Relates to New York city omnibus safety requirements; defines terms; provides for the retrofitting of omnibuses with silent emergency alarms that are synchronized with existing bus GPS devices so that the location of such bus emitting the alarm is immediately known by the command center of the New York city transit authority.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to New York city transit omnibus safety requirements
PURPOSE: To mandate a five (5) year transition in which all NYC Transit and any of its subsidiaries operating buses within the city to be retrofitted with a transparent, in whole or in part, partition of sufficient. strength to protect bus drivers from assaults and other illegal contact by passengers thereon. It also requires within a two (2) year period that existing equipment be synchronized so that when an emergency button is activated, the precise location of the bus is indicated to the command center of the transit. authority by a GPS device on the bus.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1. Sets forth a legislative intent.
Section 2. Adds a new section to title 10 of the NYC Administrative Code, numbered 10-171 that contains a definition subdivision; a subdivision requiring any new bus equipment operated by a transit authority delivering mass transit surface services to be equipped with a partition and synchronized alarm/GPS; a subdivision that requires such transit authority to retrofit its existing fleet of buses within five years on the partition and two years on the synchronized alarm/GPS device,
Section 3. Sets forth an immediate effective date
JUSTIFICATION: Bus operators of buses on busy urban thoroughfares necessarily have to concentrate on traffic and traffic control devices outside of the vehicle. They cannot simultaneously be aware of threats to their person by an assaulting passenger, or avoid dangerous health exposure to unwanted threats presented by a spitting passenger or other behavior by a belligerent patron. Many bus drivers are women and are frequently subjected to humiliating and demeaning unwanted touching of their persons by male passengers. Each year incidents of this nature have been increasing and the NYC Transit. authority has begun to slowly install protective partitions to deter misbehavior and protect its employees. This bill would encourage and bring about a quicker universal installation of such partitions.
Existing equipment on NYC Transit buses include a silent alarm apparatus which conveys to the command center of the transit authority that an emergency situation has arisen on the bus and also a CPS device which can convey the precise location of the bus to such center. Currently the two devices are not synchronized so that the activated alarm does not also cause the CPS to convey the location of the bus. There is a need to coordinate these two pieces of equipment so that the response time by the transit authority and first responders can be significantly shortened.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: It is expected that any additional costs would be fully offset by savings from reduced workers compensation costs and reduction in absences from work due to attacks on bus operators.
EFFECTIVE DATE: It shall take effect immediately
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5684 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 4, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. KLEIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cities AN ACT to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to New York city transit omnibus safety requirements THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative findings. The occupation of driving an omnibus available to the general public has become increasingly dangerous to bus drivers employed by the New York City Transit Authority and its subsid- iaries. There has been an increase in the number of bus drivers who have become victims of assaults, verbal attacks, spitting, menacing and threats at the hands of bus riders. Unlike the work environment of tran- sit employees deployed on the subway trains, there is no discernible police presence on these buses, and the driver is relatively defenseless while operating a bus on a congested urban street, against an aggressive bus passenger seeking to harm him or her. The legislature finds that a safety partition between the bus drivers and the passengers on the vehicle can be an effective deterrent to any harm being inflicted on the transit worker. Such partitions have been highly effective in protecting taxi cab and livery car drivers from aggressive acts by passengers inside their vehicles. A similar require- ment protecting bus operators should be equally effective and would promote public safety for the riding public on mass transit surface vehicles. The legislature also finds that current emergency communication proto- cols of the New York City Transit Authority and its subsidiaries are not operating at an optimum efficiency level. Nearly all buses are currently equipped with a silent alarm mechanism which alerts the transit authori- ty's command center that an emergency exists and also with a GPS device which can apprise the command center of the location of the bus. More meaningful information and more importantly, a more timely interventionEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09645-01-3 S. 5684 2
by first responders and transit supervisors, could be conveyed if the two existing devices worked in tandem with one another. That the emer- gency alarm be synchronized with the GPS device so that when it is acti- vated it can simultaneously convey the location of the bus sounding the alarm. The legislature finds these two common sense initiatives can significantly improve the safety on mass transit buses operating within New York city at a very modest cost. S 2. The administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 10-171 to read as follows: S 10-171 NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT OMNIBUS SAFETY REQUIREMENTS. A. DEFI- NITIONS. 1. THE TERM "OMNIBUS" OR "BUS" SHALL MEAN A MECHANIZED VEHICLE PROVIDING MASS TRANSIT SURFACE SERVICE TO THE PUBLIC OWNED, OPERATED OR LEASED BY THE NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT AUTHORITY OR ONE OF ITS SUBSID- IARIES. 2. THE TERM "PARTITION" SHALL MEAN AN "L" SHAPED ENCLOSURE AROUND A BUS OPERATOR, CONSISTING IN WHOLE OR IN PART OF PLEXIGLASS AT LEAST ONE INCH IN THICKNESS OR SOME OTHER RIGID TRANSPARENT SUBSTANCE OF EQUAL OR GREATER STRENGTH, THAT WILL HAVE A HINGED DOOR OPENING TO THE RIGHT OF A SEATED BUS OPERATOR TO ALLOW FOR EASY INGRESS AND EGRESS. 3. THE TERM "SILENT EMERGENCY ALARM" SHALL MEAN A DEVICE CURRENTLY IN USE ON OMNIBUSES DEPLOYED BY THE NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT AUTHORITY AND ITS SUBSIDIARIES THAT WILL ALLOW A BUS OPERATOR TO SURREPTITIOUSLY ALERT THE COMMAND CENTER OF SUCH TRANSIT AUTHORITY OF A CIRCUMSTANCE OR CONDITION CONSTITUTING AN EMERGENCY IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE OPERATOR. 4. THE TERM "BUS GPS DEVICE" SHALL MEAN A DEVICE CURRENTLY IN USE ON OMNIBUSES DEPLOYED BY THE NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT AUTHORITY AND ITS SUBSIDIARIES, THAT WHEN ACTIVATED, CAN IMPART THE EXACT LOCATION OF THE OMNIBUS TO THE COMMAND CENTER OF SUCH TRANSIT AUTHORITY. 5. THE TERM "TRANSIT AUTHORITY" SHALL MEAN THE NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT AUTHORITY AND ANY OF ITS SUBSIDIARIES OPERATING SURFACE MASS TRANSIT VEHICLES WITHIN NEW YORK CITY. B. THE TRANSIT AUTHORITY SHALL NOT ACQUIRE OR PUT INTO SERVICE ANY OMNIBUS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION, WHICH IS NOT EQUIPPED WITH A PARTITION DESIGNED AND SUFFICIENT TO PROTECT THE OPERATOR OF SUCH OMNIBUS FROM ATTACKS ON HIS OR HER PERSON AND IS ALSO EQUIPPED WITH AN EASY TO ACCESS SILENT EMERGENCY ALARM TO THE COMMAND CENTER OF SUCH TRANSIT AUTHORITY WHICH WHEN ACTIVATED, WILL SIMULTANEOUSLY CAUSE THE BUS GPS DEVICE TO SIGNAL THE PRECISE LOCATION OF THE OMNIBUS EMITTING THE SILENT EMERGENCY ALARM. C. WITHIN ONE YEAR OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION, THE TRANSIT AUTHORITY SHALL RETROFIT ONE-FIFTH OF THE TOTAL OMNIBUSES IT DEPLOYS FOR MASS TRANSIT SERVICE WITHIN NEW YORK CITY WITH A PARTITION, AND FOR EACH CONSECUTIVE YEAR THEREAFTER A LIKE PERCENTAGE OF ITS BUS FLEET SHALL BE RETROFITTED WITH A PARTITION, SO THAT UPON COMPLETION OF THE FIFTH YEAR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION THE ENTIRE FLEET OF OMNIBUSES OPERATED BY THE TRANSIT AUTHORITY SHALL HAVE A PROTECTIVE PARTITION INSTALLED TO PROTECT THE BUS OPERATOR. DURING ANY YEAR WHEN ONLY A PARTIAL NUMBER OF BUSES ARE EQUIPPED WITH A PARTITION, DECISIONS TO DEPLOY BUSES EQUIPPED WITH SUCH BARRIERS ON ANY ROUTE OF THE TRANSIT AUTHORITY WILL BE MADE BY THE BUS OPERATION ACTION COMMITTEE IN ORDER TO PRIORITIZE DEPLOYMENT ON THE ROUTES THAT HAVE HISTORICALLY BEEN THE MOST DANGEROUS TO BUS OPERATORS. D. WITHIN ONE YEAR OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION, THE TRANSIT AUTHORITY SHALL RETROFIT ONE-HALF OF THE TOTAL OMNIBUSES IT DEPLOYS FOR MASS TRANSIT SERVICE WITHIN NEW YORK CITY WITH A SILENT EMERGENCY ALARM THAT IS SYNCHRONIZED WITH ITS EXISTING BUS GPS DEVICE SO THAT THES. 5684 3
LOCATION OF A BUS EMITTING THE ALARM IS IMMEDIATELY KNOWN BY THE COMMAND CENTER OF THE TRANSIT AUTHORITY, AND IN THE NEXT CONSECUTIVE YEAR THE REMAINDER OF THE FLEET OF OMNIBUSES OF THE TRANSIT AUTHORITY SHALL BE SO EQUIPPED. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.