Streets Dept Pledges Act Against Bus Company - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Streets Dept Pledges Act Against Bus Company

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Mayfair -

The city streets department pledges to act after FOX 29 investigates showed a city official video of a bus company in operation on city streets they never knew existed. A company offering rides to New York for as little as ten bucks

A year and a half ago the feds made a big splash when they abruptly shut down two dozen low cost curbside bus companies due to safety concerns. Two of the companies operated out of Philadelphia.

Meet Mayfair's Theresa Joniec. she was upset when she noticed big, white busses picking-up and dropping-off passengers in her neighborhood. Joniec says the busses have tripled in frequency and she's not the only one concerned.

Nancy Marinucci opened her Deli 20 years ago. She says she's found the massive busses parked just a few feet from the store's front door with passengers lined-up to board.

And it's not just where the busses and passengers park, residents say it's a safety issue. The busses were rumbling along streets where children play and walk to school. So who's running this bus line and why are they doing it in this neighborhood?

According to a schedule, they're running as many as six trips a day, 7 days a week, from Philadelphia to New York and back again. They're doing it from 3 Northeast Philly locations. Two of them right at curb-side at St. Vincent and on Bustleton Avenue with a third stop in a lot off Adams Ave.

We saw the busses move through tight neighborhoods and watched passengers race into traffic on Bustleton Avenue to get on board. We watched an elderly rider struggle to load heavy luggage into the belly of the bus. And we witnessed a bus come to a dead stop in the right lane of Roosevelt Blvd. as cars swerved around it, to pick-up a passenger.

A district police lieutenant tells FOX 29 police received a complaint of a bus company operating out of a Mayfair parking lot back in October of last year. He says that complaint was forwarded to the city's department of Licenses and Inspections, whose inspector went to the area but didn't find anything.

In an e-mail, L& I's spokesperson wrote it had received "...no complaints or calls regarding bus lines operating..." at 2842 St.Vincent St, an address VIP Tours lists on its schedule. However, L & I did issue a permit for the operation of a Bus Company Office at the very same address back in October of last year.

That permit prohibited the drop-off and pick-up of passengers. The office is no longer open.

Pat O'Donnel managers the unit of the city Streets Department which decides where busses can operate. He learned of the bus line when we showed him our tape.

O'Donnell says the bus line does not have a required bus loading zone permit which the city grants only after a number of factors are considered including the safety of the community.

It also costs $5000.The Streets Department says its alerted police to force the bus line into compliance.

 

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