Private Bus Contract Extension Now Official
The City’s Franchise Concession and Review Committee took the final step on Tuesday in extending, by six months, the contracts of the seven private bus companies that are currently subsidized by the city. These bus lines include Green Bus Lines, Jamaica Buses and Triboro Coach.
In a unanimous vote, the committee passed the extension of the operating authority called for in resolution introduced by Queens City Councilman John Liu. This extension will prevent the disruption of bus service when the contracts with the companies were due to expire on December 31. The original resolution was passed by the City Council this Fall.
According to Department of Trans portation (DOT) spokesman Keith Kalb, the vote taken by the committee puts into effect the terms of the resolution to extend the contracts and keep the buses rolling.
In a hearing on Monday, representatives for committee members heard testimony on the matter.
Questions about the current status of the negotiations of a possible MTA takeover of the bus companies were raised.
While the DOT is not involved in the negotiations, the Mayor’s office is.
"We’re not prepared to talk about the negotiations at this moment," the Mayor’s representative told the committee. Leaving the impression that if the negotiations do not go well, another extension of the operating authority for the private companies may be needed in June.
"We continue to have discussions with the MTA regarding the feasibility of an MTA takeover of the private bus routes, and I hope that such a arrangement can be reached," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg when he signed the bill on November 26.
With the age of the bus fleets now on the road being of great concern, it was said in the meeting that bids for procurement of new buses could begin a couple of months after a final decision is made. For now, that is also being held up by the negotiations.