Politicians Want to Wrap "Wild West" Buses in Red Tape


So-called Chinatown bus lines have multiplied in recent years, providing a cheaper alternative to Amtrak's subsidized rails between East Coast cities at comparable travel times. These intercity bus lines have grown rapidly in the past couple years, with ridership growing 33 percent in 2010 alone. This horrific development hasn't sat well with New York state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn) and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), who say the buses need more regulating:

[Squadron and Silver] introduced a bill before the State Legislature Friday, designed to create a permit system for the first time ever and ease what they called a "chaotic lack of rules" which puts travelers and neighborhood residents at risk.

"With no rules to regulate buses, the streets of Chinatown are like the Wild West, and that doesn't work for bus companies or the community," said Squadron.

"Today's system makes it hard to operate a business within the bounds of the law, and plagues the community with noise, pollution and chronic congestion."

Naturally, such regulation would likely make the buses more expensive.

More from Reason on regulation here.