure the right balance was struck between supporting New York City’s tourism industry and its related jobs and maintaining quality of life needs for residents. Tour buses are a vital part of our City’s tourism industry and a major resource for millions of visitors annually. These buses aren’t just a great way to see the City – they also expose tourists to many of our great attractions and literally drive business to many of our neighborhoods. At the same time, the loudspeakers currently on open-air tour buses can create undue noise for those not along for the ride, and requiring these buses to be equipped with headphones instead of loudspeakers will ensure that the tour bus guide is heard by passengers only.
“I heard the concerns of tour guides who worry that tour bus companies may prefer to use recordings – that’s what these public hearings are for. But I agree with Speaker Quinn that requiring the system to be silent as opposed to amplified shouldn’t change the demand for live guides – the companies could have switched to recordings long ago but there’s a reason they never did – and I agree the new rules as proposed strike the appropriate balance.”
Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958