Provides that in a city of one million or more flashing purple lights may be affixed to and displayed on buses operated on a bus rapid transit route.
BILL NUMBER:S7068 REVISED MEMO 04/24/2014
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to providing that in a city of one million or more flashing purple lights may be affixed to and displayed on buses operated on a bus rapid transit route
To permit the use of flashing purple lights on Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) or New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) buses that are used on the Select Bus Service (SBS) Routes with off-board fare collection.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Amends subdivision 41 of section 375 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law to add a new subparagraph 1-a so that MTA and NYCTA buses that are used on SBS Routes are permitted to use flashing purple lights when running along Select Bus Service Routes.
The Authorities' buses utilized on the SBS Routes had previously utilized flashing blue lights to signal their approach to passengers. However, under the current law, blue lights are only authorized for use by volunteer firefighters and EMTs on their vehicles. Although almost all of fire and EMT emergency services in New York City are paid professional emergency responders, not volunteer, in the interest of avoiding confusion with emergency vehicles, even relatively rare volunteer vehicles, buses on SBS Routes should be authorized to use flashing purple lights, which is a color not used by any emergency vehicle under VTL section 375(41).
In addition, emergency vehicles are easy to distinguish from buses, so the use of different colored lights is not an issue. Without the flashing purple lights, passengers cannot easily tell when a SBS bus is coming. This is critical for passengers boarding at stops that serve both the SBS bus and the local bus, or are nearby. At such stops, which are common to all SBS routes, Passengers have the option of-purchasing their ticket from the sidewalk ticket vending machine, which is needed to board an SBS bus, or using a MetroCard or exact change to board a local bus. Passengers at these locations must be able to distinguish well in advance which bus is approaching in order to exercise one or the other option in time to board the arriving bus.
The flashing purple lights provide the necessary advance notice for bus patrons. The absence of flashing purple lights on buses on SBS Routes makes the commute for passengers less convenient and unnecessarily stressful. This bill would allow the use of flashing purple lights on buses that are on the SBS Routes that are owned and operated by the MTA or NYCTA, thereby remedying the problem.
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7068 IN SENATE April 23, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. HOYLMAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to providing that in a city of one million or more flashing purple lights may be affixed to and displayed on buses operated on a bus rapid transit route THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 41 of section 375 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new paragraph 1-a to read as follows: 1-A. IN A CITY WITH A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE, FLASHING PURPLE LIGHTS MAY BE AFFIXED TO AND DISPLAYED ON BUSES OPERATED ON A BUS RAPID TRANSIT ROUTE. SUCH FLASHING PURPLE LIGHTS MAY BE USED EXCLUSIVELY BY A BUS DRIVER AUTHORIZED BY THE APPLICABLE MASS TRANSIT AGENCY ON ANY BUS RAPID TRANSIT ROUTE, PROVIDED THAT FLASHING PURPLE LIGHTS MAY NOT BE UTILIZED ON ANY BUS OPERATING ON A BUS RAPID TRANSIT ROUTE WHERE THE BUS FARE IS PAID UPON BOARDING. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS PARAGRAPH, "BUS RAPID TRANSIT ROUTE" SHALL INCLUDE ROUTES DESIGNATED AS SUCH BY THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND THE APPLICABLE MASS TRANSIT AGENCY, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THOSE ROUTES SPECIFIED IN SECTION ELEVEN HUNDRED ELEVEN-C OF THIS CHAPTER. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09767-09-4