NYS Senator Brad Hoylman
 27th Senate District

December, 2017

I wanted to share with you my new investigative report, Thrown Under the Bus: How Lax State Laws for Double-Decker Tour Buses are Endangering the Lives of New Yorkers. The report shows that New York City’s double-decker sightseeing bus industry, which has tripled in size over the last decade, is dangerously unregulated compared to other buses, including charter and intercity buses. You can see the report online here. Below is a news article, too.

Double-decker tour buses operate in city with very little regulation, study findsState law has loopholes big enough to drive a double-decker tour bus through, according to a report from a Manhattan state senator. “Thrown Under the Bus,” the report from Sen. Brad Hoylman, showed the city’s double-decker tour bus industry is underregulated, even as the number of those vehicles has more than tripled, to 194, since 2004. Loopholes in state law mean operators are not required to make drivers undergo regular medical and driving tests and notify the state Department of Motor Vehicles about crashes.

Worse for riders, drivers are not prohibited from getting behind the wheel, even if they’ve had a drink or consumed another intoxicating substance within six hours. The state Department of Transportation, meanwhile, is powerless to yank a bad company’s buses off the road, according to the report.

The report said the city’s sightseeing buses are regulated in a “multijurisdictional web riddled with loopholes, contradictions and lower standards.” Hoylman said he’ll propose legislation to put the buses under state transportation and traffic laws. 

“We want to apply the same standards to double-decker tour buses that charter buses and intercity buses and MTA buses are subject to,” Hoylman told the Daily News. “They use the same roads, they interact with the same pedestrians.”

A double-decker tour bus on Wednesday was involved in a three-car crash outside the Richard Rodgers Theater on W. 46th St., home of the Broadway hit “Hamilton.” Three people were hospitalized. Hoylman said the buses are a common source of complaints from his constituents on Manhattan’s West Side.For the report, one constituent, Devan Sipher, a 53-year-old writer, shared his story of being hit by a tour bus on July 3, 2015, while crossing Sixth Ave. near Fourth St. The crash put him in an intensive care unit for three months, he told The News. “To know how little oversight goes into these companies being able to operate and how they operate and the drivers they select means being terrified every time you see one,” he said.

The city, meanwhile, has weak oversight powers to tame the growing tour bus industry. The city Department of Consumer Affairs hands out business licenses to operators, but it has no enforcement powers for safety and ensuring drivers are qualified. The city Department of Transportation, meanwhile, can approve stops where buses can make pickups and dropoffs. “It is the disconnect between the state agencies’ assumptions about local regulation and the actual regulatory powers of (the city agencies) that allows New York City double-decker sightseeing buses to operate under lower standards and with less oversight than other motor carriers,” the report said.

Reps for city the city Transportation and Consumer Affairs departments said the report will be reviewed. “DOT operates one of the most stringent bus inspection programs in the United States,” state DOT spokesman Joseph Morrissey said. “We perform 160,000 prescheduled bus inspections every year, as well as thousands of additional random roadside inspections. We look forward to seeing a copy of the report.”

Brad Hoylman

mailing address is:

NYS Senator Brad Hoylman

322 8th Avenue, Suite 1700

New York, NY 10001

If you have any ideas, questions, or concerns, please feel free to contact my office at (212) 633- 8052 or via email at hoylman@nysenate.gov and visit my website at hoylman.nysenate.gov for updates on my activities and other information you may find of interest.




{\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252\cocoartf1038\cocoasubrtf360{\fonttbl\f0\froman\fcharset0 Times-Roman;}{\colortbl;\red255\green255\blue255;\red52\green52\blue52;\red83\green83\blue83;}{\*\listtable{\list\listtemplateid1\listhybrid{\listlevel\levelnfc23\levelnfcn23\leveljc0\leveljcn0\levelfollow0\levelstartat1\levelspace360\levelindent0{\*\levelmarker \{disc\}}{\leveltext\leveltemplateid1\'01\uc0\u8226 ;}{\levelnumbers;}\fi-360\li720\lin720 }{\listname ;}\listid1}}{\*\listoverridetable{\listoverride\listid1\listoverridecount0\ls1}}\deftab720\pard\pardeftab720\ql\qnatural\f0\fs56 \cf2 Hoylman: LLCs have operated in near total darkness for too long, and my legislation would shine a badly needed light on them. For the super-rich, these shell companies can be used as a convenient way to move vast sums of money without detection.\'94\\pard\pardeftab720\ql\qnatural\fs40 \cf3 ALBANY \'96 Citing the urgent need for greater oversight, State Senator Brad Hoylman (D, WF-Manhattan) today announced legislation that would shine a light into the murky world of New York\'92s limited liability companies.\These business structures, known as\'a0LLCs, allow owners to hide their identities and limit their personal exposure to debt and other obligations. Under current New York law, to organize an LLC, owners only need to register an official name, the county in which it will operate, and a P.O. box.\Due to these lax regulations, LLCs have long been a mainstay of New York real estate, enabling foreign entities, landlords, and business owners to acquire properties using an endless array of anonymous shell companies. Recent news reports show Donald Trump owns and sells property to countless LLCs.\According to the Wall Street Journal,\'a0upwards of $300 million\'a0reported in a financial disclosure form filed by Trump last year came from assets held by 96 different LLCs. In June, USA Today reported that, since clinching the Republican nomination,\'a070 percent of buyers of Trump\'a0properties were LLCs, potentially opening him to influence from corporations or foreign actors that the American people have no way of identifying. (By comparison, only 4 percent of buyers were LLCs the previous two years.)\Moreover, thanks to their opaque nature, LLCs can serve as an effective vehicle for illicit activities, including fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering. Hoylman\'92s legislation would crack down on these potential abuses by lifting the veil on LLCs.\Specifically, the legislation would:\\pard\tx220\tx720\pardeftab720\li720\fi-720\ql\qnatural\ls1\ilvl0\cf3 {\listtext\'95}Mandate that LLCs organized or doing business in New York publicly disclose their \'93beneficial owners,\'94 including names and current residential or business addresses.\{\listtext\'95}Require the New York Department of State to create and maintain a publicly accessible database of registered LLCs and their owners.\{\listtext\'95}Make it a crime punishable up to three years in prison and up to ten thousand dollars in fines to knowingly provide false, fraudulent, incomplete, or outdated information in connection with beneficial ownership of an LLC.\\pard\pardeftab720\ql\qnatural\cf3 \'a0}

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