Requires public notice and hearing prior to any planned substantial change in service; defines "substantial change in service" to mean any change in frequency of service or change in route or complete or partial closing of a passenger stop or route; outlines places where posters shall be placed.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public authorities law, in relation to requiring public notice and hearing prior to any planned substantial change in service of the Rochester-Genesee regional transportation authority
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To allow for public comment, and adequate notice thereof, prior to the implementation of proposed changes in service; and to encourage public input by passengers affected in the specific areas by holding hearings and providing notice in the areas where proposed service changes take place.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 defines substantial change in service as any change in frequency of service or change in route, or complete or partial closing of a passenger stop or route.
Section 1 part (a) requires that the RGRTA shall hold a public hearing or hearings in the affected areas at least thirty days prior to implementing any substantial change in service.
Section 1 part (b) requires a public hearing or hearings to be held at least thirty days prior to a substantial change, and that the RGRTA is required to give at least thirty days notice prior to the hearing to elected officials or equivalent in areas affected with detailed information of the proposed changes. The meeting shall also be held at locations in areas affected by the changes. This part also requires posters not smaller than eleven by seventeen inches to be displayed on buses and at bus stops operating on the affected route at least thirty days prior to the public hearing or hearings with date, location and time, details of the changes in service, and information on the public's right to speak at the hearing. Part (c) requires the public hearing notices to be placed at the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County, as well as in any public library in any town or along any route affected by the proposed change, as well as in any town or city hall and any post offices located in the towns or zip codes affected by the proposed change. Part (d) states that all notices in this section shall be in addition to any other notices required by law.
JUSTIFICATION: The RGRTA serves as the main method of transportation for a significant number of Rochester area residents who have physical disabilities. These passengers rely heavily on this service and should be afforded an opportunity to discuss and appeal any significant change in service.
Because the RGRTA provides a public service, the public has a right to express their input on bus service changes that may affect them. In order for the public to voice their opinion effectively, they must be provided with detailed information on any substantial change and a forum to express their concerns about such changes.
Current regulations require only minimal effort by authorities to inform the public about changes in services and of their right to speak at upcoming hearings. These current guidelines have proven to be unacceptable for residents with disabilities and, therefore, need to be corrected. This legislation provides new requirements that are
necessary in order to protect the public's voice in their transportation options.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.6765 of 2007-2008 Passed Assembly/S.6843 Referred to Rules S.5648 of 2009-2010 Referred to Transportation A.6754 of 2011-12 Passed Assembly/S.4954 Referred to Transportation
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6130 IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 8, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. O'BRIEN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation to requiring public notice and hearing prior to any planned substantial change in service of the Rochester-Genesee regional transportation authority THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public authorities law is amended by adding a new section 1299-hhh to read as follows: S 1299-HHH. PUBLIC HEARINGS AND NOTICE. 1. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE IN SERVICE SHALL BE DEFINED AS ANY CHANGE IN FREQUENCY OF SERVICE OR CHANGE IN ROUTE, OR COMPLETE OR PARTIAL CLOSING OF A PASSENGER STOP OR ROUTE. 2. (A) A PUBLIC HEARING OR HEARINGS SHALL BE HELD AT LEAST THIRTY DAYS PRIOR TO ANY SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE AT ONE OR MORE LOCATIONS CONVENIENTLY ACCESSIBLE TO THE PERSONS WHO WOULD BE AFFECTED BY SUCH CHANGE IN SERVICE. (B) AT LEAST THIRTY DAYS PRIOR TO THE PUBLIC HEARING OR HEARINGS, THE AUTHORITY SHALL GIVE NOTICE TO THE ELECTED TOWN BOARD MEMBERS OR EQUIV- ALENT IN AREAS AFFECTED BY ROUTE CHANGES AND SHALL PROVIDE DETAILED INFORMATION ON THE PROPOSED SERVICE CHANGES. IN ADDITION, THE AUTHORITY SHALL DISPLAY POSTERS IN A FORM NOT SMALLER THAN ELEVEN INCHES BY SEVEN- TEEN INCHES ON BUSES AND AT BUS STOPS OPERATING ON THE AFFECTED ROUTE AT LEAST THIRTY DAYS PRIOR TO THE PUBLIC HEARING OR HEARINGS. SUCH POSTERS SHALL DESCRIBE THE PROPOSED SERVICE CHANGE IN DETAIL AND SHALL PROVIDE THE DATE, TIME AND LOCATION OF THE PUBLIC HEARING OR HEARINGS AND SHALL STATE THAT THE PROPOSED SERVICE CHANGE SHALL BE OPEN TO DISCUSSION AND THAT MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO SPEAK AT THE HEARING. (C) PUBLIC HEARING NOTICES SHALL ALSO BE PLACED AT THE CENTRAL LIBRARY OF ROCHESTER AND MONROE COUNTY, AS WELL AS IN ANY PUBLIC LIBRARY IN ANY TOWN OR ON ANY ROUTE AFFECTED BY THE CHANGE, AND IN THE TOWN OR CITY HALL OF THE AREAS AFFECTED BY THE CHANGE.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD05481-01-3 S. 6130 2
(D) ALL NOTICES IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER NOTICES REQUIRED BY LAW. S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.