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Not All Travellers Agree with Intercity Bus Permit Plan

Not All Travellers Agree with Intercity Bus Permit Plan

Not All Travellers Agree with Intercity Bus Permit Plan Michael McDonough, flickr

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Lawmakers agreed to a permit system for intercity buses earlier this week

A planned permit system for intercity buses aims to reduce traffic in New York City and make travel safer.  Lawmakers agreed to the proposal earlier this week. But, not all travelers are quite yet sold on it.

Chinatown is riddled with head quarters for intercity bus companies. And here, those head quarters double as bus stops. Queues of passengers crowd the sidewalk, and it's common to see buses idling on busy streets and pulling over without warning.

In recent years, intercity buses have been also involved in a number of serious accidents -- some of them fatal.

If passed, the new permit system would allow the city to restrict where intercity buses can pick up passengers-- and to decide which companies get permits to operate.

City Council Member Margaret Chin says the permit system would help restore order on Chinatown's streets and sidewalks. But permits are expensive. And with competition already fierce, bus rider Helen Sonenshine fears new restrictions could put some companies out of business

"If they were to try to seriously affect the ability of these bus companies to provide the service to people, there would be a huge uproar," she said. "There are no other copmanies that provide this kind of service at a reasonable price, and they, the demand is great."

The community board in Chinatown is behind the plan, which still needs Albany's approval. 

You can listen to Maris' story below...