April 28, 2010

Hon. Christine Quinn, Speaker
New York City Council
City Hall
New York, New York 10007

Re: Legislation Regulating Sound Reproduction on Open-Air Sight Seeing Buses

Dear Speaker Quinn:

I wish to thank you for your leadership in advancing responsible tour bus regulations and to join you in supporting New York City Councilmember Gale Brewer's legislation requiring a five-year phased-in implementation of headphone-limited sound reproduction systems in all open-air sight-seeing buses.

As I stated in my September 21, 2009 testimony in support of similar legislation before the New York City Council, residents all over the City, including my constituents in Hell's Kitchen, Greenwich Village and the East Village in particular, have long experienced adverse impacts on their quality of life due to noise from tour buses that regularly traffic their streets. This legislation would mandate that the commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs gshall not issue a new license to any open-air sight-seeing bus that is not equipped with a headphone-limited sound reproduction system.h The legislation further requires that all open-air sight seeing buses be equipped with such systems according to a five-year schedule. At the end of the phase-in period, this will effectively eliminate the disruptive noise that currently emanates from loud speakers on many tour buses without depriving customers of commentary from their guides.

Some tour bus operators have taken voluntary steps to mitigate quality of life concerns and they should be lauded for their preemptive action in recognition of community concerns. However, there is a clear need for government regulation that ensures universal compliance without negatively impacting New York's vital tour bus industry or the number of people it employs. The current legislation before the Council does just that.

I appreciate your advocacy, along with that of Councilmember Brewer, for reasonable and thoughtful statutes which support tourism while improving the living conditions of residents. I look forward to this bill's passage by the full New York City Council on April 29, 2010.


Thomas K. Duane
New York State Senator
29th District

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